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DixieZag
10-24-2011, 09:17 AM
Its one of the things that coach pointed out in the interviews on Saturday and has been talked about since the summer camps. I am as excited about the potential of our guards and bigs as anyone, this may well become the best recruiting class ever. But, none of that is going to get us into the second or third weeks of the tournament - and Few said it, we have had more talent, been more physical - those teams were good, almost great.

THIS team, according to our coach and the players, has that something "special" called chemistry. It seems to have arisen from a combination of recruiting high character, high talent, "winners" like Pangos/Bell who both talked about how excited they were to get here, both feeling at "home" already, combined with a character named "Rob" - as good a kid as we have ever had, but seems to be growing into as good a man as we could hope for, a man who wants to win more than ever before. Rob's attitude set the tone for the summer, Elias is in the best shape of his life, Dower almost has to be on the floor - Carter, more of the same but better.

I think our high expectations - which we always have, are justified this year, but not simply b/c of the talent amassed, no - I am excited b/c at this early stage, they sound like a "team" and I am very intrigued about what this "team" can do. The Zag chemistry, that effermeral quality that we all know when we see it, sure seems to be in the air.

bartruff1
10-24-2011, 09:53 AM
I remember Seattle U and UCLA in their runs. They knew they were going to kick your butt and you knew they were going to kick your butt most importantly, they knew you knew they were going to kick your butt. They didn't talk trash, it was their body language. We have had teams and players like that in the past. Ammo was not scared .... Bouldin was not scared..ect...in the biggest games on the biggest stages they played with confidence. I think with a young team, that is even more important. If they see that in the veterans, they will likely relax and play loose and with confidence. I don't think Bobby is scared ....and he has the personality to match. I loved his dance at Kraziness ....

JPtheBeasta
10-24-2011, 12:15 PM
Chemistry is a must have if we are to beat the blue-chippers and make that proverbial next leap. It doesn't hurt to have some really talented players, either. It's nice that, by all accounts, we have both. We have had so much attrition and have been graduating only one or two players every year. I hope this group can stick together and continue to build this thing up.

It's gotta be nice for Coach that these newbies jumped right in a picked things up so quickly. Dower mention in those Krem2 vids that the team is moving along much quicker in practice than last year, which is very exciting news. Hopefully, this will translate into following the game plan on defense and executing better on the offensive side. Maybe this year we will see the return of the automatic buckets out of timeouts and better execution at the end of the half/game. I can't wait.

Malastein
10-24-2011, 12:31 PM
Which Gonzaga teams really had more talent? I'm curious as to how much that actually holds true, and how much of it is coach talk. Got to keep em motivated.

Zag Man
10-24-2011, 01:08 PM
[QUOTE=bartruff1;689934]They didn't talk trash, it was their body language. We have had teams and players like that in the past. Ammo was not scared .... Bouldin was not scared..ect...in the biggest games on the biggest stages they played with confidence. QUOTE]

IMO one of the great players in Gonzaga basketball lore when the lights came on and the cameras were rolling was Jeremy Pargo. He always seemed to play at his best when the “big” games were being played. People got out of way when Jeremy made a move toward the basket to do his “tomahawk” jam!!

I also agree that Adam Morrison was cut out of the same cloth. Adam was just an amazing scorer from all over the court.

jimmy b
10-24-2011, 01:17 PM
Which Gonzaga teams really had more talent? I'm curious as to how much that actually holds true, and how much of it is coach talk. Got to keep em motivated.

coach talk..exactly. Maybe its a reference to Pargo/heytvelt/downs era and the athleticism, but I would think this squad is at or near top in talent historically.

If its not, what was last year? The way I see it, we have potentially improved at all spots (realize not easy to replace Gray's contributions), but it looks like we will not be playing 4 on 5 on offense, and have legitimate outside threats at the guard spots, something you can argue we haven't had since pre-Winston. This changes dynamics greatly especially when those guards can not only shoot, but pass and feed the post.

Of course its all speculation at this point, but I tend to think that if KP, GBJ, Edi, are as good as some here think, watchout.

Because I cannot fathom the returnees not improving. Sacre will not have a
Zach Gourde senior season, Stockton will be better, Carter will play as he did at end of the year (or better), Dower...and...

We just need to stay healthy.

maynard g krebs
10-24-2011, 01:18 PM
how much of it is coach talk. Got to keep em motivated.

Agree. And tempering fan/media hype. While we'll maybe never see a frontcourt pair like JP/Adam again, the guards now have the talent to equalize things. Just an issue of youth.

TheZagPhish
10-24-2011, 01:24 PM
Nice post, Dixie.

We'll need that chemistry when the season brings the tough stretches, when setbacks shuffle the variables and the team has to adapt.

May there be no major injuries.

Go Zags!

bartruff1
10-24-2011, 01:33 PM
Which Gonzaga teams really had more talent? I'm curious as to how much that actually holds true, and how much of it is coach talk. Got to keep em motivated. Talent yes, chemistry maybe not so much.. Daye, Pargo, Bouldin, Josh, Downs, Gray, Meech...possibly, some others....But....we shall see...in any case, I just had to take the bait...

CB4
10-24-2011, 01:49 PM
Chemistry is not correlated with a team's on court success. In no way shape or form is everyone being friends necessary or a contributing factor to winning at this level. Just saying.

Malastein
10-24-2011, 01:52 PM
Talent yes, chemistry maybe not so much.. Daye, Pargo, Bouldin, Josh, Downs, Gray, Meech...possibly, some others....But....we shall see...in any case, I just had to take the bait...

Seems like you just listed a lot of small forwards on that list. Perhaps there is more talent there, but I'd rather have it spread out. And I'd especially want to have talented post players, which none of the players listed really are.

bartruff1
10-24-2011, 02:01 PM
Seems like you just listed a lot of small forwards on that list. Perhaps there is more talent there, but I'd rather have it spread out. And I'd especially want to have talented post players, which none of the players listed really are. Now don't you feel better. You just can't quit chewing on that bone can you ? (retorical question). I have a opinion about the most talented team to this point, and the only person that will convince me otherwise will probably never ever write a book. But, I have a open mind, I am willing to wait a few games, a few years.

BobZag
10-24-2011, 02:30 PM
Good to hear.

http://caspercollegethunderbirdbasketball.blogspot.com/2011/05/darrious-curry.html

Malastein
10-24-2011, 02:38 PM
Now don't you feel better. You just can't quit chewing on that bone can you ? (retorical question). I have a opinion about the most talented team to this point, and the only person that will convince me otherwise will probably never ever write a book. But, I have a open mind, I am willing to wait a few games, a few years.

The marrow is the tastiest. I don't dispute the talent though. Still, wouldn't you think the better response would include the roster with Adam Morrison, JP Batista, and Ronny Turiaf?

Or Stepp, Turiaf, Knight, Violette, Morrison?

Or Dickau, Stepp, Calvary?

Gonzaga has had a lot of talent over the years, but this might be the deepest team with talent across the board.

tobizag
10-24-2011, 02:55 PM
Chemistry is not correlated with a team's on court success. In no way shape or form is everyone being friends necessary or a contributing factor to winning at this level. Just saying.

maybe that's true if all we're talking is off court chemistry. but if that off court chemistry and trust is carried over onto the court, then it absolutely can help. the more you can trust your teammates, and anticipate their thoughts/movements/actions on the court, the better.

DADoZAG
10-24-2011, 03:00 PM
Good to hear.

http://caspercollegethunderbirdbasketball.blogspot.com/2011/05/darrious-curry.html

I've heard there's better living through Chemistry, too!

http://www.dailymail.com/Sports/WVUSports/201009100043

Go ZAGS!

bartruff1
10-24-2011, 03:10 PM
The marrow is the tastiest. I don't dispute the talent though. Still, wouldn't you think the better response would include the roster with Adam Morrison, JP Batista, and Ronny Turiaf?

Or Stepp, Turiaf, Knight, Violette, Morrison?

Or Dickau, Stepp, Calvary?

Gonzaga has had a lot of talent over the years, but this might be the deepest team with talent across the board. You make a good point about the other teams (and Morrison, Raivio, JP ..etc deserve consideration), but I will stick with Pargo et al...I sure hope you are right about this group. They are easily the best looking, most clean cut, but I am sure that will change by the time they are upper classmen.

gamagin
10-24-2011, 03:50 PM
Few said the team has worked hard through the first two weeks of practice.

"They have been going hard," Few said of the squad. "This is really a good group for that. They show up and do their work. They are high-character guys and it means a lot to them. I wouldn't say it's one of my overly-talented teams. We've certainly had teams with a lot more talent than these guys, but the chemistry is probably as good as any team I've had here. The ability to listen and pick up on things quickly is right up there, especially with how many new guys we have."

http://www.swxrightnow.com/story/15787322/bulldogs-delight-kraziness-in-the-kennel-crowd-of-6000

CB4
10-24-2011, 06:38 PM
maybe that's true if all we're talking is off court chemistry. but if that off court chemistry and trust is carried over onto the court, then it absolutely can help. the more you can trust your teammates, and anticipate their thoughts/movements/actions on the court, the better.

I agree 100%. My point was that a team doesn't have to like each other to be successful. So long as they have the same commitment to excellence and an internal desire to succeed, with a task-oriented or business minded mentality. If every player shares these common traits, which we can call "chemistry," then each individual player possessing these traits, and more importantly, the team, will be successful.*

*If the players are talented and/or maximize the talent they possess.

DixieZag
10-24-2011, 06:47 PM
Few said the team has worked hard through the first two weeks of practice.

"They have been going hard," Few said of the squad. "This is really a good group for that. They show up and do their work. They are high-character guys and it means a lot to them. I wouldn't say it's one of my overly-talented teams. We've certainly had teams with a lot more talent than these guys, but the chemistry is probably as good as any team I've had here. The ability to listen and pick up on things quickly is right up there, especially with how many new guys we have."

http://www.swxrightnow.com/story/15787322/bulldogs-delight-kraziness-in-the-kennel-crowd-of-6000

Thanks gamagin, I did not have the direct quote in front of me, but it struck me that it was the Chemistry that coach pointed to after the scrimmage. I agree with many who posted that there is probably some "coach speak" there, I mean, the last thing the freshmen need to hear is that they are the "most talented" anything before they play a game - but he did praise them in a way that begets more effort/chemistry.

To say that their chemistry is as good as any - especially looking at some of the Santangelo - Dickau - Stepp - Turiaf teams is really saying something special.

04ZagFan
10-24-2011, 07:07 PM
Maybe it's just a sign of the times, but it seems this group is really tight. I follow all of the Zags who are on twitter, and it seems they are all hanging out and truly enjoying each other. Off the court chemistry is important, and I think we're going to be OK there.

tobizag
10-25-2011, 06:27 AM
I agree 100%. My point was that a team doesn't have to like each other to be successful. So long as they have the same commitment to excellence and an internal desire to succeed, with a task-oriented or business minded mentality. If every player shares these common traits, which we can call "chemistry," then each individual player possessing these traits, and more importantly, the team, will be successful.*

*If the players are talented and/or maximize the talent they possess.

thanks for clarifying. this is what i thought you were saying. i don't think everyone needs to be best friends off the court. i only think off the court relationships truly change on-court performance if guys really don't like each other.

gu03alum
10-25-2011, 06:40 AM
I agree with CB4, off the court chemistry has little or no effect on the outcome of a basketball game.

JPtheBeasta
10-25-2011, 11:23 AM
When I read the original postings, I assumed we were talking about ON-the-court chemistry, which is what I think we will need to overcome the athleticism of the top teams out there. The problem is keeping a group together long enough to get that. If these guys intrinsically have it, the next few years will be great, as I would expect it to get even better. It's great to watch teams play when it is obvious that they know where/when teammates like the ball and where they are going to be on the court in a given situation (offense and defense).

I agree that off-the-court doesn't necessarily matter, but it helps.

cggonzaga
10-25-2011, 12:06 PM
I just don't get where Few is coming from sometimes. I don't get why he always feels the need to put his teams down in public. It's one thing to do it behind the scenes but why say something like that publicly? It's like he is trying to cover his butt in case the team doesn't succeed. I don't know how much other coaches do this and maybe I don't see it because I follow GU the closest but I just don't see the point in it. I know people say for motivational reasons but again why not just do that behind the scenes?

Reborn
10-25-2011, 12:07 PM
As far as talent goes this team probably is not as talented this year as some of the teams that have been mentioned. At least at the beginning of the year. I do not believe that Harris and Sacre will be equal to Adam and JP in talent, although they are all talented. This holds true for a few other teams.

I also believe that overall the '99 and 2000 team was NOT as talented as some of the other teams, and what they lacked in talent they made up in team chemistry. There has not been a team since the '99-2000 team that has had the chemistry that they have had. There is alot more to team chemistry then getting along off court and hanging out together. To me it has to do with how they play together while on the court. I think liking each other has a lot to do with it, but more than anything I think its about unselfish play, working hard in practice everyday, and knowing your roles. Every play must be fluid.

Ball handling and passing, believe it or not, has alot to do with chemistry. And I think with the addition of Pangos and Edi this year's team will have less turnovers, and therefore better chemistry....

Oregonzagnut
10-25-2011, 01:20 PM
I agree with CB4, off the court chemistry has little or no effect on the outcome of a basketball game.

I disagree. Given the exact same guys who also are friends OFF the court, that team will be even more successful because they will get to know each others habits and personalities during that time off the court. Ask any coach, they hope the guys get along off the court. It does not mean they will not be successful, but it definitely is proven to be better than not. It helps chemistry and overall understanding of each other during the game AND practice. If practices are more enjoyable because you are with friends, there will be better practices. If practices are better, than the games will be better. And that makes a TEAM better. This is college, not the pros where the game is all business. It is proven that anytime you work it is better to like the job you are doing, AND it is even better to like the people you are doing it with. It doesn't mean you will do a bad job, but it does mean far more often than not, that the job will be done better.

The more time a team has with one another if they like each other, the better that team becomes. In work or sport. IMHO.

So while you can be successful and not be friends off the court, if you actually do not like each other, it most likely will hurt chemistry. On the other spectrum if you like each other it will help chemistry. USUALLY.

IMO, it is odd for anyone to think that the college game is just business as usual and that friends don't work better together. Does anyone like to work with people they don't get along with?

In a perfect world, being friends should not affect the job you do. But college basketball is not a job, it is a game and it is for fun.

MickMick
10-25-2011, 04:37 PM
Look at Few's quote to understand the context of "chemistry"

To talk about how the players interact on their personal time deviates from his intended meaning.

maynard g krebs
10-25-2011, 04:41 PM
it has to do with how they play together while on the court. I think liking each other has a lot to do with it, but more than anything I think its about unselfish play, working hard in practice everyday, and knowing your roles. Every play must be fluid.

Ball handling and passing, believe it or not, has alot to do with chemistry.

This.

maynard g krebs
10-25-2011, 04:42 PM
Look at Few's quote to understand the context of "chemistry"

To talk about how the players interact on their personal time deviates from his intended meaning.

And this.

DixieZag
10-26-2011, 08:03 AM
Look at Few's quote to understand the context of "chemistry"

To talk about how the players interact on their personal time deviates from his intended meaning.

Thank you MickMick, if you look at my original post, I referred to Rob being a leader (and I certainly didn't mean leading to parties/playing poker in dorms, then specifically mentioned Ellias being in the best shape of his life, Sam looking so good over the summer - - Basketball issues. I also mentioned the high character of the incoming freshman and I didn't mean how personally friendly they are in class (though I am inclined to believe they are that also) but the work ethic and dedication to the game.

I didn't go in to friendships and whether that matters that much, b/c that is not what Coach discussed. I felt it was very relevant that he discussed chemistry and it relating to good practices and quick learning. For him to say that this team has chemistry as good as ANY team he has coached is a very good sign.