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CaliforniaZaggin'
12-04-2010, 05:00 PM
Foremost, let's start a thread that discusses something other than three-point shooting. While we're at it, let's discuss the good things we saw, 'cause there were a few.

1. Rob played very well. Sacre was very active on the glass and had a rebounder's attitude. Also, he had a nice left-handed half-hook that he dropped.

2. Manny looks much more comfortable on offense. He's clearly a skilled player on offense, but too often we wouldn't see it in the games. Although he didn't put up big numbers, he did look confident. Given how desperately this team could use some perimeter scoring, Manny will be a very important factor in how the Zags fair the rest of the way.

3. Harris isn't as hobbled as everyone had feared. This is a completely different team when he's healthy and playing well, so his dunks might have been the most important thing we saw all night.

4. Team rebounding was excellent. There might not be a decent rebounder on the entire Illinois team, but +11 on the boards is good to see.

For some reason, I feel more encouraged after this game than I did before it. There is enough firepower on this team for them to win games against good teams; now it's just the matter of putting it all together.

ZagLawGrad
12-04-2010, 05:12 PM
I don't see the Zags beating either WSU or the Irish next week.

WeSayZed
12-04-2010, 05:31 PM
Foremost, let's start a thread that discusses something other than three-point shooting. While we're at it, let's discuss the good things we saw, 'cause there were a few.

1. Rob played very well. Sacre was very active on the glass and had a rebounder's attitude. Also, he had a nice left-handed half-hook that he dropped.

2. Manny looks much more comfortable on offense. He's clearly a skilled player on offense, but too often we wouldn't see it in the games. Although he didn't put up big numbers, he did look confident. Given how desperately this team could use some perimeter scoring, Manny will be a very important factor in how the Zags fair the rest of the way.

3. Harris isn't as hobbled as everyone had feared. This is a completely different team when he's healthy and playing well, so his dunks might have been the most important thing we saw all night.

4. Team rebounding was excellent. There might not be a decent rebounder on the entire Illinois team, but +11 on the boards is good to see.

For some reason, I feel more encouraged after this game than I did before it. There is enough firepower on this team for them to win games against good teams; now it's just the matter of putting it all together.
5. Kelly is starting to grab lots of rebounds. He had 8 in 18 minutes tonight and I think he's our top RB/min player this year.

ZagLawGrad
12-04-2010, 05:33 PM
5. Kelly is starting to grab lots of rebounds. He had 8 in 18 minutes tonight and I think he's our top RB/min player this year.

This stat is a good example of when stats fail to show how a player is playing. For KO, his play is not good right now.

BobZag
12-04-2010, 05:39 PM
Foremost, let's start a thread that discusses something other than three-point shooting. While we're at it, let's discuss the good things we saw, 'cause there were a few.

1. Rob played very well. Sacre was very active on the glass and had a rebounder's attitude. Also, he had a nice left-handed half-hook that he dropped.

2. Manny looks much more comfortable on offense. He's clearly a skilled player on offense, but too often we wouldn't see it in the games. Although he didn't put up big numbers, he did look confident. Given how desperately this team could use some perimeter scoring, Manny will be a very important factor in how the Zags fair the rest of the way.

3. Harris isn't as hobbled as everyone had feared. This is a completely different team when he's healthy and playing well, so his dunks might have been the most important thing we saw all night.

4. Team rebounding was excellent. There might not be a decent rebounder on the entire Illinois team, but +11 on the boards is good to see.

For some reason, I feel more encouraged after this game than I did before it. There is enough firepower on this team for them to win games against good teams; now it's just the matter of putting it all together.

Good observations. Fans will need more patience than in past years as Monninghoff, Dower and Carter adjust to this level and others like Olynyk start stepping up. And while Elias is better than he was pre-Marquette, he's still a ways from 100%. It could be a rough ooc, but by WCC time, things should be better. I'm content not to get worked up over the losses and patiently wait for the team to click, as slow a process as that will be. I'll wait.

WeSayZed
12-04-2010, 05:44 PM
This stat is a good example of when stats fail to show how a player is playing. For KO, his play is not good right now.
Iíd be interested in why you think he isnít. Heís our leading RB/min person this season, not just in this game, and heís also shooting over .600 on the season. Heís not scoring a lot of points but thatís not really his role this year. Heís either the third or the fourth option on our starting unit, depending on who starts.

WeSayZed
12-04-2010, 05:48 PM
Good observations. Fans will need more patience than in past years as Monninghoff, Dower and Carter adjust to this level and others like Olynyk start stepping up. And while Elias is better than he was pre-Marquette, he's still a ways from 100%. It could be a rough ooc, but by WCC time, things should be better. I'm content not to get worked up over the losses and patiently wait for the team to click, as slow a process as that will be. I'll wait.
Every struggle has a silver lining, and the silver in this situation might be that we go into the tournament with extra motivation and feeling like we have something to prove. It's too soon to be thinking about that, however.

ZagLawGrad
12-04-2010, 05:52 PM
Iíd be interested in why you think he isnít. Heís our leading RB/min person this season, not just in this game, and heís also shooting over .600 on the season. Heís not scoring a lot of points but thatís not really his role this year. Heís either the third or the fourth option on our starting unit, depending on who starts.

He plays without confidence. He looks lost at times out there. He's not aggressive. He plays small and not 7 ft. He's just not playing well.

MickMick
12-04-2010, 05:55 PM
GU may be able to win the conference, but they have a lot of work to do.


How big of a loss was Rice? These youngins aren't getting coached up nearly as quick as they used to.

Other than Steven, I think we saw the best that the returning guys can play. Manny might be an exception.

I think we saw the best that Meech, Rob, Elias, and KO can do in this one. The Zags will hang with the Marquettes of the world, but this brutal schedule is gonna make us think the team is much worse than it really is.

Steven had an off night.

I doubt the turnovers will ever go away. Steven is a 2 guard, not a point.

The man defense is as bad as I have seen at GU and the zone is ok until they meet a perimeter shooting team.

Court awareness is lacking (Chewing up the clock when down by 10 at 4:00?). The guys are not playing as a team. The rotation has too many players to get continuity.


What I fear most is that this Illinois game, more than any other, could be a preview of SMC. The Zag bigs will appear to have their way, but not consistent enough to swap 2's for 3's. Combine Zag turnovers with allowing the long looks and SMC looks really tough right now. I fear the "at large" will not be there for GU. They are gonna have to go through the Gaels and hope Stohl doesn't steal one in Portland.

Mantua
12-04-2010, 05:55 PM
Iíd be interested in why you think he isnít. Heís our leading RB/min person this season, not just in this game, and heís also shooting over .600 on the season. Heís not scoring a lot of points but thatís not really his role this year. Heís either the third or the fourth option on our starting unit, depending on who starts.

It's just that he needs to shoot better, pass better, play better D and limit the turnovers. And he is a bit slow. He's still a young player, but with tons of potential.

Martin Centre Mad Man
12-04-2010, 06:01 PM
I don't know that I've ever been more optimistic about a team that fell twenty points behind in one game than I was watching the Zags, tonight. Really. I saw a lot of positives in a twelve point loss. What I saw was this:

1. Meech never quit. He fought play in and play out even when the team was way down. He attacked the basket, drew some fouls, got some rebounds, made some great passes in transition, and just looked like he's finally figured out that this is really his team.
2. The team as a whole fought to claw their way back into a hopeless game. The effort was there. This was far better effort than what we saw when they fell behind to Duke and 'Cuse a year ago or Memphis in '09. With five minutes to play, I thought they might actually pull it off. A couple of missed free throws killed the run, or they might have closed the gap even more.
3. They handily outrebounded a very big, Top 25 team.
4. Elias Harris looked healthier than I thought. He's out of shape from missing practices, but that will come back. He showed flashes of the explosiveness and ferocity we were used to from last year. He just didn't have the endurance to play at full speed for two halves. He'll get there by mid-season.
5. Rob Sacre is a beast.

This team still has a lot of room to improve.

If Harris gets back into game shape - even at 90%, he'll be a great second scoring option when the opposing team focuses all of its defensive efforts on Gray. He'll draw defenses back to him, so that Gray and Sacre aren't the only consistent scorers on the team.

Monninghoff, Arop, Harris, Carter, Dower, and K.O. have all shown flashes of great potential. None of them has played well for an entire game to date. When any two of those guys finally get comfortable with their roles on both sides of the ball, this will be a very good team. I don't know which two it will be, but it really only will take two more solid, consistent contributors for this to be a far more balanced team.

I still think this is going to be a special year. If I was Coach Weber, I would not want to draw a rematch with the Zags in the NCAA Tourney.

WeSayZed
12-04-2010, 06:03 PM
It's just that he needs to shoot better, pass better, play better D and limit the turnovers. And he is a bit slow. He's still a young player, but with tons of potential.
I agree with this, and I think his ceiling is a LOT higher than where heís at now, but I donít think you can say heís playing poorly. Heís learning how to play like a big man, which is what he is now, and I think heís doing a pretty good job of it on the whole, even if he isnít all that graceful at this point.

CaliforniaZaggin'
12-04-2010, 06:12 PM
Make no mistake: Zags are still the favorite to win the WCC, if for no reason other than they've done it for a decade straight. There isn't an Illinois, SDSU, or Kansas State in the WCC. The Zags will play against SMC the way they should have played tonight. They'll be tight on the perimeter and force the Gaels to beat GU in the paint, which they won't/can't do. SMC hasn't dropped off as much this year as many of us thought they would, if at all, but they're still not as good as GU. The Zags have learned some tough lessons thus far this year, and they'll apply those lessons during conference play, particularly against the Gaels. If the Zags played the Gaels today, they may have lost; but SMC will be playing a much smarter Gonzaga team come January.

ZagLawGrad
12-04-2010, 06:15 PM
Make no mistake: Zags are still the favorite to win the WCC, if for no reason other than they've done it for a decade straight. There isn't an Illinois, SDSU, or Kansas State in the WCC. The Zags will play against SMC the way they should have played tonight. They'll be tight on the perimeter and force the Gaels to beat GU in the paint, which they won't/can't do. SMC hasn't dropped off as much this year as many of us thought they would, it at all, but they're still not as good as GU. The Zags have learned some tough lessons thus far this year, and they'll apply those lessons during conference play, particularly against the Gaels. If the Zags played the Gaels today, they may haev lost; but SMC will be playing a much smarter Gonzaga team come January.

Hope you're right. But the problems this team has shown does not support the unbridled optimism. The WCC is a lot tougher than you suggest.

Martin Centre Mad Man
12-04-2010, 06:17 PM
Make no mistake: Zags are still the favorite to win the WCC, if for no reason other than they've done it for a decade straight. There isn't an Illinois, SDSU, or Kansas State in the WCC. The Zags will play against SMC the way they should have played tonight. They'll be tight on the perimeter and force the Gaels to beat GU in the paint, which they won't/can't do. SMC hasn't dropped off as much this year as many of us thought they would, if at all, but they're still not as good as GU. The Zags have learned some tough lessons thus far this year, and they'll apply those lessons during conference play, particularly against the Gaels. If the Zags played the Gaels today, they may have lost; but SMC will be playing a much smarter Gonzaga team come January.

I fear St. Mary's at this point. If Illinois can hit a dozen three-pointers against this defense, St. Mary's is going to be hitting them on every possession. The Gaels won't even bother trying to penetrate the three-point line. They'll just trade three-point shots for two point shots and figure that they'll make enough of them over forty minutes to come out ahead at the end of the game. The Zags cannot afford to lose the WCC, this year.

Hoopaholic
12-04-2010, 10:05 PM
I have to disagree Mick Mick

Harris: Isnt playing anywhere near his normal level. As he gets over the injury bug and healthy we will see much improvement. This will have a greater impact on the team overall offense. For with him in the game and ability to take it to the hole, this forces other teams to take a step closer to the help side to prevent the drive..which gives guys like MM and AROP that extra one step that they really need at this stage of their development to get off a consistent shot.
Defensively he will get better as he gets in shape. His rotation and help side recovery is simply a step slow right now.

Arop: Will continue to improve offensively as he gets more comfortable. We have not seen him take it to the hole with authority yet nor really rebound with vengence (back of mind still working thru injury?). Defensively he will get better and better as the year goes along.

MM: Only going to get better on BOTH ends of the court as the year goes on. Will be a BIG TIME impact when a team tries to zone us to take away our inside game. Still adjusting to the speed of the game on defense and his situational awareness on the defensive side will get better.

Those three improve and we will be just fine and I predict we will be peaking just before the memphis game.

MickMick
12-04-2010, 10:17 PM
I have to disagree Mick Mick

Harris: Isnt playing anywhere near his normal level. As he gets over the injury bug and healthy we will see much improvement. This will have a greater impact on the team overall offense. For with him in the game and ability to take it to the hole, this forces other teams to take a step closer to the help side to prevent the drive..which gives guys like MM and AROP that extra one step that they really need at this stage of their development to get off a consistent shot.
Defensively he will get better as he gets in shape. His rotation and help side recovery is simply a step slow right now.

Arop: Will continue to improve offensively as he gets more comfortable. We have not seen him take it to the hole with authority yet nor really rebound with vengence (back of mind still working thru injury?). Defensively he will get better and better as the year goes along.

MM: Only going to get better on BOTH ends of the court as the year goes on. Will be a BIG TIME impact when a team tries to zone us to take away our inside game. Still adjusting to the speed of the game on defense and his situational awareness on the defensive side will get better.

Those three improve and we will be just fine and I predict we will be peaking just before the memphis game.

You might want to call Harris' defense a physical problem. It looked mental to me. He looked fine running and jumping. He looked like his old self on offense. Injury? He looks out of shape more than anything. Elias' defense is hurting his draft stock. Especially as a projected small forward. I think he comes back.

I did make Arop an exception and MM is not a returning player. Otherwise, I think this is about all we can expect from the returners. Steven had an off night.

Sure they will get better.

Meanwhile the earth stands still? Everyone else gets worse?

SWZag
12-04-2010, 10:23 PM
Sure a lot of negative comments in a thread titled "Bright Spots." Seems like many can't come up with anything positive, even when there are many areas.

That said, any other bright spots people saw in todays game?

Edited to add: if someone thinks there is a bright spot don't always have to argue!!!! Let bright spots be bright spots!

zag67
12-05-2010, 09:01 AM
I also think that many of the players are going to keep improving as the year goes on. I think that Harris will get stronger (he does look out of "playing" shape and it show on defense the most), KO, Manny (like has been said), MM and some of the other young players will show more and more imrovement. As the year goes on they are going to get more used to playing together and I believe that they will close some of those offensive and defensive holes.

But again I believe that the glass is half full.

bballbeachbum
12-05-2010, 11:35 AM
Meech. give him the keys already and let's go. am I the only one who sees his confidence happening? of course he won't be perfect...who is? bright spot

RS and KO w/ 2-handed rebounds all over the place; 2 handed grabs, not really there in abundance before last night, so drummed home by coaching I'd say, and they responded. more of that consistently, consistently, consistently, goes far. bright spot

paint power. and much brought about with better ball movement without the force feed to set up the post; better half court offense. it was the best this year in this department I thought, a true brick to build on. bright spot

with clear problem areas to address, the improvements made in some of those areas like the ones above, hopefully reveals a coachability of this group, which is KEY going forward. bright spot

many posts on this thread. bright spot

let's get that breakthrough game!

GO ZAGS!!!