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Goshzagit
11-10-2012, 06:06 AM
Still a concern. MIA.

Out-rebounded in 1st half.

If it weren't for some late game offensive put-backs, we would have been out-rebounded by Southern Utah.

+3 rebounding margin vs inferior competition won't cut it.

Coach Few has stated ad nauseum this pre-season, "interior toughness and rebounding are a potential concern" He's been quoted on at least 3 occasions sharing this same question mark.

It was worrisome last evening. Sam Dower with 3 total rebs in 26 minutes. Floating along the perimeter, away from the basket, and staring at basket during shots attempts was terrible form if we wish to remedy our primary 'weakness'.

Ironically or interestingly enough, Coach Bob Huggins was quoted as saying, "interior depth, defense, and toughness as his #1 strength this season". Val posted this, Baldwinzag posted this, and West Va fans/vistors have posted this...

The test starts Monday night.

We know we can score with the best of 'em, transition with perfect execution, fluidity on offense was off-the-charts, team chemistry, perimeter play, great shooting, full-court press ALL looked terrific, yet no reason to blow smoke -- Elias & Sam were smoked on defense on several occasions and rebounding intensity, focus, fundamentals weren't up to par. Weren't good enough, not in the least.

E, unfortunately, did not look 100% to me and he's our most capable rebounder. Also, he may have injured his right hand as he was holding, shaking, and wrapping it up during the 2nd half.

It goes without saying, Karnowski looked solid with effort and soft hands, yet he can't do it himself vs the likes of 4 tough as nails and HUGE players for West Virginia.

I'll follow Coach Few's lead on his concern over toughness and rebounding. Right now, its not there.

I have an inkling our guard play is going to have to play outstanding and shoot exceptionally well to hang with the Mountaineers, b/c I feel they'll neutralize Elias & Sam and out-rebound us by at least 10 boards. Not to mention, their ability to score and could be one of the better offensive rebounding teams in the country with Aaric Murray & Deniz Kilizli up front. Both are huge, mean, tough, and love to pound.

From a scoring standpoint, we'll do just fine, yet its this type of match-up that make us miss Rob Sacre in a hurry.

Karnowski is still getting his bearings in terms of physicality, so who will step up and bang vs their boys? Their PF is 270 lbs and C is 255 lbs of muscle and are proven rebounders, plus their transfers were all legit rebounders as well at previous D1 schools.

the key will be in the key and if we come out with the same defensive intensity up front or lack of rebounding, we're going to get killed on Monday.

thoughts?

Reborn
11-10-2012, 06:41 AM
I certainly don't have the concern that you do. First, this is not last year's team with Rob. Personally, I get a little tired of the continuous comparrison's of our low post players with Rob, and mostly because it's always done in a negative way. Our low post players are not like Rob, but that does not mean they can not be as valuable to this team. First of all, imo, Rob was NOT a great rebounder. He was good at keeping his man off the boards, which is exactly what I see going on this year.

2nd Elias is a very good rebounder and has definitely been doing a great job of rebounding this year. One reason these guys' numbers are down is that they are not playing that many minutes.

3rd Edy's numbers are up and why do you think that is? Because our bigs are keeping their men off the boards and Edi and Hart and the whole team are getting the rebounds.

This team is much different then last year's team, and so far the strength of this year's team has been team defense. If we lack rebounding strength then our defense is going to make up for it. There has not been much said so far about how good Karnowski is on defense, which was Rob's strength. There is not going to be a huge drop off there. PK is a hustler, and he is very strong. He is the best screener I've seen at GU. Yeah! WV has some big guys, and I can hardly wait to see PK and Elias, and even Dower go up against them. I will go with our guys over their bigs. I am really excited for this game with WV, but in a very positive way.

I am not feeling negative about the low post match ups at all, and in fact I'm looking forward to it. Yes, WV will be tough, but the Zags will be tougher.

TacomaZAG
11-10-2012, 06:45 AM
especially until KO gets back, and even then since he hasn't played a minute in over a year. Karno will be fine but I'm starting to get concerned about Sam. As was said on other threads, he seems to be floating around the perimeter instead of "banging" underneath.

Sam is starting to seem to be in the same "split personality" mold of Josh Heytvelt, a big guy who coach Few wanted to be a 5 but who kept on playing like a 4. I'm not saying Sam can't be a quality 4 but, if so, he needs either Karno or KO in there with him to help guard the basket.

Like Josh, everyone knows Sam can score, from the perimeter as well as underneath, but the defensive effort and rebounding commitment has yet to materialize.

Here's hoping, because we really need it...........

We'll see, starting Monday night.

Go ZAGS

CarolinaZagFan
11-10-2012, 06:49 AM
Overreact much? Sure Monday is a game that I wish Spangler was still around so he could help out down low. But come on, no way we "get killed" on Monday. The boys will be fine. Ever think we didn't have a ton of rebounds because we forced 28 turnovers? Kinda tough to get boards when the opponent can't get a shot up.

JPtheBeasta
11-10-2012, 07:10 AM
I am interested to see how much foul pressure they put on KarNASTY and Sam. We don't have a ton of depth, and we are going to probably see Hart at the 4 for stretches again on Monday. It's not an ideal situation. I hope KO's bonehead off the court stuff ends up being a non-issue in this one.

Goshzagit
11-10-2012, 07:29 AM
that said, we'll see what happens on the boards & interior defense on Monday night.

As my post stated, I have no concern vs 99% of the teams we'll face given our shooting ability and offensive efficiency, yet West Va isn't the best match-up considering their strength is most certainly our weakness.

I didn't make this up. Coach Few has stated in every media interview, and our stats/performance last night confirmed it, at least thus far.

I understand its easy to overlook given the 100+ pts scored last night, but that's a given. Its not overreacting, its sharing a concern.

We know we can score and generally our best defense is a high octane offense, which we have...

I think we can defend at a high level, along the perimeter, yet after Game 1, I didn't see the interior toughness/defense fundamentals/rebounding I was looking for --

We all had areas of focus we watched closely last night and that was mine. The eye test wasn't up to snuff in those specific areas.

I hope we're up to the challenge Monday evening.

spike_jr
11-10-2012, 07:36 AM
I agree with Goshzagit. We were outrebounded for most of the game by inferior competition. This concerns me because sooner or later we will have an off night offensively. Defense and rebounding win these types of games. It is not that we do not have the players to get the job done, the mindset and desire are not there.... yet

roxdoc
11-10-2012, 08:02 AM
I think the comment about foul trouble is right on. If WV can get Special K in foul trouble we have some big problems on D.

bigblahla
11-10-2012, 08:15 AM
Off topic but LMU had 61 rebounds in their game yesterday, thought it was a typo.

Go!! Zags!!!

GeorgiaZagFan
11-10-2012, 08:32 AM
Overreact much? Sure Monday is a game that I wish Spangler was still around so he could help out down low. But come on, no way we "get killed" on Monday. The boys will be fine. Ever think we didn't have a ton of rebounds because we forced 28 turnovers? Kinda tough to get boards when the opponent can't get a shot up.

EXACTLY! They missed a total of 32 shots (28 from the field and 4 FT's) ...the Zags missed a total of 46 shots (33 from the field and 13 FT's) so they had 14 more opportunities to get a defensive rebound and we still out rebounded them by 4. The ONLY stat from the game that is a little alarming to me is the under 60% free throw shooting...

sittingon50
11-10-2012, 10:11 AM
And 6 blocks vs 1 block.

cggonzaga
11-10-2012, 10:42 AM
Not concerned in the least about rebounding or Sam Dower. Don't recall him getting burned several times on D. Was usually in position when he got scored on. No comparison to Josh at all as far as Jekyll and Hyde is concerned. Karnowski was in great defensive position all night. Moves his feet extremely well. Had you not looked at the stats would you have thought we had any problems on the boards? Could we get in foul trouble? Sure. That's a risk in every single game. I am not worried about this team at all after last night.

HillBillyZag
11-10-2012, 10:56 AM
When Kelly returns, by the first of the year, this Zag team will be arguably one of the deepest, most versatile teams in the Nation. Few can substitute situationally?, go full or half court press?, even alternate a complete new line, hockey style. Some positions can be covered three deep without any large drop off in play. It's going to be the most enjoyable season to watch in Zag basketball lore.

CaliforniaZaggin'
11-10-2012, 11:07 AM
EXACTLY! They missed a total of 32 shots (28 from the field and 4 FT's) ...the Zags missed a total of 46 shots (33 from the field and 13 FT's) so they had 14 more opportunities to get a defensive rebound and we still out rebounded them by 4. The ONLY stat from the game that is a little alarming to me is the under 60% free throw shooting...

Precisely. That's why the stat gurus use rebound %s rather than total rebounds. Still, the eye test doesn't rate so well for a few of our guys. In the end, if GLE can continue to crash the boards and play with the same energy that he's shown in the NWN and SU games, then I'm not concerned.

CDC84
11-10-2012, 11:17 AM
I share many of Goshzagit's concerns as far as Monday night's game is concerned. That being saiid, I really feel we cannot properly evaluate this team's rebounding in the middle until Kelly Olynyk comes back. I need to see him in this rotation to make a proper assessment of the situation. You just can't take away a skilled 7 footer with 5 more fouls to give and expect your team to be the same in the middle.

I do not like Harris and Dower being in the game at the same time. Sam is no more of a center than Kevin Pangos a power forward. Having Sam below the basket really takes away much of what Elias can do offensively along the perimeter. Your center needs to either be an undersized guy like JP Batista who likes to throw his body around, or he needs to be a 7 footer. Sam is neither. He's the truest definition of a power forward on the roster.

I can accept that Sam is never going to be a tough guy or a great defender, but he needs to make a greater effort to pursue rebounds when he misses shots. There was one sequence in the 2nd half last where he missed a 15 footer. The ball bounced right back to him, but he was slow in pursuing it because he was admiring his shot, which, as it turns out, wasn't so admirable. One of the guards on Southern Utah snatched it away. I would've sat him for that. I'm sure that when the team views the game film that Few is going to express his displeasure.

I think GU will win Monday night because in Pangos and Bell I trust. West Virginia will be playing the game at 12am their time, three time zones away, in a hostile arena without a D-1 tune up game. That's going to account for a certain amount of points. GU may need to zone if some of the bigs get in foul trouble.

Vanzagger
11-10-2012, 11:28 AM
oh yeah. The Georgia Tech time zone excuse. Fun times.

Depth should never be an excuse here. Zag Nation Unite!

Baldwinzag
11-10-2012, 11:34 AM
I do not like Harris and Dower being in the game at the same time. Sam is no more of a center than Kevin Pangos a power forward. Having Sam below the basket really takes away much of what Elias can do offensively along the perimeter. Your center needs to either be an undersized guy like JP Batista who likes to throw his body around, or he needs to be a 7 footer. Sam is neither. He's the truest definition of a power forward on the roster.

I can accept that Sam is never going to be a tough guy or a great defender, but he needs to make a greater effort to pursue rebounds when he misses shots. There was one sequence in the 2nd half last where he missed a 15 footer. The ball bounced right back to him, but he was slow in pursuing it because he was admiring his shot, which, as it turns out, wasn't so admirable. One of the guards on Southern Utah snatched it away. I would've sat him for that. I'm sure that when the team views the game film that Few is going to express his displeasure.

Spot on, CDC.

The good news is we have Karno & Kelly is back in 3 games. It'll also free up Sam's game i.e. baseline post-ups on the left, mid-range jumpers, pick 'n pop shots, and the occasional 3pt attempts to stretch out the front court...its why I also agree above -- its KO or PK at Center in due time. Love Sam's masterful offense, but better suited to come off the bench as a spark or rotate at PF. Just my opinion.

CDC84
11-10-2012, 11:37 AM
oh yeah. The Georgia Tech time zone excuse. Fun times.

Whether West Virginia uses it as an exuse or not if they lose is their business, but it is a factor that doesn't help them going into the game. I've just seen it happen too many times throughout my years of watching college basketball. For example, Notre Dame at the Kennel last season. The Irish looked like a team that would've struggled to finish in the top half of the MAC. The Zags torched them. They were flat from the opening tip. Yet they clearly weren't bad. They ended up being a NCAA tournament team with a single digit seed. Granted, I don't expect that kind of performance from WVU on Monday night. It's a Bob Huggins coached team. They will play hard no matter what.

MickMick
11-10-2012, 11:56 AM
What did GU have for steals? Something like 18?

The opponent needs to get a shot off before you even get the opportunity for a rebound.


Stats need to be looked at in their entirety.

If your shooting percentage is very high, you offensive rebounds will be lower.

If your steals are high, your defensive rebounds will be lower.

A better way to look at it would be to use a ratio that includes the number of missed shots proportional to the number of rebounds. Use that ratio as a comparison relative to other games over time. The larger the sample size, the more you are able to decide if your rebounding was "up to snuff".

Back in the day before the shot clock (remember the "four corners" offense?), a team could "rack up" 30-40 points total and 10 rebounds total, and still win with the outcome never in doubt.

Oregonzagnut
11-10-2012, 02:21 PM
The rebounding stats are misleading. As many have stated here, the misleading rebounding margin is hidden in the number of turnovers SUU had. They had 28 TO's and we had 18 steals. So if you look at it from the point of WHY we didn't get rebounds it is becasue this game had far fewer rebounds for either team. More made baskets AND high rate of turnovers.

IMO, our rebounding success is shown in the ORB's.

Gonzaga had 13 ORB's off of our 33 missed shots (40% rate)
SUU had 7 ORBs off of their 28 misses. (25% rate)

Baldwinzag
11-10-2012, 03:06 PM
Maybe the rebounding stats were 'misleading' based on shots attempted, ratio %, steals, etc...

You can slice 'n dice however you like it, yet what about the eye test?

Personally, I didn't see the fight inside, even vs SUU. I've already stated all the positives, yet I tend to agree with the above, Dower and others were a bit lackadaisical, lacking in position, and post-defense left a lot to be desired vs competition not even remotely close to what they'll face on Monday. Just sayin'.

Point is, there is room for improvement and that is OK, folks. We need an area to focus, improve, and prepare for.

Whether you like it or not, its clearly post-defense and rebounding to some extent. Its clear as day. Every single Coach has eluded to it this pre-season, even Pangos mentioned it in a recent interview.

They'll come around and we need KO back as well. Dower is playing out of position and others are still getting healthy or feet wet. It will get better, but right now, if I had to pick an aspect to improve, its this one.

JPtheBeasta
11-10-2012, 03:16 PM
A better way to look at it would be to use a ratio that includes the number of missed shots proportional to the number of rebounds. Use that ratio as a comparison relative to other games over time. The larger the sample size, the more you are able to decide if your rebounding was "up to snuff".



I like that idea a lot.

cggonzaga
11-10-2012, 09:27 PM
Personally, I didn't see the fight inside, even vs SUU. I've already stated all the positives, yet I tend to agree with the above, Dower and others were a bit lackadaisical, lacking in position, and post-defense left a lot to be desired vs competition not even remotely close to what they'll face on Monday. Just sayin'.

I was at the game so maybe I missed something on tv but I just didn't see it that way. The guys I watched, Sam and Karnowski, were battling. It wasn't an effort issue. I focused on Sam defensively and while he may have got scored on a couple times it wasn't because he wasn't in position. Is he Rob Sacre? No. Hes not as bad as some here make him out to be either.

Oregonzagnut
11-11-2012, 10:18 AM
Baldwiinzag, what do you mean by "fight" inside? More elbows, fouls, or wrestling for the ball? I saw 4 times that we fought for rebounds. Up by 30, I think there might have been an element of "Why beat ourselves up". All those visible things that look like fighting inside mean a much more physical game overall. That wasn't needed. HOWEVER, that is a dangerous attitude to get into (playing up or down to the level of the competition). That attitude won't work against WV, Illinois, Clemson, Baylor Ok St. But if we are up by 30 in any game, that aggressive physical "fight" won't happen as much. Plus I have no idea how Karno's hand is and Harris is not at 100% yet either. Bell was the only guy without a rebound. All but one Zag had a rebound, and all but one Zag scored.

If we ever get into a close game we will see a different team that is having less of an offensive highlight reel game and a team that is having to knuckle down and expend serious energy fighting for rebounds and lock down defense.

SUU actually shot very well. IMO we still had lock down defense and forced a lot of turnovers.

Nevtelen
11-11-2012, 11:47 AM
Whether West Virginia uses it as an exuse or not if they lose is their business, but it is a factor that doesn't help them going into the game. I've just seen it happen too many times throughout my years of watching college basketball. For example, Notre Dame at the Kennel last season. The Irish looked like a team that would've struggled to finish in the top half of the MAC. The Zags torched them. They were flat from the opening tip. Yet they clearly weren't bad. They ended up being a NCAA tournament team with a single digit seed. Granted, I don't expect that kind of performance from WVU on Monday night. It's a Bob Huggins coached team. They will play hard no matter what.

In some ways, I almost expect the opposite, which is also expolitable. I think WVU, with all the hype and calender-circling and thoughts about GU being soft inside w/o Sacre, will start off too hyped up and their execution will suffer. They'll also maybe be foul-prone if we can play smart. Should be interesting either way.

ZagsGoZags
11-11-2012, 10:21 PM
The coaches have been working on Dower's defense for three years
his center of gravity remains high no matter what
he is a double decker London bus, top heavy
he could be quicker, if he could bend his legs and crouch low
but he can't.
Remember Sacre calling out Delly last year on those one to one challenges, Delly with the ball and Sacre crouching with his bum about the same height as his knees?
I can't imagine Sam crouching low even in an exercise.
He's a great guy, a true Zag, but even with the NBA as a reward for him focusing more on defense, he just can't seem to do it.
C'mon Sam, prove me wrong.

Baseline
11-11-2012, 10:28 PM
If Karno goes aggressively to the rim I think we could get them in foul trouble. I wouldn't be surprised if that was in the game plan, feed Karno and let him roll to the basket.