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View Full Version : Jim Meehan feature on Mathis Keita



ZagNative
01-13-2011, 06:39 AM
Zags found freshman at Turiaf’s old high school (http://www.spokesman.com/zags/stories/2011/jan/13/zags-keita-catches-on/)
It has taken time for Keita to learn Gonzaga’s system and adjust to the American game. There is a 35-second shot clock in NCAA games, compared to 24 in France, and the U.S. style of play is more aggressive.

“The first couple of weeks I was always getting hit,” he said. “I remember the San Diego State game, every rebound was a war. I was like, ‘Wow, I just have to get used to that.’ Now it’s all right.”

Keita is a capable defender with his 6-5 frame and long arms. He has shown a knack for scoring on drives and finishing in transition.

“He’s competing,” head coach Mark Few said. “You peel a couple of layers away of just adapting to our style of basketball and he has a pretty good feel for the game. Like (assistant coach) Donny Daniels says, ‘For a guy not to play and not to play and then go 22 minutes with no turnovers, that’s impressive.’ ”

Coaches are working with Keita to improve his shooting motion. His biggest issue early on was his footwork.

“If you go back to the exhibition games he had a couple of those ‘European steps’ where they take like three long steps, it’s like they’re triple-jumping,” Lloyd said. “To his credit, he worked at it, didn’t get frustrated and I think he’s really going to help us the second half of the year.”

mdZag23
01-13-2011, 07:18 AM
I think this kid has all the makings of another Anthony Reason type player, potentially a lot better if he can develop a consistent jumper.

Upside is huge for him.

Johnzaga
01-13-2011, 07:38 AM
Erroll Knight might be a better comparison than A-Train. Actually, in all honesty he is most like Steven Gray minus the pure shooter. Similar size and build and similar athleticism. Might look a lot like Gray in a couple more seasons.

zagitup
01-13-2011, 07:51 AM
Kind of a weird question, but how is Keita pronounced? In the Portland game, Heister changed the way he said it in earlier games from "Kite-a" to "Kate-a". I remember from my high school German (and yes, I know Keita is French) that when the letter e and i were together in a word, that the second letter in the sequence was pronounced. Hence, Keita would be "Kite-a". Any thoughts?

ZagnetitForce
01-13-2011, 08:11 AM
Kind of a weird question, but how is Keita pronounced? In the Portland game, Heister changed the way he said it in earlier games from "Kite-a" to "Kate-a". I remember from my high school German (and yes, I know Keita is French) that when the letter e and i were together in a word, that the second letter in the sequence was pronounced. Hence, Keita would be "Kite-a". Any thoughts?

I believe it was a recent Mark Few show that it was rtevealed (by Elias perhaps in an interview) that it is indeed "Kate-a".

bballbeachbum
01-13-2011, 10:11 AM
“He’s competing,” head coach Mark Few said. “You peel a couple of layers away of just adapting to our style of basketball and he has a pretty good feel for the game. Like (assistant coach) Donny Daniels says, ‘For a guy not to play and not to play and then go 22 minutes with no turnovers, that’s impressive.’ ”

another good read, good quote. looking for a good game from Mathis tonight; could see his fair share of opportunity checking Bell

Zag4Hire
01-13-2011, 10:23 AM
Zags found freshman at Turiaf’s old high school (http://www.spokesman.com/zags/stories/2011/jan/13/zags-keita-catches-on/)

Kudos to Coach Daniels! Honestly, I like the progression of Rob and I feel like Harris' improvement would be more noticeable without the injuries. Also KO had a slow start but he definitely looks like he is coming along. Can't say with Dower but I feel like if any of this is from Daniels' doing, I fee like Dower will make strides this season and beyond. Has Daniels' worked with Arop at all?

Mantua
01-13-2011, 10:25 AM
when Gray and Keita are next to eachother Keita looks bigger.
Also, once worked with a guy from Tunisia with the Keita last name--wonder if his parents are from there? France is a very diverse country as a result of having to absorb all the refugees from its former colonial empire. Anyone know Keita's ancestry?

Keita can play a little bigger with that wingspan.

Whatever his ancestry, this is a player who is heaven sent!

MDABE80
01-13-2011, 10:46 AM
Kind of a weird question, but how is Keita pronounced? In the Portland game, Heister changed the way he said it in earlier games from "Kite-a" to "Kate-a". I remember from my high school German (and yes, I know Keita is French) that when the letter e and i were together in a word, that the second letter in the sequence was pronounced. Hence, Keita would be "Kite-a". Any thoughts?

"Mathis the GREAT" is he scores 10 pts and plays lock down defense!!;)

FlyZag
01-13-2011, 11:40 AM
My absolute favorite quote:

“One of the first questions I asked him was, ‘What happens if you get to the States and you don’t play as much as you’d like?’ His response was, ‘If I’m not playing as much as I want, I’m going to work harder to play more,’ ” Lloyd recalled. “So I asked him, ‘What if you’re not playing at all?’ He said, ‘I’m going to work hard to play.’ ”

Section 116
01-13-2011, 01:13 PM
Regarding name pronunciaitons I have a handout given when the Zags played Southern Oregon in an exhibition game way back on Nov. 5, 2010. According to the handout provided by the university produced pronunciation guide, Mathis Keita is pronounced (mu-TEESE KY-tuh)! As a side note regarding the pronunciation of Mathis Monninghoff, the same handout says it is (mat-tis moo-ning-hoff). As you know Monninghoff has been pronounced numerous ways.

adoptedzag
01-13-2011, 01:28 PM
Zags found freshman at Turiaf’s old high school (http://www.spokesman.com/zags/stories/2011/jan/13/zags-keita-catches-on/)

Real quick, just a friendly reminder that the spokesman gets paid for hits, so if you like the article, click the original link so Meehan gets the page hits

Thanks!

Papa K
01-13-2011, 01:46 PM
Mathis is one of my favorite players already. Love the energy on the floor. I like how the team is gelling and everyone is getting comfortable in their roles. Kieta and his instant energy on D, Monn shooting daggers from the baseline, Arop jumping buildings in a single bound, Rob nailing them at the line, Harris getting in shape, Steven getting his groove back, Meech picking it up on offense, Dower and his quick hitters. Zags have nowhere to go but up in the polls. By the way, this is my first post but I've been a follower for a few years.

BobZag
01-13-2011, 03:21 PM
I like the Anthony Reason comparison. If he can develop some offense, he'll be a very nice asset. Just needs a good, confident shot is all. I was not high on Keita at all, but I'm all for him proving me wrong.

jim77
01-13-2011, 03:43 PM
I'm really impressed with how quick the fella has gotten up to speed...especially considering how few minutes he has played. Keita is the one piece we really needed to help us conquer our number 1 foe...the dreaded 3. Now we have Steven and Mathis to help quell the 3....it showed against Portland. We now are a force on "D" inside AND outside.

On a side note...did ya see what the FSU defejnse did against DUKE? I've never seen Duke shut down like that.....FSU's length/hustle did the Bluedevils in.

Baseline
01-13-2011, 09:03 PM
Keita has picked up most of his points off fast breaks or garbage put backs. He handles the ball pretty well and dribbles with his head up. I'm hoping he becomes a top notch passer and develops some serious slashing moves, all the ingredients are there for it to happen.