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View Full Version : WCC does not prepare Zags for March Madness!



hegotit!
03-27-2013, 08:28 AM
On Colin Cowherd, Bruce Pearl explained it perfectly that the Zags were not battle tested in the month of January and February. Wichita State had 10 close games in those two months vs the Zags having 3 close games. WCC does the Zags disservice of not being more competetive.

bartruff1
03-27-2013, 08:37 AM
Maybe we should discuss it...

Ezag
03-27-2013, 08:39 AM
Been discussed million times on this forum....even if true, there is no real good alternative for us. We are isolated in the west....

bartruff1
03-27-2013, 08:41 AM
Been discussed million times on this forum....even if true, there is no real good alternative for us. We are isolated in the west.... Really ? No kidding now....

JAGzag
03-27-2013, 09:05 AM
But just think, we add two games against Pacific next year ... Those who believe the WCC doesn't hurt this team in march need to lay off the kool aid. We keep preacher all we need is just one break out season and all is well. Not sure that season will ever come under the current circumstances. Yes a 30+ season is great but we all know a season is defined by success in March. With decent seasons but continued failures in March we will remain a novelty.

MDABE80
03-27-2013, 09:08 AM
Maybe we should discuss it...

Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!! Funny stuff!! SO this must mean that every no 1 seed who didn't make it past the round of 32 is from the WCC? Tell 11.

VinnyZag
03-27-2013, 09:09 AM
Is there any actual data to support that theory?

I can think of lots of examples of teams that blew away their conference opponents and did well in the tournament. The Tarkanian UNLV teams, for instance. Kentucky last year. How is it that the Big West and SEC DID prepare those teams, but the WCC hasn't prepared GU?

Has anybody seen any data to support this commonly held opinion?

bartruff1
03-27-2013, 09:43 AM
These are matters a faith...we all work through the Kubler Ross Model at a different pace...some are still in anger...others are into barganing...it can take years (UCLA for example) for some to reach acceptance and move on.

Let us pray...

TexasZagFan
03-27-2013, 10:14 AM
Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!! Funny stuff!! SO this must mean that every no 1 seed who didn't make it past the round of 32 is from the WCC? Tell 11.

I was living in El Paso when UTEP (8 seed) took out #1 seed Kansas. UTEP's point guard at the time was a kid named Tim Hardaway.

I'm sure Roy Williams took a lot of heat over this defeat, but it couldn't have been anything like today...Al Gore hadn't fully developed the Internet. :drool:

I've been disappointed in the performance of Big 12 teams, with the exception of Kansas. Our 5-0 record against them seems tainted.

rijman
03-27-2013, 10:15 AM
I love how analysts can come up with a reason for every win and every failure. I'll bet Butler beat the Zags in the end because they were more battle tested, it had nothing to do with a fluke one in a million play. The Zags lost in the round of 32 so let's blame their WCC prep because we all know the WSU making 14 of 28 3's had nothing to do with the outcome, that was a given because of their great preparation in league. So if Witchita State falls flat next round how do we rationalize that? This season TCU beat Kansas, Purdue beat Michigan, the Big 10 and Big 12 don't properly prepare their top teams for lesser competition I guess.

demian
03-27-2013, 10:21 AM
The Big East Conference must be doing an inadequate job preparing Georgetown for the Big Dance lately, because of the last four years The Hoyas have been beaten three times in their first game of tourney and one time in their second game of tourney. While I know the big east is a good conference and I know the WCC is a lousy conference, I think alot of March Madness has to do with style of play and a simple thing called "who played better that day." Weirdly enough last year when we didn't win the conference title at all, we play maybe best game of day one of tourney vs West Virginia in a blowout. Then pushed a final four team right to the brink of a huge upset in round two vs Ohio State. So can we say last year the WCC conference prepared us adequately for the tourney because we definetly performed better in tourney last year. I simply think last year we played alot better in games one and two of tourney than we did this year.

Martin Centre Mad Man
03-27-2013, 10:29 AM
I've been disappointed in the performance of Big 12 teams, with the exception of Kansas. Our 5-0 record against them seems tainted.

Our honorary Big XII season didn't adequately prepare us for March. We should have played the MVC...I'm only half joking.

bartruff1
03-27-2013, 10:34 AM
I think it is called talk therapy...let it go...keep talking about it... it was your dad's fault or rather the WCC...now don't you feel better...

Eventually you will be able to accept the explanation that was made by the one person who knows the most about what happened....

" We missed the free throws...the bunnies...and we made bone head plays when the game was being decided ".....we lost a winnable game...end of story.

demian
03-27-2013, 10:40 AM
@ hegotit - I do agree with u tho that I would love to see zags get into a new conference too. But I really don't think it has anything to do with weather or not we come out and play like a team who is not even close to representing what we saw ALL year long or if we come out and play confident and hungry and loose etc etc like last year. For some reason we just played like crap the last two games of this season and unfortunately that happens in sports sometimes, when u play like we did vs Southern and Wichita State you should lose. I don't think the zags conference schedule hurt them In a showdown with teams the quality of Southern University and Wichita State. We beat St. Mary's (lets call them the caliber of Wichita State) three times and BYU (lets call them the caliber of Southern) twice in January and February. We were battle tested perfectly in January and February to be able beat the caliber of Southern and Wichita State. We just didn't play to our full potential those last two games.

Zag 77
03-27-2013, 11:02 AM
So, by that logic we should rank the Atlantic Sun Conference very highly because it seems to have prepared Florida Gulf Coast University?

bartruff1
03-27-2013, 11:04 AM
So, by that logic we should rank the Atlantic Sun Conference very highly because it seems to have prepared Florida Gulf Coast University? Well, you might, but BYU just beat the dickens out of Mercer...

hegotit!
03-27-2013, 11:16 AM
I do competely agree with you Demian. Southern was the caliber of Byu and Wichita the caliber of St. Marys. We played average to below average games and you lose in March playing that way.We did play only good for half games.

Playing in the WCC lets us get away with this and get wins overstating our record sometimes. I believe it was the first game with LMU after getting the number #1 ranking and we came out just plain flat. This was not an islotaed case. We still won games playing only one half of good basketball. In a stronger conference there is no way you can do this kind of coasting in games.

CDC84
03-27-2013, 11:45 AM
Maybe Pearl should have said it like this: "The WCC this year didn't properly prepare Gonzaga for an NCAA tournament where they were a number one seed and the number one team in the nation."

McZag
03-27-2013, 11:53 AM
The Big East Conference must be doing an inadequate job preparing Georgetown for the Big Dance lately, because of the last four years The Hoyas have been beaten three times in their first game of tourney and one time in their second game of tourney. While I know the big east is a good conference and I know the WCC is a lousy conference, I think alot of March Madness has to do with style of play and a simple thing called "who played better that day." Weirdly enough last year when we didn't win the conference title at all, we play maybe best game of day one of tourney vs West Virginia in a blowout. Then pushed a final four team right to the brink of a huge upset in round two vs Ohio State. So can we say last year the WCC conference prepared us adequately for the tourney because we definetly performed better in tourney last year. I simply think last year we played alot better in games one and two of tourney than we did this year.

Bingo.

The Big East did not challenge Georgetown enough to prepare for FGCU.

The Big East did not challenge Pitt enough for Wichita State.

The Big East did nothing to prepare then No. 1 UCONN for George Mason in 2006.......

The Big Ten did nothing to prepare Wisconsin for Ole Miss.

The Big 12 did nothing to prepare Kansas for N. Iowa in 2010.

Need anymore? There are a million of them.

This line of thinking, solely focused on tournament success, is silly and fruitless.

JAGzag
03-27-2013, 12:02 PM
Ever year we hear the same excuse-just a bad seed, bad matchup, just bad luck. Hope is not a strategy. While I will probably bury my head in the sand like the rest of you, I refuse to believe all is well in Zagnation and won't be able to convince myself that we"just hit a hot shooting team" which, by the way, seems to happen to us a lot. Butler had not 1 but TWO magical Final Four runs. Rather than chalking that up to matchups and luck, I'd like to know what they do differently to get ready for March?

former1dog
03-27-2013, 12:08 PM
There's a big time echo in here.

Reborn
03-27-2013, 12:18 PM
The Big East Conference must be doing an inadequate job preparing Georgetown for the Big Dance lately, because of the last four years The Hoyas have been beaten three times in their first game of tourney and one time in their second game of tourney. While I know the big east is a good conference and I know the WCC is a lousy conference, I think alot of March Madness has to do with style of play and a simple thing called "who played better that day." Weirdly enough last year when we didn't win the conference title at all, we play maybe best game of day one of tourney vs West Virginia in a blowout. Then pushed a final four team right to the brink of a huge upset in round two vs Ohio State. So can we say last year the WCC conference prepared us adequately for the tourney because we definetly performed better in tourney last year. I simply think last year we played alot better in games one and two of tourney than we did this year.

Thank you for a very good, well thought out post, Demian. You saved me time and energy, as I would have said the same thing you did, in this and in your other post. The fact we lost to Wichita St had nothing to do with the WCC. To accept that this is the problem will only keep us from identifying the real problems, and then to go about fixing them.

TexasZagFan
03-27-2013, 12:23 PM
There's a big time echo in here.

There's an expression my boss loves to throw at me, almost on a daily basis:

"You're too deep in the weeds".

Regarding this subject, I'd say we're too deep in the gorse. :lmao:

Zagcity
03-27-2013, 12:28 PM
Bingo.

The Big East did not challenge Georgetown enough to prepare for FGCU.

The Big East did not challenge Pitt enough for Wichita State.

The Big East did nothing to prepare then No. 1 UCONN for George Mason in 2006.......

The Big Ten did nothing to prepare Wisconsin for Ole Miss.

The Big 12 did nothing to prepare Kansas for N. Iowa in 2010.

Need anymore? There are a million of them.

This line of thinking, solely focused on tournament success, is silly and fruitless.

Ah, now theres a cool cup of water -thanks

Zagcity
03-27-2013, 12:32 PM
BTW, how many huge failings did the University of Arizona have before they finally knocked down the door?

ZagLawGrad
03-27-2013, 12:34 PM
Bingo.

The Big East did not challenge Georgetown enough to prepare for FGCU.

The Big East did not challenge Pitt enough for Wichita State.

The Big East did nothing to prepare then No. 1 UCONN for George Mason in 2006.......

The Big Ten did nothing to prepare Wisconsin for Ole Miss.

The Big 12 did nothing to prepare Kansas for N. Iowa in 2010.

Need anymore? There are a million of them.

This line of thinking, solely focused on tournament success, is silly and fruitless.

National Championships

Big East--10

Big 10-10

ACC-12

SEC-11

Big 12-5

WCC--0 (unless you want to go back to Russell's days).

The leagues do make a difference, more probably than not.

McZag
03-27-2013, 12:48 PM
Law Grad, only a handful of programs have won titles. The vast majority Power 6 schools have average to below average NCAA records. Being in a Power 6 conference does not inately translate to NCAA success.

You put Duke in the A-10, they still win champioships. You put Kentuckly in the Big South - same thing. Those programs are on a national recruiting level given their budget size, history, etc.

When K2 was built to only hold 6,000 people, Gonzaga made a commitment to always remain in a small, second tier conference.

ZagLawGrad
03-27-2013, 12:53 PM
Law Grad, only a handful of programs have won titles. The vast majority Power 6 schools have average to below average NCAA records. Being in a Power 6 conference does not inately translate to NCAA success.

You put Duke in the A-10, they still win champioships. You put Kentuckly in the Big South - same thing. Those programs are on a national recruiting level given their budget size, history, etc.

When K2 was built to only hold 6,000 people, Gonzaga made a commitment to always remain in a small, second tier conference.


I hear ya, but the reality is that playing in better conferences does make a difference. I don't see how anyone can argue otherwise with any credibility.

It sounds like the Zags will be stuck in the WCC. If so, then it's a good reminder that adjustments are needed on expectations. Your comment about Zags' decision to stay in a second tier conference is a good reminder for me.

Reborn
03-27-2013, 01:32 PM
Here is a list of very good teams, and very good programs that lost in either the first or second round.

1. Georgetown from the Big East. Tied for first place in their conference.
2. Kansas St. Big 12. Tied for first place in their conference.
3. New Mexico. Won first place in conference and conference tourney.
4. Missouri. SEC. A very good basketball program. Lost in first round.
5. Pitt. Ranked 17 in polls and lost in first round. A very good Big East program.
6. Wisconsin. Big 10. 2nd place in Conference Tourneyment.
7. Notre Dame. Big East. Ranked in top 20 in polls. Lost in first round.
8. UCLA Pac 12 champion. 2nd place in Conference Tourney.
9. UNLV 2nd place in Conference Tournament. Ranked Nationally.
10. St Louis Atlantic 10. Conference Champ, Conference Tourney Champs. Ranked nationally. Some analysts had them going to final 4. Upset in 2nd round.
11. Creighton. Missiouri Valley champs and Conference Champs. Lost to Duke in 2nd round. I believe Creighton was given a lousey seed, much like Gonzaga has been given in the past. Creighton should have made it to the Sweet 16 this year, and most likely would have if they had been given a better seed.
12. Butler and VCU lose in the 2nd round. Two very good teams from very good programs. Neither made it to the Sweet 16. Some had VCU making it to the final 4.

These teams all come from conferences that are tougher than the WCC. So to use the argument that the WCC is the reason we lost is just not very logical.

demian
03-27-2013, 01:47 PM
I do competely agree with you Demian. Southern was the caliber of Byu and Wichita the caliber of St. Marys. We played average to below average games and you lose in March playing that way.We did play only good for half games.

Playing in the WCC lets us get away with this and get wins overstating our record sometimes. I believe it was the first game with LMU after getting the number #1 ranking and we came out just plain flat. This was not an islotaed case. We still won games playing only one half of good basketball. In a stronger conference there is no way you can do this kind of coasting in games.

Good point hegotit, we did look even worse in the first half of LMU game in conference semis then we did vs Southern or Wichita St. We finally woke up and played better in second half Southern and vs Wichita State for the first 10 minutes of those 2nd halves. Now vs LMU when this surge by us took place thankfully LMU was out of bullets and had no fire power left. We were able to run away from them. In both Southern game and WSU game once we got up by double digits at 10 minute mark those two teams both went on furious runs to get right back into the game. Thankfully vs Southern we then finished string the last few minutes and sealed win. Had we finished the Southern game the same way we did vs WSU we would have definetly lost to Southern. Sometimes u make winning plays and sometimes u don't. I do however see your point tho hegotit about getting away with lackadaisical play vs lesser teams and that same careless play won't get it done vs. better teams and if any team is in a stronger conference u will b more likely to lose those careless games cuz opponents might capitalize better. I see that point

ZagLawGrad
03-27-2013, 01:53 PM
These teams all come from conferences that are tougher than the WCC. So to use the argument that the WCC is the reason we lost is just not very logical.

I don't think that's the gist of what most are saying on here.

What they are saying is that the Zags would be better prepared for the Dance (and better off) if they were in a stronger conference.

And they are right, IMO. The WCC is not a strong conference.

Unfortunately, there is no conference change coming about on the near horizon.

So, status quo.

bartruff1
03-27-2013, 02:02 PM
National Championships

Big East--10

Big 10-10

ACC-12

SEC-11

Big 12-5

WCC--0 (unless you want to go back to Russell's days).

The leagues do make a difference, more probably than not.

False logic....Correlation is not causation...

ZagLawGrad
03-27-2013, 02:20 PM
False logic....Correlation is not causation...

Not in the common sense world, Bart. ;)

NJZag
03-27-2013, 02:33 PM
On Colin Cowherd, Bruce Pearl explained it perfectly that the Zags were not battle tested in the month of January and February. Wichita State had 10 close games in those two months vs the Zags having 3 close games. WCC does the Zags disservice of not being more competetive.

Interesting perspective from a Hoya alum living in California, writing about the Zags:

http://hoyatalk2.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=general&action=display&thread=26997&page=1


Let me preface this by saying that I think one of the most frustrating things as a sports fan is having a team that consistently has great regular seasons and makes the postseason, perhaps as a high seed, only to consistently crumble when it really matters.

That said, Georgetown fans are not alone in this. New Mexico doesn't have enough history, but I think Gonzaga is a decent comparison.

The Zags burst onto the scene in 1999 with an improbable Elite Eight run as a 10-seed (over Stanford, more on them later). But since, they have been an amazing regular season team that has made EVERY NCAA Tournament since - playing in the WCC doesn't hurt, but I think that's hard to do no matter who you are. But despite some high seeds, they have not been past the Sweet 16 in their last FOURTEEN years. And they've only gotten there twice since 2001, and have never made a Final Four in their history. Our angst is a little shorter and more intense, but it's comparable. I wonder if the same things some of our fans are saying about JT3, are Zags fans saying the same thing about Mark Few?

I was a Stanford fan during the Mike Montgomery years before coming to Georgetown, and after their 1998 Final Four, they experienced a similar period that we are currently in. Their regular seasons were actually even BETTER than ours - they were ranked #1 numerous occasions and were a #1 seed team three times from 2000 to 2004. The problem was they didn't do much with it. They did make it to the Elite Eight in 2001, but other than that they become very good at losing during the first weekend, usually in the second round. Mike Montgomery left for the Warriors job in 2004, and Stanford has never been quite the same. They made it to the Sweet 16 in 2008, but since, under current coach Johnny Dawkins, they've not made the tournament and really struggled. All they have to show for it is a 2012 NIT Championship last year. And all their fans really care about is football these days.

The point is, we're not alone. But the real question is, how do we bust out of this? If history serves as any example, it won't be easy. Once you're labeled as a choker, it's tough to shed that moniker.

Any other sports examples you can compare us to? The San Jose Sharks? Marty Schottenhemier-led NFL teams, particularly the San Diego Chargers?

What's worse? Falling to a #15 seed in the round of 64 when you're a #2 and share regular season title from a tough conference that got the most at-large bids of any in 2013.

Or falling to a single digit seed in the round of 32 when you've been seeded #1.

After years of wading through MB meltdown posts after the Zags exit in March, I'm reminded of something that Fr. Tony once said. He was in an airport with a group of alums, about to leave the Bay area after the Zags hadn't won the WCC tournament. It was one of those interval years between 1995 (our very first NCAA one-and-done) and The Run of '99. WCC was still most assuredly an auto-bid conference where only ONE could represent at the NCAA's. A couple fellas were moaning that it was the worst experience of their lives to see the Zags lose and know there'd be no repeat of the '95 excitement.

Fr. Tony: "Did you know, there are over a billion people in China who've never heard the name Gonzaga, much less that it lost a basketball game last night?"

Another Tony'ism. He was asked once if he prayed for the Zags to win as he sat on the bench as chaplain. His answer was that he sometimes had to resist the temptation to pray that way, when games were tight, but that his prayers centered on 10 kids out on the floor staying healthy, suffering no injuries, and learning lessons from good sportsmanship.

A perspective on the bigger picture is such a nice thing to have. And it's great that so many people at Gonzaga, and at conference rivals, do too.

To be continued ...

Reborn
03-27-2013, 02:37 PM
I'm all in favor of the Zags leaving the WCC. Please don't get me wrong. I agree with Demian's second post. I think it's always better to play in a tougher conference. And I do think a tougher conference would better prepare Gonzaga to play in the NCAA tournament. However, as some have argued, a tougher conference also does not guarantee playing better in the NCAA tournament. And I also believe that if Few made some changes in his structures and philosophies (which also affect his recruiting) that GU could win a national tournament if they still played in the WCC. The example of UNLV under Tark is a good model to look at. I am sure that Gonzaga will do what is best for the team and University. I am following this with extreme interest.

It bothers me very much that Pacific is the next the university that will be coming into the WCC. And the talk of Seattle U coming in also disturbs me. I can not see how these two basketball programs can make the WCC a stonger conference. To me it's a sign of the WCC going in the WRONG direction.

hegotit!
03-27-2013, 02:51 PM
Addtionally it bothers me when everyone states the league is improving. Well the other teams have had over 14-15 years to build on Gonzaga's success and the only team to really step up has been St. Marrys. With the sanctions they will likely drop off now. Peperdine dropped off the map years ago. So it's us and BYU.

former1dog
03-27-2013, 02:52 PM
NCAA Bids by Conference


http://img708.imageshack.us/img708/6793/21464239.jpg

Of the conferences that get more teams in and have arguably greater success, only the Big East, Atlantic 10 and Conference USA could possibly be a "fit" for Gonzaga. The rest are populated by large state schools with Football and there would be zero mutual interest in Gonzaga joining conferences like the that.

The Big East has been discussed already, but the travel requirements and the non revenue sports make this a non starter. Not going to happen.

The Atlantic 10, same thing as the Big East.

Conference USA? I really don't think so.

WCC, perfect size schools. Similar missions. Similar interest in corresponding academic and athletic excellence. In terms of Basketball, there is excellent tradition in our conference and we're now consistently getting an at large bid and I could see the WCC consistently starting to get 2 at large bids, like it did 2 years ago.

If the WCC starts to game the system (and the system isn't changed), like the Mountain West, we could get 4 or 5 teams in.

ZagLawGrad
03-27-2013, 03:00 PM
NCAA Bids by Conference


http://img708.imageshack.us/img708/6793/21464239.jpg

Of the conferences that get more teams in and have arguably greater success, only the Big East, Atlantic 10 and Conference USA could possibly be a "fit" for Gonzaga. The rest are populated by large state schools with Football and there would be zero mutual interest in Gonzaga joining conferences like the that.

The Big East has been discussed already, but the travel requirements and the non revenue sports make this a non starter. Not going to happen.

The Atlantic 10, same thing as the Big East.

Conference USA?

Good info. Don't know the answer. MWC seems like a great fit but for the apparent football issue.

former1dog
03-27-2013, 03:02 PM
Good info. Don't know the answer. MWC seems like a great fit but for the apparent football issue.

Mountain West has been inferior to the WCC in terms of actual results in the tournaments over the last decade. They got more teams in, but we kinda know thats a paper tiger now.

WCC, perfect size schools. Similar missions. Similar interest in corresponding academic and athletic excellence. In terms of Basketball, there is excellent tradition in our conference and we're now consistently getting an at large bid and I could see the WCC consistently starting to get 2 at large bids, like it did 2 years ago.

If the WCC starts to game the system (and the system isn't changed), like the Mountain West, we could get 4 or 5 teams in.

realtydog
03-27-2013, 03:05 PM
but it will never happen---WCC is fine and will not dicatate our success in March---the first three years of this run included an elite 8 team from this conference-----UNLV had no trouble in the tourney when they were wiping the Big West up-----

If we stay in the WCC and lose you hear---Conference not tough enough, no competition in Jan and Feb.....
If we moved to a better conference and lose you hear----tough and long league schedule took its toll on the team or fans will bark about being in the NIT in down years

former1dog
03-27-2013, 03:17 PM
The problem (if there is one) is not the conference.

The problem, however slight, is our approach to 3 point defense.

Before someone comes along and attacks my fandom or my loyalty, let me just say BACK OFF! (want to say something stronger, but this is a family forum)

I'll stack my Gonzaga bona fides against anyones, thank you very much. I actually competed on the field of battle for Gonzaga (I am a Bulldog), I've been been a fan of Gonzaga teams my entire adult life, I've wasted a helluva lot of times on this forum and at least 2 predecessors going back to about 1999, etc.

ZagLawGrad
03-27-2013, 03:20 PM
I've wasted a helluva lot of times on this forum.....

Guilty as charged along with you. :cheers:

AK457
03-27-2013, 03:20 PM
I've held off on posting for a while and have decided to make some objective observations about the current WCC situation. These points have been mentioned before, and the writing was on the wall this year, but I'll spell them out.

1. Thanks for the great season, Zags. 30+ wins was a lot of fun to watch, I know that everyone left it on the court this year, and I respect the attitude that this program has toward personal development, responsibility, team cohesiveness, etc.

2. The "other top seeded teams lost" argument is a complete fallacy. High seeded teams losing in the tournament is a stochastic process; it is going to happen. Calling which team is going to lose beforehand, and then that team actually losing, is a completely different story. When the media specifically said GU was very overrated, and then GU does what it did in the tournament, the results suggest the media's a priori hypothesis was true. It's very different from data mining when someone looks at trends from the past to try and support their argument.

3. The WCC prevents people from being able to gauge how good GU is, and it always will. Teams progress throughout the year, therefore the OOC games only provide limited information on how good GU is relative to other tournament teams. The "how good is this team really?" debate is always going to be there when we play maybe 4 OOC tournament teams. By blowing it this year, the committee will likely be biased in seeding next year, and to be honest, the sample size (i.e., the results of GU in the tournament over the last decade being below expectations according to assessments such as rankings) is starting to provide a compelling argument. I think this year, GU could have been a fringe top-25 team that came out on the right end of unpredictable situations (e.g., GU's shots going in, opponents playing poorly) to give them that 32-3 record, as opposed to a record like 27-9 in the meaty part of the normal distribution of possible records given their skill this year, and just didn't play enough teams for anyone to know how good they really are -- that's the biggest disappointment of the season for me.

4. Playing the second half of the schedule against lesser teams is a situation that inherently leads to GU being overrated in rankings. The only polls where people actually think about where to put the teams are the pre-season and final polls. Every other poll, the voters ask did a team lose one game (-2-4 rankings) or two games this week(-7-10 rankings)? and slide the teams that didn't lose up. As GU's schedule gets easier, most tournament teams' get harder, and teams don't move up in the polls by winning, only by not losing, so GU moves up easier than teams in harder conferences. Did anyone actually think GU was better than Louisville this year?

5. This situation makes GU very marketable. A possibly legit top-25 team playing games on the west coast when everyone else is asleep is a niche for television. "GU is 25-2, but hasn't played anyone" is water cooler talk that gets people on the west coast to watch the games. Move GU to a harder conference, and maybe they are reduced to an above average, much lower ceiling team, because they lose to good teams on a regular basis; or even worse, have to fight with east coast teams for a spot on tv at a competitive time. This conference move is a risky proposition, so I doubt the powers that be want GU to move.

ZagLawGrad
03-27-2013, 03:25 PM
I've held off on posting for a while and have decided to make some objective observations about the current WCC situation. These points have been mentioned before, and the writing was on the wall this year, but I'll spell them out.

1. Thanks for the great season, Zags. 30+ wins was a lot of fun to watch, I know that everyone left it on the court this year, and I respect the attitude that this program has toward personal development, responsibility, team cohesiveness, etc.

2. The "other top seeded teams lost" argument is a complete fallacy. High seeded teams losing in the tournament is a stochastic process; it is going to happen. Calling which team is going to lose beforehand, and then that team actually losing, is a completely different story. When the media specifically said GU was very overrated, and then GU does what it did in the tournament, the results suggest the media's a priori hypothesis was true. It's very different from data mining when someone looks at trends from the past to try and support their argument.

3. The WCC prevents people from being able to gauge how good GU is, and it always will. Teams progress throughout the year, therefore the OOC games only provide limited information on how good GU is relative to other tournament teams. The "how good is this team really?" debate is always going to be there when we play maybe 4 OOC tournament teams. By blowing it this year, the committee will likely be biased in seeding next year, and to be honest, the sample size (i.e., the results of GU in the tournament over the last decade being below expectations according to assessments such as rankings) is starting to provide a compelling argument. I think this year, GU could have been a fringe top-25 team that came out on the right end of unpredictable situations (e.g., GU's shots going in, opponents playing poorly) to give them that 32-3 record, as opposed to a record like 27-9 in the meaty part of the normal distribution of possible records given their skill this year, and just didn't play enough teams for anyone to know how good they really are -- that's the biggest disappointment of the season for me.

4. Playing the second half of the schedule against lesser teams is a situation that inherently leads to GU being overrated in rankings. The only polls where people actually think about where to put the teams are the pre-season and final polls. Every other poll, the voters ask did a team lose one game (-2-4 rankings) or two games this week(-7-10 rankings)? and slide the teams that didn't lose up. As GU's schedule gets easier, most tournament teams' get harder, and teams don't move up in the polls by winning, only by not losing, so GU moves up easier than teams in harder conferences. Did anyone actually think GU was better than Louisville this year?

5. This situation makes GU very marketable. A possibly legit top-25 team playing games on the west coast when everyone else is asleep is a niche for television. "GU is 25-2, but hasn't played anyone" is water cooler talk that gets people on the west coast to watch the games. Move GU to a harder conference, and maybe they are reduced to an above average, much lower ceiling team, because they lose to good teams on a regular basis; or even worse, have to fight with east coast teams for a spot on tv at a competitive time. This conference move is a risky proposition, so I doubt the powers that be want GU to move.

Good stuff.

JAGzag
03-27-2013, 03:25 PM
I would argue the WCC also hurts us badly in terms of recruting top recruits.

Reborn
03-27-2013, 03:29 PM
I agree former 1. It was one of the problems. The other problem that I see is the slow pace we started with in the first half. The team just seemed so tentative. But they did work out of that and began to play Zag basketball towards the end of the first half. When Gonzaga began the second half they looked like our Zags. They were attacking on offense and playing much, much better defense.

From about six minutes left in the 2nd half to about the 3 minute mark it was great basketball. You have to admit that. Great. It was like two fighters in the center of the ring punching it out toe to toe. We'd hit a 3 then they would. It was back and forth. In my opinion, we were not defending the 3 as well as we could have, but credit must be givin to Wichita St for making those 3's. All of them in a row. The game was a classic game in March Madness. For sure it was not Gonzaga who was Camelot.

I have to admit that the terminal out of bounds pass was crucial to our loss, just as it was against Butler. Something happened after that play. Yes. There was still plenty of time to pull out a victory. But that bonehead play still seems like it was an omen of the misfortune which followed.

Angelo Roncalli
03-27-2013, 03:30 PM
I would argue the WCC also hurts us badly in terms of recruting top recruits.

There is no doubt about that. One of the chief negative recruiting tactics against GU is the "they play in the WCC" maxim.

former1dog
03-27-2013, 03:31 PM
I would argue the WCC also hurts us badly in terms of recruting top recruits.

More so than our relative geographic isolation, our lack of funds relatively to who we're competing against for top recruits, our small arena size, lack of football, small student body size, and the small town of Spokane. Are these issues greater or smaller than the conference as it relates to recruiting? If we were to change conferences, how would that affect the other "negative" aspects I have noted?

former1dog
03-27-2013, 03:33 PM
I agree former 1. It was one of the problems. The other problem that I see is the slow pace we started with in the first half. The team just seemed so tentative. But they did work out of that and began to play Zag basketball towards the end of the first half. When Gonzaga began the second half they looked like our Zags. They were attacking on offense and playing much, much better defense.

From about six minutes left in the 2nd half to about the 3 minute mark it was great basketball. You have to admit that. Great. It was like two fighters in the center of the ring punching it out toe to toe. We'd hit a 3 then they would. It was back and forth. In my opinion, we were not defending the 3 as well as we could have, but credit must be givin to Wichita St for making those 3's. All of them in a row. The game was a classic game in March Madness. For sure it was not Gonzaga who was Camelot.

I have to admit that the terminal out of bounds pass was crucial to our loss, just as it was against Butler. Something happened after that play. Yes. There was still plenty of time to pull out a victory. But that bonehead play still seems like it was an omen of the misfortune which followed.

100% agreement. I was there! ;)

U Zig, I Zag
03-27-2013, 03:36 PM
Personally, I am fine with the WCC. It's a good chance to win our way in if all other things in the OCC are failing us. This year was a great example of a 'perfect storm' - high praise and ranking, good OOC showing, winning out in conf, etc. Even then we STILL couldn't get over the hump.

WSU was/is a good team, no doubt - they shot lights out (as is the pattern against us).

IMHO you leave *everything* the same, same games, same outcomes same personnel playing the same minutes and you lead us up until the whatever-minute mark in the WSU game where we came storming back and took the lead: if we don't slow the game down then we win.

Not sure a stronger conference would change that fact. Few needs to change his philosophy in those situations.

MDABE80
03-27-2013, 03:37 PM
We don't need more games to be close..that serves no purpose. We NEED tough opponents. I do think we should have two games in the last month. That might help a lot. Might.....not sure the WCC is our only problem prohibiting us from getting beyond the round of 32. It's been 3 years 2009-2010 ( might be 4) since Meech got us to the sweet 16. Not bad. BUT we can do better.
How we keep those boys toughened up is a serious question. Soon we must provide an answer. We simply had a team who was unconscious from 3 land...as good as Jimmer was. Freak shows....but it's still a losss. We just have terrible luck in the NCAA tournament. Dammit!

former1dog
03-27-2013, 03:38 PM
Not sure a stronger conference would change that fact. Few needs to change his philosophy in those situations.

Same thing happened against UCLA years ago. I hate to say it.

kitzbuel
03-28-2013, 02:41 AM
National Championships

Big East--10

Big 10-10

ACC-12

SEC-11

Big 12-5

WCC--0 (unless you want to go back to Russell's days).

The leagues do make a difference, more probably than not.

I think the implication that these conferences have more championships because the teams in them play each other is wrong.

These conferences win more championships because they consistently get better recruits that than the WCC. Pure and simple.

demian
03-28-2013, 06:09 AM
Addtionally it bothers me when everyone states the league is improving. Well the other teams have had over 14-15 years to build on Gonzaga's success and the only team to really step up has been St. Marrys. With the sanctions they will likely drop off now. Peperdine dropped off the map years ago. So it's us and BYU.

very true hegotit. I agree completely.

TexasZag
03-28-2013, 06:58 AM
I think the implication that these conferences have more championships because the teams in them play each other is wrong.

These conferences win more championships because they consistently get better recruits that than the WCC. Pure and simple.

I like to know how you could test your argument, that conference play does not prepare these big conference schools for their March runs. Seems like a hypothesis that's doomed to fail. I'd like to see the research, though.

I do agree with the second half of the comment.

ZagLawGrad
03-28-2013, 07:15 AM
I think the implication that these conferences have more championships because the teams in them play each other is wrong.

These conferences win more championships because they consistently get better recruits that than the WCC. Pure and simple.

They get better recruits because they are better conferences. Understandable.

I don't think there's any question those teams are regularly better in the Dance because of who they play. Probably or probably not? Probably.

bartruff1
03-28-2013, 07:34 AM
They get better recruits because they are better conferences. Understandable.

I don't think there's any question those teams are regularly better in the Dance because of who they play. Probably or probably not? Probably.

That is a good sign, you are making progress..

ZagLawGrad
03-28-2013, 07:37 AM
That is a good sign, you are making progress..

Slowly.

bartruff1
03-28-2013, 08:17 AM
Let me try this.... the better teams are getting better players... the conference has some effect on the recruit's choice...but a player is recruited by a team and chooses between teams and not conferences...

It is more than probable that teams benefit from a high level of competition, but that is not the primary reason they succeed...

The WCC did not lose this game....I think I am done...I actually have been done for some time...I am just repeating myself...

bballbeachbum
03-28-2013, 07:31 PM
the big conferences get better recruits over all from A to Z in all their teams' programs, and then they play each other over the season game after game, and they all get better because of it which is the name of the game, and GU doesn't have the same kind of blade sharpeneing stones in the WCC as those teams.

I think it's true, but can also be overcome by making open shots, among other things

kitzbuel
03-28-2013, 08:09 PM
I like to know how you could test your argument, that conference play does not prepare these big conference schools for their March runs. Seems like a hypothesis that's doomed to fail. I'd like to see the research, though.

I do agree with the second half of the comment.

I suspect you will find that those championships won by BCS conferences have been won by a fairly small group of schools. Somehow being in a BCS conference does not benefit the Clemsons and Utahs in those conferences.

MJ777
03-28-2013, 08:33 PM
On Colin Cowherd, Bruce Pearl explained it perfectly that the Zags were not battle tested in the month of January and February. Wichita State had 10 close games in those two months vs the Zags having 3 close games. WCC does the Zags disservice of not being more competetive.

The WCC does not prepare Zag posters for March Madness.

willandi
03-28-2013, 08:52 PM
The WCC does not prepare Zag posters for March Madness.

Actually, the SI cover of KO, blown up to poster size, should have prepared us all!

Hoopaholic
03-28-2013, 09:04 PM
So I am guessing Indiana and Miami were not battle tested either

Birddog
03-29-2013, 04:24 AM
The WCC does not prepare Zag posters for March Madness.
Good one, and so true!

McZag
03-29-2013, 04:36 AM
The WCC does not prepare Zag posters for March Madness.

Nailed it

bballbeachbum
03-29-2013, 07:19 AM
So I am guessing Indiana and Miami were not battle tested either

the difference is that this pattern with the Zags is repeated every year. Are you really saying that the WCC battles test and prepare the Zags for March? Just want to make sure I understand your position on this.

cjm720
03-29-2013, 08:53 AM
the big conferences get better recruits over all from A to Z in all their teams' programs, and then they play each other over the season game after game, and they all get better because of it which is the name of the game, and GU doesn't have the same kind of blade sharpeneing stones in the WCC as those teams.

I think it's true, but can also be overcome by making open shots, among other things

This...

hegotit!
03-29-2013, 11:22 AM
the difference is that this pattern with the Zags is repeated every year. Are you really saying that the WCC battles test and prepare the Zags for March? Just want to make sure I understand your position on this.

Anyone that does not believe this is just kidding themselves!

Now if the league gets tougher and more competetive then it's a different story. But that's a big if!! Adding Pacific is not going to help.