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View Full Version : Were our expectations realistic ?



HillBillyZag
01-28-2011, 09:09 AM
Before the season even started , a lot of Zag followers surmised that this would likely be a rebuilding year . With a suicidal non-conference schedule and five freshmen and 2 sophmores likely asked to play key roles , most figured it would be an uphill battle . Like many others I failed to realize how much the other teams in the conference had improved , and I did'nt think that our seemingly unending parade of great point guards and stellar on court leaders had , at least temporarily, ended . The kids played hard last night , the problem was , they did'nt always play smart , which has been their achilles heel all season . There is a lot of talent on this team ,but they appear to have a slow learning curve for one reason or another ? I will never give up on them , but several missing key ingrediants make an 11th straight Title unlikely . All we can do is keep the faith , root hard , and hope that our point guard and leadership problems can be improve before the conference tournament and that our two highly publicized incoming back court players will live up to their hype and prvide what we need next season .

Hoopaholic
01-28-2011, 09:18 AM
I still hold onto my single expectation...making it to the big dance......that has always been my focus/goal/objective

MDABE80
01-28-2011, 09:33 AM
When a team has 3 kids , one a center, one a PF and one a kid who was at various times the best defender and shooter on the team.....who at times were slotted as AA's......and then this?
I don't think we were being unrealistic.
Something's wrong in the system this year.
A team cannot have all this talent and go bust.

Just look at the performances this year compared to last and you'll smile when Rob is mentioned. The other two...well.....not so much. I had a lot of faith in this team.

Then I remember the team with JP, Adam and Raivio.....and this team doesn't measure up in performance and not in depth. Still it puzzles me how those two of the big 3 seemed to deteriorate when they should have gotten tremendously better. The offensive numbers are kinda there but tough play and defensive effort?...nope.

Rob was terrific though.and he's getting better. Let's all hope Few figures this out with 8 games left in the regular season. It cannot be Matt's absence....one guy cannot matter this much when 3 others are so gifted. Surely though, nobody has even remotely stepped into his shoes. Has me scratching my head. Something's missing and something's wrong.

gamagin
01-28-2011, 09:36 AM
Before the season even started , a lot of Zag followers surmised that this would likely be a rebuilding year . With a suicidal non-conference schedule and five freshmen and 2 sophmores likely asked to play key roles , most figured it would be an uphill battle . Like many others I failed to realize how much the other teams in the conference had improved , and I did'nt think that our seemingly unending parade of great point guards and stellar on court leaders had , at least temporarily, ended . The kids played hard last night , the problem was , they did'nt always play smart , which has been their achilles heel all season . There is a lot of talent on this team ,but they appear to have a slow learning curve for one reason or another ? I will never give up on them , but several missing key ingrediants make an 11th straight Title unlikely . All we can do is keep the faith , root hard , and hope that our point guard and leadership problems can be improve before the conference tournament and that our two highly publicized incoming back court players will live up to their hype and prvide what we need next season .

If you can look at the losses and see where we could have won, and I think we all can, then there is still much to be hopeful about. We have a ways to go.

My question is this: have we seen the best SMC has to offer ? I mean can they get much better than they played us in game 1 of this series ? They certainly can get hotter. They are incredibly dangerous when left to their own devices.

But we, on the other hand, have alot to improve upon. We have no small number of rotating head cases, development issues and p.t. issues that clearly are not settled. And we have the time and the rest of the season to continue to work them out.

So even with all the challenges in front of us, we only lost by an inch (the distance between RS's fingertip touching the ball and McConnell's circus shot) to an SMC team that has been moulding and developing for a long time, and, imo, has athletically pretty much peaked.

The question then, is how soon will it be until we have five well-oiled parts of a Zag machine up and running and looking like a team again ? This year or next ?

I don't know. But anyone watching closely can see the parts are still all over the lot but they could make one whale of a machine if assembled properly because the sum of those parts could still make a fine post season machine.

Only time and the rest of this season will tell the whole story.

75Zag
01-28-2011, 10:18 AM
My expectation was that GU would get knocked around in OOC play and then buck up and do well in the WCC. Either GU is worse than I expected, or the lesser regarded SMC and USF are much better than advertised. Either way, I was not expecting a great finish to the season, and unless GU wins at Vegas they may be playing along side UP in the NIT or whatever, which would be unfortunate but not the end of the world.

This is the first year in my memory that Few has been called upon to coach a team without a dominating guard. So far, I am not impressed with his coaching style where he does not have a go-to guard to rely on. Hopefully next year will bring in a dominating guard and the GU/Few machine can roll on happily into the future. If not, or if the incoming freshman guard(s) need a year or two to be effective at the NCAA level, I wonder how restless the fans and alumni supporters will become. GU's recruiting depends on national recognition, and dropping out of the NCAAs for a couple years could be very bad news when it comes time to compete for kids from CA or the East Coast.

Go Bulldogs! Win in Vegas!

ZagDebate
01-28-2011, 10:47 AM
I was very surprised when the pre-season polls had GU ranked as high as #12 and Len Elmore was picking us to win it all. I am not exactly breaking new ground here, but college basketball is a guard's game. We have exactly one experienced and well-rounded guard in Steven Gray. We have other pieces and parts (Goodson for defense and ball speed, Stockton to start the offense) and an unknown quantity in Carter (who seems like a decent player without confidence).

If we had the "point gunner" on this team, we would have won at least 2-3 more games. If we could have handed the keys to Carter to start the season and let him grow into the job on the job, maybe the outcome is different. Maybe not. But, Few doesn't have that luxury with the WCC-mandated preseason schedule. As it stands, opponents can clog the lane, shade on Elias and mob Rob, and we don't have a consistent, game-in game-out answer. Bouldin papered over so many flaws last year. I believe he was even better than many of us realized.

With some personal stuff happening over the last year, I have missed the interludes of watching GU win big game after big game. I think I am like many on this board, I just miss the fun times. However, I fully believe we will be back on top soon. Few and company seem to have remembered the "guard's game" mandate with the recruiting class coming in. Bell, Pangos, and in time Draganis will allow us to space the floor and create the room that our bigs used to have. The results will be night and day.

In the meantime, I remain proud to be a Zag. Steven Gray may not carry the 24x7x365 passion for the game that Dan Dickau did, but he competes hard on the court and his student experience is a great symbol of the university and the values it promotes. Rob is right behind Steven as the face of the team. Few is a great coach. Sure, he has made some head-scratching decisions at times, but I would not choose any other coach in America to represent my school. He is class when he wins, class when he loses. And he usually wins.

If this team somehow scratches their way to the NCAA tournament, all the better. It could happen in Vegas. We just needed to make some free throws or convert one key possession at the end of the last two games to win even with our limitations. It might not happen, but if not then this will prove to be a short interruption before Gonzaga basketball rides high again.

St. Mary's earned the win last night. I was sad for a few minutes as the reality set in, but then I was not so sad when the real reality set in. The program is in good hands, and the future remains bright. As stated at the outset of this thread, this probably wasn't destined to be our year.

mdZag23
01-28-2011, 10:51 AM
There were people on here saying that we were going to the Final 4. I'm not saying we can't make it to the Final 4, but we are most likely never going to make a Final 4.

Get over it and enjoy what you have! Look at the teams that have made the Final 4 in the last 20 years. Out of a few exceptions, they are all BCS teams. This is NOT a coincidence people!

We've got it great with our program and the expectations are way to high every year from the fan base.

Why do you think that the staff always talks about winning the league and the WCC championship????? Those are the most important things and anything else is gravy for a Gonzaga type school.

We can all dream, but....reality is painful sometimes!

BobZag
01-28-2011, 10:57 AM
I think our expectations were in line with what the national media was telling us.

gamagin
01-28-2011, 11:15 AM
is way oversold on the GUB. It's the bad dog food, which was planted long ago and fed over and over, which has made it a fact. The real problem is an incomplete game underneath.

RS rose while EH fell. The three has had a vacancy sign on it from the getgo. It still does.

the p.g. and even SG at times, produce a sometimes limited, sometimes great, game, but the real roller coaster has come in and around the net. RS excepted, for the most part.

Another thing, if both DG & DS and even MC, were instructed to shoot the damned ball every time they are left open, or ignored, and those underneath and the whole team knew it, I believe we'd have a different game and team.

There is little doubt in my mind, strictly from watching what is instead of wishing for something different, that our p.g.'s are not free to shoot.

Therefore, whether Meech, DS or MC, or any of the incoming Zags who may or may not replace them for p.t. winds up as the dominant point, we will only find out if that particular spot is weak or strong, when the p.g. gets the green light and everyone else responds.

That hasn't happened on a regular basis, imo. If SMC's great shooters were told to force the ball into the crowded middle instead of planning to shoot, it would be SMC's problem, too, imo.

TexasZagFan
01-28-2011, 11:35 AM
I, for one, expected the following for this year:

1. Continued maturation of Meech as our PG, to include more aggressiveness in shooting the rock.
2. Steven Gray to raise his game in his senior year, and take over the mantle of team leader.
3. Further development of Elias, where he fulfilled prognostications as a potential #1 NBA pick.
4. Continued develpment by Rob Sacre.
5. Freshman from previous year maturing and contributing more than last year.

IMO, only #4 has come to pass. Meech, Steven, Harris, for whatever reason(s) have not met the expectations for this year. I don't want to hear any guff about Steven. He has made himself invisible in far too many games this year.

Kelly O was painful to watch last night. He did not appear to have his head in the game for the few minutes he was in.

Quite frankly, the shooters we needed to add to this year's team have been inconsistent at best. Without that, opposing defenses have been able to sag on Rob and Elias.

It's going to be hard to turn this puppy around, as it becomes more apparent we have a bunch of square pegs trying to fill round holes.

For the times I've yearned to see a change in attitude, a "chip on the shoulder", an "eye of the tiger", "be the hunter, not the hunted", i.e. the Zags of Santangelo/Calvary/Ammo lore, the teams of the Bouldin/Gray/Daye era don't consistently display that fire. Although I was glad to see more players take shots last night, I'm haunted by the hesitation I've seen when several players have wide open shots, and then not take them.

Good teams, no doubt. Trouble is, the bar was raised immensely from 99-06.


Lastly, to those of you enjoying the moment at godisagael.com. That's all it is...a moment. Congratulations on a signature win last night. You've had a couple of good years...now try and take it to the level we've gotten used to. Learn what it's like to be staring down the gun barrel of everybody's best shot in the WCC. Embrace the bile that comes to your throat when the opposing fans storm the court after they've beaten you. Do something about that HS gym you call your home court.

This is but a momentary setback. Now we know we HAVE to win in Vegas to make the dance. Preparations began anew today.

HillBillyZag
01-28-2011, 05:02 PM
Many good points made, it's hard to stay on top anywhere ? Notice that Tom Izzo's MSU Spartans have dropped 4 straight games and had he was forced to suspend another player . I'm convinced this season is just the exception to the rule at G.U. , and as several of you pointed out , this team has enough talent to win the Conference Tournament on a neutal floor , and frankly if we can finish high enough to get an opening round bye ?, our chances are good .