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VinnyZag
11-30-2010, 08:13 AM
Meehan's preview (http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/sportslink/2010/nov/29/zags-bench-and-down/) focuses on the unsteady production of the Gonzaga bench.


Its a grab bag from game to game, from day to day, said Few, whose Bulldogs (3-2) entertain Eastern Washington (1-4) Tuesday at 6 at the McCarthey Athletic Center. I dont know if that will change. Some years you know what youre getting and you have a real set rotation. Others, quite frankly, you just dont.

Good stuff from Carter, too, about learning the speed of the game at the D-I level.

ZagNative
11-30-2010, 10:57 AM
Yup. Meehan's always good for a read.

“The major thing I’m really adjusting to is the speed and tempo of the game, the environment and the fans and the opposing teams,” Carter said. “Everybody on the other team is talented.”
....
“It’s different as far as there are a lot of plays and a lot of things to remember,” Carter said. “I’m trying to adjust to that and play hard every time I’m out there and my opportunity is going to come.

“At the beginning, it was really tough. I thought I was going to be able to come in and just do the things I was doing in junior college, but I realize it’s not really that easy. It’s a long process and you have to learn. You have other players that are just as good as you, maybe even better.”

Carter can garner more playing time, but he needs to play with “more sense of urgency and with a little more fire and energy,” Few said.
I wonder why Carter isn't playing with more urgency, fire, and energy? Afraid of making mistakes maybe?
Redshirt freshman Sam Dower has a nice scoring touch, but his playing time will be determined by how he performs at the defensive end.

“That is the correlation with his time,” Few said, “because we’re all more than comfortable with him on the offensive end.”

former1dog
11-30-2010, 11:03 AM
I wonder why Carter isn't playing with more urgency, fire, and energy? Afraid of making mistakes maybe?

I think Carter answers the question himself. He is learning and thinking out there, rather than reacting and doing.

U Zig, I Zag
11-30-2010, 11:19 AM
I think Carter answers the question himself. He is learning and thinking out there, rather than reacting and doing.

He is off my radar completely, almost forgot about him really. He could be an important part of this season or just disappear into the fog.

My take was that he was a smart and cautious player with a knack for runners and finding the seem for penetration and/or passes. Haven't seen much of that though.

dnj116
11-30-2010, 11:19 AM
As far as Carter is concerned, he appears to play with energy, urgency, etc. As he said, adjusting to the speed of the game at a higher level takes time to adjust to. His mistakes come from him trying to do too much for the given situation (i.e. driving to the hoop without a plan and turning the ball over). I see this as him displaying plenty of urgency, but without the sense of how to contain it and make smart plays. This takes take time and I still believe he will show us why he was a junior college AA.

The same goes for Dower. We all know he can score. However, the learning curve of defending athletes from the likes of IUPUI to SDSU, KSU, and Marquette is incredibly steep. He is just now seeing his first D1 playing time, but will take a period of adjustment.

Playing such a difficult and front-loaded schedule for a young and inexperienced group of players is taxing. The growing pains associated with it will pay off in the end as these players become battle-hardened. Sure, we're going to lose some games we may be accustomed to winning, but when this team emerges from the ashes we're going to see a much tougher and coehesive unit come February and March. It takes time people, and the right pieces are in place as long as they develop and learn from it.

CDC84
11-30-2010, 11:42 AM
Playing such a difficult and front-loaded schedule for a young and inexperienced group of players is taxing. The growing pains associated with it will pay off in the end as these players become battle-hardened.

The problem is that a new player can't get better if he doesn't see the court. The competition that GU faces is useless unless that player is actually playing in the games. If Gonzaga were afforded the luxury of playing a typical BCS non-league schedule, Marquise would be seeing double digit minutes every game. That would allow him to build confidence, learn the system, play through his mistakes, and be somewhat ready for league play.

The number one thing that I dislike about Gonzaga playing in a non-BCS league is that they're forced to frontload their schedule which makes it almost impossible for the staff to give meaningful minutes to its newbies. They just can't afford to put the newbies out there and have them play through their mistakes. Not when they are playing teams like Kansas State, SDSU, etc. But because of GU's league affiliation, they have to play a rigorous non-league schedule. They have no choice.

Regarding Carter......I think it's a mistake for anyone to write him off. Most juco players don't start coming into their own until late in their junior year or until their senior year. This is especially the case with point guards.

DixieZag
11-30-2010, 12:11 PM
Agree with above about the problem of "front lodding" our schedule. It is done out of necessity, in that we need quality wins OOC. In the past, we have had teams that could take advantage of other teams "growing pains" and pick up those tough wins needed for the tournament.

This year, it seems like we do not have the talent level we have had before and therefore we might not pick up many good wins in the tough games. To be sure, the team will gell and be much better during the conference season and tourney - - but I don't think the goal is to be good enough to win a "must win" conference tournament game, b/c we do not have enough quality wins to qualify.

Hopefully, Ellias (who was being counted on to play at an AA level) can fulfill his role and someone emerges out of the Arop, Hoff, Carter, Dower - to make a real difference on this team. Manny may be the key, if he can start asserting himself as a scorer, that would take a lot of the heat off of Steven.

zagzilla
11-30-2010, 12:24 PM
This kind of inconsistency from the bench makes a coach's job very difficult. He has to make the right decision every night about who has the hot hand and hope to get the matchups right while playing a front-loaded, "inside-out" schedule.

If they don't get it right on any given night, they are accused of over-coaching. If they do get it right the players (like Arop) get the credit for the breakout performance.

When the rotation is more set, we can usually pull off some early season upsets and ride the momentum into the WCC schedule.

This year, the coaches will make a bigger impact than usual in determining how to steal some wins while protecting the confidence of players like Carter.

Glad we have Few and Co.-they are the best.

Go Zags!

ZZ

CDC84
11-30-2010, 12:39 PM
I think Gonzaga is more talented than some people think. What they are is YOUNG, and young at several key positions. I expect guys like Sam Dower to get better and better as time move along. I see upside. But yes, I don't see guys who are so talented that they can transcend their inexperience.