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View Full Version : A chance for some honest assessments



former1dog
12-16-2010, 03:20 PM
Ok, I have been a whole lot less active on the message boards this year, mostly due to my growing family responsibilities and the consequential loss of free time but also I admit because of some of the negativity floating around which is inevitable with a losing record (so far).

I thought I would give the board a chance to do something we all are generally not good at, an honest assessment of the team removing emotion as best we can. The point is to use logic and reason.

Here is the format I would like to follow. Is the team underperforming to its potential, performing at a level that is essentially equal to its potential or overperforming versus its potential?

Please, all opinions are welcome and if someone's opinion is different and perhaps more negative than your own, that doesn't make them less of a fan.

Oh, and show your work ;)

Peace Peeps

:)

LongIslandZagFan
12-16-2010, 10:07 PM
Ok, I have been a whole lot less active on the message boards this year, mostly due to my growing family responsibilities and the consequential loss of free time but also I admit because of some of the negativity floating around which is inevitable with a losing record (so far).

I thought I would give the board a chance to do something we all are generally not good at, an honest assessment of the team removing emotion as best we can. The point is to use logic and reason.

Here is the format I would like to follow. Is the team underperforming to its potential, performing at a level that is essentially equal to its potential or overperforming versus its potential?

Please, all opinions are welcome and if someone's opinion is different and perhaps more negative than your own, that doesn't make them less of a fan.

Oh, and show your work ;)

Peace Peeps

:)

Honestly, I don't think the negative nancys could actually do that. They only see negatives. I mean come on, Jazzy saw negatives when the boys were winning and he is hardly the most negative of the group lately. I may post something later. If I were you I wouldn't hold your breath if you expect to get real quality responses.

I have a better idea... how about if people point out what is being done well, just OK, and poorly instead... not leaving any of the three off and NOT being smart arses in the well category and likewise the poor category. Also, produce stats or other factual items to support your claims... your personal opinion is not enough... like F1D said... show your work.

MDABE80
12-17-2010, 02:03 AM
Check out these national rankings: Defensive efficiency, 108th. Scoring defense, 256th. Field-goal-percentage defense, 224th. Three-point defense, 314th. Blocks, 258th. Steals, 197th.

Never one to render an outrageous opinion...not without data anyway. No offense to anyone but thisishalf the game! Offensively we're fine. No great but good enough.

We have excuses like the record against ranked team ( and WSU) is 46-4 or some such. Well that's how we do against good teams. We won't find bad teams in the Tournament in March. These teams are the same teams that we cut our teeth on to get us from the Big Sky to national rankings annually.

If we get this team better..and I hope the team gets better...it'll have to be shown against lesser opponents....we've not done well against the highly rated ones. Time's running short for us to prove our worthiness. Keep this trend up and we'll be the best 11-12 loss team in the country...and we'll be in the NIT....looking up. The data isn't fabricated..it's real. Might be time for some of us to realisewe'reunderperforming compared to what the front line was supposed to be or compared to that gaudy ranking we had in the beginning.

I love the program and the kids. I won't shrink from it. We need something we're not seeing now though. Lotsmore to life than 1 basketball season that didn't live up to expectations. I guess this might separate the diehard fans from the fans who haven't seen a bad Zags team before. I hope not.

kitzbuel
12-17-2010, 09:06 AM
The Zags have got the pieces. MM's 3pt shooting has already been highlighted. FT improvements have been highlighted. Harris is getting healthy. Rob is getting into the paint and at least getting fouled where he is 80%. Manny can be a game changer with both his shooting and his rebounding quickness (MM can learn from this).

One piece that really needs to be put together is the defense, specifically, as many point out here, 3 pt defense. If the Zags can keep opponents at their season average from behind the arc teams lose incentive to focus on 3pt shots and it rebalances the game back to where the Zags have a better advantage and don't have to keep a crazy 55% FG percentage just to stay in games.

The parts exist, though.

zag67
12-17-2010, 09:33 AM
I think that all of us are expecting too much this early. Let's look at how young we really are:

Senior - Steven - 3 years experience

Juniors:
Sacre - 1 year of major experience
Meech - 1 year of major experience
Carter - JC transfer in first 10 games

Soph:
Harris - 1 year
Manny - 1 year
KO - 1 year
Hart - walkon

Freshmen:
Dower - Redshirt
Stockton - Walkon
MM
MK

So when you have one of your top experienced players out for all but 2 games and missing most of the practice time, they are going to have problems at both ends.

Assessment:
1. Defense:
They are not switching or helping very well. They need to recognize the shooters and know when they cannot help. They also need to boxout better on the boards. I think that the attitude and hustle is there, so they just need to keep working and listening to the coaches. They also have to recognize that when they are in "help" mode, they cannot lose focus on where their man is. The on ball defender must know if their man can dribble well both ways or only one. They are letting the dribbler get a step on them coming around the screens.

2. Offense:
They need to make sure they know the offense and then relax and let it happen. It only takes one player, but if they screw up their part, then the whole movement is bad. Many of the players are thinking too much and therefore not playing as well as they can. They need to take the shots in the flow of the offense. At times they take shots to early and do not get the movement that will lead to a better shot.
Steven - keep doing what you are doing but do not try to do everything. He sometimes shoots offbalanced to early in the flow.
Meech - Keep the defensive hustle up and be in their face, but do not let them turn the corner. Offensively keep the ball moving and take the shots that are open. Do not be afraid to drive and kick the ball out.
Sacre - I think that your shot is looking good. Be stronger in the middle and know your position on the court. Kick it out before they get the double and tripple team. Do not bring the ball down as much.
Manny - keep your hustle and board work going. When dribbling know how far you can go and keep working playing more relaxed. Take your shots when they are there.
Harris - Get well and keep improving. We need you. Your defense is a step slow and until last night, you had not been able to attack.
KO - keep working on everything. Do not be afraid to take the shot
Dower - offensively is playing well, but needs to keep working. Defensively looks lost at times but is improving.
Carter - Keep working on your confidence. Last night you did some great things, but are still playing scared. Learn the plays so that you can let your natural ability take over.
MM - Keep the 3 going. Learn more of the offense and how to play a tighter defense.
The rest need to know what to do and what is expected of them when they are on the court. They show signs of greatness and then ......

Reborn
12-17-2010, 09:38 AM
My most honest assessment is that the Zags have been playing wounded. Harris' injuries have really hurt the Zags. There is no getting around that. As he is recovering you can see the Zags getting more confident.

The second is that we are pretty young and inexperienced at the D1 level. I thought Carter and Monninghoff would be further along. Each of them do seem to be improving, and Monninghoff the most lately. As he gets more and more comfortable we will probably see his shot getting better in the tougher games. He's played brilliantly at home, and not as much on the road. and this is a common characteristic of Freshmen.

I think a team's ability to pass the rock is often overlooked, but to me it's one of the most important things in basketball. I think we are making huge strides in this area. The team has had 20 and 26 assists in the last two games. Thats a huge difference to 9 or 10. The turnovers are also decreasing, and most do not have to do with passing the ball, but more to do with poor fouls, and traveling. Rob is really improving on that pass out of the post. Thats huge, and I see Meech is improving too. He is now looking to pass from outside rather than always driving to the basket.

The defensive effort last night was the best all year. We held them to 4-19 and 21% from behind the arc. This was a good 3 pt shooting team so I think that we showed lots of improvement last night. I saw us moving our feet much better, and not jumping up and leaving our feet. I saw more discipline on D. And one of those 4 three's came after Gray made a big mistake on defense in the backcourt by attempting to steal a ball, he left his man wide open down court.

I"ve had an issue with our 3 pt shooting all year, but that too seems to be getting better. we had 11 against Notre Dame and 12 last night, and Gray missed more than half the game.

My biggest concern right now is the pointguard position. I just do not see it improving. Stockton is clearly the best shooter, and I think the best passer and best QB. But he plays the least. Neither Meech or Carter can shoot from the outside, and it will be a problem agaist the better teams.

This team definitely has the talent and team chemistry to make it to the Dance in March. I don't see that as an issue at all. I thought at the beginning of the year that this team might make it to the Sweet 16 but now I have my doubts. Unless things get better at the pointguard position they will not. Most analysts say that the most important position in March is the Pointguard. Mmmmmmmm ???????????? I think most of us feel if it's going to happen, then it will have to be Carter who improves and begins to play like the player we think he is. CDC thinks it takes at least until christmas, and I trust his judgement. So Im waiting to see.

former1dog
12-18-2010, 05:31 PM
I would honestly say that prior to today's game, where Gonzaga had to play 5 on 8, our team had been underperforming versus its potential.

Today, there was strong evidence of what our team's potential actually is. Cutting down on the mental mistakes and the fact that the zebras were trying to win it for Baylor, I would say that GU could have won by a double digit score.

Cause for optimism indeed.

Zag79
12-20-2010, 08:30 PM
ill keep it simple and say we need to play better team defense, guard the three, and limit the team turnovers. those three things statistically are killing us in our losses. that being said, i do believe this schedule is by FAR the teams worst enemy for now. as good as it was, last years team was 0-3 against the top 25. so had they played all those games right away they would be in the same position most likely. we have never had a schedule this brutal in a whole season, let alone the first 10 games. im along for the ride and have a funny feeling this is one of the few gonzaga teams that improves and get better as the season goes along. come march they wont be afraid of anything or anyone.