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BobZag
03-07-2011, 09:33 AM
Is this Zag squad the most offensively-challenged team of the Few era? It has felt and looked and sounded that way to me all season long, but what do you think? Does somebody have the time and energy to check GoZags.com's archives to see if this offensive ineptitude is real or merely perceived?

An honest question looking for honest replies.

cjm720
03-07-2011, 09:45 AM
Without doing the homework, I'd say yes due to a combination of not having a scoring point and our youth.

Kiddwell
03-07-2011, 09:46 AM
At minimum, it's an up-and-down offensive team. Some days Big Rob can't be stopped. Or, Sam I Am is the Dower of Power. Or, Steven and "Hoffense" are dropping treys left and right.

Then, other days, no one's shots can hit the proverbial barn door...

This team may be the "most often" offensively challenged squad, but it does undeniably have shooters. (Hope they hit their shots tonight!)

:]

Das Zagger
03-07-2011, 09:50 AM
Is this Zag squad the most offensively-challenged team of the Few era? It has felt and looked and sounded that way to me all season long, but what do you think? Does somebody have the time and energy to check GoZags.com's archives to see if this offensive ineptitude is real or merely perceived?

An honest question looking for honest replies.

No and no.

TokyoZag
03-07-2011, 09:50 AM
Quick check on kenpom for adjusted offensive efficiency:

2003: 21 (out of all D1 teams)
2004: 8
2005: 10
2006: 1 (go ammo!)
2007: 39
2008: 39
2009: 5
2010: 47
2011: 59

So yes. Our national offensive ranking is about 50% lower than our previous low.


By comparison: Adj Defense Off

2003: 86 (out of all D1 teams)
2004: 40
2005: 121
2006: 178
2007: 80
2008: 33
2009: 18
2010: 66
2011: 28

Our second best defensive year ever!?!?!?

Also that 2009 team sure looks good on paper... (Daye, Pargo, Bouldin, Heytvelt, Gray)

zagfan08
03-07-2011, 09:53 AM
I was just looking at those numbers myself. I think our adjusted defensive is in part due to some of the really bad WCC teams we play.. Like San Diego scoring 31 points against us surely moved us up several spots. But this year has been better defensively, which has helped us remain competitive despite our worst offensive year in recent memory.

gu03alum
03-07-2011, 09:53 AM
I was thinking last year's team was pretty bad offensively. I'm surprised to see that this year's team is worse according to kenpom.

TokyoZag
03-07-2011, 09:58 AM
I was just looking at those numbers myself. I think our adjusted defensive is in part due to some of the really bad WCC teams we play.. Like San Diego scoring 31 points against us surely moved us up several spots. But this year has been better defensively, which has helped us remain competitive despite our worst offensive year in recent memory.

The whole adjusted part of adj off eff takes into account quality of competition.

That being said, no ranking system is perfect...

As an anecdote, our defense forced 3 turnovers in the last few plays against USF. I think the ranking might be fairly accurate.

sullyzag66
03-07-2011, 10:04 AM
Based on a couple of critical possessions late in last night's game, I would say, yes. That sequence that ended with a shot-clock violation was frustrating.

CaliforniaZaggin'
03-07-2011, 10:16 AM
Yes. The easy buckets are few and far between for this team. Very few backdoors. Almost no alley-oops. Not many easy lay-ins off of dribble penetration. Everything appears so difficult.

NewLookZag
03-07-2011, 10:20 AM
I would say yes. Our defense has been much, much better though from where it was at the start of the season. Without the defensive improvement, this team would be under .500.

UberZagFan
03-07-2011, 10:27 AM
Yup, the most offensively challenged team of the Few era. And it's really difficult to point to any one thing the team does well offensively. Maybe FT% or "effective height".

Stache
03-07-2011, 10:29 AM
Based on only the informal, eye-ball test: yes, this is the most challenged offensive team. IMO it goes back to Gam or Mal's early season question about "glue." I don't remember the last ally-oop secondary to flow or any easy bucket from back picks. I'm sure they've happened so you don't need to snark and point out a back pick during a meaningless point in an old game.

Blake used to toss oops to Cory 3 times a game. Ravio could dish the ball to cutters for high percentage lay ups etc.

I thought the Okie State game was the beginning of "flow.". Flow is seemless motion, a series of moves without the ball, picks that aren't 26 ft from the hoop, and its results are a team with some easy baskets, dunks, and other high percentage shots. IMO, we lack bball IQ and it is most evident in the lack of moving without the ball, passing angles, and smooth 2 man or 3 man sets. We show it at times. It lasts about 10 mins and then we grind.

It is what it is, and IMO it suggests a great coaching job that transitions us to new personnel with a better chance of recapturing flow.


Sorry - no time for stats.

Martin Centre Mad Man
03-07-2011, 10:40 AM
This offense stagnates for stretches, because this team has no obvious "take over the game in the waning seconds" go-to scorer. Every other Zag team that I can remember going all the way back to the Geoff Goss era had one or more players who could get the ball any where on the floor and make something good happen when the offense was otherwise breaking down.

Steven Gray was that player in the early weeks of the season but he hasn't done much of that over the past couple of months. Dower, Sacre and Harris can only score in certain places and only if they get the ball in the right spot. Stockton is too short and too slow to create for himself against a taller defender who holds position. Stockton is good at finding a seem and slipping past defenders who get caught out of position, but he doesn't quite have the athleticism to force things when the defense is playing well. Carter has been our best option, of late, but even he is not the lights-out shooter or superior athlete with the ability to take over a game for several minutes at a time.

That last seven minutes of last night's game saw ZERO points from the floor. San Francisco was defending the inside very well during that stretch, but nobody seemed to be able to hit an outside shot or a mid-range floater to draw the defenders away from the bigs. Can you imagine a team with Stepp, Raivio, Santangelo, Ammo, Dickau, or even Bouldin going for such a long stretch in a critical game without the star just stepping up and finding a way to create some offense? We don't have a player like that on our roster. We have a lot of good players, but they all have limitations. All of them can be defended if the opposing team has the right type of athletes to do it.

The other problem with this team offensively is that a some of the better defenders (Meech, Keita, and Hart come to mind) don't generate much offense. Coach Few has to decide whether he wants to sacrifice some O to get some D and vice versa. We go for long stretches with only two or three scorers on the floor and that allows defenses to really bottle up the better offensive players.

This team is not built to win shootouts. It is built to win grinding, plodding, ugly defensive games - the kinds of games that are won on the glass and at the foul line. They aren't pretty - but they're winning. I'll take it.

gamagin
03-07-2011, 10:47 AM
leadership.

It's difficult, if not impossible, at times, to see who the leader is on our team. We think it could/should be SG, and it has been RS, too. EH was reliable, as has been Meech. Meech, fwiw, is the least likely to disappear altogether among our many LIT's (Leaders in Training).

In the course of the last month or so, the leadership has periodically (randomly?) come from the usual suspects, but has also tended to shift around to include DS, SD and MC, with defensive leadership coming from Meech and Hart.

Right now, which means the last couple of games, the steadiest three hands have been DS, Meech and Hart. SD moved to the (hopefully) temporarily flummoxed category vs. USF.

Clearly to us anxiety-riddled fans, there are too many chiefs here, and thus too much confusion and mystery surrounding who is, in fact, (1) in the lead, (2) should be in the lead or (3) is the leader but not leading, (4) or has suddenly, inexplicably, taken a quarter, or a half, if not a whole game, hiatus, from leading.

But otherwise, in realtime as we all watch, the leader oftentimes, is whoever is willing to step up when the obvious two, or three, or all of them, appear to get confused. We call him Marquise Carter of late. ANd he appears to be the real deal. But he needs help periodically.

But the big pix tends to shift around like the prairie winds.

The coaches never know.

So game to game, we never know, either. Nobody does.

FuManShoes
03-07-2011, 10:51 AM
Last night Stockton bailed the team out several times with the shot clock waning. We haven't scored on an inbounds play in months it seems. That says a lot about this team's offensive abilities. We create offense off turnovers, pound it inside or earn it at the line. There is little to no midrage and perimeter offense right now, nor backdoor or pick and roll action. I can understand the lack of perimeter scoring - we can't shoot - but don't understand the lack of movement without the ball. Maybe I don't understand the sets.

rijman
03-07-2011, 10:56 AM
Quick check on kenpom for adjusted offensive efficiency:

2003: 21 (out of all D1 teams)
2004: 8
2005: 10
2006: 1 (go ammo!)
2007: 39
2008: 39
2009: 5
2010: 47
2011: 59

So yes. Our national offensive ranking is about 50% lower than our previous low.


By comparison: Adj Defense Off

2003: 86 (out of all D1 teams)
2004: 40
2005: 121
2006: 178 (where's ammo?)
2007: 80
2008: 33
2009: 18
2010: 66
2011: 28

Our second best defensive year ever!?!?!?

Also that 2009 team sure looks good on paper... (Daye, Pargo, Bouldin, Heytvelt, Gray)
Thanks, that's good info.

And people said Ammo was all offense, no defense. As the numbers attest, it looks like they were right.

Mantua
03-07-2011, 10:59 AM
How does this team compare in youth and inexperience?

Baldwinzag
03-07-2011, 11:01 AM
In all seriousness,

I wonder if the last two season's offensive numbers are anyway--shape or form--correlated to Dave Libbey assuming "Head of Officiating" exactly two seasons ago.

Our offensive flow and physical play seemed to take a significant dip once WCC play began the last 2 seasons under Libbey's tutelage...its something to ponder....

The good news is our defensive numbers have increased during conference play to offset the lackluster offensive production/efficiency. These officials clearly punish physicality, especially in the post, and reward dribbling and or perimeter shooting.

Did Dave Libbey steal our offensive mojo(along w/the rest of the WCC)? ;)

CDC84
03-07-2011, 11:04 AM
It's an offensively challenged group at times, but I really feel that the guards being in foul trouble last night, in addition to Dower's off night, played a huge part in the poor offensive performance vs. USF. It's not possible to get into any sort of offensive rhythm when your two point guards have 4 fouls a pop by the 16 minute mark in the 2nd half. This was in addition to Gray's 3 fouls which kept him from taking too many risks on the offensive end. The guys were just trying to survive and not foul out. I mean, Carter had to run the team at times to keep things going.

U Zig, I Zag
03-07-2011, 11:19 AM
Yes. The easy buckets are few and far between for this team. Very few backdoors. Almost no alley-oops. Not many easy lay-ins off of dribble penetration. Everything appears so difficult.

My eye-test for an efficient scoring offense is easy baskets. Like C-Zag says, we barely get anything easy.

For a number of years we would would roll fools like USF with heady play and overpowering athletes. Either they are all catching up or this team just doesn't have it all together. I would say it's a combination of the 2 things.

We rarely even slam the ball. I am not hoping for playground antics and highlight reel acrobatics, but just good old-fashioned in your face dunks and alley oops. This has to the be the least efficient team in that regards in a long time.

That shot clock violation play - it was too little too late but Gray went up high and tried to drop that one back down as a slam. Some of the players have it in them. We just need to bring it.

lothar98zag
03-07-2011, 11:24 AM
Quick check on kenpom for adjusted offensive efficiency:

2003: 21 (out of all D1 teams)
2004: 8
2005: 10
2006: 1 (go ammo!)
2007: 39
2008: 39
2009: 5
2010: 47
2011: 59

So yes. Our national offensive ranking is about 50% lower than our previous low.


By comparison: Adj Defense Off

2003: 86 (out of all D1 teams)
2004: 40
2005: 121
2006: 178
2007: 80
2008: 33
2009: 18
2010: 66
2011: 28

Our second best defensive year ever!?!?!?

Also that 2009 team sure looks good on paper... (Daye, Pargo, Bouldin, Heytvelt, Gray)
Looking at the raw numbers (not rankings) the result is the same - this year's offense is the worst using kenpom's data (followed closely by last year).

2011 Off Eff = 109.8 (only team under 110)
2010 = 110.6

I think someone mentioned that this, but I'll say it again - the adjusted numbers are ultimately based on how all the teams play dring that one season, so the numbers technically can't be compared between year - but besides the 3pt line moving one yr, for general use comparing these #s/rankings works well.

Also - I'm guessing we can all agree that the pre-2003 Few teams were better than this years team if kenpom's #s went back that far.

Having said all that, when clicking, this team can be as eff as most of the past teams. On the flip side the odds of them being ugly on O are a lot higher than other years.

EDIT:
Last night, GU was only slightly worse on Off than avg for the year: 107.9
It was the D that was noticably worse than avg: 101.8
(that'll happen when you let the other teams eFG% get over 50% AND you foul a lot)

CaliforniaZaggin'
03-07-2011, 11:29 AM
My eye-test for an efficient scoring offense is easy baskets. Like C-Zag says, we barely get anything easy.

For a number of years we would would roll fools like USF with heady play and overpowering athletes. Either they are all catching up or this team just doesn't have it all together. I would say it's a combination of the 2 things.

We rarely even slam the ball. I am not hoping for playground antics and highlight reel acrobatics, but just good old-fashioned in your face dunks and alley oops. This has to the be the least efficient team in that regards in a long time.

That shot clock violation play - it was too little too late but Gray went up high and tried to drop that one back down as a slam. Some of the players have it in them. We just need to bring it.

The question becomes this: how do we get more easy baskets? I think lay-ups, dunks, and alley-oops are products of (1) smart players with good passing skills handling the ball, and (2) good finishers. With a healthy Elias, we have good finishers It's first part of that equation that we've been lacking, but I expect that to change with the 2011 recruiting class.

How good could Monninghoff be in the right system? He's a finisher. He's a shooter. But he has no ability to drive to the hoop and create his own shot, so he doesn't fit well with this year's team.

kitzbuel
03-07-2011, 11:34 AM
This offense stagnates for stretches, because this team has no obvious "take over the game in the waning seconds" go-to scorer.

It seems the tighter their sphincters get the stiffer their trigger pull gets.

zag944
03-07-2011, 11:48 AM
I think while season stats show this team to be the worst of the bunch, Id say that at this stage of the season we are better than the 07 group.

This teams has been better (last night nonwithstanding) as Stockton, Dower, and Carter have picked up their games. a few days ago everyone was talking about how we are peaking at the right time...

The 07 squad lost their 2nd best offensive player thanks to the mushroom incident. Our front line consisted of Mallon, Pendo, and Kuso. Raivio was terrific, PMac wasnt an offense guy. Pargo and Boldin were good but inexperienced. Downs could score but never really saw a ton of minutes.

zagfan08
03-07-2011, 12:03 PM
The thing with the 2007 team is we had young talent (by talent I mean future WCC POYs). So while Raivio was the playmaker, Pargo or Bouldin could make one of those "he's going to be good" plays. Downs was a streaky guy off the bench but he kept us in the Memphis game (which is, to this day, the 2nd most proud I've been of any Zag team in any game, a very close 2nd to the Arizona game in 2003). What I'm trying to say is we had 2 future POYs who could make a play. On our current roster, I'm not sure we have the future POYs who are able to bail us out. So while this team isn't a whole lot worse statistically than the 2007 squad was at this time, the lack of guys who can take over a game doesn't give us many scoring chances down the stretch.

gamagin
03-07-2011, 12:07 PM
It's an offensively challenged group at times, but I really feel that the guards being in foul trouble last night, in addition to Dower's off night, played a huge part in the poor offensive performance vs. USF. It's not possible to get into any sort of offensive rhythm when your two point guards have 4 fouls a pop by the 16 minute mark in the 2nd half. This was in addition to Gray's 3 fouls which kept him from taking too many risks on the offensive end. The guys were just trying to survive and not foul out. I mean, Carter had to run the team at times to keep things going.

languished underneath, imo. RS has been struggling for some time now and it shows at both ends and everywhere except at the f.t. line -- and even there he gets there less than when he was on a roll. SD stepped in several times. EH used to be THE man and may be regaining some of that. KO & others, too, have the potential to board and put back, too, if they JUST get into effing position (not too much to ask). But it's pretty much disappeared as our opponents camp underneath and don't get a fight out of us as a result. they get boards.

everything elses does play in to our problems. like fouls and little to no shooting etc etc etc., but without a battle and a win underneath, we have no solid backup plan and it shows, i believe.

FuManShoes
03-07-2011, 12:08 PM
The thing with the 2007 team is we had young talent (by talent I mean future WCC POYs). So while Raivio was the playmaker, Pargo or Bouldin could make one of those "he's going to be good" plays. Downs was a streaky guy off the bench but he kept us in the Memphis game (which is, to this day, the 2nd most proud I've been of any Zag team in any game, a very close 2nd to the Arizona game in 2003). What I'm trying to say is we had 2 future POYs who could make a play. On our current roster, I'm not sure we have the future POYs who are able to bail us out. So while this team isn't a whole lot worse statistically than the 2007 squad was at this time, the lack of guys who can take over a game doesn't give us many scoring chances down the stretch.

Sam can bail us out and already has. I have no idea what happened to him last night but have every reason to believe he can be that x-factor we need.

zag944
03-07-2011, 12:23 PM
Sam and Stockton are both very quality freshmen. Harris and Kelly are only sophmores. MM and MK are projects but ones that could yield positive results. I woudnt be suprised if there's a POY or 2 or 3 in our near future, especially with what we have coming in.

I think the young talent is better now overall than it was then...if not at least comparable.

zagfan08
03-07-2011, 12:37 PM
Yeah Dower has that ability. It's too bad he and Sacre are hardly on the floor at the same time, really limits Dower's end game ability. I guess I was referring to guards, since they're often the ones with the ball in their hands with the shot clock running down. But I would have a lot of confidence in Dower making a play when we need it, just can't have him disappearing for stretches. Hopefully he shows up tonight.

Dirt McGirt
03-07-2011, 12:53 PM
Dower will have a much better game tonight, because he'll have our 3 bigs guarding him instead of Blackwell. The big 3 from SMC are clown shoes.

PeninsulaDog
03-07-2011, 02:30 PM
This offense stagnates for stretches, because this team has no obvious "take over the game in the waning seconds" go-to scorer. Every other Zag team that I can remember going all the way back to the Geoff Goss era had one or more players who could get the ball any where on the floor and make something good happen when the offense was otherwise breaking down.

Steven Gray was that player in the early weeks of the season but he hasn't done much of that over the past couple of months. Dower, Sacre and Harris can only score in certain places and only if they get the ball in the right spot. Stockton is too short and too slow to create for himself against a taller defender who holds position. Stockton is good at finding a seem and slipping past defenders who get caught out of position, but he doesn't quite have the athleticism to force things when the defense is playing well. Carter has been our best option, of late, but even he is not the lights-out shooter or superior athlete with the ability to take over a game for several minutes at a time.

That last seven minutes of last night's game saw ZERO points from the floor. San Francisco was defending the inside very well during that stretch, but nobody seemed to be able to hit an outside shot or a mid-range floater to draw the defenders away from the bigs. Can you imagine a team with Stepp, Raivio, Santangelo, Ammo, Dickau, or even Bouldin going for such a long stretch in a critical game without the star just stepping up and finding a way to create some offense? We don't have a player like that on our roster. We have a lot of good players, but they all have limitations. All of them can be defended if the opposing team has the right type of athletes to do it.

The other problem with this team offensively is that a some of the better defenders (Meech, Keita, and Hart come to mind) don't generate much offense. Coach Few has to decide whether he wants to sacrifice some O to get some D and vice versa. We go for long stretches with only two or three scorers on the floor and that allows defenses to really bottle up the better offensive players.

This team is not built to win shootouts. It is built to win grinding, plodding, ugly defensive games - the kinds of games that are won on the glass and at the foul line. They aren't pretty - but they're winning. I'll take it.

Sadly, I can remember a team with Raivio, Morrison,and Batista that had the most conspicuously epic meltdown among all epic offensive meltdowns. (The wall I have carefully constructed to try to keep at bay the specter of the 2006 UCLA-GU game in Oakland always crumbles.) With 5:13 remaining in the second half of that game, David Pendergraft scored on a layup. That was the last field goal for the Zags in that game. The rest is infamous history that I'd prefer to speak no more of.

It happens -- even to offensively gifted teams like the 2005-06 edition of the Zags. It's just happened a lot to the Zags this year. Late in the second half last night, the same inexplicable tentativeness returned where no one seemed to want to take the shot. Zags need to shake that off, and play without fear.

Baldwinzag
03-07-2011, 02:45 PM
RS has been struggling for some time now and it shows at both ends and everywhere except at the f.t. line -- and even there he gets there less than when he was on a roll.

Interestingly enough, Sacre said himself that he is dealing with a right wrist and slight shoulder sprain that will ultimately require attention in the off-season. I hear only the wrist will need medical intervention of some sort--torn cartilage perhaps?. He refuses to wrap his wrist during games, yet is seen with ice-packs and wraps following every practice & game. Appartently, he's been unable to fully participate in lifting sessions the last few weeks as well...of course he makes jest of his injuries and whether they're impacting his game. No time for healing, so I admire him for playing through the pain.

A recent photo says as much:
http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/179308_10150133802836096_504316095_7929212_1715704 _n.jpg

Martin Centre Mad Man
03-07-2011, 03:08 PM
Sadly, I can remember a team with Raivio, Morrison,and Batista that had the most conspicuously epic meltdown among all epic offensive meltdowns. (The wall I have carefully constructed to try to keep at bay the specter of the 2006 UCLA-GU game in Oakland always crumbles.) With 5:13 remaining in the second half of that game, David Pendergraft scored on a layup. That was the last field goal for the Zags in that game. The rest is infamous history that I'd prefer to speak no more of.

It happens -- even to offensively gifted teams like the 2005-06 edition of the Zags. It's just happened a lot to the Zags this year. Late in the second half last night, the same inexplicable tentativeness returned where no one seemed to want to take the shot. Zags need to shake that off, and play without fear.

I think we've all tried to block out that memory. It gives me PTSD whenever I see highlights of that game.

Dirt McGirt
03-07-2011, 03:10 PM
At first I thought those were soap suds on Sacre. Like he just jumped out of the shower to take a picture. Also is he wearing pants?

Reborn
03-07-2011, 03:34 PM
It doesn't surprise me that the '11 Zags have the lowest offensive numbers of all the teams in the last 12 years. In thses years their has not been a Zag team that has been this injured nor a team with this many first year players who play very significant minutes. And my guess is that the numbers in the last month have been much better.

In my opinion the '11 Zags have been blessed because although Elias was hurt pretty bad, he has healed pretty well. The same is said for Steven, I think. He may still be quite injured. We may never know, but at least he is still playing. Look how many games Elias played where his offensive #'s were extrememly low because of his injury and the effect it had on him. And Steven's #'s in the first couple of games after his return were pretty low if I remember.

One thing statistics don't show, accept for victories, is how big a team's heart is. The 2011 Zags have more heart and desire then some of those teams who may have better offensive numbers. Take Mike Hart for instance. His offensive nimbers are quite low I am sure, and yet he may have had the most significant play in the game last night.

gopackgozags
03-07-2011, 05:50 PM
In regards to the offensive potential of our current roster, the announcers just noted that shooting layins was not one of Hart's 'strengths'. i think that says enough.