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23zagmd
12-19-2012, 09:33 AM
Sophmore Slump....???

I haven't seen anyone talk about this but GBJ and KP are not currently living up to the preseason hype that was bestowed upon them.

Don't get me wrong, i don't think they are playing poorly as a whole. However, they both seem to really be struggling Offensively! Both are not shooting the ball well from the 3pt line and given that they take over 55% of their shots from there....it's a pretty glaring statistic.

I'm not saying they shoot too much or they are taking bad shots. I've only seen a few bad shots and most are open looks that are just not going down.

I think one of the main reasons for this is the defensive focus by bigger more athletic players that is being put on limiting their GOOD opportunities.

Just a few of my thoughts, anyone else???

jazzdelmar
12-19-2012, 09:45 AM
soph slumps are a long GU tradition.....

Baldwinzag
12-19-2012, 09:49 AM
soph slumps are a long GU tradition.....

yep.

outside of Ammo, most GU "Frosh Phenoms" take a pretty significant slump during their Soph campaigns...pretty standard.

fwiw, nearly all have recovered in their Junior years, look as far as Elias for this type of turnaround.

MickMick
12-19-2012, 09:51 AM
This was predicted a year ago.

Pangos set the bar too high similar to how Harris did his freshman year.

Bell is the headscratcher but not Pangos.

To be fair, the emphasis is to feed the post even more than last season. Both guards could take more shots but Few loves his team FG % and rightly so.

I expect both will increase their productivity as opponents devise plans to mitigate our inside game.

Baldwinzag
12-19-2012, 09:57 AM
fwiw, I though Pangos had a very nice game vs K-State.

he was steady throughout, picked his moments, hit a key shot or two, didn't force much outside of one lazy 2nd half TO, and made some terrific passes to KO & others.

9 pts, 6 assists, 2 TO's is a great game for him especially vs taller, more athletic players. In the past 2 seasons, K-State-esque teams typically haunt him & his shooting.

He didn't "over-shoot" either -- frustrating when he 'shoots to get hot' -- and it paid off exceptionally well as Elias, Sam, Kelly, Karnowski received more touches, as a result.

webspinnre
12-19-2012, 10:10 AM
As long as they can successfully feed our bigs, play adequate defense and make timely shots, we'll be fine. We don't need them to light it up from 3, just keep defenses honest.

bballbeachbum
12-19-2012, 10:27 AM
depending on the matchups and the D's palyed against the Zags, the sophs will need to do more than just keep D's honest, my opinion. Against KState, who played the bigs straight up with their own big front line and whose perimeter defenders were not special, the post feeds were easier to find and the post moves were easier to accomplish. Against the long, athletic, scrambling and double teaming Ds, the guards will need to produce more to get to where they all want to go than just keeping the other teams honest seems to me

Can they do it, and can the bigs unlock the double teaming Ds with accurate passing? That's the question I think, and we'll see.

Pargo the Destroyer
12-19-2012, 10:31 AM
Good thing this is a TEAM game. They are still a top 15 backcourt, in my opinion

BULLDOG#1
12-19-2012, 10:31 AM
they aren't slumping that much.

Most defenses are still focused on them -- especially Pangos.

In addition, Pangos is looking to distribute more than he did last year. He's down in most statistical categories, but his assists are slightly up and his TO's slightly down -- which is likely by design.

I think they will both improve as the year goes on... Teams will definately need to pay more attention to the paint now that KO is playing out of his mind.

Look for a break-out game from each of them in the near future. Sure hope it's against Baylor or OK state.

23zagmd
12-19-2012, 10:32 AM
with more consistance and production from two of our 3 guard positions, this team has a legitimate chance of playing deep in the tourney...

without it...we will be lucky to get to the Sweet 16, IMO!

Guard play is the key in March.

gamagin
12-19-2012, 11:06 AM
not a sprint. I don't think slump fits what is unfolding before our eyes.

Is it a slump, or more a matter of (in this instancs, our p.g.'s) adjusting to an adjusting bunch of bigs who are also adjusting --- all while winning a game.

we go inside until we run into a wall, then we go outside, get the p.g. open and the shot doesn't go in. Isn't this as much the problem of our bigs not protecting and dominating and putting the ball back, as it is the fellow outside shooting ?

It certainly is if we are to live up to the ranking and even improve on it. It seems like every 3 pt. shot causes the whole building to go silent as we all try and wish it in. WHy not just clamor for the bigs to be ready if/when it doesn't ? That alone, would instill confidence in the whole team, imo, and outside shooters would not need to carry as much of a burden.

So we (I am, anyway) waiting for THOSE adjustments. And there have been signs. E.g., KO has picked up his pace, leadership and coordinating between outside and inside. EH, PK, SD need to get out of their spotty attention/positioning slumps in this case. So it goes. Everyone on the same page, please. All at the same time. For 40 full minutes.

That said, I think it's fair to say we would all love to see well oiled machine take the court vs. a vehicle that tends to need a lot of attention, changes and tweaking for what seems to involve too many reasons and many situations.

The main thing is it appears as though it is happening. Time will tell, of course. The parts are all there. They just need to get together .

cjm720
12-19-2012, 11:26 AM
I dare opponents to leave Pangos and Bell open outside. They're not which gives our Bigs room. Once shots start falling at a better clip, in concert with the continued development of our bigs (Oly and Karno), I see us as a top 10 team. We're close and Pangos is key, IMO.

BULLDOG#1
12-19-2012, 11:32 AM
I dare opponents to leave Pangos and Bell open outside. They're not which gives our Bigs room. Once shots start falling at a better clip, in concert with the continued development of our bigs (Oly and Karno), I see us as a top 10 team. We're close and Pangos is key, IMO.

Great point. Wazzu, Illinois, and KState all were getting killed inside and refused to send consistent double teams that would give Pangos and Bell clean looks.

With KO and Harris playing so well, it won't be long before the 'pick your poison' defense shifts to doubling down the post.

CaliforniaZaggin'
12-19-2012, 12:25 PM
Every season is different. Every team is different. Rob had some nice post moves, but this year's Zags are much more potent in the frontcourt on offense. Elias is playing his best basketball of his career, as is Kelly, and Sam has always known how to put it in the hoop. Kevin and Gary don't need to shoulder the load quite as much. Sure, just with the eye test, they both could be performing better, but calling it a sophomore slump is somewhat of a mischaracterization.

hooter73
12-19-2012, 12:41 PM
As long as they can successfully feed our bigs, play adequate defense and make timely shots, we'll be fine. We don't need them to light it up from 3, just keep defenses honest.

Their reputation from last year is the only thing keeping defenses honest right now...

maynard g krebs
12-19-2012, 04:04 PM
To borrow a quote from my favorite standup comedian, Herman Cain, "I don't have facts to back this up", but:

At the BIS, my first chance to see them in person, it looked like GB especially is still overthinking when to shoot, hesitating a split second, and something I can't put my finger on just looks a bit off in his mechanics.

What I do have facts to back up:

Last year GB was 47.7% for the season shooting 3's. But broken down into segments, he was 18/45, 40% exactly, in Nov and Dec. From Jan-Mar, he was 33/62, or 53.3%.

His senior year in hs was similar. Preconference, he was around 35%. I don't recall the exact numbers. But in January through March, he was, I think, 80-161, or around 49.5%.

So if the past 2 years are any indication, we can expect GB to pick up his shooting later in the year. He just seems more comfortable and in the flow later in the season.

As to KP, maybe some of the same, i.e focusing on getting the ball inside per staff's instructions v. letting it rip when open.

It's a tough call. Shooters shoot better with the green light; on the flipside, when your 4 bigs are shooting well over 60% it makes sense to get the ball inside as much as possible.

Oregonzagnut
12-19-2012, 04:58 PM
....it really is a 2nd year slump. I see a similar, yet less extreme, trend for JC transfers too. When they come into the program the first year is great, then they slump. It is dynamics of the learning curve and the complexity of Div1 systems.

Edi is having it, Carter had it, but it isn't a hard and fast rule either. Many sophomores roll through each year getting better and better. Same with JC's except they have less time to adapt to Div1 play.

JP. Batista didn't have a 2nd year slump, Ammo didn't have a Soph slump. But most do. The brain knows what it wants to do but the body and reflexes aren't there yet.

AK457
12-19-2012, 06:42 PM
Part of it has to be a shift in strategies. If a team has a huge advantage in its size at the forward and center positions, the team's strategy will probably benefit those players' stats at the expensive of those of the guards. That said, KP's shooting percentage is probably a bit down from last year, but I haven't looked at the numbers.

Oregonzagnut
12-19-2012, 07:14 PM
Part of it has to be a shift in strategies. If a team has a huge advantage in its size at the forward and center positions, the team's strategy will probably benefit those players' stats at the expensive of those of the guards. That said, KP's shooting percentage is probably a bit down from last year, but I haven't looked at the numbers.

While this is true, our guards are just missing their threes. Even the wide open ones. The shift in strategies affects how guards get in the zone too and why Pangos is shooting 36% from 3 pt this year, when last year he was at 40%.

Hoopaholic
12-19-2012, 08:44 PM
are we serious? So you are telling me that if Kevin had made 2 more 3 point shots this season, you would classify him as "in the zone".....

he is currently 20 of 55 shots and at LEAST 5 of those shots were end of the shot clock and a sixth one was at the end of a half heave.......

If you remove those 6 shots he is shooting above what he shot last year....

To claim our guards are "not in their zone" I dont think is a fair statement. They are playing in a different setting, looking to feed bigs first and BOTH of them after last year have guards chasing them off the three point line....watch a game and watch how physical teams are with Pango and Bell....that is because if you let them set their feet or get a good look they will nail it.......

I am comfortable with our guards averaging 22 points between them and our bigs getting 55 points between them

i am comfortable that we are in the top ten in scoring in the nation

I am also very comfortable that if a team decides they are going to pack it in and take away our bigs NO MATTER WHAT ...that I have 100% faith that our guards will step up and make a team PAY for that decision.

Now, if we want to talk defense, defensive rotation, ball side help, weakside help that is the area we can focus in on for greatest improvement in my opinion

bostonzagfan
12-19-2012, 09:03 PM
are we serious? So you are telling me that if Kevin had made 2 more 3 point shots this season, you would classify him as "in the zone".....

he is currently 20 of 55 shots and at LEAST 5 of those shots were end of the shot clock and a sixth one was at the end of a half heave.......

If you remove those 6 shots he is shooting above what he shot last year....



OK but lets take away all of those kind of shots from last year and the 40% goes up to 50%.

MickMick
12-19-2012, 09:20 PM
are we serious? So you are telling me that if Kevin had made 2 more 3 point shots this season, you would classify him as "in the zone".....

he is currently 20 of 55 shots and at LEAST 5 of those shots were end of the shot clock and a sixth one was at the end of a half heave.......

If you remove those 6 shots he is shooting above what he shot last year....

To claim our guards are "not in their zone" I dont think is a fair statement. They are playing in a different setting, looking to feed bigs first and BOTH of them after last year have guards chasing them off the three point line....watch a game and watch how physical teams are with Pango and Bell....that is because if you let them set their feet or get a good look they will nail it.......

I am comfortable with our guards averaging 22 points between them and our bigs getting 55 points between them

i am comfortable that we are in the top ten in scoring in the nation

I am also very comfortable that if a team decides they are going to pack it in and take away our bigs NO MATTER WHAT ...that I have 100% faith that our guards will step up and make a team PAY for that decision.

Now, if we want to talk defense, defensive rotation, ball side help, weakside help that is the area we can focus in on for greatest improvement in my opinion

Outstanding post Hoopaholic. I agree 100%

We don't have a guard that can defend Brandon Paul or Marcus Smart one on one. We have enough other parts to help mitigate those players in order to win, but they were not in working order against Illinois. That game was a great lesson and we will see how GU applys the lessons learned against Smart at Oklahoma State.

The first thing the team needs to collectively understand is that our point guard will occasionally face individual mismatches on the defensive end. It is simply asking too much of him to defend elite scorers by himself. There is a reason they call it "help" defense and the onus is on everyone to mitigate players like Brandon Paul.

I am much less concerned about Kevin's scoring and much more concerend with his recent penchant for forcing passes into the teeth of the defense for turnovers. He was pulled from the KSU game for doing it two possessions in a row and then I see him do it again verse Campbell. Few has to break that quickly before it becomes habitual.


Bell is tentative on his drives to the hoop. He will learn, in time, to start leaning in to defenders with regularity and earning foul shots. Bell should be taking 4-5 trips to the line every game.

Bell has been getting mugged this year. He really needs to hit the weight room this off season and bulk up. He needs to blast though the flailing arms. Pargo would roll through the key with authority and finish strong. This is what Bell needs to do. He will get there eventually.

WallaWallaZag
12-19-2012, 09:32 PM
Bell is tentative on his drives to the hoop. He will learn, in time, to start leaning in to defenders with regularity and earning foul shots. Bell should be taking 4-5 trips to the line every game.

Bell has been getting mugged this year. He really needs to hit the weight room this off season and bulk up. He needs to blast though the flailing arms. Pargo would roll through the key with authority and finish strong. This is what Bell needs to do. He will get there eventually.

bell is already pretty big for his height...he's listed at 6'1 and 205. i don't think strength is his issue right now and bulking up even more probably wouldn't make much difference...he's just not as explosive as pargo but he could learn to be more aggressive like pargo.

NotoriousZ
12-19-2012, 09:43 PM
Slump shmump, our guards kick a$$.

You know the shots are going to fall, better to peak at the end of the season anyway.

2wiceright
12-19-2012, 10:38 PM
I think part of the reason Bell isn't driving strong to the hoop as much this year is he is dealing with a nagging injury (something to the effect of pulled muscle in abdomen area)- per Mark Few on a not so recent after game interview.

As Few put it, the next time Gary will feel fully healthy won't be till next June.

Jedster
12-20-2012, 09:20 PM
Purely based on stats, GBJ is having a pretty similar results season as last year.

2011-12/2012-13

Pts/Gm-10.4/10.5
FG %-49.6/45.2
3pt FG%-47.7/38.3
Assists-2.0/2.1
TO-1.6/1.5
Reb-2.5/2.7

Basically, scoring at about the same clip (with 4 straight double figure games), and assists, turnovers and rebounds the same in the exact same amount of minutes per game (28.9 versus 28.6 this year).

Where he drops off is in his shooting percentage, which is driven by his lower 3 pt percentage. He's actually shooting a bit better from 2 (52.1% versus 51.2% last year), its his drop in 3 pointers.

I don't know when we change over from a small sample size to one large enough to extrapolate on his shooting, but a good point was made about his past two years shooting better from 3 later in the season. I do think we still have to keep in mind this is a small sample so far this year since the difference between his current 38% and last year's 47% is 4 more made 3 pointers.

Stat's wise, I wouldn't say he's in a sophomore slump. It would be safe to say, many of us thought there'd be a bigger jump in his performance, but I'd like to wait a bit longer before I make any statements about his season. Certainly I'd like to see him in WCC play first. I too remember a comment about an injury, as for me, I just haven't seen the explosiveness I wanted to see from him yet this year.

Just my two cents. I'll leave KP for others. :-)

ZagsGoZags
12-20-2012, 10:59 PM
room the same week the 'slump' began. I wish they were 6'3" instead of 6'1"