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View Full Version : 2010/11 Zags = Slow developing team



CDC84
12-04-2010, 03:33 PM
This is a slow developing group. I know we have gone through the team's flaws again and again on this board, but I honestly feel the team has within its genetic code an ability to play better than this. I've been thru enough college basketball seasons to know when a team is bad, and this team isn't a bad team. They just to need to establish some measure of consistency.

I would be very, very surprised if this team doesn't get better as the season moves along. It's going to take time, though. And that's where the problem is. You cannot afford to be a slow developing team against an insane schedule like this. The question becomes how many losses will the Zags pile up before they start to "get it" on a somewhat consistent basis?

It's hard to be patient as a fan when we are so used to the Zags starting out on fire in recent years against top 25 teams, but that's not the makeup of this crew. Patience is going to be needed, as well as an understanding of team's upside and limitations.

I wouldn't throw this team under the bus.

I would really like to see the Zags win 1 of 2 next week. Don't know if it will occur, but I would like to see it happen. They need a break through win.

maynard g krebs
12-04-2010, 04:01 PM
Illinois is really good. They took apart a UNC team that beat Ky. today. Today was pretty much the expected result imo.

The inside advantage the Zags have against the Cougs could be enough of a difference that they could pull off the road win. Casto's ankle still seemed gimpy v. KSU last nite. Sacre, Harris should do well in this game, just gotta keep the Cougs' shooters from getting on a roll. Yeah, I know, with this team that might not happen.

CaliforniaZaggin'
12-04-2010, 04:04 PM
This team has the firepower to beat good teams, and they will before season's end. The good thing is that there is still plenty of opportunities for the Zags to prove themselves.

Tonight's game showed how CBB is a guard's game. Right now, the Zags' guards aren't very good. There's plenty of raw talent, but refining that talent and fitting it in with the strong frontcourt is what we need to see in the next few weeks.

MDABE80
12-04-2010, 04:10 PM
Exactly CDC...perfect thought. There's lots to worry about but there's a good future wen this team comes together. We didn't play defense today...which is the one thing a team can control. Offense is is disarray but that can be fixed. Just takes more time. It is a bit surprsing as 4 of the 5 kids were here here working together last season. Elias will improve though...even today he didn't look the same. He gets back to full strength expect lots of imrovement through the whole team on the floor.....not just because of what he does..no...everyone else will show better as he, once again, becomes a scary force.

It's far from the end. IN some ways, we'll get some opportunity to see a team evolve. We still have top 20 talent in the waiting. We have the "goods". Few needs to figure this out.
He will.

gonwick
12-04-2010, 04:21 PM
The problem, as mentioned above, is that the Zag's schedule does not allow for slow development. If they manage to win or two of their remaining decent out of conference games, that won't be enough to impress anyone. It doesn't do much good for them to gel in WCC play, when the world has stopped watching. It's looking more and more like if we don't win the conference tourney, we won't be playing when it counts.

WeSayZed
12-04-2010, 04:27 PM
This is a slow developing group. ...
Yes! This is exactly what I see. If you look at the box score today there are lots of positives, and just watching the game you could tell that the main advantage they had over us, besides the hot 3pt shooting, was polish. They were smooth and we were still disjointed, ragged. One positive is that we killed them on the boards. Rob had 10 and Kelly had 8 in 18 minutes. Otoh, we almost doubled their TO number, 11 to 6. We have lots of individual players who are making good progress, but we’re still somewhat lost as a team, and that’s why we lost to a veteran team like Illinois. This will change, however, and this team will come together over the course of this season.

The one position I’m still somewhat concerned about is PG. Goodson is better, but he’s still not good, and Carter hasn’t shown much yet. I heard some analyst say that it can take a juco transfer a half a season to get used to D1 basketball, so Carter has a lot of time yet before we need to get really worried, but it would make me breath a little easier if he would start showing flashes of being a good D1 PG at least.

GoZags
12-04-2010, 04:30 PM
It will help when Elias is able to practice ... it's been since October/early Nov. since he's been able to practice full time.

The Zags will be just fine -- but as CDC says -- they'll peak later in the season -- not in OOC portion of the schedule.

CDC84
12-04-2010, 04:30 PM
The way this season is developing, that February Memphis game is gaining more and more importance by the minute. Thank goodness it's at Spokane Arena instead of Memphis.

BTW = Elias is getting gassed in games. He can only go for so many minutes before Few has to rest him. The lack of practice time is hurting the team on a number of levels. Not only can they not practice and get better with him, but his conditioning is suffering by having to sit so much.

RenoZag
12-04-2010, 04:55 PM
This team will not improve, develop, get better, or whatever euphemism one cares to use, as the season wears on. This is it.

CaliforniaZaggin'
12-04-2010, 04:58 PM
The Zags will be just fine -- but as CDC says -- they'll peak later in the season -- not in OOC portion of the schedule.

This.

75Zag
12-04-2010, 05:05 PM
Bulldogs are still overwhelming favorites in WCC. But I am pretty certain that our NCAA effort will begin from a 10 - 12 seed this time. But the Bulldogs have done great things from lower seeds in the past.

Go Bulldogs!

Nevtelen
12-04-2010, 05:18 PM
Bulldogs are still overwhelming favorites in WCC. But I am pretty certain that our NCAA effort will begin from a 10 - 12 seed this time. But the Bulldogs have done great things from lower seeds in the past.

Go Bulldogs!

The thing I would worry about with us winning the WCC tourney this season (which we might have to) is that SMC's strength - cohesion and hitting 3s off of good ball movement - is exactly what is designed to bury this team, like we saw in Illinois today. Will we actually be able to beat a team that shoots the 3-ball well and is cohesive? Right now, no shot. Later, all I can say is that I hope so.

VinnyZag
12-04-2010, 08:28 PM
Was at the game this afternoon, and I think they're fine. They left guys wide open for five or six minutes, and Illinois made shots. Once they shore that up, and once they learn their roles, they'll be fine.

roxdoc
12-04-2010, 09:42 PM
Upperclassmen: Gray, Sacre, Meech, and .........Carter?

MickMick
12-04-2010, 09:49 PM
I hope they "get it"

I have to go back to the Syracuse game.

Sure they were really good, but Butler played great perimeter defense and beat them.

Getting back to the "it will take time" theme, the Zags had 30 games under their belt against Syracuse and still didn't "get it" about defending the perimeter. Rautins and Johnson were every bit as "wide open" as Tisdale and McCarmey were today.

The other problem I have is that even if the Zags get better, they have to get better at a faster rate than other teams get better.

Every message board across the land speaks of how their respective team will get better. The truth is that everyone gets better.

We have to expect that the Zags will "get better" quicker than everyone else.
What happens when a polished team with a load of seniors and five returning starters (SDSU) gets better? Indeed, I think their potential to get better is very high. While the Zags are fixing major problems, a team like SDSU is honing their schemes to a keen edge.

The only way the "get better" argument works is if you take into account a teams "ceiling". That other teams will reach a barrior and allow the Zags time to catch up. I'm not sure if I buy into that.

Pargo the Destroyer
12-04-2010, 10:10 PM
Peaking later in the season.....fools gold. Yes, this team will look great, once they get into conference play. Why? Well, it's cupcake city folks. Top to bottom we look way much better on paper than any other WCC team. St. Marys is the only team that has a legit shot to beat the zags at home, Unless a team gets crazy hot which is not out of the realm of possibility. Lmu scares me as well but they have looked pretty inconsistent so far.

CaliforniaZaggin'
12-04-2010, 10:11 PM
I really liked the way the starting line up played in the game, and I think the nature of the game changed as soon as Meech went out. He is doing some nice things out there, and the point guard position with him in isn't the biggest issue the zags face.

Biggest thing I see is that the players are hardly seem to be on the same page consistently, and this problem gets bigger as different substitutions are used. The problem is compounded by having a roster full of players who aren't skilled passers. The other problem is that I don't see a lot of guys looking to score. Harris does(a touch too much, but at least he's good at it), and Gray does. Outside of those two, who on the roster is looking to find their offense? Arop and Monninghoff both should be taking twice as many shots as they do now. As they build offensive cohesion, I hope those two get more shots.

Olynyk, Dower, and Sacre have the potential to be a dominant front line, but they still are finding ways to play to their strengths. I like they way they are improving, but they still make a lot of youthful mistakes.

Ultimately, this team needs 7 guys to be up to speed to become dangerous in the games they've lost(or the top players to become All-Americans). I see 4 guys right now that seem to get it, and they are the upper classmen.

Great post. I completely agree. Manny seems more comfortable on offense now. He's looking for his shot, looking to drive, and putting pressure on the defense.

CDC84
12-04-2010, 10:42 PM
Peaking later in the season.....fools gold. Yes, this team will look great, once they get into conference play. Why? Well, it's cupcake city folks. Top to bottom we look way much better on paper than any other WCC team. St. Marys is the only team that has a legit shot to beat the zags at home, Unless a team gets crazy hot which is not out of the realm of possibility. Lmu scares me as well but they have looked pretty inconsistent so far.

It wasn't fools good for the first three sweet 16 teams. They weren't exactly brilliant during non-league play.

We'll see. I think the problem you are describing is probably more relevant to the recent squads who have been really, really good in non-league play against top 25 opponents but who then allowed themselves to regress during WCC play. Those teams could get away with outscoring people. Even if GU still remains the favorite to win the league this year, I don't think this bunch is going to be able to win games like they have in the past. They are going to be forced to pay more attention to detail. I expect a more humble team.


We have to expect that the Zags will "get better" quicker than everyone else.
What happens when a polished team with a load of seniors and five returning starters (SDSU) gets better? Indeed, I think their potential to get better is very high. While the Zags are fixing major problems, a team like SDSU is honing their schemes to a keen edge.

The only way the "get better" argument works is if you take into account a teams "ceiling". That other teams will reach a barrior and allow the Zags time to catch up. I'm not sure if I buy into that.

I don't know if we can expect Gonzaga's upside to ever reach the level of top 15 teams. Right now I'm more concerned with beating teams like Wake Forest and Xavier and then dominating league play. The way the team is playing right now, it might not even be able to accomplish those sorts of things, although I don't feel it has to be that way all season.

cggonzaga
12-04-2010, 11:41 PM
Personally I couldn't agree more with CDC or disagree with Mick more. I have no idea what the end of the season will hold but GU teams over the past 5-6 years have peaked in November and December. Those teams never got any better as the season progressed and thats partially been the reason we haven't moved past the sweet 16. I don't buy at all that we have to progress "quicker" than other teams but we do have to progress. Its a long season with plenty of time to get better (see Mich St the past couple of seasons) A team like SDSU won't get any better as the season progresses. Don't get me wrong, I think they're very good but I think they'll be playing the same later in the season as they are now. I don't see any bigger an upside for them later on.

We have nowhere to go but up. I'm sure I sound like a broken record a bit but we haven't played a good game yet. We lost a close game to SDSU who played great, got blown out by KSU when they shot lights out (which they normally don't do) and lost to Illinios by 12 when they shot lights out. We didn't exactly play even above average in any of those games. This season might take some time but I still believe this team can do some special things.

jim77
12-05-2010, 12:13 AM
Here's some random thoughts: When the fellas went in at halftime I actually felt good about how our team competed physically. If anything we physically got the better of them. What hurt us was mostly dumb fixable mistakes. I also noticed they had NO answer for Elias.....imagine if Elias had played 35 minutes at full strength???? We will certainly be better when he is at full strength. Are other teams gonna be able to double Elias AND Steven??? NO....it will make a huge difference with both at 100%. This team makes bonehead mistakes nearly everytime up the court yet, they can still compete. This team isn't even close to their ceiling. Despite this teams loses I still see a team that can kick some butt when they have their heads screwed on straight..and a healthy Elias...on to PULLMAN!

azzagfan
12-05-2010, 12:56 AM
There also have been a number of coaching changes over the past 3-4 years...a staff has to gel as well. Normally, the assistants act as "coordinators" working offense and defense, and the ability of Mark Few to get his expectations through to assistants and have the staff working seamlessly also plays a factor. This would be particularly evident this time of year.

Baldwinzag
12-05-2010, 07:47 AM
I also noticed they had NO answer for Elias.....imagine if Elias had played 35 minutes at full strength???? We will certainly be better when he is at full strength. Are other teams gonna be able to double Elias AND Steven??? NO....it will make a huge difference with both at 100%.

I completely agree with this; however, I'm not confident this team is able to recognize or be aware when another player is open if they are doubled. Its like it doesn't compute. It seems this team does a tremendous job at beating themselves. If something is working or a particular player is clicking, we go against the grain in almost every instance. If a player is hot or our post game is dominating, we still default the ball back to Steven or launch a ridiculous shot. Its odd, really. If you've noticed, we can't get in a groove offensively and this is the reason. We don't know how to capitalize on what is working well. We have the individual talent to make up for this issue, such as Elias, Gray, and Sacre do on occasion, but when we have a mis-match going, or a player open, we just don't make it happen.

You know, Sacre & Elias should have been the first to touch the ball on every occasion. Just like you said, they were unable to double both of them, so one was always open. Also, in Sam's limited minutes he was sealing his man to perfection under the hoop, yet no one even looked for him underneath for an easy 2pts. It was disgusting. Nope, instead when we thought we needed a bucket in crunch time, we passed the ball back to Gray on the perimeter and went into our classic, "stand & watch" offense. A thing of beauty, right? Wrong. Yes, Steven can make things happen most of the time, but teams are pressuring him more and more. Its time to get the offense clicking on ALL cylinders and by changing the offense everytime down the court, the players are losing focus or getting confused.

Its part Coaching, part player buy-in.

They need to figure it out.

We are wasting amazing talent, imo. This team is harder to watch than any before it. Why? Because I've never seen a team with so much potential, yet accomplish so little with it.

I agree that we will improve once Elias is fully healthy, but like I said above, I'm not so sure this team will take advantage of their strengths, b/c we seem to love to reveal our weaknesses more than anything.

If we continue to show such little awareness on the court, we will be 4-5 by the end of next week. Notre Dame doesn't have the horses to run with US! Who would have thunk it? Its true. ND is a very smart team, with great shooters, and some talented guards. We should be able to dominate them inside, but will we? As for the WSU game, eh, its a 50-50 game no matter the teams we put on the floor, so analysis is meaningless.

Any win this week would be HUGE. Time to cut the BS and get it done!

I'm tired of petting this team. I've seen their ability so I know they can do it.

Opportunities are quickly passing this team by in a hurry. IF we don't start winning ball games, we are putting that streak of 12 in a row at terrible risk. As it stand right now, there is NO chance for an at-large.

Zag79
12-05-2010, 10:32 PM
This is a slow developing group. I know we have gone through the team's flaws again and again on this board, but I honestly feel the team has within its genetic code an ability to play better than this. I've been thru enough college basketball seasons to know when a team is bad, and this team isn't a bad team. They just to need to establish some measure of consistency.

I would be very, very surprised if this team doesn't get better as the season moves along. It's going to take time, though. And that's where the problem is. You cannot afford to be a slow developing team against an insane schedule like this. The question becomes how many losses will the Zags pile up before they start to "get it" on a somewhat consistent basis?

It's hard to be patient as a fan when we are so used to the Zags starting out on fire in recent years against top 25 teams, but that's not the makeup of this crew. Patience is going to be needed, as well as an understanding of team's upside and limitations.

I wouldn't throw this team under the bus.

I would really like to see the Zags win 1 of 2 next week. Don't know if it will occur, but I would like to see it happen. They need a break through win.

Great post, I fully agree. This team will be one of the few zag teams that isn't over hyped early, and gets better as the season goes on. Win or lose I'm enjoying the ride.

MickMick
12-06-2010, 07:43 AM
Great post, I fully agree. This team will be one of the few zag teams that isn't over hyped early, and gets better as the season goes on. Win or lose I'm enjoying the ride.

I'm enjoying the ride too. I am more on common ground than my posts probably indicate. I like following progress of the players regardless of what the record is. When you get to a point of accepting what level the team is at, you pull for them to improve more than just getting wins. That is fine by me.

What will be troubling is if they don't improve much. So far, I think Rob and Meech are showing the most improvement. Those two are the key for Zag success from this point on. If both can elevate to the next level, this Zag team will be on their way. It is encouraging to see them getting better every week.

I want to see Harris improve his defense. He is hurting the team in this area although his circumstances make it understandable. He needs to get in shape so he can get it done. Needs to run some lines when his ankle/heel allows.

Meech really needs to create space with his speed (like he has been doing) and pull up/shoot more instead of looking for Steven. He is a player with the tools that can put foul pressure on opponents.

Rob is looking much, much better with the fundamentals. Looked great against Illinois. No complaints. Just needs a little more consistency game to game.

With respect to "team" concepts, the perimeter defense has a long way to go. I think this is the area that may hurt them the entire year. Their success really hinges on how hot or cold the opposing perimeter shooters are. (ie. Marquette as opposed to Illinois)

RenoZag
02-11-2011, 08:58 PM
I would be very, very surprised if this team doesn't get better as the season moves along. It's going to take time, though. And that's where the problem is. You cannot afford to be a slow developing team against an insane schedule like this. The question becomes how many losses will the Zags pile up before they start to "get it" on a somewhat consistent basis?

So CDC, are they getting better yet ?

FieldHouseFishHouse
02-11-2011, 09:08 PM
So CDC, are they getting better yet ?

Burn

But seriously, go back 60 days and see if you were right about everything.

RenoZag
02-11-2011, 09:18 PM
I'm not calling out CDC, Fish House. I'm asking if he thinks there's hope for the balance of the season. I can see how you might have seen snark in the query but it wasn't my intent. The fact a thread has some dust on it doesn't mean it is any less valid.

As for being right about things 60 days ago: Anyone can wade through the archives of this bulletin board and browse the opinions, prognostications, and other stuff dating back several seasons. . .it's a good way to determine who knows WTF they are talking about and who the knee jerk reactionaries are. . .roughly 60 days ago ( see my post above ) I stated a pessimistic view of things re: the team's development.

While my point of view hasn't changed much, I happen to think CDC and a few others have a pretty good sense of the ebb and flow of a season and have been following the Zags long enough to have a healthy dose of perspective.

Cheers,

MDABE80
02-11-2011, 09:30 PM
I think we're better on defense.by far! Offense was never bad. Not sure if Steven or Elias is up to speed. To go far, we need both of them hitting on all cylinders. We also need that gelling we had when we beat Baylor, Ok St...and even Notre Dame ( we played well enough to win it)..afterall..we lost to SMC on a freak shot. We lots 4 of these games we could have easily won.
I think the team is better .and some individuals are lots better ( David, Rob, Carter) but we need the two others (SG and EH) to get a move on.

Always good to remember that the other teams are better too. Not sure we can talk about ours in isolation. Everyone is better so it's harder to win impressively.

CDC84
02-11-2011, 11:26 PM
I certainly do not have the hope that I once did. At the time I posted that message, for instance, I was counting on Elias Harris being a whole lot better than he's ended up being. I also felt the defensive issues would get themselves sorted out. It just hasn't happened. The defense is okay in spurts, but it's still not as good as it needs to be.

I still don't feel this is a bad team. 16-9 teams are not bad teams. Especially when they play the kind of schedule Gonzaga has faced. This is just not one of Gonzaga's better teams in the Few era.

To me the most disappointing thing this season were the back to back Bay Area losses. It was as if the team had completely forgotten all of the lessons they should've learned when they were getting waxed at WSU back in December.

FieldHouseFishHouse
02-11-2011, 11:28 PM
I'm not calling out CDC, Fish House. I'm asking if he thinks there's hope for the balance of the season. I can see how you might have seen snark in the query but it wasn't my intent. The fact a thread has some dust on it doesn't mean it is any less valid.

As for being right about things 60 days ago: Anyone can wade through the archives of this bulletin board and browse the opinions, prognostications, and other stuff dating back several seasons. . .it's a good way to determine who knows WTF they are talking about and who the knee jerk reactionaries are. . .

I happen to think CDC and a few others have a pretty good sense of the ebb and flow of a season and have been following the Zags long enough to have a healthy dose of perspective.

Cheers,

I see...
I guess it's weird time, the LMU win was ugly and there have been a variety of reactions the team's play lately.
I guess I thought you were trying to start trouble, and I was willing to help.
Carry on,

Saxon_zag
02-12-2011, 12:09 AM
Slow developing is right!!! But I still do think that I will be watching the zags in the NCAA tourney this year by WINNING IN VEGAS. Still the best in the WCC and no way they are letting that streak end.

cjm720
02-12-2011, 07:32 AM
It comes down to 2 or 3 games in Vegas to make a statement. A win in Moraga would be nice too. We have many of the right ingredients, we just need the cook to pair down his offering and play with some spice (I am really hungry lol). Go zags

TheZagPhish
02-12-2011, 07:58 AM
The fact a thread has some dust on it doesn't mean it is any less valid.

This from a well known thread resurrectionist. Still, stay away from the threads with black mold.

zag67
02-12-2011, 10:36 AM
We lost 6 games that were close enough for us to win. SDS by 3, ND by 4, SC by 14 (but we were down by 2 with 4 minutes to go), SF by 5 in OT, SMC by 2 and then Mempis by 4. We are in the games and our defense is doing its job. We just need to get the close. If we would have won 4 then we would have only had 5 losses and been in great shape. Of the losses 5 of those games were against ranked teams and also 6 of those games were on the road. We also had players that were injured or recovering from injury in many of those losses.

In the last game did many of you notice that Harris is back at the 4 (playing low). I think that this is what we need to make the run. I like having Carter in the game because that gives us another player that can get the ball to the open player and also drive the middle for a shot. We need someone to take the pressure off of Steven. Yes, they need to keep working together to play better, but I think that this might work.

ZagAddict
02-12-2011, 10:56 AM
Inconsistent rotation = still slow developing team

Plus, there just isn't the amount of experience/leadership we've had on previous teams. A lot rests on the shoulders of Sacre and Gray, but from there we rely on a game by game contribution from a group of young players (i.e. Stockton, Keita, Dower, Monninghoff, Carter...) and Harris is shadow of his play as a freshman.

March 7th (WCC Conference Tourney Championship Game) is the day I'm hoping all this frustration comes to an end and we continue our streak of NCAA appearances. What we were hoping was a season that would allow GU to make a push for a deep run in March has turned into a MAJOR transition year for this program.

gamagin
02-12-2011, 11:37 AM
I'm not calling out CDC, Fish House. I'm asking if he thinks there's hope for the balance of the season. I can see how you might have seen snark in the query but it wasn't my intent. The fact a thread has some dust on it doesn't mean it is any less valid.

As for being right about things 60 days ago: Anyone can wade through the archives of this bulletin board and browse the opinions, prognostications, and other stuff dating back several seasons. . .it's a good way to determine who knows WTF they are talking about and who the knee jerk reactionaries are. . .roughly 60 days ago ( see my post above ) I stated a pessimistic view of things re: the team's development.

While my point of view hasn't changed much, I happen to think CDC and a few others have a pretty good sense of the ebb and flow of a season and have been following the Zags long enough to have a healthy dose of perspective. Cheers,

it sure beats 101 thread starts plowing essentially the same field. whereas an update and a chastening if warranted, merely keeps us all better informed and/or humbled. win-win.