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DixieZag
12-05-2011, 09:32 AM
This GU team has a unique problem. Usually we are bemoaning the fact that we can't guard anyone, especially the three and though we still have trouble guarding the three, our defense has been surprisingly good. It seems to me that it is our OFFENSE that is in trouble of holding us back in that we are having real trouble scoring when we need to - here are some of my instant steps that can be taken to help us where we are struggling offensively.

1. Start GBJ and play him 30+ Minutes - Subject to him being healthy, this is the most obvious step, Carter has not shot well and not been much of a threat offensively. Given that Bell is our best defender also, this seems to be the most obvious step that needs to be taken. Encourage him to assert himself within the offense.

2. Make Rob look to Pass out. - Someone noted during the game thread that Rob shoots 99% of the time he gets the ball down low, if he doesn't have good position, he needs to start looking to fake off his dribble and swing to a shooter spoting up or someone driving the lane.

3. Run more plays to open our shooters. - Our offense is centered almost solely upon getting the ball inside, that was necessary last year b/c we didn't have the shooters to take advantage of the three. When we are struggling, we need to run more sets specifically to get a good open three, it will loosen up the middle also.

4. MAKE FTs!!! We are going the wrong direction FT%, may want to get the guys to take a little extra time (Elias!) at the line, get comfy and make a good stroke.

5. YOUR IDEAS HERE _________________________________

gamagin
12-05-2011, 09:47 AM
island.

teamwork.

Open man SHOOT. Shooters follow your shots.

Bigs, guard the ball & know exactly where the basket & the ball are in relation to you & your position at both ends. Own your spot. Every time.

Play basketball vs. orchestrate predictable moves. Close the lanes on defense and drive them on offense. If you are open shoot, if not, dish.

Vets take charge and lead. Reward the open man with the ball and tell him to keep shooting because if he misses, you will be there for the rebound & put back. Then be there.

Everyone. Just Do it.

coolhandzag
12-05-2011, 09:56 AM
A Sacre drop step (yin) to the jump/push (yang).

zagfan07
12-05-2011, 10:00 AM
I don't think we're in bad shape this year. The team seems to have bought in to playing tough D. Something that hasn't been the case in years' past. Remember, we're only 6 games into the season.

I'm sure the guys haven't been given the entire book of offensive sets yet. It takes some time to get the new kids up to speed on the dozens of different looks Few likes to run on the offensive end.

If they keep up the defensive pressure, we're going to win alot of games. The offensive flow will come; just give it some time. The young guards are only going to get better.

CDC84
12-05-2011, 10:04 AM
I couldn't agree more about the need to get GU's three point shooters more open looks. There are three guys on this team who are capable of hitting those shots at a 40% clip, but they need looks throughout the entire game. Not just when the opposition double teams the post. They need to be in the flow of the offense so that if the double teams come, they are warmed up and ready to fire.

Baldwinzag
12-05-2011, 10:05 AM
Good post, DZ.

Like all your points, especially 1, 2, & 4. #3 is usually easier said than done.

The Coaches keep talking about Pangos role to 'shoot the 3' for us. Yes, he a great shooter(esp at home). His misses are always on target, yet I'd like to see him open his game a bit more. The last 3 games, he's been somewhat off from the perimeter, yet money inside the arc. He's shown us he has a bone fide guard game, imo. I feel its being asked of by others, see Marquise Carter's attempts, yet Kevin has a nice feel for the basket no matter where he's at on the floor and would like to see him given the "green light" a little more by mixing it up. I feel he searches for the open 3pt look a bit too much. Its been scouted. Against WMU, Notre Dame, & now Illinois he's made lay-ups, kisses off the glass, and a couple floaters; however, its been when the offense has broken down, off transition, and clearly not the play called. His # wasn't called to make the "baller" play, yet it worked. He was 4/5 INSIDE the arc vs ND. Overall, would like to see him "Jimmer it up" a little more and score from all over the court. He's shown he has one of the better 'touches' on the team. I also feel the Coaches need to allow this to happen - open things up a bit.

Same applies to Gary Bell when he's in the game. We've run plays to get him an open 3pt, yet no many rolls screens to give him freedom in the paint. Ever notice how many put-backs Gary Bell has finished? He has knack for scoring over, or through, bigger players. I realize he's only 6'1", but the kid can flat out score. He's done it every game. Just like in HS, he finds a way to make the toughest of shots, even ESPN noted this in his scouting report. Let him 'go at' the defense more or allow him to receive the ball inside the lane somewhere. He can "Pargo" that ball in the hoop. Guarantee it. Lastly, how many times have we literally lost sight of GBJ amongst defenders on an offensive board or driving the hoop to see the ball fly outta nowhere and IN.

If we're already taking the risk by playing true frosh so much together, then let them do what they are capable of doing. Yes, we get they are both great shooters, but they didn't score nearly 30ppg in HS on 3's. They can mix it up and each have a higher % scoring around the hoop than away from it.

I'm digging the 39% from 3pt as a team too, yet it will help the bigs and their games in the long run as well...

bostonzagfan
12-05-2011, 10:19 AM
2. Make Rob look to Pass out. - Someone noted during the game thread that Rob shoots 99% of the time he gets the ball down low, if he doesn't have good position, he needs to start looking to fake off his dribble and swing to a shooter spoting up or someone driving the lane.


Woo that was me! Someone actually reads what I post? I'm shocked!

In all seriousness, I agree with your points. Bell will only get better offensively with more minutes, as he will get more comfortable. Sacre needs to stop determining what he will do before the pass comes. and HIT YOUR FT's GU

DixieZag
12-05-2011, 10:26 AM
Woo that was me! Someone actually reads what I post? I'm shocked!

In all seriousness, I agree with your points. Bell will only get better offensively with more minutes, as he will get more comfortable. Sacre needs to stop determining what he will do before the pass comes. and HIT YOUR FT's GU

I thought it was an excellant point and given how BIG a pattern it has been, imagine just how surprised the defense will be the first few times a ball is passed down low to him and someone runs off a screen for the pass from Rob for an open lay-up.

It will also help Rob score, b/c once he makes a couple of good passes out, he can fake the pass and then go in.

DixieZag
12-05-2011, 10:35 AM
Good post, DZ.

Like all your points, especially 1, 2, & 4. #3 is usually easier said than done.

I'd like to add a quick thought:

The Coaches keep talking about Pangos role to 'shoot the 3' for us. Yes, he a great shooter(esp at home). His misses are always on target, yet I'd like to see him open his game a bit more. The last 3 games, he's been somewhat off from the perimeter, yet money inside the arc. He's shown us he has a bone fide guard game, imo. I feel its being asked of by others, see Marquise Carter's attempts, yet Kevin has a nice feel for the basket no matter where he's at on the floor and would like to see him given the "green light" a little more by mixing it up. I feel he searches for the open 3pt look a bit too much. Its been scouted. Against WMU, Notre Dame, & now Illinois he's made lay-ups, kisses off the glass, and a couple floaters; however, its been when the offense has broken down, off transition, and clearly not the play called. His # wasn't called to make the "baller" play, yet it worked. He was 4/5 INSIDE the arc vs ND. Overall, would like to see him "Jimmer it up" a little more and score from all over the court. He's shown he has one of the better 'touches' on the team. I also feel the Coaches need to allow this to happen - open things up a bit.

Same applies to Gary Bell when he's in the game. We've run plays to get him an open 3pt, yet no many rolls screens to give him freedom in the paint. Ever notice how many put-backs Gary Bell has finished? He has knack for scoring over, or through, bigger players. I realize he's only 6'1", but the kid can flat out score. He's done it every game. Just like in HS, he finds a way to make the toughest of shots, even ESPN noted this in his scouting report. Let him 'go at' the defense more or allow him to receive the ball inside the lane somewhere. He can "Pargo" that ball in the hoop. Guarantee it. Lastly, how many times have we literally lost sight of GBJ amongst defenders on an offensive board or driving the hoop to see the ball fly outta nowhere and IN.

If we're already taking the risk by playing true frosh so much together, then let them do what they are capable of doing. Yes, we get they are both great shooters, but they didn't score nearly 30ppg in HS on 3's. They can mix it up and each have a higher % scoring around the hoop than away from it.

I'm digging the 39% from 3pt as a team too, yet it will help the bigs and their games in the long run as well...

I am with you. I actually get more comfortable when there is less than 10 on the shot clock and Rob/Pangos go to the high post b/c it means that the offense is all on Kevin's shoulders and he will drive and pull-up, whatever. That bank shot that he hit in the first half is just a tip of the iceberg of what he is capable of, he needs to come off a screen up high, shoot if wide open, drive if a guy is right on him and then either dish to cutters, find a spot up, pull up off the dribble for the mid-range or go to the hole and either shoot or dish to Rob. That is 5 different offensive looks right there, Bell can do the same thing. I think you are right in that our gifted Frosh need to score all over the floor, especially open mid-range, they will hit those far more often than even Rob/Sam/Harris.

ZagMan in Philly
12-05-2011, 10:51 AM
Would like to see Harris gets more chances to drive by defenders for dunks and layups, his quickness is back. That reverse under the basket layup against illinois was sweet for a 6 foot 8 guy. He should be the go to guy when Sacre is out of the game.

TacomaZAG
12-05-2011, 11:04 AM
I agree with all the above points, but would like to add one. For these first six games our most productive offensive lineup has been Rob, Elias, Gary, Kevin, and David. The problem with that lineup is that is doesn't contain a SF. The three guards are all too small to be effective against a typical SF, who is typically a rangy 6'-5" or taller athlete against our guards at 6'-1" tops. Gary is the default SF in that lineup but is so undersized at the SF position that it takes away a lot of his effectiveness and ability to create his own shot or slash to the rim.

Hopefully, Landry will emerge as the SF, or MC will find his shooting touch, or both (hopefully). Hart isn't looked on as a scorer so I don't think he is the solution on the offensive end. If Gary is the one who is forced to carry the SF load on offense, we are going to be searching for points against the better teams on the schedule, as Gary will be stymied and Kevin/David will have trouble getting looks.

Ideally (IMO), Kevin and David share the PG (1) spot, Gary is the SG (2) with relief from MC, Landry/Hart/MC platoon the SF (3) spot, and the paint is covered by Rob/Elias/Sam/Ryan.

Disclaimer: I am not now, nor have I ever been a D1 basketball coach. I don't know any of the staff nor have I met any of the players. I have never met Mike Roth. None of the above individuals have my phone number. So, maybe I am not "qualified" to offer an opinion, but so be it............

Go ZAGS

CDC84
12-05-2011, 11:45 AM
Marquise Carter shot nearly 48% from the floor last season and could be counted on to make clutch shots. It's hurting the team for him to be playing like he is right now. He's never going to be a 20 PPG scorer, but Gonzaga needs more from him.

DixieZag
12-05-2011, 12:56 PM
Carter better find it real quick. I understand loyalty, I don't understand continuing to give Carter minutes when they come at the expense of Gary Bell. Bell is earning them, Bell is scoring when plays break down b/c of great BB IQ and athleticism. I know as well as anyone that Carter was the biggest reason we were able to finish strong last year, but we do not have to LET Carter play through his slump, we have others, I get upset when Carter is taking Bell's minutes.

Landry-Edi may well cure a lot of problems. His past suggests that he is comfortable driving to the basket so he will add some offense that Hart cannot, Few seems to be drooling to get Landry into the games.

But, I like the idea of squeezing more out of our known quantities, getting Pangos, Bell and such involved more, both outside the arc and mid-range.

bostonzagfan
12-05-2011, 01:01 PM
landry will add some toughness and "man-ly-ness" to this team. going to be fun to watch him drive the lane i think.

should help things open up offensively when all three perimeter players can drive and shoot

229SintoZag
12-05-2011, 01:56 PM
We need three things we used to see from Zags offenses, but we are not seeing much of anymore:

1). Backdoor cuts and plays that develop the same. We have good personnel for this now. I can see many assists for Stockton with such an approach, and a lot for Pangos as well. We also have some guys who can do what Blake Stepp and Casey Calvary and Turiaf used to do in terms of setting up backdoor alleyoop dunks when the defense isn't paying attention. We need more of this to keep overzealous defenses honest.

2) On a related note, we need more of a high-low game. We have good personnel for this as well. We've seen some of it, but not enough.

3) Flex or flexish offense, where we set meaningful screens to spring shooters for open shots from 3 and even just routine jumpers from inside the arc. I am not advocating a return full scale the flex as we knew it a decade ago, but I do think that we could use some features of it and integrate them into whatever we call this offense and it would do wonders. The fact is we have a guy who can get to the rack now in Bell and we can put two or more deep threats on the floor at once. We have not enjoyed these features in our offense for a couple of years and I feel like we've forgotten how best to use these tools. Having seen what Pangos is capable of if he gets even a hint of space to shoot, I think it is imperative to develop the ability to get him open looks.

FlyZag
12-05-2011, 02:52 PM
...our defense has been surprisingly good.


Um... am I missing something?

Here are the Defensive numbers this year:

______FG% 3PT%
EWU - 37.7, 44.8
WSU - 47.5, 45.0
HI - 37.7, 50.0
WMU - 41.7, 33.3
ND - 38.5, 14.0
Ill - 53.0, 31.0

I have NOT felt that our defense has been "surprisingly" good. Take away the horribly bad shooting night for ND and wow those numbers are bad!

For as much as I love EH, I can't stand when he won't put up his hands to guard a perimeter shot. swish!


Offensive FG% = 44.6%
Deffensive FG% = 43.0%

Offensive 3pt% = 39.2%
Deffensive 3pt% = 38.0% [skewed due to ND 14% gem]

Off. Effective FG% = 50.6%
Def. Effective FG% = 49.1%

FlyZag
12-05-2011, 02:55 PM
KenPom says we have the 20th best offense and the 47th best defense.

U Zig, I Zag
12-05-2011, 03:19 PM
Woo that was me! Someone actually reads what I post? I'm shocked!

In all seriousness, I agree with your points. Bell will only get better offensively with more minutes, as he will get more comfortable. Sacre needs to stop determining what he will do before the pass comes. and HIT YOUR FT's GU

Honestly, Rob works so hard on the block and then about half the time they don't get it to him or we make a bad pass while trying - he probably is just glad to have the ball.

For the next level (and some of our sanity this year) it would be really nice if Rob could learn to be a pivot point for passes through the paint. All good big men pass. Period.

What's I find rather frustrating (though it does seem to lead to a lot of defensing fouling) is that Rob really only does the one pre-catch move. The old-school back down. It's good when it's working, and he has been known to seal off before the ball even crosses half court and to then get some easy points, but he uses so much energy (he was gassed after halftime at Ill.) just to 'get open' and we suck at that pass anyway. He is very mobile (without the ball) for a big guy, why is there never screens down low timed with passing from strong to weak side for a timed drop in pass (and a quick catch and shoot since he is getting better at getting it off)??

DixieZag
12-05-2011, 03:49 PM
Honestly, Rob works so hard on the block and then about half the time they don't get it to him or we make a bad pass while trying - he probably is just glad to have the ball.

For the next level (and some of our sanity this year) it would be really nice if Rob could learn to be a pivot point for passes through the paint. All good big men pass. Period.

What's I find rather frustrating (though it does seem to lead to a lot of defensing fouling) is that Rob really only does the one pre-catch move. The old-school back down. It's good when it's working, and he has been known to seal off before the ball even crosses half court and to then get some easy points, but he uses so much energy (he was gassed after halftime at Ill.) just to 'get open' and we suck at that pass anyway. He is very mobile (without the ball) for a big guy, why is there never screens down low timed with passing from strong to weak side for a timed drop in pass (and a quick catch and shoot since he is getting better at getting it off)??

Same can be asked of Harris, too. Unlike Calvary, one almost never sees either of our big men moving across off a screen underneath and catching on the move. It may not be fair comparing them to Calvary at this gift b/c he was one of the best I have even seen in terms of moving his feet to the basket while the pass was on the way in, but it would be great to see either one of them do it. One does wonder why we have not even see Rob attempt a drop step after his initial fake - maybe Kelly is working on one now, it seems he already had that move.

04ZagFan
12-05-2011, 07:01 PM
I love Gary Bell as his shooting and defense is much better than I expected, but I don't think he's a big scorer yet.. Haven't seen signs of him being able to create for himself and drive to the hoop and score a bunch. He's still pretty raw.

bostonzagfan
12-05-2011, 10:27 PM
the good news is that even though there are a lot of potential improvements that could be made, the offense is already one of the better ones in the nation.

DADoZAG
12-06-2011, 08:48 AM
I Am more concerned with our D.


the good news is that even though there are a lot of potential improvements that could be made, the offense is already one of the better ones in the nation.

Despite what some are posting in the ďDefensive ToughnessÖĒ thread, itís obvious thereís a much bigger focus on D. While some bemoan the zone, it threw Illinois out of whack, at least for a time. Even the man to man is much more intense and the ĺ trapping is great to see. Since thereís a focus, there will soon be improvement.

The ramped up D is taking its toll on the other end of the court, however. The missed free throws, the missed 3s, bunnies, etc. is all fatigue, imo. (no, Iím not going to post about substitutions as Iíve learned that since Iím not a D1 coach I canít post on that)

And the spacing on the offensive end will improve as well. How many times Saturday did two ZAGS break to the same area? Or opposite, how many times was the ball held too long waiting for the break to come? The result of both situations is bad spacing, resulting in no back door, no high-low, no open 3, and too many times, no points.

Give it time folks. Itís only one loss (there will be more). The prize at the end of the year has nothing to do with winning percentage.

Go ZAGS!

Colbyspapa
12-06-2011, 09:22 AM
Dixie,

I hear what you are saying and agree with most. My only disagreement is Rob Sacre giving up the ball. There are times when yes, he should pass out. If the defense has squeezed in tight giving him little room to work or a double team to his play side happen and he has enough time to see it, then he should kick the ball to the open man. In these situation, I think Rob does a good job of passing out. One on one, I want him taking shots. He is an above 50% career shooter and the percentage gets higher the closer he is to the rim. His height and shooting form allow for higher than the 35-40% 3 point shooting we see from our guards. If the double comes to Rob during the shot, we have a great opportunity to rebound where Elias, Sam or whomever is in the game will not be boxed out.

Rob's rebounding numbers aren't always a product of lack of effort on the glass. Other guys get rebounds because Rob is the biggest box-out target for other teams. We average more offensive rebounds than most teams because he is such a target. He is also fouled a lot when he goes strong to the hoop in traffic. I'll take his 80% FT shooting over an open shot from anyone but Pangos on our team. I want him to keep shooting and I hope Coach Few continues to preach to our guys to pound the inside, get their bigs in foul trouble and crash the boards.

bostonzagfan
12-06-2011, 10:24 AM
Everything in the bold is mine.


Dixie,

I hear what you are saying and agree with most. My only disagreement is Rob Sacre giving up the ball. There are times when yes, he should pass out. If the defense has squeezed in tight giving him little room to work or a double team to his play side happen and he has enough time to see it, then he should kick the ball to the open man. In these situation, I think Rob does a good job of passing out. Rob very, very rarely passes the ball out. At one point, instead of passing to EH who was posted up, he passed to a guard then posted up himself. He absolutely should have gotten it in to Harris. Did he want the ball? I think it was just a single moment of selfishness...

One on one, I want him taking shots. He is an above 50% career shooter he is actually just under 50% according to ESPN, and is at 48% this season

and the percentage gets higher the closer he is to the rim. this i agree with. my issue is that he takes too many shots far away from the rim, which as you state, are low percentage shots. i'm talking fade aways, off balance jumpers, etc

His height and shooting form allow for higher than the 35-40% 3 point shooting we see from our guards. 40% of a three = a 1.2 point average. a 50% chance of a two = a 1 point average, so actually the three is a better shot.

If the double comes to Rob during the shot, we have a great opportunity to rebound where Elias, Sam or whomever is in the game will not be boxed out.

Rob's rebounding numbers aren't always a product of lack of effort on the glass. Other guys get rebounds because Rob is the biggest box-out target for other teams. We average more offensive rebounds than most teams because he is such a target. He is also fouled a lot when he goes strong to the hoop in traffic. exactly, he should be going strong up to the rim, not turning and fading and shooting jumpers and taking dumb off balance shots

I'll take his 80% FT shooting over an open shot from anyone but Pangos on our team. I want him to keep shooting and I hope Coach Few continues to preach to our guys to pound the inside, get their bigs in foul trouble and crash the boards. i agree we need to keep looking inside, but forcing it to the point of shooting every time you have the ball in the post is defeating yourself