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View Full Version : How hard is Gonzaga's system to run/learn?



gonwick
01-28-2011, 09:27 PM
For those more X and O minded than I am, how hard is it to learn and implement the full Gonzaga offense and defense? Manny clearly had/has some trouble. We don't seem to be doing it effectively now, but is that because we're not "running it" or because we just don't have the offensive and defensive talent to do so?

On a related note, is it reasonable to expect freshmen to be able to play the 1 and 2 in the system at the start of next season? If so, then maybe this will finally cure Few of his upperclassmen-ism. Do freshmen get a playbook that they can study during the summer? I know they're not allowed to have coach observed practices until the fall, but I never thought about how they learn what they're going to be doing.

Das Zagger
01-29-2011, 10:08 AM
I'll take a stab:

1) Throw ball into Sacre, hope he can get a shot off.

If that doesn't work

2) Ball back out to Gray, have him dribble around, lower his shoulder and drive to the basket.

That's all I really see. Oh, and if the game is on the line, make sure to have a player who just missed a key free throw take a three.

gonwick
01-29-2011, 10:37 AM
That's about what I see too, which makes me think there should be no problem with youngsters starting next year (other than Few's inevitable reluctance).

BJZags
01-29-2011, 12:36 PM
I'll take a stab:

1) Throw ball into Sacre, hope he can get a shot off.

If that doesn't work

2) Ball back out to Gray, have him dribble around, lower his shoulder and drive to the basket.

That's all I really see. Oh, and if the game is on the line, make sure to have a player who just missed a key free throw take a three.

Maybe this observation means the offense is really, really hard to learn and the guys this year are idiots as far as X's and O's go, so this is the dumbed-down version they can understand and execute.

Mantua
01-29-2011, 12:54 PM
The flex offense is pretty complicated. It takes at least a year to learn how to execute. I watched a high school coach, who was a former Zag try to teach a version of flex to a high school team. There was a lot to learn even in a somewhat modified version.

gonwick
01-29-2011, 01:32 PM
So are players allowed to study playbooks and be taught the offense by teammates during the summer? If running the flex well is complicated, there won't be time next year for the newbies to get up to speed before things get ugly (thinking of MSU, for starters). Darn the inverted GU schedule.

kclubfounder
01-29-2011, 01:37 PM
So are players allowed to study playbooks and be taught the offense by teammates during the summer? If running the flex well is complicated, there won't be time next year for the newbies to get up to speed before things get ugly (thinking of MSU, for starters). Darn the inverted GU schedule.

It will start getting a lot less inverted next year.

Mantua
01-29-2011, 02:28 PM
So are players allowed to study playbooks and be taught the offense by teammates during the summer? If running the flex well is complicated, there won't be time next year for the newbies to get up to speed before things get ugly (thinking of MSU, for starters). Darn the inverted GU schedule.

That's a great question! I have no idea about how much they practice the offense during the summer. If they're not on campus, I think it's safe to assume that they're not thinking much about Zag plays.


I do know that Zags train hard in the offseason.

GoBulldogs
01-29-2011, 03:50 PM
The flex offense is pretty complicated. It takes at least a year to learn how to execute. I watched a high school coach, who was a former Zag try to teach a version of flex to a high school team. There was a lot to learn even in a somewhat modified version.

I can't tell if this is sarcasm......but I really hope so.

Mantua
01-29-2011, 04:22 PM
Sorry, it's not sarcasm. I've heard a lot of players complaining about the difficulty in learning flex. Sincerely!

duper
01-29-2011, 05:08 PM
The flex offense is pretty complicated. It takes at least a year to learn how to execute. I watched a high school coach, who was a former Zag try to teach a version of flex to a high school team. There was a lot to learn even in a somewhat modified version.

Flex is one of the easiest offenses to learn and yet it is still very effective. Almost every high school coach teaches the basic flex offense to their team in order to help prepare for teams who run it which is quite a few. The basic motion can be taught in less than 30 mins to high school players and then you can add shooting plays and other special plays after that.

As of late (the last few yrs) GU has gone more and more away from the flex and more of a hybrid version of Calipari's dribble drive offense.

john montana
01-29-2011, 06:02 PM
Flex is one of the easiest offenses to learn and yet it is still very effective. Almost every high school coach teaches the basic flex offense to their team in order to help prepare for teams who run it which is quite a few. The basic motion can be taught in less than 30 mins to high school players and then you can add shooting plays and other special plays after that.

As of late (the last few yrs) GU has gone more and more away from the flex and more of a hybrid version of Calipari's dribble drive offense.

Bingo. The flex is a continuity offense...that alone should tell you that we ain't been running it. We've dusted off the flex a few times this year, but not often.

UberZagFan
01-29-2011, 06:10 PM
How hard is Gonzaga's system to run/learn?

Apparently, not that hard. It appears most on this board exclaim themselves experts on the subject, even to the point of still referring to what GU runs as the "flex".

Hoopaholic
01-29-2011, 09:55 PM
takes about 2 practices and 20 minutes of chalkboard to "learn" the flex

It takes hundreds of hours to be able to execute the flex, the flex philosophy is based upon reading the defense and reacting according to what the defense gives you.

Players must learn how to read the defense and MORE importantly must learn and know INSTINCTIVELY what you teammate will do almost to the point of anticipating for the flex to be truly effective.....that is not something that occurs with alot of new players and not alot of floor time

Das Zagger
01-30-2011, 01:38 PM
takes about 2 practices and 20 minutes of chalkboard to "learn" the flex

It takes hundreds of hours to be able to execute the flex, the flex philosophy is based upon reading the defense and reacting according to what the defense gives you.

Players must learn how to read the defense and MORE importantly must learn and know INSTINCTIVELY what you teammate will do almost to the point of anticipating for the flex to be truly effective.....that is not something that occurs with alot of new players and not alot of floor time

Gilman ran the flex at Ferris. I would hope D-1 college athletes would be able to pick it up.

Hoopaholic
01-31-2011, 07:57 AM
and Gilman would be the first to tell you to effectively run the flex you must have playing time together to ensure all are on the same page.

Learning it and effectively running the flex are two different stages.

FlyZag
01-31-2011, 08:17 AM
If college players cannot learn and execute the Flex offense then they honestly do not have the intellect to be enrolled in college in the first place.

http://www.coachesclipboard.net/FlexOffense.html

"Advantages of running the Flex offense are that it is a "continuity" or patterned offense, it is somewhat flexible, and it is relatively easy to teach. Disadvantages are it's predictability, and that it can be defended by switching the screens."

titopoet
01-31-2011, 08:42 AM
Mark Few's 4 out motion offense is a very modified Flex and he has been running more or a read react scheme. Less "plays" and more sets. Here is his video explaining the system. (http://www.basketballstore-coachesclipboard.net/bd-01921b-motion-for-success.html)

Which means it is not a simple running a play to get this guy this specific shot, rather it is run the motion and let the guy with the ball deciding, based on how it is being defended, to make the play, whether to pass to the cutter (flex cut), outside shooter, or take the shot himself. It requires a familiarity with teammates.

"If your guy doubles the post then cut to wing for outlet, if he doesn't double spread out to the corner wing for a 3" type of offense. Like such systems, communication is paramount. Hence, the need for high IQ type players.

It requires players to be aware of how the other team is playing D, sagging vs denying and how his teammate is reacting to the D as well.

A thing of beauty when it running on all cylinders, but looks ugly if the players are misreading each other.