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Zags11
12-11-2011, 03:22 PM
The Zags lost back to back games vs a tough illinois team on the road for the 1st real road game for the frosh. I thought they played fairly well. They then lose to a tough nosed, well coached big 10 squad. These Zags could of won, that is for sure. They also could of shown no heart, and when falling behind could of collapsed. I have not seen 1 time, these Zags quit and give up.

I believe the freshman mistakes wont happen by end of year and we could re-do these games we would split or sweep imo. I believe we will beat oral, and take a tough win vs AZ with guy landry opening day appearance. I believe this team will continue to grow, continue to strive and continue and show the heart of a Bulldog.

I love this team and have a great feeling still.

Baldwinzag
12-11-2011, 03:34 PM
+1 good post.

My only issue is precisely what you mentioned.

When we get behind, we don't give up.

Matter of fact, when the game is on the line, suddenly our fire ignites and good things happen. Its not a coincidence that great things happen with great effort, yet its been in the final 5-8 minutes of both losses.

in some ways, I feel the refs punished us a bit vs MSU b/c we didn't play as hard for the first 35 as we did the last 5. We looked like a completely different defensive team.

So, what are we saving our maximum for? Only when we're 10 pts down or what?

While I feel we've been giving solid effort all season, the step-up in intensity, fire, heart picked up significantly down the stretch. I realize this is human nature, yet if we play all 40 minutes we do in the final 5, especially on defense, we'd be undefeated.

04ZagFan
12-11-2011, 06:36 PM
My only problem is that a lot of the "freshman mistakes" are being committed by our starting Junior PF and our 5th year senior starting C... Inexcusable. I can live with being beat by superior teams who out play us... I can't live with 20 TOs and beating ourselves with terrible decision making. The old teams never beat themselves...

Zags11
12-11-2011, 07:41 PM
I love carter, but he has been bad this year. It hurts to see his confidence waning, and imo we will never see the feb/march carter as his playing time for max minutes are gone imo. Harris was horrid in every sense of the word.

Turnovers I really dislike, but depending on the team like a Florida squad when good had full court press....I knew we would have more turnovers but then rely on transition defense.

We do seem to play better when they kick our butt for awhile. I love the heart so much from this team. I dont see our team losing in blowout fashion at all this year.

CDC84
12-11-2011, 09:13 PM
The thing with Pangos and Stockton playing together isn't going to work against teams like Illinois and Michigan State. I'm sorry, but it just isn't. It'll work against Portland and USD. But that's not good enough.

Gonzaga is going to continue to lose to high caliber teams until either Marquise Carter gets it together or Guy Landry Edi emerges as a significant contributor. And to be honest, Gonzaga needs both of those things to happen.

Reborn
12-12-2011, 07:19 AM
I said it in another post. It's time to put Carter on the bench and leave him there until he decides to play. He is certainly a guy who is not delivering for whatever his reason is. It's time I think to move on and rebuild this team without him. IMO, Few needs to elevate Bell's role. Can Bell handle that? Can he become a 15 point scorer. He is very close. He got 13 Saturday.
I personally believe Edy will help. I also bellieve that Mark Few should not even use Carter as a sub. And so far it has not been the combination of Pangos, Stockton and Bell who have hurt us. Anyway at least the last game

75Zag
12-12-2011, 07:34 AM
From what I can forsee, we are about to play 2 teams (Zona and X) with good tournament potential. Not KY or Ohio State level potential, but good solid top 50 potential nevertheless. We will have our new JUCO transfer available for both games. Our freshman, while not truly "seasoned" yet, should at least have shaken off the high school to college transition jitters. So, my attention is going to be very closely focused on how GU does in these next two games. Win both, I forsee a strong March showing. Lose both, I forsee trouble ahead, although obviously things can improve during conference play. Split them? Who knows.

I do not under estimate BYU. Although I think it is unlikely to happen, two losses to BYU in conference plus the failure to capture the auto-bid plus losing 4 out of 4 of these "national exposure" OOC games could mean we won't be worrying all that much about the NCAA tournament this year.

zagzilla
12-12-2011, 08:29 AM
We are really choppy on offense right now. We haven't been able to string together 4-5 consecutive scoring possessions and make runs to extend leads or close gaps

Against Illinois and MSU in the second halves we maintained contact with them but that's it. 2-3 good trips and then 2-3 empty ones won't get it done.

The offense looks like we are doing walkthroughs in practice and clearly there are scouting reports now on how to defend GU out there (make Dower go right, get on Rob's left shoulder, Hart won't shoot, Harris will be slow on rotations). We are not putting opponents in a position where they are uncomfortable and taking chances on defense which is what leads to runs.

It's obvious we haven't learned the sets well enough to run them instinctively and so we are predictable. Illinois and MSU looked very comfortable defending us.

ZZ

Zag79
12-13-2011, 12:41 AM
The thing with Pangos and Stockton playing together isn't going to work against teams like Illinois and Michigan State. I'm sorry, but it just isn't. It'll work against Portland and USD. But that's not good enough.

Gonzaga is going to continue to lose to high caliber teams until either Marquise Carter gets it together or Guy Landry Edi emerges as a significant contributor. And to be honest, Gonzaga needs both of those things to happen.

This, +1... Carter needs to play more as crazy at that may sound. He needs to get comfy again, hit his groove. If he does that we are a much better team than right now, and he cant do it on the bench. Some more GBJ wouldn't hurt, but the bottom line is as CDC stated.

bartruff1
12-13-2011, 05:39 AM
I suspect we will lose to both X and Zona...and that we will lose maybe 4 road games in conference...that we might win the Championship and we might get to the Tourney Championship game and if we do and make a good showing, we will likely get to the NCAA and then anything can happen.. Uconn/VCU for example...but, like life, a Gonzaga Basketball Season is a journey, not a destination, and I am going to enjoy every step and misstep to the end of the season. Don't miss it, it will be very entertaining...

Reborn
12-13-2011, 07:05 AM
The problem that I see with the poor offensive performance in the Michigan State game was simply that Harris played his worst game as a Zag. Zags were only down a point or two at the half, and they went to Harris almost exclusively during the first ten minutes of the second half. And he missed just about every shot, and it really got us bogged down (we got behind by 14). Meanwhile, the team was standing around a lot watching him and Rob, and when it became obvious that they were not scoring we were flat for awhile until Stockton et al began to hit some shots. We made our comeback with our guards shooting and not by feeding the post players. Then when we were withing reach (six points and with the ball with two mintues left) we went back to feeding the posts and it didn't work out.

I disagree with CDC, which I rarely do, about Stockton and Pangos not being able to play together. From what I've seen, so far they have been able to, and I feel the team has been at it's best when they are both in there. I still want Stockton to be the 6th man because he really brings energy into the game. I think he could be one of the best 6th men in the country. When you have a backup like him on your team, it's definitely a plus. He could get playing time behind both Pangos and Bell, at the one and the two positions. Give him twenty minutes a game. At the 3 we have Landry-Edi and Hart. The Zags switch from a eight man rotation to a seven man rotation and not play Carter. If Few desires an 8 man rotation I think he should bring back either Olynik or Dranginis.

Yes! I have given up on Carter. Unless he makes a drastic change, which I doubt, he doesn't deserve to play.

Timeout!
12-13-2011, 08:02 AM
The problem that I see with the poor offensive performance in the Michigan State game was simply that Harris played his worst game as a Zag. Zags were only down a point or two at the half, and they went to Harris almost exclusively during the first ten minutes of the second half. And he missed just about every shot, and it really got us bogged down (we got behind by 14).

Perfect description, Reborn.

This has not been mentioned enough.

I just finished the replay and the game is summed up in 2 words: Elias Harris.

If anyone listened or read the post-game fodder via Mich St, both Coach Izzo AND Draymond Green said the key to victory was, 'shutting down Harris'. Izzo mentioned twice and Green said he could care less about his 34 pts, but rather his tough d on Harris all night long.

I've noticed numerous posters mention Hart's D on Green, uh, no. Hart played 18 minutes, folks. He had 7 boards and defended Green one-on-one for most of the 1st half, yet Elias was THE one guarding him on EVERY 3pt shot in the 2nd half and missed EVERY screen & switch, literally, EVERY one(apologies for the uppercase, but it was surreal how many times Elias cannot learn how to switch or communicate on ball screens, which Hart mentioned in recent interview as well.)

Also, many mention Sacre's TO's as another reason we lost. Nope. Rob's stat line was solid. He actually played pretty darn well compared to the Illinois game. He battled Derrick Nix, Adrian Payne, and the other big guy from MSU all night, away the ball, the stuff you don't see until he receives a pass. Its one of the reasons Dower, Pangos, Stockton all had TO's trying to get the ball to him(their fault), yet he was working HARD underneath the hoop. I never noticed this until the 2nd viewing. Matter of fact, it gives me hope, b/c he actually looked stronger in many instances than the Spartan players who are just as big and weigh just as much. IF anything, way more fouls could have been called on MSU vs Sacre in 2nd half. They were literally grabbing his hips, putting knees into the back of his legs, hooking their arms, etc. Its like the refs weren't watching either down the stretch. Of course Sacre's 3 TO's didn't help, but that is less than 15% of total TO's w/nearly 50% of the touches. When they doubled him, things got sloppy/panicky and that needs to be shored up.

The guard play certainly hurt us in key moments of the game, especially the early TO's in both halves. This was the most obvious reason we struggled, yet all the guards had their moments and played pretty darn good defense the entire game, which isn't receiving nearly enough credit. Kevin Pangos guarded one of the best guards in Wood & Appling in the Big 10 and did an admirable job on both of them, same applies to Gary Bell Jr. As good as on-ball defender GBJ clearly is, Pangos is no slouch either. Pangos' defense is the most underrated aspect of the entire team.

The loss, in my opinion, came down to 3 things not listed above:

1-- Elias Harris missing every shot possible, especially in the 2nd half. Our game plan was to 'get Harris going' and 'draw a foul on Green'. It was a dumb move on behalf of our Coaches, but I could see where they were coming from -- force the ball inside or find Elias to draw Green's 4th foul. Yeah, it didn't work, b/c Elias was lost the entire night. He pulled back 2 dunk attempts, tried multiple kisses off the glass from short(never have seen him attempt that shot), and was a black-hole when they passed him the ball. Give credit to Green for playing with great effort on defense, yet it wasn't all that "tight", more credit should be given to Elias for just playing terrible with and without the ball.

2-- Elias Harris was a bull in a china shop and not in a good way and on defense. wow, our team must go CRAZY when playing with Elias on defense. I couldn't tell you how many breakdowns he directly and indirectly causes on defense. He makes life for Mike Hart, Sacre, and our guards really tough. The guy is smart, athletic, big, strong, long, yet doesn't use a single ounce of his strengths on defense. He can't or won't make the proper read on any ball-screen, switch, communication, zone shift, and position when playing one-on-one. By far our worst defender. The effort is there, unlike Dower, yet his inability to read a screen led to at least half of Green's easy points. How can Mike Hart recover Elias mistakes on ball-screens or how can Sacre cover up Elias lack of dropping back after covering the wrong guy. Watch the game, folks, and watch how many times Elias is left covering no one after a pick-n-roll, screen, or roll only to lead to an EASY bucket by MSU. It was atrocious and he should have been pulled for his continual mistakes on defense, except our Coaches seemed deadset on drawing Green's 4th foul. You can't tell me Spangler would be any worse on defense than Elias has been lately. Reborn stated it perfectly, "Elias' play bogged us down when he was the #1 option in 2nd half." So true. On both sides of the court.

3-- Lastly, our Coaches subbing at the wrong time. Coach Few's substitutions were a momentum killer vs MSU. He subbed when he shouldn't have and he didn't sub we he should have. At one point in the 1st half, we score on 3 straight possessions, take a 4-5 pt lead and we're getting stops on defense and about to score again -- guess what -- Few brings in reserves! It was unnecessary. Same thing happened in 2nd half. Also, when Elias missed 7 straight shots in the 2nd half and looked like a chicken with its head cut off on defense, why not THEN go to Dower, or Spangler, or someone else? This was the type of game where subbing the right personnel at the right time was paramount and I felt Coach Few wasn't on his A-game.

Also, make an adjustment on Green. It really took away from the admirable defensive job Pangos & Gary Bell did on MSU's strong guards. If Green couldn't be doubled, then triple him. He scored 70% of their points in the 2nd half for crying out loud. Unacceptable by Coach this game. Make an adjustment. You put 6'6" Hart on him, 6'7" Harris(worst defender on team), and only Sacre when it was too late. Why not at least TRY a 6'8" player on the bench who weighs as much and can get physical with him, FREE Fouls. Spangler could have played more aggressively and fouled Green, foul him hard. MSU fouled Sacre hard and it worked down the stretch. Terrible job of not using someone or something else when ONE player is killing you.

/rant with a little analysis over.

CDC84
12-13-2011, 08:24 AM
The Zags are just too weak defensively with Stockton and Pangos playing together. Their defense is awful at the point of attack with that lineup. They end up having to resort to a zone which is also ineffective because there isn't enough length along the perimeter to frustrate opponents. It's a lineup that is almost guaranteed to produce a 50%+ defensive field goal percentage unless the opponent has one of those mysterious nights where they can't make a shot.

Reborn
12-13-2011, 08:30 AM
I agree with everything you said about Sacre accept for one thing. And I've said it in two other posts. The two most important plays of the game involved Robert and he did NOT come through in either. It happened during what is called "crunch time." It's in the last two minutes of the game. Gonzaga is making it's run and is coming back. Michigan St was reeling backwards. I know that I thought that the Zags could pull it out at home. Michigan state of course calls a time-out after a Gonzaga basket. The Zags choose to go inside to Robert. Robert mishandles the bass and drops it, and immediately he is surrounded by three MS players. Robert can not regain possession of the ball and it's turned over to MS. On their next play they attack the basket on the baseline and Robert fouls their best FT shooter. MS is now back up to 8.

What I did love about the game was the way our guards played down the stretch, and especially on defense. I thought our trapping defense was excellent. We forced a couple of turnovers, and definitely should have had at least two others which the officials called fouls on GU. I really like how our guards are playing on defense this year. I hope they keep it up. If we can get Dower and Harris to start playing defense every game and on every play I think Gonzaga is going to be a very good team. I've seen Harris play good defense this year. He has played with intensity on defense. But for some reason he did not do it against Michigan St. It is just mind boggling how someone could not get UP for a game like the one vs Mich. St.

Timeout!
12-13-2011, 08:41 AM
The Zags are just too weak defensively with Stockton and Pangos playing together. Their defense is awful at the point of attack with that lineup. They end up having to resort to a zone which is also ineffective because there isn't enough length along the perimeter to frustrate opponents. It's a lineup that is almost guaranteed to produce a 50%+ defensive field goal percentage unless the opponent has one of those mysterious nights where they can't make a shot.

+1

Can't disagree at all with this comment.

As fun as it is to watch them play together on offense, our defense suffers as a result. Our zone doesn't work for the reasons CDC mentioned, yet also b/c Elias is just a flat-out terrible defender, I'd say worse than Adam Morrison was and I'm typing that with a straight face. We all want to believe Elias can defend b/c of his physical attributes, but he can't, not even a little bit. He tries hard, yet I would say 3 out of 4 defensive breakdowns is a direct result of Harris' not communicating, missing a switch, or failing an assignment. Besides when Mike Hart was isolated one-on-one with Green, Elias made Mike Hart look bad on the open jump shots. Also, ever notice our 3pt shots we give up are primarily in the corner, not a coincidence, as its usually Elias' corner they have passed to on the zone. He doesn't slide down, switch out, falls for every shot fake, misses what fellow players are telling him, etc. Mike Hart was pretty upset following the game & expressed his displeasure to the media saying, "we aren't communicating". Considering the breakdowns were right next to Elias' man every time, I have to presume he was referring to him for the most part.

Oops, off-topic again, game on...

* Playing Pangos and Stockton together is a pretty ineffective defense at the point of attack, yet Kevin Pangos playing man-to-man is pretty darn effective. Offense over defense, defense over offense. KP's on-ball defense is solid, while his zone defense is "meh" or not good, neither is Stocktons. Kevin's lateral quickness and lack of length is exposed on the zone and when playing alongside Stockton. That said, as mentioned earlier, Pangos M2M is pretty solid and the primary reason we saw a lot of man-to-man when Pangos was playing PG by himself. Not saying one is better than the other as I agree with CDC, yet there is a reason the Coaches are comfortable playing M2M when Pangos is in there b/c his defense is quite underrated and crafty and smart. The first few steals of the game were caused by him getting a hand on the ball or covering his man better than expected. Smart defender. The defensive problems occur when Stockton enter the game, not BECAUSE of Stockton, yet at that point we have no choice but to zone up. Stockton is just to overpowered, which isn't his fault. He has great hands, gets steals, yet can't contain the perimeter. Once zone is implored, Pangos defense suffers b/c his smarts and craftiness goes out the door and his lack of athleticism is shown. However, the moment Stockton leaves the game, guess what, Few goes back to M2M, its really interesting.

CDC84
12-13-2011, 09:20 AM
Pangos isn't a consistently good defender right now, but he's adequate so long as he has a couple of solid defenders alongside him....like GBJ and Guy Landry Edi. You don't have to cover for him as much as Stockton when Gonzaga is playing high major teams with quick, powerful, athletic guards.

I think Pangos, as he matures, will get better and better defensively. I don't know if he'll ever be great, but I see him as a guy you won't have to cover for. The defense becomes a royal pain when Few has to do things to cover for people.

rennis
12-13-2011, 09:35 AM
The problem that I see with the poor offensive performance in the Michigan State game was simply that Harris played his worst game as a Zag. Zags were only down a point or two at the half, and they went to Harris almost exclusively during the first ten minutes of the second half. And he missed just about every shot, and it really got us bogged down (we got behind by 14).


Harris needs to watch about 10 hours of Casey Calvary game film. If Harris played like Casey (and he's damn near capable...) we would be a completely different team.