View Full Version : Post-Arizona Media

12-17-2011, 04:21 PM
I liked this azdesertswam.com story (http://www.azdesertswarm.com/2011/12/17/2643429/gonzaga-bulldogs-arizona-wildcats-with-aggressiveness), to start off.
Forget the fact that the Wildcats rolled the dice with a small-ball lineup of Jesse Perry and Solomon Hill as the big men facing a legitimate 7-footer in Robert Sacre and a thick power forward in Elias Harris. Forget the fact that the Bulldogs won in the paint, outrebounding Arizona 29-19.

Aggressiveness, or a lack thereof in the case of Arizona, was highlighted at the foul line.

Going 8-for-9 from the foul stripe themselves, the Wildcats gave up 32 free throws to the Bulldogs, only 20 of which were made.

In short, the Wildcats should have lost by more.
Often times, they looked strong defensively, but that was misleading. On offense, Arizona was out of sync and shot 41 percent, but Gonzaga only managed to hit 44 percent of its own buckets. And neither turnovers nor offensive rebounds gave the Bulldogs much more of an advantage.

But when it came down to it -- and you could see it from the pure physicality of the game, too -- the Wildcats got smacked in the face and slunk away. While the defensive pressure remained aggressive, Arizona looked afraid on the offensive end.

Nobody wanted to create within the offense, and Arizona reverted to launched 3s off the first pass rather than running its motion offense. And nobody in the first half appeared to want to punch Gonzaga back.

Aside from one fierce blocked shot out of bounds by freshman Angelo Chol, Arizona just didn't know how to send a message.
So where does head coach Sean Miller go from here? Toughness isn't easy to teach, after all.

Maybe he could just replay the first half of Saturday's loss a few days this week. He can point out Sacre's bull-nosed attitude in the paint. Maybe Harris' alertness and hungriness to get the ball.

12-17-2011, 04:41 PM
Love this pic of Spangler going for a rebound:


12-17-2011, 04:42 PM
Pretty nice props for the Zags.

12-17-2011, 05:39 PM

“I felt great in warm-ups, I wasn’t over-thinking things and I played as hard as possible,” Harris said. “Once you do that, I think everything else comes really easy. It might look hard for other people, but if you fly around and hustle, the basketball gods treat you well.”

After averaging 17.7 turnovers the previous three games, Gonzaga committed just six, its lowest total since turning it over four times against USC Upstate in 2009.
“It limits the turnovers when you’re patient and don’t try to force things,” said freshman guard Kevin Pangos, who offset a subpar shooting game with eight assists and just one turnover.

12-17-2011, 05:54 PM
From Meehan's post:
“Their intelligence and size, the way they play offensively and defensively, we’re not a good matchup.” said Wildcats coach Sean Miller, who burned three timeouts in the first 12 minutes unsuccessfully trying to stem GU’s momentum.
“We see glimpses of it all the time in practice, but that was a consistent, 40-minute effort,” Hart said of Harris. “That was awesome. It seemed like every time we missed he was getting the rebound.”

12-17-2011, 06:26 PM
From Arizona Sports (http://arizonasports.com/82/1479171/Slow-start-dooms-Cats-in-loss-to-Gonzaga):

Arizona was outclassed right from the opening tip falling behind 14-0 and never fully recovering in a 71-60 loss to Gonzaga at Key Arena in Seattle.

For 10 minutes it seemed as if the Wildcats were just going through the motions until Jordin Mayes stepped up and added a spark. That spark was not enough early on as they didn't climb back within single digits after the 16:10 mark in the first half (0-8) until the 3:31 mark (52-60) in the second half.

With 3:39 to go in the first half announcer Spero Dedes said it best, "The Wildcats just cannot get out of their own way." That was the only way to describe them, at least for the first 34 minutes of this game.

12-17-2011, 06:32 PM
I would if I could but I can't....they are pretty clever..

Angelo Roncalli
12-17-2011, 06:39 PM


12-17-2011, 06:41 PM
Steve Kelly's Column about Elias (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/stevekelley/2017040722_kelley18.html) in the Seattle-Times. (Good stuff!)
Harris steps up for Gonzaga
Against Arizona, Elias Harris played like a lottery pick again.

Forty-three seconds into the game, Elias Harris squared up to the basket, took a pass from Kevin Pangos and knocked down a jump shot that was buttery smooth.

There was no over-thinking the play, no considering the next pass, no worrying about the consequences. Harris merely rose up and shot the same way he has a few thousand times a week in practice.

On Saturday, on Gonzaga's annual and always-entertaining trip to Seattle, in the Zags' 71-60 win over Arizona, Harris was just ballin'.

"Sometimes you don't need to think about stuff and stuff will just come to you," Gonzaga center Robert Sacre said. "I think that's what happened to Elias today, and it was good to see."

It seemed Harris always was around the ball, and he scored just about every way imaginable.
"He played amazing," Sacre said. "He's a hard worker and he doesn't like to make mistakes. I'm really happy for how he played because really the sky's the limit for him."

This is how good 6-foot-7 junior Harris can be when he just plays, when he isn't turning basketball into quantum physics, when he allows his talent to flow and doesn't make every game and every practice feel like final exams.
Against Arizona, however, Harris played like a lottery pick again. He was equally lethal inside and outside. He played like he was riffing, cool as jazz.

"He's a kid who is a pleaser," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "He likes to do things the right way and has a tendency sometimes to over-analyze things because he wants to be perfect with whatever our ball-screen coverage is or whatever we're running on offense.

"Sometimes he gets a little paralysis by analysis, but when he just plays and plays like an athlete, and obviously when he makes shots and bangs down threes like that, then he becomes a real, hard guard."

12-17-2011, 06:54 PM
Yeah, Bart, those comments by Art Thiel are great ..
Notably cranky even after wins, Few was genuinely pleased to triumph over a team (7-4) that made the Elite Eight of the NCAA tourney last spring. He was especially happy with Harris, whose inconsistency has hobbled his potential.

"I don't know (what the key to Harris is)," said Few, responding to a question. "If I could figure that out . . .

"He wants to be such a pleaser, he over-analyzes things. When he makes mistakes, he gets put out. He does his best when he plays like an athlete. This was definitely one of his best games, on both ends."
Harris exploded early, scoring 15 of the Zags' first 22 points, evoking comparisons to another hot-handed college performance in town from a night earlier. Over at Montlake, Tony Wroten scored 27 points in the Huskies' 87-80 win over UC-Santa Barbara.

The comparison also brought to mind again the dismay over the failure to get the two strongest programs in the state together on the floor. Seeing Wroten and Harris go at each other would warm a hoops fan's chilly week. But that's a topic for another day when college hoops gets a deserved bash for silliness.
Now 7-2 despite starting freshmen at both guard spots, Gonzaga looked a lot closer to its traditional March form.

"In a national perspective, Gonzaga can go toe-to-toe with anybody," Miller said. "You could see that today, in size and physicality. If this was a football game, they'd have rushed for 180 yards in the game, five yards at a crack.''

12-17-2011, 07:12 PM
Another terrific offering from John Blanchette (http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2011/dec/17/blanchette-e-electric/)
‘E’ is for Electric

SEATTLE – No one was writing anyone off, not with a week of Christmas shopping still remaining, but the Gonzaga Bulldogs had reached a point – as they seem to almost every season now – where they’d been caught in the switches.

Losses they needed to be victories, awkward showings against undervalued opponents, still no volunteers for that go-to bucket.

Saturday was time for the Zags to go uptown.

So they took the E Train.

The “E” in Elias Harris has suggested, at various times, both enticing and enigmatic during his stay at Gonzaga. In a 71-60 not-quite-stomping of Arizona in the Battle in Seattle at KeyArena, it stood simply for electric.

As in power. As in high voltage. Though there was something downright nuclear in it, too.

“He had something going,” agreed teammate Mike Hart, “and there wasn’t anyone out there capable of stopping him today.”
There would be no chiding for not “delivering” as was the case a week ago in a home loss to Michigan State. Harris opened the game with a pretty 3-pointer that launched a 14-0 Gonzaga start and drilled another that sent the Zags into halftime up 39-21. Between and after came an assortment of unstoppable post moves and relentlessness on the glass that stamped this as his best game since the 31-point, 13-rebound ravaging of Saint Mary’s his freshman year.

Best of all, he apparently saw it coming.

“In warm-ups, he told Stocks (guard David Stockton), ‘I’m hot,’” reported teammate Gary Bell. “Then he hit that first three and he was on a roll.”
“I don’t know if there’s a better forward out there,” said Arizona coach Sean Miller. “He’s striking with how tall he is. I didn’t know he was as big physically as he is.

“A guy that big a lot of times plays the 5. He’s fortunate, and Gonzaga is, that they have (Robert) Sacre with him, which gives them a great advantage, and then off the bench Dower is really good.”

12-17-2011, 07:32 PM
Tucson Citizen (http://tucsoncitizen.com/wildcatreport/2011/12/17/manhandled-gonzaga-exploits-a-persistent-arizona-problem/)
‘Manhandled”: Gonzaga exploits a persistent Arizona problem

It’s not a case of if Arizona is going to get manhandled by certain teams; it’s a case of how much.

“Tonight,” Wildcats coach Sean Miller said after a 71-60 loss to Gonzaga in Seattle, “was the most we’ve been manhandled.”

Gonzaga’s big front line dominated from the start. The Bulldogs led 22-4. They had 16 offensive rebounds. They got 25 points and eight rebounds from power forward Elias Harris. They forced Miller to play big most of the game, scrapping his three-guard lineup after falling into a familiar early hole.

This is Miller’s conundrum: He doesn’t have a roster in which all the parts fit together.
Arizona’s four losses — including those to Mississippi State, San Diego State and Florida — have all come against teams that are aggressive on the glass and/or have talented big men.

“The big front lines, the big frontcourt players, the physical teams on the glass, have really hurt us,” Miller said.

“We have to find a solution to offset that. We have to do a better job with the guys who are currently out there in terms of boxing out. And some of it, from an offensive perspective, you have to negate their height advantage by being hard to guard.

“Tonight, if you think about it … they paid no price.”

Miller said the Cats failed to make Gonzaga pay for daring forwards Solomon Hill and Jesse Perry to shoot from the outside. The Bulldogs’ big men were more content to hang in the lane and make it difficult for Arizona to drive.

12-17-2011, 07:44 PM
The Gonzaga Bulletin (http://www.gonzagabulletin.com/mbb-zags-shooters-don-t-make-it-rain-in-seattle-but-still-beat-arizona-71-60-1.2735170):

Not much that I hadn't already read in other coverage, but I liked this:
"Elias dominated down there. He controlled the paint, scoring down there, rebounding down there," said guard Mike Hart, who finished with six points and six offensive rebounds. "Me and Rob and the other guys came in and tried to get as many boards as we could, clog up that paint and make everything a battle down there."

12-17-2011, 07:49 PM
Best Quote!! Just made me laugh and chuckle. On Tuesday when we are in the Kennel they should play "This is why im Hot" lol

Best of all, he apparently saw it coming.

“In warm-ups, he told Stocks (guard David Stockton), ‘I’m hot,’” reported teammate Gary Bell. “Then he hit that first three and he was on a roll.”

12-17-2011, 07:59 PM
AP story in the Seattle PI (http://www.seattlepi.com/sports/article/Harris-27-leads-Gonzaga-past-Arizona-71-60-2409675.php)

SEATTLE (AP) — Teammates said his performance was "All-American" worthy. Arizona coach Sean Miller essentially called Elias Harris one of the best forwards in the country.

Even Harris had to acknowledge his game Saturday was pretty special.

"Today was not much thinking. Today was getting in there and getting the job done," Harris said. "That's what I did."

"It just feels awesome. It feels really good," Harris said. "You just like those kinds of situations. If you get going you can help your teammates get going."

After a quiet first eight games of the regular season, Harris finally broke out. He made six of his first seven shots and his 3-pointer in the closing seconds gave him 17 points in the first half, nearly outscoring the Wildcats by himself as Gonzaga led 39-21. He finished making 11 of 15 shots and added a game-high eight rebounds, an area Gonzaga held a 40-26 advantage over the undersized Wildcats.

No matter whom Arizona (7-3) lined up against Harris — usually either Jesse Perry or Solomon Hill — they couldn't slow him down. Whenever he wanted to score, he did, even hitting both of his 3-point attempts to show off his range.

"On the biggest stage ... he played like a veteran should, like a leader," Gonzaga guard Gary Bell Jr. said.

Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/sports/article/Harris-25-leads-Gonzaga-past-Arizona-71-60-2409675.php#ixzz1grKsUYEa

12-17-2011, 08:14 PM
Seattle-Times Game Photo Gallery (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/photogalleries/sports2017040980/)

Come on, folks! Fess up! Did you drive across the mountains to the game rigged up like this?


12-17-2011, 08:58 PM
Bud Withers, Seattle-Times (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/collegesports/2017040443_zags18.html)

Gonzaga uses defense, rebounding to overcome poor shooting in win over Arizona
The Zags never trailed Arizona, won 71-60, and for the first time this season, beat a team you can probably count on being in the NCAA basketball tournament in March.

In the narrowest sense, what Gonzaga did Saturday at KeyArena was important enough. The Zags never trailed Arizona, won 71-60, and for the first time this season, beat a team you can probably count on being in the NCAA basketball tournament in March.

But there might have been even a broader benefit in this Battle in Seattle for the Zags (7-2). Often a team that succeeds with its offense more than the other end, it survived a day when it was only 3 of 20 from three-point range.

Essentially, Gonzaga won because it was nails at two other things, taking care of the ball and rebounding. The Zags, who came in with a negative assist-turnover ratio, had a season-low six turnovers, and they bludgeoned the smaller Wildcats (7-4) on the boards, 40-26.

It was a different way to win.

"It was a big win," said Gonzaga guard Kevin Pangos. "Any time you can get a win against a program like that, it's big."

"They seem to bounce back. They're rarin' to go every day."

Few was talking mostly about Pangos and Bell, the freshman starting-guard tandem. They mirrored the team three-point shooting in going a combined 3 of 20 from the field, but they were steady every other way, especially Pangos, who had eight assists and a single turnover.

Said Wildcats guard Kyle Fogg, "They crashed the glass and we didn't have an answer for it."

12-17-2011, 09:10 PM
Not much new in this News-Tribune story (http://www.thenewstribune.com/2011/12/17/1949259/recap-gonzaga-vs-arizona.html), but I liked this:
“My mindset was to play hard defense, be active and fly around. I was not even thinking about going out there and putting points up. That is not what I do as a player,” Harris said. “I got going through the defensive end … and all of a sudden it comes easy on the offensive end.”

Read more: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2011/12/17/1949259/recap-gonzaga-vs-arizona.html#ixzz1grd5mLs3

12-17-2011, 09:45 PM
Arizona Daily Star (http://azstarnet.com/sports/blogs/pascoe/gonzaga-postgame-a-cloud-of-dust/article_968a89d0-292d-11e1-8617-001871e3ce6c.html)
Gonzaga postgame: A cloud of dust
"Mark Few does a great job. Gonzaga just keeps going. Their talent level, their discipline, their intelligence..."


Arizona did manage to contain Sacre to some extent, however. Sacre took only six field goals and only two free throws, while Harris took 15 shots.

Sacre entered the game as Gonzaga's leading scorer, averaging 15.5 points per game, but had only 10 today.

"Sacre is a great player," Nick Johnson said. "We definitely prepared for him and I guess we allowed Harris to come on, since we were helping so much on (Sacre)."

Read more: http://azstarnet.com/sports/blogs/pascoe/gonzaga-postgame-a-cloud-of-dust/article_968a89d0-292d-11e1-8617-001871e3ce6c.html#ixzz1grlYd7Yb

12-18-2011, 02:54 AM
Azstarnet (http://azstarnet.com/article_e268b3da-6db1-52bc-8fa2-8b15ef496a46.html):

Gonzaga 71, Arizona 60: UA sags against Zags

...It was apparent that the Zags were worried in particular about Solomon Hill - one of UA's most consistent players - who often drives efficiently to the basket and has also become the team's second-leading rebounder.

Gonzaga placed Sacre on Hill, which dared Hill to shoot from midrange or beyond.

The gamble paid off. Hill was 1 for 7 in the first half and missed all three three-pointers he attempted. As a team, Arizona was 10 for 32 overall and just 1 of 9 from three-point range before halftime.

"They guarded him with Sacre and played off him and when (they) do that, you have to answer the bell by making those shots," Miller said. "To me, that was one of the things that hurt us early. We missed a number of jump shots."
"We lost to a much bigger, more physical, stronger team," Miller said. "Their offensive rebounding, the physical nature, their advantage size-wise at a number of positions, was in place."

Gonzaga had 16 offensive rebounds, scoring 17 second-chance points off them while UA had only six second-chance points the entire game. What's more, the Bulldogs outscored UA 9-2 in second-chance points during the first half, effectively grabbing the spirit from the Wildcats just as the game was getting established.

"You say to yourself, 'We have 32 minutes left and look at that scoreboard,' " Miller said. "It's hard. It's daunting."
Freshman Nick Johnson said he didn't think Gonzaga necessarily wanted the game any more than UA did, but noticed something unmistakable about those first few minutes.

"They came out and punched us in the mouth," Johnson said. "We took a while to adjust. We just needed to adjust."

Read more: http://azstarnet.com/article_e268b3da-6db1-52bc-8fa2-8b15ef496a46.html#ixzz1gt0XuWdY
You know, looking at this game and Arizona's matchup problems with the Zags, I look back on what seems to me to be a long history of Zona swooping in and scooping up players Gozaga had recruited, like Nick Johnson. Can't help but wonder how it comes to pass that they don't have big guys to match up with the Zags ...

ZagMan in Philly
12-18-2011, 03:27 AM
Thanks ZN, i am going to make a lot of coffee, and then will sit down and read all these great articles of the big win.

12-18-2011, 09:55 AM
ZN you are remarkable don't know how you do it...

Thank you for finding all these great articles!

12-18-2011, 12:03 PM
ZN you are remarkable don't know how you do it...

Thank you for finding all these great articles!You're welcome! There was a lot of great stuff out there in the media after this game, mostly in regional sites in Washington in Arizona. I haven't looked today, but last night the major national sites like ESPN, CBS Sports, etc., had surprisingly little coverage. I guess that's what happens when neither team is ranked.

12-18-2011, 12:33 PM
You know, looking at this game and Arizona's matchup problems with the Zags, I look back on what seems to me to be a long history of Zona swooping in and scooping up players Gozaga had recruited, like Nick Johnson. Can't help but wonder how it comes to pass that they don't have big guys to match up with the Zags ...

They have swooped up "our" bigs, too. It wasn't so long ago that we were hot to recruit Solomon Hill, who we saw as a Plan B for Tyler Honeycutt (a 2+done for UCLA):


You saw him yesterday getting 6 pts, 6 rebs, & 3 asts w/ 2 tos. Having missed out on Hill, we got that Harris kid, who yesterday produced 25 pts, 8 rebs, & 1 ast w/ 0 tos. I'll take that deal! :D

maynard g krebs
12-18-2011, 03:37 PM
Can't help but wonder how it comes to pass that they don't have big guys to match up with the Zags ...

Coaching turmoil w/Lute's health, interim coach, guys decommitting etc. This was a good time to get them. Miller will have them back in short order.

12-18-2011, 11:26 PM
Articles like this just reinforce how lucky we are... Great win for the program, this team will only get better.