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nonzagzag
03-21-2012, 08:54 PM
Katz & Gottleib discuss the first weekend of tournament and mention the zags a number of times...

(3/19 podcast on ESPN men's basketball homepage)

http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/

SageOfZagville
03-22-2012, 07:58 AM
http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/blog/_/name/katz_andy/id/7717522/mark-brad-stevens-know-shaka-smart-going-through

"The biggest mistake is that everybody tries to project their own feelings and own thoughts and own values into what you think a guy should do,'' said Few. "It comes down to what that individual person wants in life.

"The only people that matter is the coach and the family and what they want and value and where they're at in life,'' said Few. "Do you want to pack up and move young kids, kids in junior high, high school? That's where it becomes an individual choice and situation.''

Few said that advancing to the NCAA tournament, which VCU has done in consecutive seasons under Smart, is paramount to the definition of a good job.

"If you're winning and advancing to the NCAA tournament and your teams are good enough to go far in the tournament, then what else do you need?'' Few said.

Few could have gone to Oregon. Indiana made a run at him, too. There were others. Gonzaga hasn't won a national title, but the Zags have been in the NCAA tournament every season he has coached, which is more than those jobs can claim.

"I just watched Butler compete for two titles in a row,'' Few said. "That's a pretty strong statement [to stay put].''

LynetteG
03-23-2012, 12:32 PM
My only criticism of Few, and I mean only, is that while he does a great job getting us to the tourney, he cannot get us deeper. I would really love to see him get some frank imput from other coaches who are successful in that regard and IMPLEMENT those suggestions. I know he talks with other coaches, but I would really love for him to be less rigid and more open to strategies, to really embrace other ideas and see if they work.

Baldwinzag
03-23-2012, 12:58 PM
My only criticism of Few, and I mean only, is that while he does a great job getting us to the tourney, he cannot get us deeper. I would really love to see him get some frank imput from other coaches who are successful in that regard and IMPLEMENT those suggestions. I know he talks with other coaches, but I would really love for him to be less rigid and more open to strategies, to really embrace other ideas and see if they work.

I think the first step in what I've noticed over the years is don't over-think or out-coach yourself when things are working or players are playing well -- if they have to play all 40 minutes to get the must-win, so be it.

I can't help but notice that Coaches in the Sweet 16/Elite-8 have actually tightened their rotation and played their top-players the most they can in these games...which makes sense to me.

Coach Few follows a pretty systematic approach to his rotations which doesn't seem to change a lick in post-season play, unless there is dramatic foul trouble to certain players

I think playing your *star* players in crunch time i.e. at the end of each half or ridingthe hot hand is of utmost importance this time of year. Its how and why you win and advance.

For instance, our best players in Pangos, GBJ, Sacre, Elias, etc none logged over 34 minutes in any single game. Same with last season.

Meanwhile, Ohio St, Kentucky, Syracuse, etc are playing their best for all 40 mins this time of year, especially when it matters most. Ohio St had TWO players log all 40 vs us and another with 38. They went two or three deep, same with the other "winning" teams.

Coach Few coached these games like we were playing USD in January. Players with 2 fouls were sitting in important turns of the game, also our starting players were being rotated far too frequently in a "do or die" scenario, imo. I can't say enough we gave up a critical 7 pt lead at the end of the 1st half b/c Sacre & Elias were on the bench for the final 5 mins with 2 fouls. Disgusting.

I guess I just compare us, and Coach Few's unique approach, to other teams who are in the elite-8 or Sweet 16 and again, can't help but notice their best players minutes INCREASED on averaged by 20% in this NCAA Tourney, while our best players stayed on par to their season average in minutes played or even decreased.

Some will state 'foul trouble' caused this, but no one fouled out for us as I've seen several players on other teams advancing and nor did we commit any more fouls per game than any other teams or players.

Its a decision that I don't prefer and have mentioned this to several friends/fans who have noticed our "go-to" guys play a lot less compared to our opposition, especially in "lose and your out" games when every. single. minute. is of the utmost importance.

For example, OSU playing Craft & Buford all 40 mins(and D.Thomas logged 39 mins) lead to their victory for us, which neither played all-40 during the regular season, but again, this isn't the regular season.

It just feels Coach Few follows his rotation/sub system to a T, all scenarios thought out, certain subs at precisely the 15 min TV timeout at each half, etc.

Others seem to realize its 'all-in or bust' and play their top guys the most they can, b/c 18-20 yr adults have no issues playing those minutes when its their last game of the season.

Its my only issue I can come up with, and mentioned many times, as I'm just comparing our methodology to the best of the best who play their best in the Tourney.

next year, if we earn another trip, it'd pain me to see players such as Elias, GBJ, Pangos log just 30 mins or so, unless severe severe foul trouble occurs.

Play your best when it matters most.

sittingon50
03-23-2012, 01:33 PM
As Few (& others) have mentioned, once you're there it depends on talent, matchups & luck. If Casey doesn't tipin vs Florida there is no Elite 8 & if he doesn't put back a block vs Virginia 2 yrs. later there is no Sweet Sixteen. If Blake makes the bank shot vs Arizona, if the Zags don't melt down vs UCLA, if..if..if..if..if......

That's just 4 games, all related to the Zags. What about all the other close games played by hundred's of teams over the years?

You gotta' get there first. After that.........

cjm720
03-23-2012, 01:37 PM
The craziest stat I've seen in a long time, Rick Pitino is 10-0 in the Sweet Sixteen.

That said...Lots of ifs, like 50 said.

75Zag
03-23-2012, 01:54 PM
The Bulldogs have made the Tournament for many years in a row, which is good for them. They have had a few Sweet 16 appearances and the fabulous Elite 8 appearance, which were all wonderful. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs (players, staff, administration) appear to be powerless over whether the Bulldogs can make the next step up on the ladder of US elite BB programs. Some schools can help their odds of climbing the NCAA ladder by stocking up on 5 star "one and done" players, but for reasons of budget, location, history and size, that does not appear to be an option for the Bulldogs. So we just have to wait and hope that somehow the basketball gods will favor us with a trip to the highest levels of NCAA basketball. At this point I am beginning to think that my chances of winning Powerball are better than the chance of GU making it to a Final Four, but who knows.

FuManShoes
03-23-2012, 02:05 PM
Re: Coaching in the Ohio St game. I thought Few should have kept Bell in the remainder of the game in lieu of a blow. He came out, the run ended, and the Zags couldn't score with Pangos missing shots. At least I think that's how it happened. Also, Dower was a beast on the offensive glass in the first half and maybe he should have been in at the end, when the Zags couldn't get a second-chance point to save their life.