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Reborn
10-02-2012, 12:20 PM
that you think is necessary for the Zags to improve in, if they are going to improve on last year's conference record, wcc tournament record and NCAA tournament finish.

For me it's the bench. And I think that this years bench is going to be really, really good. We need to improve in scoring off the bench and especally scoring from the outside. David S. needs to have a much better year shooting the ball from behind the arc. I think Drew Barham and Draino will provide real good shooting off the bench, and I also know that KO can also shoot quite well from behind the 3 point line. I think everyone is really excited to see these three guys play. I know I am. Of all the new guys, I am most excited about Kyle.

I think that one factor that is necessary in order for players coming off the bench to play well is that they are productive while on the floor. A player can not get into a groove unless he has the confidence of Mark Few that allows him to stay out of the floor for at least 5 minutes at a time. I believe Few has confidence in his bench shooters.

aflac4life
10-02-2012, 01:35 PM
I'll give the wheel a spin; Winning the opening tip and shutting down the opposing teams 3 point shooters.

stevet75
10-02-2012, 01:41 PM
I don't think anyone is going to go, consistantly, inside on us, so shutting down the opponents 3 point shooting would be my number one.
Number two would be for our passing off the bench to be better. Fewer turnovers.

JPtheBeasta
10-02-2012, 02:01 PM
They were a few in-and-out shots from beating Ohio State in the tournament. If they can maintain a reasonable level of defense close to what Rob provided down low, with the new additions and the natural growth of our back court the sky is the limit.

Oregonzagnut
10-02-2012, 03:09 PM
I know most will disagree with me, but I don't want to see any second half comebacks by any team. Practice a 40 minute game and never relent at any point all season. We need to be mentally ready to put the pedal to the metal even when we are up by 15 pts with 5 minutes left in the Dance. I cringe every time when Few switches to a clock managing slow paced game when we are ahead. Our opponents make it close because we ease up. Having that attitude during the season is like fostering a sense of overconfidence that we can afford to give points away when we have the game won.

It is OK to blow out any Div 1 team. This is sports. Do our best for 40 minutes and games like UCLA will never happen again. This ties into me wanting to see Mark Few sticking to what is working and don't micromanage and tweak lineups endlessly.

Stick to what is working for 40 minutes during the regular season and we will have greater success in the tournament and NEVER repeat the UCLA debacle of easing up too soon.

jpwils
10-02-2012, 03:24 PM
Fewer turnovers- especially on the road and against tough opponents like SMC and BYU.

Offensive rebounds as a team- KO, Dower, Harris, and Karnowski need to set the tone early and often in games.

HOOTER
10-02-2012, 03:24 PM
I know most will disagree with me, but I don't want to see any second half comebacks by any team. Practice a 40 minute game and never relent at any point all season.

What is there to dissagree with here? I think there's no doubt we'd all like to see them finish games strong and leave nothing to chance. I also agree with some of the previous comments about improving perimeter defense. I'd like to see them force teams to take their chances down low because they can't get anything going from outside.

Bogozags
10-02-2012, 03:26 PM
Name one area of the game that the Zags need to improve upon this coming season:

TEAM DEFENSE - in the paint and on the 3pt line.

I believe that improvement in this area will most certainly assist in getting us further into the tourney than we have in the last decade.

cggonzaga
10-02-2012, 04:40 PM
know most will disagree with me, but I don't want to see any second half comebacks by any team. Practice a 40 minute game and never relent at any point all season.

To me this goes back to bench play, more specifically bench offense. Point differential will look a lot higher this year I imagine because we seem to have guys coming off the bench that can score. This should also keep the regulars more rested.

BULLDOG#1
10-02-2012, 05:03 PM
transition d
three point d
pick and roll d
weak side rebounding
shooting % on the road
controlling tempo against good teams
FT % (no reason this can't be outstanding)
mental lapses

DixieZag
10-02-2012, 05:41 PM
Fewer turnovers.

Since we started two freshman in the backcourt last year and one first year D-1 player, I suspect that this will be one area that will show improvement.

I would also like to see us win at least 2/3 games played in the bay area. I am not even going to get all #####ly about WHICH two games, if they can beat SMC in Moraga then I guess I will take our annual loss at USF. I think 2/3 in the bay area is a great goal.

GonzaGAW
10-02-2012, 06:44 PM
first turnovers. all our guards have above average handles, and karnowski is suppose to have soft hands. i hope and would think we could cut down our turnovers by 2 a game. thats about 2 points more on offense, and one less point given up on defense from fast break opportunities. 3 extra points is game changing huge. end of games turn from a one possession game, to two, huge.

the second is on those end of the half or end of game last possession, that the team is more efficient, successful in scoring the basket. i'm not saying we have to have a "go to guy", i think any one of 3 or 4 guys could take a last shoot. i just think the team can improve on running a play and finding better last second shots than they did last year.

Baseline
10-02-2012, 07:46 PM
I'm hoping for better rebounding and win a few of the tips at the start!

Zagtana
10-02-2012, 08:17 PM
With the size the Zags will have in the paint, and with GU having several good outside shooters, we'll likely have an above normal amount of chances from the charity line. I'd like to see us converting a high percent of the freebies (think Sacre the last couple of seasons). Hate seeing us waste FREE shots.

Hoopaholic
10-02-2012, 08:38 PM
The three slot has to show consistency on the offensive sets and in particular on defense to take pressure off Harris and bell.

bostonzagfan
10-02-2012, 09:16 PM
one of the players to develop into an elite national player.

U Zig, I Zag
10-02-2012, 09:36 PM
I agree with Boston.

If I had to add my own, I would say having someone that could go off the bounce and score when we need some points. We will probably have a pretty balanced attack, but during the dry spells it's nice to have a go to guy. E was it at times (and will probably be that guy this year) - but I would like to see GBJ pick up that role on the team. It took JP until his last year, but he was able to do that - just get to the rim and make something happen.

Also, defend the 3 - but that's an obvious one.

Baldwinzag
10-02-2012, 09:48 PM
and something most analysts have already eluded to...

our backcourt back-ups stunk it up last year, especially being so TO prone (it was the complete opposite the year before, as they were a strength).

If one disagrees, just look as far as statistics and TO% vs mins played and our back-ups were pretty pitiful at times.

Stocks, Carter, Keita, Monninghoff, et al were just not good enough last season.

There have been numerous articles presenting the limited amount of TO's given up by our two Frosh Phenoms, and on the other hand, the the sheer amount of TO's by our reserves given their limited minutes...

I have a feeling Dranginis coming off RS and continued improvement of David Stockton will help shore up this glaring weakness.

I believe it improves this year.

hooter73
10-02-2012, 10:26 PM
Pedal down and keep it down.

At least two dominate players on O, team D, bench play... that will all come from the mindset.

as a side note I honestly am starting to feel bad for any of our opponents young freshmen forwards that have to go up against a senior Elias Harris.

Oregonzagnut
10-02-2012, 11:01 PM
What is there to disagree with here? I think there's no doubt we'd all like to see them finish games strong and leave nothing to chance. I also agree with some of the previous comments about improving perimeter defense. I'd like to see them force teams to take their chances down low because they can't get anything going from outside.

The reason why I said "most might disagree" is because in the past I called our "bad" habit of letting games stay close, a lack of "killer instinct". And that term is taboo for many. We have a killer instinct. Its just that Few just doesn't let us trounce teams and he errs (erred) on the side of giving points away. IMO, in order to prove our domination when the selection committee sees the final scores we want to have a margin of victory as big as possible. I think we need all the help we can get to build up our seeding and have a dominant, no remorseful, regular season. IMO, this is what we need to do to reach that next level of seeding and get into our opponents heads that we will play for 40 minutes. Many people see a desire to score as much as possible as a sign of poor sportsmanship or that it is "un-Zag" like to blow a team out. A good sport is a good sport whether you win or lose. Few is a good sport.

Here is my problem. In the past Few seemed to have taken risks and err on the side of not appearing to run up the score. (IMO). We would be up by 15 with 2 minutes and he goes to our 3rd team. The opponent still loses but Few gives them 5-7 points. So we only win by 8-10. but if he would just continue to play normal, instead of winning by 10 we increase the score and actually win by 15-17 because we played all 40 minutes. So after 3-4 more games per season where we chose to play all 40 minutes, our resume appears stronger and more dominant. The selection committee won't say "Few was mean." they will say "Gonzaga dominated" and give us a fair or better seed (I hope).

This is why I think greater margins of victory might help seeding. And I think Few needs to sacrifice giving points at the end for giving NO points at the end.

At least cut garbage time in half and never let a team gain points on us.

Question: Did anyone remember that LMU and the Hank Gathers era was known for unsportsmanlike running up of the scores or did they get credit for running up and down the court and scoring!

You can score as much as possible and still be known for playing the game like it should be played. All out all the time!

CDC84
10-02-2012, 11:38 PM
The frontcourt guys need to cut down on the turnovers. GU's guards weren't the problem last year....it was the big guys. Pangos averaged less TO's per game than Dan Dickau, Jeremy Pargo and Blake Stepp did as upperclassmen. It was Dower, Harris and Sacre that were the problem. Especially in WCC play. They were either too quick with their decision making (Harris) or too slow to make a decision (Dower and Sacre).

With the 3 point shot in the modern college game, no game truly turns into a blow out until it has reached the 30 point mark. You can't turn off the gas when you get a 20 point lead anymore. Them days are over. You will eventually get sent home a loser if you do this. Especially in the NCAA tournament when teams are playing as if their life depended on it. This doesn't mean that with a 20 point lead in the 2nd half you should foolishly start full court pressing and give the other team more possessions in hopes of running up the score. You do want to work the shot clock and be smart. But you need to continue to run solid halfcourt offense, and, most importantly, defend well in the halfcourt so that the other team is forced to run offense and burn up time.

NotoriousZ
10-03-2012, 05:22 AM
By all accounts our offense should score more points this year, perhaps more than ever.

But the loss of Sacre makes us weaker in the middle on defense, and everbody knows it. To deal with that loss we will have to rebound as a team even better than we did last year.

tinfoilzag
10-03-2012, 06:25 AM
Post entry passing.

titopoet
10-03-2012, 06:46 AM
One of the most important aspects of the game, communication.

The basis of great defense and great offense. If the guys stay on the same page and know what each is doing, they will be alright.

cjm720
10-03-2012, 07:05 AM
Lots of good posts. Can't argue with the bench, and I think we will be vastly improved.

My one thing: Harris needs to dominate every single night. He will make life easier on our dynamic duo.

omahazag
10-03-2012, 07:58 AM
one of the players to develop into an elite national player.

Yep; and become the go to player when we need a basket or the game is on the line.

bartruff1
10-03-2012, 08:14 AM
Name one area of the game that the Zags need to improve upon this coming season:

TEAM DEFENSE - in the paint and on the 3pt line.

I believe that improvement in this area will most certainly assist in getting us further into the tourney than we have in the last decade.

TEAM DEFENSE will win most games, but in the One and Done March, it is the best and most dependable weapon a coach has to keep you in the game and give you a chance to win. I hate to mention Butler....damn...I just did !!!

75Zag
10-03-2012, 08:15 AM
GU needs Harris or maybe somebody else to develop into a genuine Go To Superstar. I know the preference of many on this board is that we should "love all our children [players] the same" but I have not seen that approach work all that well. A break out year for Harris as he heads to (hopefully) the NBA will be good for him and good for GU's NCAA hopes.

Go Bulldogs!

DADoZAG
10-03-2012, 09:35 AM
Post entry passing.

cjm720 is right, a lot of good posts.

If I had to pick just one, I'd go with just the opposite of what tinfoil posted although I think (s)heís on the right track.

The in-out and high-low game must improve, especially the kick outs. I'd really like to see our posts pushing Pangos for assist leader (they wonít catch him, but push him they should).

On the other end of the floor, the pick and roll was a battle that the ZAGS canít give up on if they want to go deep. Rob made great strides by the end of the year, but do the ZAGS have someone to replace his defensive footwork?

Go ZAGS!

JPtheBeasta
10-03-2012, 09:49 AM
On the other end of the floor, the pick and roll was a battle that the ZAGS canít give up on if they want to go deep. Rob made great strides by the end of the year, but do the ZAGS have someone to replace his defensive footwork?

Go ZAGS!

A very good point. Perhaps Stockton can bring his friend Malone along to the scout team so that we can practice against the pick and roll :] Delladova is very good with screens and has killed us with it. That area concerns me more than our typically lackluster 3-point defense.

CDC84
10-03-2012, 10:36 AM
Zags also need to get more scoring out of the small forward position.

tinfoilzag
10-03-2012, 10:41 AM
cjm720 is right, a lot of good posts.

If I had to pick just one, I'd go with just the opposite of what tinfoil posted although I think (s)heís on the right track.

The in-out and high-low game must improve, especially the kick outs. I'd really like to see our posts pushing Pangos for assist leader (they wonít catch him, but push him they should).

On the other end of the floor, the pick and roll was a battle that the ZAGS canít give up on if they want to go deep. Rob made great strides by the end of the year, but do the ZAGS have someone to replace his defensive footwork?

Go ZAGS!

We are thinking the same thing.
John Stockton made Karl Malone with the way he got him the ball inside. He lead him when he had pinned his guy on one side or the other and got the ball to him quickly when the defense was shifting. Do I have to mention how on the pick and roll, when he did give the ball up, it was to the guys shoulders so he could shoot right away or drive/pass.

It's a lost art.

We are going to have two 7' guys inside. It's going to be very important to not lead them into charges/travels, pin them on the baseline, or bounce it off of their shins. Get them the ball high and quickly and with the size and skill advantage, a lot of their game will take care of itself.

We get a lot of turnovers attributed to our inside guys but some of the time, the entry pass set them up for failure.

BTW I'm a guy.

GrizZAG
10-03-2012, 02:53 PM
Now we are talkin Basketball! This is the best thread with so much good stuff I am surprised it has not gotten the five stars. It is constructive and right on. Good job fans!
This is what it is all about:1bestever:

Reborn
10-03-2012, 03:32 PM
The closer we get to the season, these kind's of threads will begin to pop up. I agree that the responses have been fabulous. Great job with alot of insight. The one I liked (other than the one about an improved bench) is that we need to have a go to guy, a guy that can score one on one. IMO it was NOT Elias Harris last year, and in that one area he was disapointing. I hope he improves. Gary Bell really showed me in that Ohio St game in the NCAA tournament that he can score one on one, and he had flashes of that during the year. He is my go to guy, the guy who can take his defender one on one and be creative with the basektball.

Sacre did commit a lot of turnovers. CDC is right that we NEED to improve in this area.

GrizZAG
10-03-2012, 03:50 PM
Yeah, Five STARS! Great

Never seen Karno play yet but if it is true that he has soft hands and can pass out, I'm thinking....feed the beast all night long. He will be a force to recon with and hopefully on defense as well as offense.

spike_jr
10-03-2012, 07:53 PM
I would like to see GU improve the scoring on out of bounds plays. The efficiency seems to have fallen off over the past few years. We used to be deadly on out of bounds plays - a lot of easy baskets (dunks and layups) or wide open jump shots. We never threw the ball all the way to the back court just to get it in bounds. I know we have the players to do it. Time to dust off the old play book and get some easy baskets

zag944
10-04-2012, 09:48 AM
This team appears very deep, so with regards to the bench, no one who is a complete liability on either end of the floor should see any PT except for garbage minutes. Mark Few has often seemed ok with playing guys that make one end of the court 4 vs 5, but that was probably more out of necessity and should never be the case with this squad.

If a backup guard is generally overmatched on defense, he better learn to play passing lanes well. If a wing player cant create anything on offense, he needs to be able to knock down the wide open three 35% of the time when a defense sags off him. Etc.

Reborn
10-04-2012, 09:57 AM
I like how you summed it up, Zag944

Papa K
10-04-2012, 10:07 AM
I would like to see more give and goes and back cuts to the rim in our offensive sets. Like Bouldin used to do. Get more good looks before the shot clock expires.
Sounds like the team is gellin, can't wait for this years ride. I don't see any weakness in our front or back court. Lets hope everyone stays healthy all season.
GO ZAGS

GonzagasaurusFlex
10-04-2012, 11:55 AM
The sooner this team full o' talent can widdle the rotation down to a set 8-9 (max) players the better. With KO and the Big Pole (to quote his self-titled picture caption from another post) new to the mix; what this team most needs is time playing together on the court against other teams. You can only gel so much in practice; postseason success will depend on how much gelling takes place during the season by the players getting majority of the minutes during the inevitable shortened rotation come tourney time.