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View Full Version : I'm Just Curious re: Zags @ Gaels



BobZag
02-22-2011, 02:54 PM
I'm all for optimism and the power of positive thinking, but realistically, what makes Zag fans think Mark Few is going to march into Moraga with the worst Zag team since the NIT teams of the mid- to late-1990's and beat up on a Gaels team that has already defeated the Zags in Spokane?

I've been too busy to read much on here but the little I have scanned makes me curious to know why?

And "hope" doesn't count for an answer.

U Zig, I Zag
02-22-2011, 02:58 PM
History.
Better tats.
Bigger players.
Better hair.
Canada, France and Germany > Australia.

Saxon_zag
02-22-2011, 02:58 PM
Zags have been hitting their stride with new players stepping up and filling huge roles. Gaels are reeling having just dropped a game to USU in Moraga + Losing to a USD team that had 2 wins over d-1 opponents previously. They put a whole lot of un needed pressure on themselves this last week by losing that game that should gave been a gimme. Zags will take advantage

zagitarious
02-22-2011, 03:02 PM
marquise carter.

is why we're feeling good about this one.

DCZag
02-22-2011, 03:03 PM
Stiring the ### are we? Worst - guess that's a matter for debate. Record-wise maybe, but talent-wise, and figuring in the horrific OOC schedule and w/ tons of newbies, I would beg to differ.

As far as why we'll beat SMC - peaking at the right time and tightening of the rotation have made for a better flow for the team. Our D has been better and we have taken care of the ball relatively well (only 7 TOs last game). I like our chances much better than a few weeks ago. Now we'll see if our guys possess the maturity to get it done - the tools are all there.

maynard g krebs
02-22-2011, 03:10 PM
Carter's emergence makes this a different team. Meech seems much more effective playing with the improved Carter and Gray. Much better starts offensively recently.

Add Dower's emergence and it's a different offensive team.

The last 2 games, SMC has been taken out of their offensive flow and wound up going 1 on 1 a lot. Almost unable to score in the 2nd half of both games, not getting the easy looks they've gotten most of the year.

All that said, I expect a down to the wire game, and whoever makes the plays in the last 2 min. wins.

Jakester425
02-22-2011, 03:12 PM
I'm all for optimism and the power of positive thinking, but realistically, what makes Zag fans think Mark Few is going to march into Moraga with the worst Zag team since the NIT teams of the mid- to late-1990's and beat up on a Gaels team that has already defeated the Zags in Spokane?

I've been too busy to read much on here but the little I have scanned makes me curious to know why?

And "hope" doesn't count for an answer.

I think you have to wait till the season is over before you really know how good or bad a team is. If we get into the NCAA Tournament and win our first game, is the season looked at more of a success than the 07-08 team that lost to Davidson in the first round?

Das Zagger
02-22-2011, 03:13 PM
Have you seen the choke jobs SMC put up the last two games?

JohnOGU
02-22-2011, 03:41 PM
Because despite this down year, we are still the better team. I never once this year believed that St. Mary's was better than us.

AK457
02-22-2011, 03:44 PM
I think you have to wait till the season is over before you really know how good or bad a team is. If we get into the NCAA Tournament and win our first game, is the season looked at more of a success than the 07-08 team that lost to Davidson in the first round?

I'm of the opinion that post season results short of the elite 8 are overrated for assessing a team's success. The sample size of games played in the tourney and variability from match ups, game location, etc. is insufficient for determining how good a team really is. Realistically, the majority of tourney teams can go 2-1 in the tourney and get labeled a sweet 16 team, but I think the success of a team is more accurately determined throughout the season because they typically play ten times more games then than during the postseason, albeit as a developing project. At the elite 8 level, teams have to go 3-1 and are more likely to play at least one very good (i.e., legit top 10) team to get there.

So yes, if Gonzaga goes to the sweet 16 this year, I'd still say the 2008 team was better.

Mantua
02-22-2011, 04:02 PM
Keita and Arop have made giant strides in practice and will be behemoths on defense.

Edit: Or is that the same as hope?

BobZag
02-22-2011, 04:11 PM
Randy Bennett will make adjustments, like any good coach would, and the homecourt/crowd is worth a ton in college basketball. I want the Zags to win, too, but if you look at Thursday's game with any objectivity, it's the Gaels that have the advantage, from my point of view.

kclubfounder
02-22-2011, 04:13 PM
I'm all for optimism and the power of positive thinking, but realistically, what makes Zag fans think Mark Few is going to march into Moraga with the worst Zag team since the NIT teams of the mid- to late-1990's and beat up on a Gaels team that has already defeated the Zags in Spokane?

I've been too busy to read much on here but the little I have scanned makes me curious to know why?

And "hope" doesn't count for an answer.

Because as of 2/22/11 this is NOT the "worst Zag team since the NIT teams of the mid- to late- 1990's." Not to mention the drop in quality of play of SMC.

Bob, your question makes me wonder if you not only have been too busy to read much on this site, but if you have also been to busy to watch the last several Zag games (and the last several SMC games).

gamagin
02-22-2011, 04:20 PM
between our ears, at this time. And some momentum. as for the home crowd, it didn't bother them on Jan. 27 when the Kennel rocked 110 per cent against them.

The circus shot still went in for a win by 2 to seal the deal.

Bottom line: I'd rather be lucky than good in this rivalry. But, to be safe, we need to be both on Thursday.

MC said on t.v. tonight the pressure is "on them. They have been struggling lately."

TheZagPhish
02-22-2011, 04:27 PM
(doomed)

229SintoZag
02-22-2011, 04:30 PM
I'm all for optimism and the power of positive thinking, but realistically, what makes Zag fans think Mark Few is going to march into Moraga with the worst Zag team since the NIT teams of the mid- to late-1990's and beat up on a Gaels team that has already defeated the Zags in Spokane?

I've been too busy to read much on here but the little I have scanned makes me curious to know why?

And "hope" doesn't count for an answer.

After George Foreman bludgeoned Ali silly on the ropes in the Rumble in the Jungle for the first 6 rounds, why would any boxing Fan think Ali could come off the ropes and knock Ali out?

We of course all know how things turned out for Foreman in the 8th round.

If we win Thursday and win again in Vegas, we will have taken 2 of 3 from St. Marys this year, the one loss on a last second freak shot. I'd take that.

Rangerzag
02-22-2011, 04:51 PM
(doomed)



Obviously!

rijman
02-22-2011, 05:03 PM
The Gaels have hit a rough patch and I thinks the Zags are playing well with confidence. I think this is an even matchup right now. Regarding the Gaels win at the Kennel, a close game in the end that could have gone either way. I think the Zags win this game as St. Mary's does their best SCU impersonation choking away the WCC title.

jpwils
02-22-2011, 05:47 PM
Bobzag,

I respect your opinion and appreciate your logic -and it WILL be a close and hard-fought game.

Here is my thinking from a logical point of view as well...



1. Emergence of Carter and more scoring punch from variety of sources

2. Emergence of Stockton as disruptive force/energizer

3. Disruptive defense effectively snuffing out SMC's main guy at key times

After watching last game in Spokane, SMC played great! But they peaked then ( too early). MM made a great shot on the last possession to sneak thru.

Even if they manage to squeak out a win on their own home ( dinosaur ) gym , Zags will surely figure out how to play them in the WCC tourney and prevail in the end....peaking at the right time is everything in college ball!

Also, our bigs are way better than thiers collectively. Our team just needs to learn this Thursday nite.

wiszag
02-22-2011, 06:44 PM
Zero chance, zero chemistry.

NotoriousZ
02-22-2011, 06:55 PM
I'd put our chances at no better than 50-50. We'll have to see what Vegas thinks (I predict they'll have the line somewhere around Gaels -3.5).

The home court is HUGE. And after two down nights from a team that can hit threes from all over the gym, you just know they're going to get hot. The real unknown for me is can we score enough points to keep up.

We'll need 40 minutes of energy and focus. And luck.

pargo4prez
02-22-2011, 06:59 PM
Well, we barely lost to them in Spokane, and we're playing much better now.

VinnyZag
02-22-2011, 07:18 PM
A Mariners blog I occasionally read used to list lineups before each series and ask readers which player they'd rather have: The Mariner or the other guy. Usually (outside of the right fielder and the starting pitcher about 20 percent of the time) the fans would pick the other guy.

Let's play that game with GU-SMC. Who would you rather have, the Zag or the Gael:

PG
GU: Demetri Goodson
SMC: Mickey McConnell

No contest.

SG
GU: Marquise Carter
SMC: Matthew Dellavadova

Dellavadova's probably the better player, but he's shooting less than 41 percent on the year and has been awful the past couple weeks. Carter, on the other hand, is the WCC player of the week.

Wing/Small forward
GU: Steven Gray
SMC: Clint Steindl

No contest, this time in GU's advantage

PF
GU: Elias Harris
SMC: Rob Jones

I'd rather have Harris, but some might say it's a push.

C
GU: Rob Sacre
SMC: Tim Williams

I'll take our guy.

Bench
GU: Stockton, Dower, Olynyk, Hart, Umlaut, Arop, Keita
SMC: Mitchell Young, Tim Harris, Stephen Holt, Kenton Walker, Phil Benson (just counting the guys who played vs. USU)

Honestly, I don't know a whole lot about the SMC bench guys. But I think Dower is better than anybody they have off the bench. Olynyk might be, too, when he's playing with confidence.

McConnell is the only Gael who's clearly superior to his opposite number.

I'm not exactly confident either, BZ, because of the way GU has played all year. But I think there is some reason to believe that the Zags have a shot on Thursday.

Reborn
02-22-2011, 07:34 PM
Zags have won 6 conference games in a row. St. Mary's has lost two of their last six conference games. St. Mary's has lost two games in a row which is the same kind of losing streak Gonzaga had before their last game with St Mary's.


Elias Harris is back at full strength.

Marquis Carter is playing his best basketball of the year and has found his outside shot.

Gonzaga is rolling right now. Their a freight train a rollin down the tracks.

These are very good reasons why St Mary's will not be able to stop this train.

Bob! If you read the board more maybe you would have a more informed idea of how good this Zag team is!!! Go Zags!!!

Hoopaholic
02-22-2011, 08:34 PM
Review of game tape will clearly be the difference in adjustment.

FIRST: We got BEAT everytime Sacre or Harris "dropped" off on the double team at the high pick and roll play PLAIN AND SIMPLE.....we were succesful everytime we DOUBLED off the high pick and roll

*why you might ask did we drop off so often on the high pick and roll play game one....I personally think it was a case of "uncertain depth" for the 4 and 5 slot. We have FIXED this issue with the consistent play of DOWER -especially, but Oly for spare minutes as well. Thus we now have the ABILITY to go out and work the high pick and roll screens and DARE them to try and beat us with the middle post player.

Secondly: SG had a poor night, both offensively (forcing issues) as well as defensively.....I know he has played much more within the scope of the offense in last few games and I know his defensive effort will be present as I suspect he is ready.

Thirdly: we have finally resolved the influx and lack of production from the 3 slot with the solid emergence of Carter at the 2 and SG moving back into his more natural position of the 3 slot

FOURTH: If there is ANY truth to the rib injury buggin Rob Jones they could be in a world of hurt to rebound, defend and control the paint

We have improved in areas and developed more cohesively. I honestly reviewed last 2 game tapes of SMC and have not seen improvement in their game over the same time period.


But it is college basketball and we still must play 40 minutes of exciting basketball.

CaliforniaZaggin'
02-22-2011, 08:36 PM
They're St. Mary's, not Duke. McConnell is an excellent player; Dellavamouthpiece is a nice shooter; Rob Jones is an above average WCC power forward; but that's it.

RenoZag
02-22-2011, 08:48 PM
What makes Zag fans think Mark Few is going to march into Moraga . . . and beat up on a Gaels team that has already defeated the Zags in Spokane?

No way it's a Zag beat-down. If GU wins, it will be close ( 5 points or less ).
Zags are playing better than the first SMC tilt, SMC on a bit of a skid. Come Thursday night, none of that will matter.

Should be a classic.

MickMick
02-22-2011, 08:54 PM
Very easy answer BZ.


Gray is shuffled to the three spot and Carter takes his two spot.

It isn't necessarily about Carter playing competently at the two spot. It is more about putting Gray in a position where he can score more and turn the ball over less.

That is the biggest difference between what they were and what they currently are.

Throw in Harris playing back to form and Dower coming on.

I think they can win out all the way to the conference tournament championship.

Meanwhile, there is SMC. They have gone into a funk and not only could they lose to GU, but they could also lose to Portland (again).

What does that mean?

GU gets sole possession of the conference title.


Hey everyone....you read it here first.

Das Zagger
02-22-2011, 09:07 PM
Randy Bennett will make adjustments, like any good coach would, and the homecourt/crowd is worth a ton in college basketball. I want the Zags to win, too, but if you look at Thursday's game with any objectivity, it's the Gaels that have the advantage, from my point of view.

He sure didn't against USD and Utah State. Randy has a tendency to play Bennett ball, slow things down, and not play with a sense of urgency.

adoptedzag
02-22-2011, 09:09 PM
we are doomed!

germzag
02-23-2011, 01:14 AM
I'm all for optimism and the power of positive thinking, but realistically, what makes Zag fans think Mark Few is going to march into Moraga with the worst Zag team since the NIT teams of the mid- to late-1990's and beat up on a Gaels team that has already defeated the Zags in Spokane?

I know Bobzag is as close as you can get to being "The Man" on here due to his insider sharing capability. Not sure if I like his line of questioning here though. It makes him sound like a fairweather fan and to be honest I hate fairweather fans. Let me ask you this Bob, when you go play racquetball or whatever you play and you have to face the guy who destroyed you last week, don't you still go in thinking to yourself that you will win. If you do not think you are going to win, why even play??
The fact of the matter is that Mickey Mouse had the game of his life, punctuated with his last second heroics. I would bet a Porsche that he will not have the same high output this time around. That game was an individual outlier for him. That is what it comes down to. Mickey Mouse misses 2 shots and we win the game. Six game WCC streak is a positive, also.
Some of those mid 90's NIT teams were badass, Bob, by the way. Scott Snider was a great 4. Rogers, Dixon and Goss were really good, too. The only difference as you, Bob, surely must know was that Fitz favored a cupcake schedule. It wasn't until Monson started scheduling the big boys and we started beating them (Clemson in 97) that we started to become what we are today» a national powerhouse. Had Monson been able to convince Fitz to schedule tougher opponents earlier, we would have been a mainstay in the tourney years before '99.
Talent wise this year's team is in the top 10 nationally. Frontcourt is top 5 talent wise with Sacre and Harris (don't care what you say about Harris' underachievement so far, the guy is still a phenomenal talent). Backcourt is at least top 40 with Gray (Don't care what you say about point guards, I think pgs can match up with most anybody in the country). Anybody who knows basketball knows this. Stuff just happens, though. These are 20 year old kids after all. They all have a ton of temptations being Zags in the fishbowl we call Spokane. Tons of girls, parties, alcohol, drugs. Agents are always wanting to tell them how much money they can make. They are on TV every game. Think about that. To be honest, I am very impressed by how Few has been able to control his players outside of basketball over the years.
Talent wise we should beat St. Mary's 8 or 9 times out of ten. The Lakers lost to Charlotte 7 out of last 8 times. Would you bet on Charlotte next game? Would I bet on the Zags tmrw? No way. I do not bet on kids. Do I think they are going to win? I think being a Zags fan demands that. Do I need any objective evidence in order to correlate my positive thinking and optimism with reality? Hmm. Isn't being a Zag fan supposed to let you escape from reality for a few hours a week, Big Bob??

scott257
02-23-2011, 04:51 AM
Germzag - I think you are missing the point. I believe most everyone posting here wants a victory in this game. I would even go so far as to say that most of us believe the Zags can win this game, but....this team hasn't played so well this season that we should have any real confidence that they will. So while we hope for a win, it is questionable to be posting with confidence that we will win. Sure, we have some momentum going for us but we have had that in the past and that confidence didn't carry us past what could rightly be considered miserable team efforts. St. Mary's plays over their heads against us. They are playing at home. They have three players that have higher scoring averages than Sacre. So, while I hope we will win, I agree with BobZag's original question - what makes us think we will win?

Hope for the win - sure. Talk about what we need to do to win - sure. Post like a win is a foregone conclusion - no way. I don't think that makes anyone a fair weather fan.

Martin Centre Mad Man
02-23-2011, 05:57 AM
A Mariners blog I occasionally read used to list lineups before each series and ask readers which player they'd rather have: The Mariner or the other guy. Usually (outside of the right fielder and the starting pitcher about 20 percent of the time) the fans would pick the other guy.

Let's play that game with GU-SMC. Who would you rather have, the Zag or the Gael:

PG
GU: Demetri Goodson
SMC: Mickey McConnell

No contest.

SG
GU: Marquise Carter
SMC: Matthew Dellavadova

Dellavadova's probably the better player, but he's shooting less than 41 percent on the year and has been awful the past couple weeks. Carter, on the other hand, is the WCC player of the week.

Wing/Small forward
GU: Steven Gray
SMC: Clint Steindl

No contest, this time in GU's advantage

PF
GU: Elias Harris
SMC: Rob Jones

I'd rather have Harris, but some might say it's a push.

C
GU: Rob Sacre
SMC: Tim Williams

I'll take our guy.

Bench
GU: Stockton, Dower, Olynyk, Hart, Umlaut, Arop, Keita
SMC: Mitchell Young, Tim Harris, Stephen Holt, Kenton Walker, Phil Benson (just counting the guys who played vs. USU)

Honestly, I don't know a whole lot about the SMC bench guys. But I think Dower is better than anybody they have off the bench. Olynyk might be, too, when he's playing with confidence.

McConnell is the only Gael who's clearly superior to his opposite number.

I'm not exactly confident either, BZ, because of the way GU has played all year. But I think there is some reason to believe that the Zags have a shot on Thursday.

I agree that the Zags are better at the 3, 4, and 5 spots and probably have the better bench. The 2 and 4 spots are close. I'd probably take Delly over Carter and Harris over Jones, but those are positions where I could easily see Jones outplaying Harris on a given night or Carter outplaying Delly.

The PG factor gives St. Mary's a great equalizer, however. A great point guard makes the rest of his team play better and enables an otherwise average team to beat really good teams. Micky McConnell is one of the best point guards in the country. Gonzaga's point guards are average. McConnell and Delly together are a much better combination of guards than anything the Zags can match up against them. The Zags have better individual players at the 3-5 spots, but the McConnell factor does a lot to neutralize those advantages.

I am really looking forward to this game. I want to see how much this Gonzaga backcourt has improved. If they can hold their own against St. Mary's, I'll start to believe that this team is ready to win a game or two in the NCAAs. Meech needs to be relentless on defense and push the tempo on offense to wear down those SMC guards. Carter and Stockton need to feed the big guys to put SMC's thin bench in foul trouble. They can't afford any defensive lapses; St. Mary's is ruthless about punishing teams for a missed assignment or a slow rotation. If they can do that, the Zags can win.

cjm720
02-23-2011, 06:41 AM
We have the momentum, they don't. Other than that, it's a coin toss IMO. Should be a fantastic game. Let's snatch the WCC Championship this Thursday!!!!

Go Zags!!!

Birddog
02-23-2011, 07:03 AM
Let's use some hard numbers here. Both teams have 2 Conference road losses and each have a "bracket buster" type loss at home (Spokane Arena in Zags case). St Mary's has lost those three contests by a combined 33 points. In the Zags case they have lost the 3 games by a combined score of 21 points. The difference is 12, divide by 6 (six games between them) and the result is 2. Zags by 2 in great game.

For more weight, throw in the RPI status of the losses. Gaels lost to 3 teams with combined RPI of 434, Zags 3 losses were to teams with a combined RPI of 318, difference is 116. Zags lost to teams that in the aggregate were 27% better by fewer points. Lies, damn lies, and statistics. This type of analysis is no worse than the Congressional Budget Office estimates or the Federal Reserves issuance of currency based on fractional reserves.

Reborn
02-23-2011, 07:04 AM
Germzag - I think you are missing the point. it is questionable to be posting with confidence that we will win.

I don't think he is "missing the point." Scott257, you might be surprised how many people post with confidence in the Zags ability to win tomorrow night. I know I do. I am more confident in the victory for the Zags tomorrow than I was last year when the Zags went up to Moraga to play. I believe Gonzaga is better this year. I believed it at the beginning of the year too. I also think that St Mary's was better LAST YEAR. Jones is a very good player, but he is not as good as Samhan was last year.

Yes, it certainly has been a year that tested my faith. But as anyone who has "eyes that can see" does see that the Zags are becoming the team that many of us believed in at the beginning of the year.

Hoopaholic
02-23-2011, 08:28 AM
bounce of a ball off Monninghoff vs he catches it

a foul is called on SMC for reaching in vs foul on Sacre

A corner off the top of backboard bank shot goes in vs a miss and we rebound

A last second shot around a 7 foot defender is made vs. it is blocked or goes off the iron for a miss

CHANGE ANYONE of those and we have a board FULL of people saying how awesome the team is in first place, how winning the title again is good and how we are in the top 25 in rankings getting ready for a good seat in the ncaa

BUT as college basketball will do to you, each of those four instances equalled out to a loss.

Zags are just fine. Zags have been playing high octane offense since GAME 1 (slipped little bit last 3 weeks but still in very very good shape offensively)

Zags have improved their defense, zags have learned to take care of the ball and the zags have figured out their respective roles.

Zags have matured (very young team) and have learned how to win on the road.

Zags are focused and understand that they control their destiny

Zags are full of competitors who will lay it all out on the line to meet their goal of winning the league title.


I love Gonzaga basketball and look forward to a really good game and an awesome finish in Vegas (thank goodness I have tickets)

BobZag
02-23-2011, 08:59 AM
Thanks for all your responses, most are well thought out and that's appreciated. But I will respectfully agree to disagree on this. Laters gators.

titopoet
02-23-2011, 09:43 AM
Randy Bennett will make adjustments, like any good coach would, and the homecourt/crowd is worth a ton in college basketball. I want the Zags to win, too, but if you look at Thursday's game with any objectivity, it's the Gaels that have the advantage, from my point of view.

Randy Bennett has been doing a great job this year with smoke and mirrors. He has made teams believe that to beat them, they have to stop the three. Unfortunately the last two games SMC has exposed a huge hole in the team. Rob Jones's injury has hurt that team as he is one of the few post up players on the team. Without RJ at 100%, SMC is not the same team and the last few games has revealed this. The difference is an uneffective (and hurting) RJ makes SMC very vulnerable.