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View Full Version : Is Gonzaga's Offense More Complicated Than Most?



zagitarious
04-03-2012, 06:57 PM
Mentioned in another thread. I like JP am curious to see what people have to say about this.

Vanzagger
04-03-2012, 07:52 PM
Focus on D

bballbeachbum
04-03-2012, 07:56 PM
fun question. I'll take an opening stab at it, rise or fall

is GU's O more complicated is the question.

vs. m2m or zone might get different replies, but ignoring that because I edited to get my post to this length...

It's always a changing look from Few's O, my opinion, based out of that Flex in many ways, but so much of it adjusted to the talents of the players over they years too. From the flex to Pargo's teams for example, which did things differently offensively letting him drive and create and things like that to take advantage of his abilities, to the last couple of years which relied heavily on feeding the post early and often to intiate and get the D scrambling or take advantage of one on one down low

there is all kinds of stuff to read about Flex offense, none of this available when I was learning (you newbies are lucky like this :) ) but here is one

http://www.coachesclipboard.net/Animations/FlashFlexOffense.html

click on Feeding the Post. it's pretty straight forward, and although I didn't chart a game this year (no time) this looks familiar to the options we saw GU run often.

other GU teams fed the post a lot too, maybe some can correct me, but the dependence on that specific weapon has been used a lot more these last couple of years...again I think because of personnel and decisions to adjust the O accordingly

I think the flex, in all of its intricacies and beautiful simplicities, is coming back big with GU and the players in house. Oriakhi might change some of that, but otherwise there's not really a Pargo penetrator type, so

more complicated? it depends is my answer, and I think next year it will be more complicated than this in the sense that the Flex likes good passing and cutting and next year's team may have good tools to do it more traditionally regarding the flex. who knows, we'll see.

Looking forward to reading thoughtful posts on the subject to kick off the offseason!

:cheers:

CDC84
04-03-2012, 08:45 PM
In my view, the offense has become less sophisticated since the program has gotten better talent - or at least talent that can win a lot of isolation matchups.

But when Few wants to bring out the goods he can. Go back and watch the game tape of Gonzaga's victory against Kevin Durant's Texas team. They flex motioned the Longhorns off the floor. He had the Horns utterly confused. Few particularly likes to run some of this stuff when he's facing a younger team who just can't keep track of all the screening action.

I would like to see more flex come back because the program has so many dang good shooters now. There will be even more with Dranginis and perhaps Lockett added to the mix. You also have bigs like Harris, Dower and Olynyk who can knock down 3's. There were too many times this season when Gonzaga's offense just seemed to drag and go nowhere. Running some of that action gives the offense some direction and can reinvigorate things.

duper
04-03-2012, 09:34 PM
The flex offense in its basic form is very simple to teach and to learn, most high school teams learn it even if they don't run it, because so many teams do run it that they need to practice against it. If you can't get the basic motion down in one practice your teams IQ is low. With that being said there are infinite number of sets and entry plays that can be used with this offense. I used to really like to watch GU run the "reverse flex or flex high" that really worked well with Turriafs group.

GU however runs very little flex offense anymore. They do still run it and run it effectively when they want. But now they run much more of a drive and kick offense, usually in a 2 in and 3 out set. It is very similar to John Calipari's drive and kick offense but they usually run more 4 out 1 in sets. If it doesn't work they generally run a 2 man game with a pick and role or post up and reposition type of play.

The flex is a great offense but when you have extreme talent it can be hidden within the offense which I imagine can hurt recruiting and if you have GU's level of talent it isn't good to hide that talent.

To the original question, is GU's offense complicated? No. it is basically the same as about 70 percent of the colleges run. Nobody is reinventing the wheel! Not in Spokane, not at Duke, and not in the Blue Grass State either.

MickMick
04-03-2012, 09:42 PM
GU can do just about anything offensively except spread out the opposing defense and isolate using a superior ball handler NBA style. There isn't a Tim Hardaway on this team. They are a far cry from the "dribble drive" offense that Calapari used most effectively at Memphis.

They can post up inside, work the high-low, kick out to the perimeter, and shoot from outside. Additionally, the bigs all have a mid range shot. They can also be effective in transition when Edi, Bell, and Pangos are on the floor. Notre Dame (2011) would be a good team for this group to emulate. They must get better at setting picks to make their "pick n rolls" work. The play reminds me of a football tight end "selling" a block and then slipping behind the linebackers. Just like "selling" the block, you must "sell" the pick. Dellevedova and Waldow really have this down. This is where KO could shine if he works hard at it.


All they lack is a clutch "go to" guy when the chips are down.When pressed by the shot clock, a "go to" guy can create his own shot. A player that Few could diagram a play for during a time out with the game on the line. There is possibly a player on the roster capable of doing that, but one hasn't fully emerged yet. Bell looked promising down the stretch against Ohio State. Harris is a great player when considering his rebounding, but he does not "take over" games offensively with the game on the line (ie. Ohio State again).

I'm for any offensive philosophy predicated on finding and expoiting mismatches though they get increasingly tougher to find when advancing in post season.

Imagine this team if they had an Adam Morrison at the wing. I personally believe that Dranginis is our best hope for approximating that.

duper
04-03-2012, 11:11 PM
Not like Calipari's Dribble Drive offense? Ask Mark Few who his Dribble Drive Offense is modeled after. I've been to multiple coaching clinics where he and other GU coaches have mentioned it and even called it a hybrid of Calipari's offense. Also mentioned in "Mark Few Scoring Against Pressure Defenses" video.

MickMick
04-04-2012, 06:53 AM
So the Zags run Calapari's scheme?

I have not seen it. Point out a game I can go back to and reference.

I don't think they have the horses to pull it off in post season. Perhaps in the WCC. This is a pick n pop team. They will not beat the big dogs with athleticism. I don't care if Few teaches it in seminars or not. You adapt your system to your players.

john montana
04-04-2012, 08:28 AM
We rarely run the flex anymore, though we did at times this year. I don't think our offense is complicated.

gamagin
04-04-2012, 10:10 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxtN0xxzfsw&feature=related

titopoet
04-04-2012, 12:01 PM
Mark Few does not run the Flex, but a modified Flex, 4 out 1 in motion offense. Lately, he has been adding more read and react principles. Here is a good breakdown of what he is running currently (http://coachingbetterbball.blogspot.com/2009/07/breaking-down-gonzagas-ball-screening.html) (but be careful, Few is always adjusting what he is doing and already he is doing even more than this breakdown)

His offense has more options built in and he needs smart guards to read and react

Also, as an aside, Coach Cal played less dribble drive this year than he has since he he installed Walberg's offense. Make sense. When he had Rose or Wall, attacking from the drive was the best option. The team that got him championship, though, was all about having the bigs. He used more post and flex motion to get the ball into his bigs.

All great coaches adjust to the strength of the teams.

bballbeachbum
04-05-2012, 05:48 PM
Im saying the flex could come back, not that GU runs it. Im saying the spread and pound the post O from last year can evolve back into the flex easily, as Fews offenses do adjust and evolve over time as weve seen by personnel, and that last years O would be less 'complicated' (complex) than what I think GU can do out of the flex (with the option to pound inside a nice familiar feature of the flex too) with the right players, which next years team just may have. Kelly, Sam and reportedly Karnowska all have the inside/outside Bigs skill for it, Spangs reminds many of Violette, and the guards seem well suited too, yes?

Kind of like full circle, back to basics, like last years freshman class.

off season fun talk

titopoet
04-06-2012, 08:09 AM
Im saying the flex could come back, not that GU runs it. Im saying the spread and pound the post O from last year can evolve back into the flex easily, as Fews offenses do adjust and evolve over time as weve seen by personnel, and that last years O would be less 'complicated' (complex) than what I think GU can do out of the flex (with the option to pound inside a nice familiar feature of the flex too) with the right players, which next years team just may have. Kelly, Sam and reportedly Karnowska all have the inside/outside Bigs skill for it, Spangs reminds many of Violette, and the guards seem well suited too, yes?

Kind of like full circle, back to basics, like last years freshman class.

off season fun talk

GU's four out one in is a form of the Flex. Few has never abandoned it, but continues to adjust it depending on his personal. Watching GU last year and one could see the signature Flex cut hundreds, hundreds and hundreds of times. E Harris's tying three against OSU was off the classic Flex cut. The only reason Few now calls it four in one out and not the Flex is that he does so much more out of it. He runs more sets than the Flex classical sets. He runs pick and rolls more often and he is also using more High Low action among his post players. That will not change as Kelly O is a good passer and a good outside shooter, a dream player for the running a high low from the freethrow line. (Spangs also has looked good in such sets) E Harris ran it will from that position and Sacre was okay but need to take more shots to make more effective.

He is also giving his guards more freedom in read and react situations in his offense. If the D is going to do this then guard needs to read, adjust and react. He needs high IQ guys that can read and react. In Pangos, Bell, and Stockton, he has the guards to do it.

He is one of the best Xs and Os coach in that he understands the offense and more importantly he gets his guys to understand it and get the open shot. The best offenses have the same goal, getting open shots to the people who can hit it. In most cases, Few's offense does that. In the closing minutes of the game against OSU, Gu's offense got it to open man in a position to hit the shot. Pangos and E Harris got the ball in a position to get a wide open 3 in a place both had hit it before.

Tragically, the shots did not fall. The fact they did not fall does not reflect the offense's quality as the offense did what it was suppose to do, get to open man for a shot he can hit.

bballbeachbum
04-06-2012, 08:33 AM
GU's four out one in is a form of the Flex. Few has never abandoned it, but continues to adjust it depending on his personal. Watching GU last year and one could see the signature Flex cut hundreds, hundreds and hundreds of times. E Harris's tying three against OSU was off the classic Flex cut. The only reason Few now calls it four in one out and not the Flex is that he does so much more out of it. He runs more sets than the Flex classical sets. He runs pick and rolls more often and he is also using more High Low action among his post players. That will not change as Kelly O is a good passer and a good outside shooter, a dream player for the running a high low from the freethrow line. (Spangs also has looked good in such sets) E Harris ran it will from that position and Sacre was okay but need to take more shots to make more effective.

He is also giving his guards more freedom in read and react situations in his offense. If the D is going to do this then guard needs to read, adjust and react. He needs high IQ guys that can read and react. In Pangos, Bell, and Stockton, he has the guards to do it.

He is one of the best Xs and Os coach in that he understands the offense and more importantly he gets his guys to understand it and get the open shot. The best offenses have the same goal, getting open shots to the people who can hit it. In most cases, Few's offense does that. In the closing minutes of the game against OSU, Gu's offense got it to open man in a position to hit the shot. Pangos and E Harris got the ball in a position to get a wide open 3 in a place both had hit it before.

Tragically, the shots did not fall. The fact they did not fall does not reflect the offense's quality as the offense did what it was suppose to do, get to open man for a shot he can hit.

tito, one of Few's biggest fans I am. He is the reason I am a GU basketball fan. He's my favorite coach, and GU's missed open looks were a part of losses all season, mentioned continually...GU got lots of open looks, don't know how many times I wrote that but it was a lot.


The fact they did not fall does not reflect the offense's quality as the offense did what it was suppose to do, get to open man for a shot he can hit.[/ No arguments. I agree and have not dissed the O quality at all.

I get the feeling you are feeling like I'm going after Few, but I am not. No need to defend him as I am not attacking him, actually praising him for his cool evolutions to accomodate his personnel. There are some posters on here who probably have tired of my pm's outlining how Few schooled such and such a coach here, and so and so there.

and I expect the O will change and evolve again based on the players' skills.

Ebay
04-06-2012, 08:33 AM
It can be more frustrating to watch then most, that's for sure. Although, I am probably biased.

titopoet
04-06-2012, 10:56 AM
tito, one of Few's biggest fans I am. He is the reason I am a GU basketball fan. He's my favorite coach, and GU's missed open looks were a part of losses all season, mentioned continually...GU got lots of open looks, don't know how many times I wrote that but it was a lot.

No arguments. I agree and have not dissed the O quality at all.

I get the feeling you are feeling like I'm going after Few, but I am not. No need to defend him as I am not attacking him, actually praising him for his cool evolutions to accomodate his personnel. There are some posters on here who probably have tired of my pm's outlining how Few schooled such and such a coach here, and so and so there.

and I expect the O will change and evolve again based on the players' skills.

No, I don't think that you are going after Few. Not at all. It was that he is running a version of Flex that is his own and you thought he should return to the Flex, I was just saying that he never left the Flex. That was it.

Basketball has so many effective offensives and defenses. I think (though not you) many people speculate that there is one way or a better way of running an offense than what GU runs. At the start of the season someone always suggests that we install Mike Anderson version of forty minutes of pressure. Or a 1-3-1 trapping zone. Or the dribble drive. Though, interestingly enough, no ever suggest running ball control offense, even though as Notre Dame (lately) or Wisconsin has shown, it can be effective (Boring but effective).

The key to being a good coach is learning one system then getting your guys to buy in. Whether it is Ryan's swing offense or Dribble Drive that Cal uses, the key is always the buy in by your players. One of Cal's accomplishment when he first installed the dribble drive was getting Joey Dorsey to buy in. Not easy task as the dribble drive meant less shots and points for him, and possibly losing his chance at the NBA. He sold it by telling the kid he would be like Rodman as a rebounder and defensive stopper and the NBA would love it. Then he further sold it by always praising Joey's D and rebounding in the press in post game.

bballbeachbum
04-06-2012, 11:47 AM
right on tito, great post. I remember thinking what a great move it was for Lavin when he brought in Keady to sell the defense to St. John's.

we're agreeing on many things I think, like


It's always a changing look from Few's O, my opinion, based out of that Flex in many ways, but so much of it adjusted to the talents of the players over the years too.

and maybe not as much on other parts


next year's team may have good tools to do it more traditionally regarding the flex....

I like having the diagrams and name for GU's offense too. Thanks

UberZagFan
04-06-2012, 02:33 PM
Is Gonzaga's Offense More Complicated Than Most?

No.


He is one of the best Xs and Os coach in that he understands the offense and more importantly he gets his guys to understand it and get the open shot. The best offenses have the same goal, getting open shots to the people who can hit it. In most cases, Few's offense does that. In the closing minutes of the game against OSU, Gu's offense got it to open man in a position to hit the shot. Pangos and E Harris got the ball in a position to get a wide open 3 in a place both had hit it before.

Tragically, the shots did not fall. The fact they did not fall does not reflect the offense's quality as the offense did what it was suppose to do, get to open man for a shot he can hit.

That's a lot of defending of Few--not that that's a bad thing. But using the last 4 of the OSU game is probably not a good example. On one hand, Matta had his offense go through Sully on the block who shoots over 50% from the field and probably higher than that from the positions on the floor where he received the ball. On the other hand, Few had his offense have two guys who shot "open" threes who were about 40% 3pt shooters (with one guy who was 1-8 or something from 3 on that night). Uber would take the 50% chance on the block any day of the week--well except for those days when you have to have 3 points.

FWIW, at least with respect to Harris' second three, Uber doubts that is what Few had drawn up. It was a good look and was obviously an option in the set, but pretty sure there was a better option in Few's plan that was just bottled up by OSU defense.