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raise the zag
12-16-2011, 05:59 AM
You knew the impending TO post was inevitable given the staggering amount of them lately.

The last 3 games we have totaled:

17 TO's vs ORU
20 TO's vs Mich St
16 TO's vs Illinois

Considering anything over > 12 is poor, we're beyond all recognition.

Gonzaga is currently ranked #200 in avg TO's per game this season at 14.6 per outing and its only getting worse.

For instance, Wisconsin averages just 8 TO's per game.

Our starting PG(32mins) had 1 TO(7 assists) last night, yet we piled up 17 TO's as a team vs average pressure defense.

So, why are they happening and how can we remedy the issue going forward?

gozagswoohoo
12-16-2011, 06:10 AM
I was texting my bro about this last night....the turnovers have been really, REALLY bad.


We have GOT to take better care of the ball, because if this trend of 'turnovers numbering up into the high teens' continues....not only are we going to lose a few more games, but I would worry about our post-season chances.


It's odd, because I remember in one of the player interviews on the Mark Few show, he said Coach Few REALLY hounds them about taking care of the ball....yet....SO many of our turnovers are just poor thinking, and careless.

That being said, the ball is in the hands of some young players for most of our games, and they should only improve. (I hope!)

TacomaZAG
12-16-2011, 07:02 AM
Our young guards (GBJ, Pangos, and Stocks) are still getting their feet wet, beating D1 pressure, adjusting to D1 speed, etc. They are improving every game, although that doesn't necessarily correspond to fewer TO's each game.

Combine that with MC's lack of confidence and there you go..........

Although I wanted to see GBJ play major minutes from the start, I have been impressed with Coach's rotation and rookie/vet combinations on the floor. From the guard standpoint, with MC's current lack of production, Coach has been pretty much forced to live with the young guys and hope for quick growth.

With respect to rookie/vet combinations, I really like that Spangler is starting to get minutes. I think his minutes will go up as the young guards continue to improve.

GROWTH is what the OOC schedule is all about, and we are seeing it play out game by game. Too bad it's baptism by fire for the young guys, but that's the way it is with GU's typical OOC schedule.

Go ZAGS

bartruff1
12-16-2011, 07:05 AM
At this time last year they were playing against high schools ... not the Big Ten.....Few will teach them and they will learn, it will get better but they will always have trouble against big athletic guards...

gamagin
12-16-2011, 07:15 AM
At this time last year they were playing against high schools ... not the Big Ten.....Few will teach them and they will learn, it will get better but they will always have trouble against big athletic guards...

Tommy Lasorda said he would take errors of enthusiasm any day of the week over errors of complacency. Most of the TO's I saw came from someone trying too hard.

Zag4Hire
12-16-2011, 08:30 AM
Our young guards (GBJ, Pangos, and Stocks) are still getting their feet wet, beating D1 pressure, adjusting to D1 speed, etc. They are improving every game, although that doesn't necessarily correspond to fewer TO's each game.

Combine that with MC's lack of confidence and there you go..........

Although I wanted to see GBJ play major minutes from the start, I have been impressed with Coach's rotation and rookie/vet combinations on the floor. From the guard standpoint, with MC's current lack of production, Coach has been pretty much forced to live with the young guys and hope for quick growth.

With respect to rookie/vet combinations, I really like that Spangler is starting to get minutes. I think his minutes will go up as the young guards continue to improve.

GROWTH is what the OOC schedule is all about, and we are seeing it play out game by game. Too bad it's baptism by fire for the young guys, but that's the way it is with GU's typical OOC schedule.

Go ZAGS

Good post and just to expand further...

GBJ is averaging 2 TOPG, Pangos 1.6 TOPG, Carter 2.8 TOPG, and Stockton 1.9 TOPG.

Stepp and Bouldin both hoverd around 2.2 - 2.3 TOPG in their frosh campaign and Santangelo had a good number of games his freshman year of 3 TOs or more.

I know Carter isn't a frosh but he is also getting used to playing with them as well.

I am not making excuses and I want the TOs to trim down significantly but I think it is more a sign of getting comfortable playing with each other than boneheaded plays. Working out the kinks during OOC while they can as explained by several posters.

Hoopaholic
12-16-2011, 08:51 AM
some of these turnovers are due to mechanically thinking of the play vs just instinctively doing the play withour freshman. That will smooth out over time.

some of these turnovers are due to not having played at this speed of the game with their fellow teammates enough (ie how high can Elias jump for this lob pass)

Both of those will smooth out over the year

HOWEVER the amount of turnovers by Carter, Stockton have me disappointed as the above should NOT be an issue as both have been playing and practicing at this level for 2 plus years now.

kitzbuel
12-16-2011, 09:04 AM
HOWEVER the amount of turnovers by Carter, Stockton have me disappointed as the above should NOT be an issue as both have been playing and practicing at this level for 2 plus years now.

Unfortunately, your 'HOWEVER' statement seems to cover the majority of the TOs :(

tobizag
12-16-2011, 09:04 AM
At this time last year they were playing against high schools ... not the Big Ten.....Few will teach them and they will learn, it will get better but they will always have trouble against big athletic guards...

this is an excellent point to consider when talking about our guards committing turnovers.

my bigger problem is with other players turning the ball over:

Ill MSU ORU

Sacre 2 3 3
Harris 2 2 0
Carter 3 3 3
Dower 2 3 1
Stockton 4 1 4

i included stockton because he played against this competition last year...not his first time at the rodeo

sacre and carter to me are the biggest issues...carter because he's a senior guard, and hasn't played very big minutes, on avg, the last 3 games. and sacre because he's 7 feet tall and shouldn't be turning the ball over at this clip.

BobZag
12-16-2011, 09:06 AM
Why are we so sloppy with the ball and never seem to value the ball anymore? This will bite us if it continues.

VinnyZag
12-16-2011, 09:14 AM
KenPom puts GU's turnover percentage at 21.5, which ranks 185th in D-I. Among individuals, Carter's turnover rate is 30.0, Stockton's at 25.6 and Pangos is Just 17.3. Sacre, incidentally, is at 11.0.

Baldwinzag
12-16-2011, 09:27 AM
Just have to say, I've enjoyed everyone's responses in this tread. Thoughtful & informative. Good stuff by all -- I don't tell you guys that enough. Nothing to add here. . .

maynard g krebs
12-16-2011, 12:42 PM
Considering anything over > 12 is poor, we're beyond all recognition.



The lowest average in the WCC is Santa Clara at 12.7; next is SMC at 12.9. Teams with veteran backcourts. Median to's per game for college teams is exactly 14. Fifty two teams out of 345 are at 12.0 or better, so by your definition over 85% of teams are "poor". And about 39% are "beyond all recognition", or worse. Just for perspective.

As to Wisconsin, they are always low in to's. Their swing offense is predicated on having bigs that shoot 3 pointers and midrange jumpshots. Their passes are low risk since they don't post up that much; they mostly swing the ball around the perimeter till they get the open jumper or a guard finds a driving lane.

When your offense is predicated heavily on feeding the post, you are going to turn it over some. The last 3 games have been bad- nobody would debate that. But the fact is that GU is now 0.6 to's a game above the NCAA average, give or take a tenth or so.

ORU's press gave the young guards a lot of trouble; they looked disorganized against it. Meech would have handled that press, and that's mostly a matter of experience. The other main issue seems like post entry, and especially forcing the high low entry from one big to the other.

It's a concern, but an average of 1.5 or 2 less a game would be pretty good in terms of where it would rank for a team that plays the Zags' style. Integrating two fr guards playing major minutes just takes time. It'll improve.

To me, a more important stat is a/to ratio. Zags are below 1.0, which is bad. SMC and BYU are both up in the 1.4 neighborhood, though against lesser comp.

Another factor to consider is fg%- are your high risk passes getting you a lot of easy baskets. If so, a few more to's are tolerable. Zags are currently #82 in effective fg% at 51.5- not great but decent, and should improve as Pangos/Bell get experience.

zagfan24
12-16-2011, 02:16 PM
Not to sound like a broken record...but a lot of these turnovers are not necessarily 100% the fault of the person they are attributed to in the box score. IMHO, the Zags have a big issue with poor floor spacing. It's not a fault of Few, just a team of guys getting used to playing with each other and young guards learning a new system.

That said, bad floor spacing = too many other defenders within arms length as well as more narrow passing lanes. If the Zags correct this, I expect the TO numbers to drop significantly.

gamagin
12-16-2011, 02:17 PM
thanks.

ZagNative
12-16-2011, 02:31 PM
Maynard is scary smart sometimes, ain't he?

bballbeachbum
12-16-2011, 02:39 PM
Maynard is scary smart sometimes, ain't he?

I like reading his posts :)

DCZag
12-16-2011, 03:03 PM
We had 17 TOs - but at least we had 17 assists. Against MSU we had only 9 assists.

The key, IMHO, is to make smart passes, not difficult passes. Sometimes our guys try to thread the needle, and our young guys aren't quite used to the speed that the game is played at in D1. A pass that was a highlight in HS is now a TO because the players are so much longer and more athletic. And we need some serious work on our post entry passes.

We knew it would be a steep learning curve - we had 3 frosh on the court at one time last night and it wasn't garbage time at the end of a blowout; GBJ, Pangos and Spangler - when have we ever seen that in the history of the program - NEVER.

I expect us to be rock solid come WCC time

bostonzagfan
12-16-2011, 09:44 PM
wisconsin is the slowest paced team in the ncaa when adjusted for competition...

Baldwinzag
12-17-2011, 05:22 AM
fwiw, while the team averages indicate otherwise, I have heard numerous Coaches over the years talk about "12" being the magic #/ceiling they set in regards to limiting turnovers.

I can see what the OP is stating by mentioning '12' as many teams utilize this benchmark as a reasonable number to shoot for i.e., "our hope is to keep our TO's below 12, which would be ideal as a team".

Maybe our resident Coaches can comment on this as well b/c I know I've heard that specific number(12) thrown around in discussions relating to team TO's.

Also, 14 TO's per game is our current average, yet this # is skewed a bit considering the sample size & competition, thus stating if we improve by '1.5 or 2' per game is sufficient doesn't necessarily help all that much. For instance, we've averaged 18 TO's the last 3 games vs likely Tournament teams(Illini, MSU, ORU), thus improving by only '2 TO's' still puts at the cellar of D1 teams this season, or the last 10 seasons, for average TO's per game. The OP made this clear as well, we must improve the 18 per vs quality teams.

We can justify our #'s by our comparison to other WCC teams(which we ranked dead last, btw), the type of offense we run(inside-out), or lack of experience(frosh guards), yet its still an unusually high amt of TO's in the past couple weeks.

As Meehan & Coach Few mentioned in recent interview,


Turnovers have been a stumbling block for several games. The frustrating part for the coaching staff is that often they’re unforced and they’re committed against teams that don’t specialize in high-pressure defense. Oral Roberts fits into that category, but GU still had 17 turnovers that led to the Golden Eagles’ 22-12 edge in points of turnovers.

“These turnovers just come in the most bizarre fashion,” Few said. “A lot of them aren’t forced, they’re just plays at the end of a fast break or throwing the ball inbounds against a press when we have an arsenal of timeouts. We’ve been trying to tell them it’s the context. We turn it over and we have to be careful with the next few plays, but I think they’re thinking, ‘It wasn’t me, so watch this.’ We’re addressing it, but we’ve got to figure that thing out.”

Once our TO's, especially "unforced" are limited, our A/TO ratio -- as Maynard mentioned -- will directly improve. Our assist #'s by themselves have been pretty solid, so our /<1 ratio should increase exponentially as we limit the 'bizarre fashion' TO's. That is what the #'s don't show us, yes we run a different type of offense than Wisconsin, but many times our TO's have been unexplained/unforced/unnatural, just as Coach Few pointed for us out above.

willandi
12-17-2011, 08:23 AM
Phantom Offensive fouls are also turnovers. How many of those are there a game? Seems like always at least one, sometimes more.
Hard and unexpected passes are TO's, but as they team plays together those should ease.
The sloppy, lackadaisical passes are the ones that draw my ire, not do to spacing etc., just not passed with conviction.

zag67
12-17-2011, 10:22 AM
The turnovers the last three games (especially) fall into some major categories:
1. Offensive turnovers - not set for the screen, pushing down low
2. Passing to the big men when they are guarded - This to me is what we get with our young guards. I like that they are looking and trying to get it in, they just need to recognize that the pace is faster and the defensive players have faster hands.
3. Getting caught on the press. Not moving the ball fast enough
4. On the breaks trying to do too much when it is not there.
5. The freshmen trying to pass the ball too hard from short distances to an unsuspecting teammate. Yes, I like them looking for it, they just need the experience and that is happening.

I think that as the year goes on these will get better and better as the players recognize who they are passing to (as example not hitting Sacre on a full run).

kitzbuel
12-17-2011, 02:20 PM
Seven TOs. Much better game, much better result.

zaguarxj
12-17-2011, 02:21 PM
I can live with 7. Nice to see some improvement there.

DCZag
12-17-2011, 02:23 PM
For us <10 TOs = win

maynard g krebs
12-17-2011, 02:45 PM
fwiw, while the team averages indicate otherwise, I have heard numerous Coaches over the years talk about "12" being the magic #/ceiling they set in regards to limiting turnovers.

I can see what the OP is stating by mentioning '12' as many teams utilize this benchmark as a reasonable number to shoot for i.e., "our hope is to keep our TO's below 12, which would be ideal as a team".

Maybe our resident Coaches can comment on this as well b/c I know I've heard that specific number(12) thrown around in discussions relating to team TO's.

Also, 14 TO's per game is our current average, yet this # is skewed a bit considering the sample size & competition, thus stating if we improve by '1.5 or 2' per game is sufficient doesn't necessarily help all that much. For instance, we've averaged 18 TO's the last 3 games vs likely Tournament teams(Illini, MSU, ORU), thus improving by only '2 TO's' still puts at the cellar of D1 teams this season, or the last 10 seasons, for average TO's per game. The OP made this clear as well, we must improve the 18 per vs quality teams.

We can justify our #'s by our comparison to other WCC teams(which we ranked dead last, btw), the type of offense we run(inside-out), or lack of experience(frosh guards), yet its still an unusually high amt of TO's in the past couple weeks.

As Meehan & Coach Few mentioned in recent interview,



Once our TO's, especially "unforced" are limited, our A/TO ratio -- as Maynard mentioned -- will directly improve. Our assist #'s by themselves have been pretty solid, so our /<1 ratio should increase exponentially as we limit the 'bizarre fashion' TO's. That is what the #'s don't show us, yes we run a different type of offense than Wisconsin, but many times our TO's have been unexplained/unforced/unnatural, just as Coach Few pointed for us out above.

Just a couple of points.

1)The OP used pretty drastic language which needed to be put in context. If he had stated it the way you did, I wouldn't have responded as I did.

2)The 3 games against tournament teams (and it's not out of the question the Cougs could be one) are also a small sample size. I never said, nor intended to say. that 1.5 or 2 less turnovers would be sufficient in those games. That's just twisting my words. Reread what I said; it should be clear I was strictly talking about averages, and the way the OP characterized the 14.6 number. A young backcourt is obviously going to struggle more against better competition early, as compared to how they do against lower level teams.

The average, according to statsheet, was 17.3 for the sample. Add today's 7 and the average for the last 4 is now under 15.

I wasn't trying to say it isn't a problem. Other people seemed to get that. Just that it was an explainable problem, the sky isn't falling, and it would get better. And today it did.

2wiceright
12-17-2011, 03:48 PM
I can live with 7. Nice to see some improvement there.

+1 I think this is the biggest understatement of the year!!!! In past games 7 turnovers could easily be attributed to just two of our teams players (not including the landslide of turnovers from the rest of the team in any given game)... :fingergun:

Great team job of taking care of the rock!