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View Full Version : Should Have Seen This Coming!!



scott257
02-08-2011, 06:48 AM
I have agonized over the way Gonzaga has been playing this year and have come to the conclusion that I should have seen this coming. Last year we dropped a few games that we shouldn't have and that was with Matt Bouldin. The losses to USF, LMU, and then the loss to St. Mary's by 19 after we had beaten them by the same margin in February were hard to excuse. This year, many of the losses are even harder to excuse. For what it's worth, I believe:

1. Stephen Gray hasn't been the team leader that we need.
2. Whether you prefer Stockton or Meech - the lack of offense at this position is our biggest weakness. We would be better off keeping Carter on the floor and encourage him to shoot.
3. The only new player with an exciting future (Sam Dower), isn't seeing enough minutes. He needs to be on the floor more.
4. Both Sacre and the coaching staff have been slow to take advantage of the double team on offense. They should have a plan and plays to make the other team pay for the constant double team.
5. Harris needs to crash the boards on offense - on every possession. One offensive rebound against St. Mary's is inexcuseable. As bad as we have been on offense, there are significant opportunities being missed here.

This is just my two cents worth. I realize that this may be stating the obvious to some extent but I do believe things can get better if the team would pull things together as a unit because there isn't one single player (like last year) that can pull them up in their wake.

zagzilla
02-08-2011, 10:44 AM
Hindsight is 20/20

Historically this program has endured significant departures of star players due to graduation and early entry to NBA and taken it in stride.

Loss of Bouldin was significant but no more so than others in recent years.

Team chemistry and lack of continuity in roles are the culprits here, IMO

ZZ

Zag4Hire
02-08-2011, 01:01 PM
Historically this program has endured significant departures of star players due to graduation and early entry to NBA and taken it in stride.

Huh? Losing players to graduation? They only have a specified time of eligibility. They can't play forever. This is every program.

I can only think of Ammo and Daye for the NBA and I think Ammo leaving early was a boon to Gonzaga's recruiting and exposure and many on this board would argue that Daye's departure was a blessing for the coaching staff and team chemistry.

ZagMania
02-08-2011, 01:07 PM
I'd certainly love to see a senior Austin Daye on this team. I'm not saying the program shouldn't be able to adjust to him leaving early but I never understood his departure being a good thing. Is there any doubt we'd be a better team this year or last with him?

MDABE80
02-08-2011, 01:11 PM
Austin and Rob with Elias...you're kidding?
I'd like that.:)

bullzag23
02-08-2011, 01:13 PM
I'd certainly love to see a senior Austin Daye on this team. I'm not saying the program shouldn't be able to adjust to him leaving early but I never understood his departure being a good thing. Is there any doubt we'd be a better team this year or last with him?

I would imagine that instead of having a mystery starter at the 3 spot we'd have a permanent fixture if Daye were still around, and most likely a new #1 atop GU's all time blocks list as well....

BobZag
02-08-2011, 01:48 PM
A general lack of improvement (except Rob) and unexpected regression by others are the culprits, imo. Matt's departure should have been more than compensated for with improvements. That didn't happen. What I failed to take into consideration was the loss of Matt's basketball IQ and how adversely that would affect the team. I won't make THAT mistake again.

Mantua
02-08-2011, 02:02 PM
Daye was headed for the NBA from Day one and presented the team with a real chemistry problem. It seems as if we have a little chemistry problem this year, but I don't believe it's due to culture clash. Gray didn't show signs of being a leader in three years. He's a wonderful athlete and a wonderful kid. I was glad for all the assists from him early on, but we are seeing the same old problem re: making good passes. I don't think there is any one thing holding this team back except overall basketball IQ and a year or so of time to develop the talent that has come in. Harris clearly has struggled at the 3- burn out, injury, new position, lack of practice, and playing in a system in which no one except DS consistently passes the rock. They don't appear to want to play together at times and it's likely that chemistry plays a part in that. I agree that they need to hang around together in the summer. If the coming summer sends them away as much as last year, look forward to similar problems.

chirguy
02-08-2011, 02:59 PM
We also lost four players in the off season, which if not we probably wouldn't have mystery starter at the 3. I actually have been very encouraged by this team. They play generally better defense than I have seen Zags play before.

U Zig, I Zag
02-08-2011, 03:15 PM
I'd certainly love to see a senior Austin Daye on this team. I'm not saying the program shouldn't be able to adjust to him leaving early but I never understood his departure being a good thing. Is there any doubt we'd be a better team this year or last with him?

Austin would own the court, having stayed her for 4 years and getting the direction, diet, etc that the program would have given him.

Incredible talent. He isn't a breakout start in the NBA, but he does things that you need to do to be there. He needs to toughen up and fill out some. Doesn't help that his team stinks. He would actually play well, if there was room, on a team with good veterans, like Boston.

But yah, this team would be way different. By his senior year I would have trusted him to play 2-guard if we need it.

CDC84
02-08-2011, 03:29 PM
I still can't understand why this team is so poor defensively when they have the height and athletes to be the best Gonzaga defensive team ever. This group just can't seem to figure it out on D. It's disappointing.

UberZagFan
02-08-2011, 03:36 PM
Harris clearly has struggled at the 3- burn out, injury, new position, lack of practice, and playing in a system in which no one except DS consistently passes the rock.

This season is just making Uber too darn cranky. But he just can't let these statements pass. Harris is not playing a new position and he has not been a "3".

JPtheBeasta
02-08-2011, 03:43 PM
If Bouldin was Batman last year, Gray was Robin- a very good Robin. This year we are lacking a second scorer in the back court. Gray seems to be still more suited to Robin status, or maybe a Nightwing, for the comic book nerds out there. Last year, we could reasonably rely on one of those guys showing up if the other one had a bad day. If Gray has a bad day, there is nobody else back there. Few's fickle rotations are evidence of this, in my opinion; nobody has stepped up to warrant consistant play. Gray and Bouldin showed from day one that they were the heirs apparent when the guards ahead of them stepped down. We didn't have that last year and this year should have been more expected, in hind sight.

I was hoping that our bigs would make up for that this year, but Sacre has been the only one that hasn't been a disappointment. Harris has enough talent to turn it around at any time and carry the team the rest of the year, however. The future seems bright down low, with the recent emergence of Dower and the return (hopefully) of Sacre. But to win right now, we need this to be the strength of our team, right now.

I would feel the same way about the guards if Pangos, Bell, and Dranginis were more of a known quantity. Our success next season rests on a backcourt that is in high school right now, and they will be forced into a much steaper learning curve than GU guards of the recent past. That may seem harsh, but I just don't see enough out of the current guys to feel optimistic about them making a big enough jump this season or the next. Gray just doesn't have a Robin this year, and next year we don't seem to have a Batman either.

BobZag
02-08-2011, 04:54 PM
If Bouldin was Batman last year, Gray was Robin- a very good Robin. This year we are lacking a second scorer in the back court. Gray seems to be still more suited to Robin status, or maybe a Nightwing, for the comic book nerds out there. Last year, we could reasonably rely on one of those guys showing up if the other one had a bad day. If Gray has a bad day, there is nobody else back there. Few's fickle rotations are evidence of this, in my opinion; nobody has stepped up to warrant consistant play. Gray and Bouldin showed from day one that they were the heirs apparent when the guards ahead of them stepped down. We didn't have that last year and this year should have been more expected, in hind sight.

I was hoping that our bigs would make up for that this year, but Sacre has been the only one that hasn't been a disappointment. Harris has enough talent to turn it around at any time and carry the team the rest of the year, however. The future seems bright down low, with the recent emergence of Dower and the return (hopefully) of Sacre. But to win right now, we need this to be the strength of our team, right now.

I would feel the same way about the guards if Pangos, Bell, and Dranginis were more of a known quantity. Our success next season rests on a backcourt that is in high school right now, and they will be forced into a much steaper learning curve than GU guards of the recent past. That may seem harsh, but I just don't see enough out of the current guys to feel optimistic about them making a big enough jump this season or the next. Gray just doesn't have a Robin this year, and next year we don't seem to have a Batman either.

Gray could also be Alfred.

Reborn
02-08-2011, 05:12 PM
This season has certainly been a big surprise to me. I had us losing 3 games, and I thought we were that good. I wasn't the only one, as seveal basketball analysts had them going to the final 4 ( I did not project that the team was that good). But then again I never knew Harris would get hurt. I believe it would have been a different season if he had not. Who really knows how limited he is by the injuries.

Although this team is not what I had hoped it would be earlier, I still have hope for them, and actually quite a bit of it. I think this team is really close to coming together as a team. They are losing by such a slim margin, and we have had so many bad breaks. I have to believe that at some point we will begin to get a few breaks, and the team will begin to gel. I think the team believes in themselves and in each other, and this will become evident soon. I think the Memphis game was a setback, but we had a couple mistakes by a couple of Freshmen. They will learn from those mistakes. I also believe, as Mark Few said, the team was tired, and this game should never have been scheduled just two days after a very, very tough and important conference game in Portland.

I don't mind speaking my mind and giving my opinion either about this team. I want to go on board now by saying that I believe they will make it to the NCAA tournament in March and will upset somebody there.

Mantua
02-08-2011, 05:53 PM
This season is just making Uber too darn cranky. But he just can't let these statements pass. Harris is not playing a new position and he has not been a "3".

That was a result of my burnout. Harris is supposed to be learning the 3, but has been playing 4. I have been watching him closely for any signs that he could play 3. He often runs out to defend the wing. It's a bit frustrating to watch him play this year. I'm growing more concerned about the passing game and an offense that is not clicking. Does anyone have stats for Harris and Gray in combination?

LongIslandZagFan
02-08-2011, 06:04 PM
This team just doesn't defend as well as it should. The offense isn't all that bad. But what we ALL should have seen coming is this:

Of the 12 guys on the roster... you have 11 years of D1 experience total, of which 7 of those years of experience are Gray, Goodson and Sacre.

Reborn
02-08-2011, 07:28 PM
This team just doesn't defend as well as it should. The offense isn't all that bad. But what we ALL should have seen coming is this:

Of the 12 guys on the roster... you have 11 years of D1 experience total, of which 7 of those years of experience are Gray, Goodson and Sacre.

I agree completely!

UberZagFan
02-09-2011, 11:37 AM
This team just doesn't defend as well as it should.

Exhibit A is the defense on Carmouche's three that tied the game vs. Memphis. GU is in a 2-3 zone. Gray up top guarding the ball. Sacre in the middle and MM down low on Gray's side. The guy gets a step to the side of Gray and Sacre is waiting in the middle. For some ungodly reason, MM decides to dive in to help on the penetrating guard despite the fact that Sacre is there to help and the fact that GU has a three point lead. MM leaves Carmouche wide open in the corner for a 3 pointer to tie. Option between a guard being forced to take a tough 2 pt shot against Sacre vs. a spot up shooter for wide open three? Of course, GU chooses the open three. Add to that, less than 20 seconds later DS ("the student teacher") dribbles into traffic, leaves his feet, turns the ball over and immediately commits a foul. 5 point swing--game, set, match.

CDC84
02-09-2011, 11:52 AM
No matter how much some of us bitterly complain about the offense, this year's team is shooting 48.2% from the field, 38.2% on 3 pointers, and 74.3% from the foul line. Those are outstanding numbers. In fact, the team last year only shot 35.3% from 3 point land and a miserable 66.4% from the foul line. The offensive efficiency stats at kenpom.com for 2009/10 and 2010/11 are roughly the same. This year's team is collecting more offensive rebounds per game than last year's bunch as well.

The offense could be better, but it is not the major issue with this team.

The problem is that Gonzaga is allowing opponents to shoot 41.1% from the field (ideally it should be below 40%). Plus they are fouling way too much, and are allowing teams to shoot 37% from 3 point territory. The lack of three point defense is just killing the Zags. Most importantly, GU can't seem to get key stops at key points during games.

NotoriousZ
02-09-2011, 03:05 PM
There's been way too much blame aimed at the point guards (Meech mainly), and while that's been part of the problem, I think a larger headache has been Harris' performance due to injuries. Elias as has obviously not been the explosive player that we loved last season.

**Side note** I wanted to comment on the thread about banning our players from playing on their country's National Teams, but it was closed. I'm sure we all agree that it would be better for us if they didn't do that because they risk injuries, lose playing time with their Zag teammates and coaches, ect. But banning it would be insane. International recruits have become our bread and butter, a great equalizer in the recruiting war. I don't think we want to miss out on any potential foreign superstars, do we?

But anyway, Harris' lack of production on offense and defense has been a big culpret in our poor showing this year, imo. And I'm not throwing E under the bus here, there's a ton of other stuff to gripe about (no team chemistry, Gray's lack of leadership, poor coaching decisions, no true point guard, blah, blah, blah).

Let's end on a positive note: most of our problems are fixable, and we will win in Vegas!

ronh_pm
02-09-2011, 07:47 PM
I was never on the final four bandwagon but on the other hand I thought (and think) that the talent is there to compete with anyone on any night.

However, I do not think this team was allowed to gel as a team with starters and more importently, bench play. It is a constant state of subs, sometimes 3deep. Often they make no sense such as pulling a hot shooter and often it seems a single mistake is enough to find the bench. And again, as often as not, for reasons unknown to the casual fan, players will languish on the bench, while others struggle.

Though Coach Few's hand was forced early with an injury to Harris, and later with Gray's problems, he has not to this point estblished any sort of team that plays as a cohesive unit.

Not too sure why this has happened and for all I know playing an 11 man bench has been proven to be the secret de facto way to win championships but from where I sit I just see 5 guys playing ball against a team every night.

Some nights the talent will win out but when the 5 talented guys go up against 5 talented guys on a team, I dont like thier chances.

Things that they should be able to do in thier sleep at this point in the year, like switchin off of screens remain plays that sometimes happen, sometimes dont..depends who is out there with who.

So, as I said, I didnt expect a final four team, but I did expect a team, and too this point, on a lot of nights, I just see a coach throwing out players hoping they will have an answer for him.