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View Full Version : Zag defense is faltering badly



BobZag
01-14-2011, 10:06 AM
Gonzaga's last 8 games--

Pepperdine = 52.9% overall, 53.8% 3PT
Portland = 52.2% overall, 58.3% 3PT
Wake = 33.9% overall, 23.5% 3PT
OSU = 36.2% overall, 35.7% 3PT
Lafayette = 33.3% overall, 38.7% 3PT
Xavier = 33.3% overall, 22.2% 3PT
Baylor = 36.7% overall, 16.7% 3PT
LCSU = 32.2% overall, 21.1% 3PT

If these defensive stats don't return to pre-WCC form, the Zags will pay.

Baldwinzag
01-14-2011, 10:40 AM
Personally, I'm more concerned about our lack of intensity to start the 2nd half of ball games...the last two games we've allowed Portland & Pepperdine to get back into the game after a terrific 1st half & out-score us significantly in the first 5-10 mins of 2nd half.

I believe Port went on a 17-2 run & Pepp on a 10-2 run in first part of 2nd half.

We must make better adjustments and be mentally/physically prepared to start the 2nd half -- we're giving up too much momentum & sloppy play after executing at a high level to start the game.

As BZ said, we'll pay if we continue this unsettling trend....

john montana
01-14-2011, 10:43 AM
Agreed. I actually thought meech got chewed up a bit last night on a few possessions, which surprised me.

DixieZag
01-14-2011, 10:54 AM
I agree with BZ. Though I thought they played excellant D in the first half against Portland, I thought they lost interest in it until they were threatened and could easily have been had if the ball had bounced a little differently.

Three halves do not make a complete debacle and I am willing to give them a little leeway after playing for their lives for 6 or 7 games straight - but I want to see it fixed Saturday night. There were several times last night in the second half when I wanted Few to call TO and get them together and scream about the easy baskets, but you can only scream so much. Additionally, we were playing some weird line-ups for much of the second half. Regardless, I agree that the problem needs to be nipped in the bud. We play an LMU team that almost beat Portland on their home floor, and the Portland that I saw was damn good.

So, tomorrow would be a great time to re-assert the defensive machine that kept OSU/Wake off our backs - b/c the defense is going to be needed when we go on the road in the conference. IF we do not have it, this team is capable of losing 3 or 4 conference games.

On the plus side, our offense seems to be coming back together.

MDABE80
01-14-2011, 10:59 AM
It continues to be a problem. We also were even on the boards last night. Same the game before.

Rebounding, defense (3 pt especially) and still too many turns. BZ's correct...the 5 games before WCC we played D.

Rob is working his rear off. Elias, despite 19 pts is still quiet. Offense for us isn't the problem...it's the lack of defense that'll sink us.

Pargo the Destroyer
01-14-2011, 11:00 AM
Love the good ol' days when an almost 20 point win was celebrated around here. Pepperdine had ZERO CHANCE to win that game.

thickman1
01-14-2011, 11:06 AM
Love the good ol' days when an almost 20 point win was celebrated around here. Pepperdine had ZERO CHANCE to win that game.

amen. The team was on cruise control from 10 minute mark of 1st half.

DixieZag
01-14-2011, 11:06 AM
Pargo does bring some perspective, Pepp ended the game on a 13-4 run, that will skew the stats somewhat - additionally, I remember several of Pepp's three pointers being off-balanced fiercly contended jump shots that went it.

First half we limited them to 30 pts. That is good defense. We do need to focus on coming out in the second half and asserting our will. The last 10 minutes was a lot of "run" and not real BB, Coach had almost all starters out, but they still need to be challenged defensively.

BobZag
01-14-2011, 11:39 AM
How can giving up 60% in the 2nd-half be rationalized?

Mantua
01-14-2011, 11:48 AM
It can't be rationalized, but what is the reason for it?

bballbeachbum
01-14-2011, 11:53 AM
need to put two complete halves together, O and D, transiton and OB plays, soup to nuts. lots of teams searching for that right now...and eternally. next oppotunity LMU tomorrow.

CDC84
01-14-2011, 11:56 AM
amen. The team was on cruise control from 10 minute mark of 1st half.

This is the problem that Gonzaga faces every year. They have to find ways to compete against themselves during league play. They should never, ever go on cruise control. Otherwise the team stagnates and doesn't get better for March.

In Tark the Shark's autobiography "Runnin' Rebel," he talks about how his 1990 and 1991 Vegas teams set a goal to become the greatest defensive team ever once they hit Big West play. They couldn't use the Big West teams as motivation. They had to motivate themselves. So they set goals and competed against themselves because it was the only way they could get better as a team.

The Zags were up 16 at the half last night. They should've come out as if they were 16 points down. Or maybe come out with the idea that if they don't hold Pepperdine to 34% shooting, everyone has to get up at 4am for a 10 mile run. I know it sounds silly, but they have to do stuff like this. The goal is to keep getting better.

BobZag
01-14-2011, 12:00 PM
It can't be rationalized, but what is the reason for it?

Well, it looks like a cruise control thing or being happy we're gonna win so no biggie or possibly a fading commitment to defense. Who knows, save for the team and coaches.

Saxon_zag
01-14-2011, 12:04 PM
Gonzaga's last 8 games--

Pepperdine = 52.9% overall, 53.8% 3PT
Portland = 52.2% overall, 58.3% 3PT
Wake = 33.9% overall, 23.5% 3PT
OSU = 36.2% overall, 35.7% 3PT
Lafayette = 33.3% overall, 38.7% 3PT
Xavier = 33.3% overall, 22.2% 3PT
Baylor = 36.7% overall, 16.7% 3PT
LCSU = 32.2% overall, 21.1% 3PT

If these defensive stats don't return to pre-WCC form, the Zags will pay.

2 games = a small sample size = the zags are fine

Pepperdine was never even close to us

FuManShoes
01-14-2011, 12:07 PM
This is the problem that Gonzaga faces every year. They have to find ways to compete against themselves during league play. They should never, ever go on cruise control. Otherwise the team stagnates and doesn't get better for March.

In Tark the Shark's autobiography "Runnin' Rebel," he talks about how his 1990 and 1991 Vegas teams set a goal to become the greatest defensive team ever once they hit Big West play. They couldn't use the Big West teams as motivation. They had to motivate themselves. So they set goals and competed against themselves because it was the only way they could get better as a team.

The Zags were up 16 at the half last night. They should've come out as if they were 16 points down. Or maybe come out with the idea that if they don't hold Pepperdine to 34% shooting, everyone has to get up at 4am for a 10 mile run. I know it sounds silly, but they have to do stuff like this. The goal is to keep getting better.

I'm pretty sure the coaches keep scorecards on players, but they do so for "units" and player combinations? It would be good to challenge units to top one another defensively, or challenge the team to keep opponents to a certain shooting percentage for a half.

U Zig, I Zag
01-14-2011, 12:10 PM
You don't make a team shoot 35% nor do you make them shoot 55%. You can play D, wear them down, smother the best shooters, etc. The team/player with a ball has the advantage because they are in control of the ball at that moment. At some point, no matter what happens in regards to the level of the D, a team is going to get a shot up and guess what? They are all playing D1 ball and they can all make baskets.

Sample size is small, even then, you toss the best D, toss the worst D and I bet the averages are pretty darn good.

MDABE80
01-14-2011, 12:22 PM
2 games = a small sample size = the zags are fine

Pepperdine was never even close to us

NO..they're NOT fine. Look at the 5 losses. Ths bad defenses we had then caused those losses and it'll happen again.
We drift back to the defense we had for the losses, and you get exactly what BZ's talking about in his first post.

They're doing it again but they have weak WCC opponents so they can get away with it. This includes Pepperdine.
SMC, PDX, Memphis will chew us up if we don't hunker down and play hard defense. This is the point.

CaliforniaZaggin'
01-14-2011, 12:23 PM
You don't make a team shoot 35% nor do you make them shoot 55%. You can play D, wear them down, smother the best shooters, etc. The team/player with a ball has the advantage because they are in control of the ball at that moment. At some point, no matter what happens in regards to the level of the D, a team is going to get a shot up and guess what? They are all playing D1 ball and they can all make baskets.

Sample size is small, even then, you toss the best D, toss the worst D and I bet the averages are pretty darn good.

Exactly. As a coach, you just hope your bad nights come against bad teams, thereby allowing you to still take home an easy W.

primal23
01-14-2011, 01:50 PM
Wow I thought I was a downer. 2 games 2 games keep repeating that 2 games and what happened in those 2 games, 2 W's. Does that mean against SMC if the D is lax they will win, maybe maybe not. Seems like a search for some reason to diss the team IMHO.

cjm720
01-14-2011, 02:11 PM
Personally I'm frustrated with the continued dry spells that plague us every game. However, overall we played pretty well offensively, and we played to win.

GU had 11 turnovers and shot 62%, 55% and 100% from 2, deep and the line, respectively. Pepp made some buckets but if you look at the gametracker, they never got close or reduced the lead except at the end of the half and game (where we went on separate 3 minute dry spells).

We get a team's best shot every time and Pepp made a lot shots, but they also got beat down and I'm pretty thrilled with the outcome.

Go Zags!!!

rijman
01-14-2011, 03:31 PM
On the bright side Bob's stats show the Zags stepped up the D in recent weeks when they had to against good OOC teams. The Zags have proven to be inconsistent this season although there's nothing inconsistent about the current winning streak.

GrizZAG
01-14-2011, 03:59 PM
Not certain of this, but it seems that over time MF has a philosophy of not embarrassing other teams. You don't see us blowing anybody up by 50 like some of the ACC or SEC Teams are allowed to do. Mark is a class act and has respect amongst his peers. In part they know he will not embarrass them totally by caving their heads in. I also believe he likes to avoid situations that can lead to silly injuries. Those are just smart moves.
Stats can be deceiving and don't tell the whole story sometimes IMO.

With PDX, there was no excuse for that letdown however.
LMU is one they better not take lightly in any way. PDX was very lucky.

Section 116
01-14-2011, 04:22 PM
Here are the officical West Coast Conference statistics for opponents field goal percentage, all games:

GU-.414%
USF-.417%
SMC-.418%
LMU-.424%
PORT-.433%
USC-.435%
PEPP--.460%
USD-.460%

This is a large statistical sample representing all games to date. While I can't argue the Zags have given up shooting over 50% the past two games, we have played some fairly impressive teams to date and the opponents field goal percentage holds up quite well.

Link: http://www.wccsports.com/sports/m-baskbl/stats/2010-2011/confstat.html

jim77
01-14-2011, 04:42 PM
My one gripe with last nights game was our patience on offense. Pep was playing fast on offense so we figured we would too. Making the other team play defense for most of the shot clock also slows them down on offense..which makes our defense more effective. At times last night we looked like we were playing with our hair on fire...we need to slow it down a bit on offense. See Baylor 2nd half. Pep also made a lot of tough shots...probably enough to be closer most games....except we shot 60 something %. The other teams needs less attempts.

MickMick
01-14-2011, 04:52 PM
The Wazzu game was worrisome.

Zags are better now than they were then. Much better.

The Portland and Pepperdine games.....not so worrisome. Double digit wins with typical 2nd half letdowns. Zags can "bring it" for a full game when called upon.

Xavier showed how fired up the Zags can get. Xavier thought they were gonna come in and "punk" GU. GU would have none of it.

It inspired me to think of what could happen in the conference tournament.

El Voce
01-14-2011, 04:59 PM
Hmmm... The game I saw last night was over 10 minutes into it, with everyone getting some playing time. Little did I realize the sky was falling.

DCZag
01-14-2011, 06:07 PM
WCC season. Slow of foot opponents that can spot up and shoot the rock from 3 when they are down 20. The result? 2 double digit wins.

Could our intensity have been better - maybe, but hard to do when you play as many different combinations as were on the floor w/ so many first year guys (5).

Bring on LMU

thickman1
01-14-2011, 06:33 PM
How can giving up 60% in the 2nd-half be rationalized?

Maybe because the starters saw reduced minutes because of the large lead. Maybe because of the large lead itself? I'm not saying that the defense wasn't faltering in the 2nd half but the eyeball test clearly shows a much better defensive team than what we saw in early December.

thickman1
01-14-2011, 06:38 PM
This is the problem that Gonzaga faces every year. They have to find ways to compete against themselves during league play. They should never, ever go on cruise control. Otherwise the team stagnates and doesn't get better for March.

In Tark the Shark's autobiography "Runnin' Rebel," he talks about how his 1990 and 1991 Vegas teams set a goal to become the greatest defensive team ever once they hit Big West play. They couldn't use the Big West teams as motivation. They had to motivate themselves. So they set goals and competed against themselves because it was the only way they could get better as a team.

The Zags were up 16 at the half last night. They should've come out as if they were 16 points down. Or maybe come out with the idea that if they don't hold Pepperdine to 34% shooting, everyone has to get up at 4am for a 10 mile run. I know it sounds silly, but they have to do stuff like this. The goal is to keep getting better.

I agree 100%. The reality though is that GU hasn't had that "step on your neck" mentality. Every year there is a game or two in conference when the team lets up on the intensity and allows the opponent to climb back into contention. The reality is this should never happen. I love Shark's philosophy and it's sound. If the team (coaches down to players) do not have an intrinsic desire to pound a team into submission then they need to develop some extrinsic values (positive or negative) based on goals designed by the coaching staff.

Reborn
01-14-2011, 06:41 PM
Hmmm... The game I saw last night was over 10 minutes into it, with everyone getting some playing time. Little did I realize the sky was falling.

ditto

The Zags face a much better team Saturday, and I believe Few rested them the second half. Few wanted to give playing time to a couple guys who don't always get a lot of it lately. Pepperdine game was a game to reward these bench players. Zags did not play with the intensity that they are capable of.

Porland and Pepperdine are better shooting teams than some of those on BZ's list. Portland afterall, was the best 3 pt shooting team in the nation, and Gonzaga I think limited them to like 12 attempts, and we made more 3's then they did (9-7).

thickman1
01-14-2011, 06:41 PM
The Portland and Pepperdine games.....not so worrisome. Double digit wins with typical 2nd half letdowns. Zags can "bring it" for a full game when called upon.



Agreed - not worrisome about Portland and Pepperdine. But some around here were really fretting the mighty Pilots. I still think an undefeated run through conference is well within the grasp of this team.

Zagquette
01-14-2011, 08:15 PM
Bobzag's skills as a moderator are faltering badly.

This post is a joke. Portland is a great shooting team and the pepp game was out of reach before it even started. Stats are skewed in blowouts.

We expect more from the longtime moderators who generally keep the lid from blowing off this place.

Back to the gym for Bob. He should be running lines for this performance.

Peace

ID ZAGFAN
01-14-2011, 08:20 PM
So, being a moderator means you can't express your honest opinion if it is likely to go against the flow?

What's up with that? :o

ZaGranny

RenoZag
01-14-2011, 09:33 PM
Mark Few finds little fault with his team after blasting the Waves

A win is a win is a win.

'Nuff said

gamagin
01-14-2011, 09:47 PM
A win is a win is a win. 'Nuff said

I'd like to add that the price of the big bag of Kettle Corn in the K2 varies between $5.25 & $6,00. Howzzat ?

The only alternative is that or my darling, innocent, cute as a bugs ear, sheepishly grinning, granddaughter, has been short changing me . . .

omöjligt !

otoh . . .

Never mind.

ID ZAGFAN
01-14-2011, 09:58 PM
Actually--the price does vary. I noticed it myself when I as pricing it a couple of weeks ago.

As an aside--I thought I was one of the last users of the phrase "cute as a bug's ear". I apply it to all of the Zags--I know it is difficult to see a 7" guy as cute as a bug's ear, but you have to remember---I am ZaGranny! :p

ZaGrabbt

RenoZag
01-14-2011, 10:13 PM
Bugs ears. . .

http://openguys.org/romio/movipics/bugs&bunny.jpg

You can get a bag of Kettle Korn from the wagon in front of the Reno Cabela's for $4.50. . .
of course, it's a secular snack, hence the price differential. . .were it popped Ad maiorem Dei gloriam I would expect a higher tariff.

Gam, you don't look old enough to be a grandpa. . .

gamagin
01-14-2011, 10:39 PM
Bugs ears. . .

http://openguys.org/romio/movipics/bugs&bunny.jpg

You can get a bag of Kettle Korn from the wagon in front of the Renos Cabela's for $4.50. . .
of course, it's a secular snack, hence the price differential. . .were it popped Ad maiorem Dei gloriam I would expect a higher tariff.

Gam, you don't look old enough to be a grandpa. . .

We had our own take on A.M.D.G., which corroborates your fine Kettle Korn summary & our experience: All (the) More Dough (for) Gonzaga !

best regards,

bigblahla
01-15-2011, 06:58 AM
Back when Danny frikin Pariseau got his wish I posted my displeasure but was given a reality check by LIZF and NJZ. I think it may apply here. Sometimes you have to give the opponent credit for being good at what they do.

Re-watched the game twice looking for these defensive lapses and my conclusion is Lorne Jackson could have owned us if he was a little more patient but he still did well and we may have been lucky young Mr. Bell was coming back from an injury.

When seeing Meech and Jackson standing next to each other Meech looks like a little kid. Jackson is not only talented but physical, seemed as fast as Meech in the half court and had no trouble getting to the hoop when he wanted. When Carter or Stockton took their turn it was uglier.

Pepperdine played crappy defense for the most part and we shot exceptionally well. Had we shot our normal percentage from the floor and the line and they tightened their defense a little well the outcome may have not been so rosie for us Zaggies.

This could be a tough game in Malibu as the Waves have some offensive skills.

Just like LMU could be a tough game tonight. It's the WCC folks it comes with the territory.

Just my opinion.

Go!! Zags!!!

MickMick
01-15-2011, 07:46 AM
Sometimes you have to give the opponent credit for being good at what they do.

Go!! Zags!!!

I agree. These opponents are on scholarship for a reason and some players (like Thompson, Jackson, and Bell) can just play. Put them in a circled game where these fore mentioned competitiors are challenged and they will play their best ball.

Give Pepperdine credit for being the skilled offensive players they are, acknowledge that in a high possesion game, the opponent is going to get many shot opportunities, and simply be happy with a double digit victory.

Thomas_Sutpen
01-15-2011, 09:25 AM
I get your point, but that UNLV team had TWO lottery picks in Johnson & Augmon, plus another NBA first-rounder in Greg Anthony. Two final fours and a national championship. Not just apples & oranges--we're talking apples and pencils here.

Maybe we could be satisfied with winning the league? I don't think the mindset of "of course we'll win all our games, so let's make sure we crush everyone" is the best mental strategy for anyone, let alone such a young team. As others have said, we're testing new rotations and letting some folks get needed playing time against opponents that are hardly the Big West to our UNLV juggernaut.


This is the problem that Gonzaga faces every year. They have to find ways to compete against themselves during league play. They should never, ever go on cruise control. Otherwise the team stagnates and doesn't get better for March.

In Tark the Shark's autobiography "Runnin' Rebel," he talks about how his 1990 and 1991 Vegas teams set a goal to become the greatest defensive team ever once they hit Big West play. They couldn't use the Big West teams as motivation. They had to motivate themselves. So they set goals and competed against themselves because it was the only way they could get better as a team.

The Zags were up 16 at the half last night. They should've come out as if they were 16 points down. Or maybe come out with the idea that if they don't hold Pepperdine to 34% shooting, everyone has to get up at 4am for a 10 mile run. I know it sounds silly, but they have to do stuff like this. The goal is to keep getting better.

DCZag
01-15-2011, 10:26 AM
They are getting better - they've won 8 in a row.

This board can be so schizophrenic....

Man we suck! No we don't! Yes we do! No we don't!!!

bballbeachbum
01-15-2011, 11:04 AM
I agree. These opponents are on scholarship for a reason and some players (like Thompson, Jackson, and Bell) can just play. Put them in a circled game where these fore mentioned competitiors are challenged and they will play their best ball.

Give Pepperdine credit for being the skilled offensive players they are, acknowledge that in a high possesion game, the opponent is going to get many shot opportunities, and simply be happy with a double digit victory.

agree.

Lewey
01-15-2011, 12:34 PM
Last time I was at a game, my daughter wanted kettlecorn. Not just any kettlecorn, carmel kettlecorn. I double checked with her, and sure enough, there is a difference in price between carmel kettlecorn and regular kettlecorn. I certainly know way more than her about the Zags, but she's got me (and apparently many others) when it comes to the fine points of kettlecorn.