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View Full Version : Underachieving or just achieving?



gonwick
01-23-2011, 06:09 AM
Zags teams in the past were endearing because they overachieved.
This season more than any in the past has been frustrating for me because I feel like the team consistently underachieves. Sure, there are exceptions, like OK St., but it has been rare this year that I expect them to pull out tight games or that they put together a consistent effort. I think of all the talent they have and can't understand it. I'm starting to think that is my fault. Maybe this is just the best they can do. Maybe they're collectively not good enough to consistently play good defense and run a coherent offense at the level I expected them to. For example, I've always loved Steven as a player, but he's always been streaky. When cold/turnover happy Steven shows up, it's not fair of me to get frustrated. He's a great kid who plays with a lot of heart through injuries whose play happens to range from great to average.

The season isn't over, and we could still make the tourney if we run the board (maybe even if we split with St. Mary's) or win the conference tourney, but for my own health I think I'm not going to expect that to happen. I'll certainly hope for it, but it's not reasonable to expect it.

So, what's going on this year? Is it just that we have overhyped their talent and this is as good as it gets? Is it coaching? Is it overly tight WCC reffing following a brutal nonconference schedule where we got used to a more aggressive style? Is it the already much discussed lack of PG play? (Meech and Stockton both played well last night, but each has well documented/discussed shortcomings).

As an aside, how can the team go minutes (or halves) at a time and not get the ball into the post?

Reborn
01-23-2011, 08:01 AM
I think for many of us, me included, my expectations were too high. I predicted a 20 and 3 season. Also none of us expected the injuries which has had an affect on the team's record. I have lowered my expectations and that has helped some.

I think we are beginning to straighen out the pointguard situation. At least last night we got excellent play from our point guards. I hope that continues because it will help. Right now our biggest problem is at the 3, where Matt Bouldin played. I thought Arop would fill that position nicely and he hasn't. And neither has anyone else. Few is playing 4 guys there and really most of the time we are not getting what the team needs from the 3. I feel the inconsistency at that position has hurt the cohesiveness of the team to some extent. Keita can not defend in the WCC. He has gotten killed on defense the last two games. Last night we got 0 points from the starter (Keita), 0 points from his first substitute (Carter), 3 points from Monninghoff (a big shot) and 6 points from Arop who got the most minutes by far (21). Matt Bouldin would have nailed those free throws at the end of the game. Arop is a good defender and rebounder. We know that. But he has so little on the offensive end. I believe we all know that the 3 position is a scorer. Someone like Gray or Micah Downs.

Honestly, I really don't see the problem at the 3 getting fixed this year. It's too bad, but that's the way it looks. I noticed that Manny's man was never guarding him last night. He was in the middle of the key helping out on Rob. Why would anyone guard Manny? He hasn't proved that he wants to shoot. He is not a bad shooter. Yes he misses like anyone else, but he shoots ok. His problem is that he looks absolutely afraid to do anything on offense. He is the most scared offensive player I've ever seen.

"The Bulldogs lost consecutive conference games for the first time since falling to Pepperdine and San Diego in the 1999-2000 season." This is a quote from the SR article. I think that therein lies our one hope. What happened this past weekend happened in the '99-2000 season; so we know that it's happened before and it happened to a team that went deeper in the tournament in March than any team previously. So I'm still hoping...But my expectations are much lower.

MickMick
01-23-2011, 09:17 AM
Most people here were hanging on the Zags getting better.

They did get better.

So did everyone else.

There was a thread early in the season on this. Many here were absolutely convinced that other teams had a lower ceiling than GU and that GU would "get better" faster than everyone else.

At the time I thought it was a foolhardy notion. I still do.

You know who has really "gotten better" faster?

The USF freshman, Cody Doolin. That kid can play.


It's gonna be one helluva conference tournament.

CDC84
01-23-2011, 11:49 AM
What's frustrating is that this team knows that in order to win tough games it can't rely on its offense - that they have to rebound and defend, and yet they can't rebound and defend despite having all the physical tools (size, athleticism, etc.) in order to do it. The stuff they keep screwing up is within their control.

I never expected this team to go on the road in the WCC and win with a bunch of style points. But I expected them to win.

allnet59
01-23-2011, 12:41 PM
One word describes our problem. Defense defense defense. This team can score points with the best of em. We beat usf in almost every offensive catagory except for the final score and made free throws. But they beat us off the dribble time and time again. Look how many times they spread the court and drove the middle at the end of the game. Defense wins games period

Hoopaholic
01-23-2011, 12:43 PM
the consistent inconsistencies at the 3 spot is killing us both offensively and defensively

consistent inconsistencies by Harris and his defensive abilities have hurt us


Need to shore up those two issues

NEC26
01-23-2011, 12:55 PM
the consistent inconsistencies at the 3 spot is killing us both offensively and defensively

consistent inconsistencies by Harris and his defensive abilities have hurt us


Need to shore up those two issues

Harris is truly not a good defender(either he isn't trying or he just isn't good) very frustrating to watch. Last year his offense made up for it this year its turnovers and still no defense.
If Kelly or Sam were stepping up a little more I think he would be seeing more and more bench time cause he is just not effective out there this year on either end of the court. He also seems to have lost some bounce(I know been discussed before) which is hurting him as far as securing offensive rebounds and getting put backs which was a big part of his game last year.

Hoopaholic
01-23-2011, 12:59 PM
agree his lateral movements are lacking and his anticipation and proper rotation are still late or non existent.

gamagin
01-23-2011, 01:08 PM
agree his lateral movements are lacking and his anticipation and proper rotation are still late or non existent.

I blame the german in him. He is over engineering his moves instead of acting and reacting with the game.

Plus, imo, our opponents know all of our peculiarities so EH needs to develop some new ones. quickly.

bballbeachbum
01-23-2011, 01:24 PM
E played hard. but as noted above, he has been scouted, and the ball is now in his court to respond to the opponents' responses to his game. would like to see him learn to shorten his dribble. WCC opponents are ready for that high dribble, and they are causing him problems when he shows them the ball for so long on that dribble. it's a learnable thing

Hoopaholic
01-23-2011, 01:26 PM
I am more concerned about his lack of defensive contributions than his offensive contributions....he had what 14 or so last night that is just fine

it is the defensive issues we need to shore up at the 4 and 3 slots

bballbeachbum
01-23-2011, 01:36 PM
I am more concerned about his lack of defensive contributions than his offensive contributions....he had what 14 or so last night that is just fine

it is the defensive issues we need to shore up at the 4 and 3 slots

not disagreeing. would still like to see E shorten that dribble :)

Hoopaholic
01-23-2011, 01:58 PM
I would like to see a move or two that did not involve having to always go off his left shoulder......then he would be deadly offensive weapon from the block position

gamagin
01-23-2011, 02:03 PM
not disagreeing. would still like to see E shorten that dribble :)

and I didn't check, but my memory tells me he has about 5 more assists than I do . . .

roxdoc
01-23-2011, 02:07 PM
In our last two games the foul numbers at the end of the game for our "big 3" was 4-4-4 and 4-3-4. In both games we were unable to play a credible defense and worse yet our offense became nearly non existent.

I'm not trying to make an excuse for the entire outcome, but it may explain our utter failure when faced with the need to perform, toward the end of those games.

That said, although things can be tweeked a bit here and there, we are what we are: not a particularly good TEAM. I'm not trying to knock them, I'll continue to be a fan and wish them the best but I think it is time to be realistic about the limitations of the players, the coaching, and the system we run.

To the players I say GO ZAGS, be all that you can be and I'll be satisfied.

Mantua
01-23-2011, 02:53 PM
In our last two games the foul numbers at the end of the game for our "big 3" was 4-4-4 and 4-3-4. In both games we were unable to play a credible defense and worse yet our offense became nearly non existent.

I'm not trying to make an excuse for the entire outcome, but it may explain our utter failure when faced with the need to perform, toward the end of those games.

That said, although things can be tweeked a bit here and there, we are what we are: not a particularly good TEAM. I'm not trying to knock them, I'll continue to be a fan and wish them the best but I think it is time to be realistic about the limitations of the players, the coaching, and the system we run.

To the players I say GO ZAGS, be all that you can be and I'll be satisfied.

it's awfully hard to use common sense and adjust expectations after years on a wild joyride. Being a "fan" implies letting go of reality when it comes to your beloved team.

Go Zags!!!

maynard g krebs
01-23-2011, 06:32 PM
1) The point guard situation is what it is- a spot where GU is at a disadvantage against tourney caliber teams, at the most impt. position.

2) Gray and Harris have been, or are, hurt. This team really needs its big 3 healthy and on top of their game.

3) I suspect Arop is still hampered by last season's injury. Before getting hurt, he was a game changer with his rebounding (almost 1 every 3 minutes). This year it's 1 per 5 1/2 minutes. Based on that, it's reasonable to guess it's making him tentative on offense, and is probably affecting those drives to the basket that he's missing.