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View Full Version : Thoughts on Gonzaga's Defense



Reborn
04-01-2013, 08:20 AM
Because it's so hard to lose I think that we all blame the loss onto Gonzaga's poor 3 point shooting defense. I honestly believe that this Gonzaga team had the best defense against the 3 point shot than any other Gonzaga team. Gonzaga made huge strides this year in team defense. I don't think they need a new coach to teach them a new defense.

At the time of our loss, I don't think any of us, accept Sili, really felt that Wichita State was as good as they are. We should remember that they made it to the Final Four by beating teams who did defend the 3. Ohio State is known for a great defensive team, yet they lost to the Shockers. I don't think they will go out looking for a new defensive coach. In the end credit has to be given to the Shockers. They have played great in this tournament, and have made unbelievable shots against all the teams they beat.

March Madness has always been about Cinderella teams upsetting highly ranked teams. It IS what has made this tournament what it is. Unfortunately that Cinderella team came up against GU and beat us and robbed us from our chance of making it to the Final 4. Each year we see that there really is not much difference any more between Major and Mid-Major basketball team, and that basketball parity is now the case.

This year, overall, Gonzaga defended the 3 point shot pretty well. We beat every team in our conference twice, and two teams 3 times because we did defend the 3 point shot well. Overall, I was really impressed with Gonzaga's defense this year, and felt it was a beautiful thing to watch. They just got beat by a team who was very, very, very hot at the end of the game, And, yes lucky. Every coach, when talking about the NCAA tournament, says that to win it all does take some luck. Maybe Wichita State hitting all those shots at the end had something to do with that thing they call luck.

Go Zags!!! The Best is yet to come!!!

CDC84
04-01-2013, 08:30 AM
The thing that just keeps coming back to my mind again and again after watching the Southern and Wich St. games was how their long range shooters just shot over the top of GU's guards again and again.....even if GU's guards properly closed out.

It's very frustrating to go from that to watching the Syracuse and Louisville defenses come out with all their length and systematically destroy their opponent's ability to shoot 3's.

FuManShoes
04-01-2013, 09:00 AM
While the Zags 3pt defense was improved this year, at least according to opposing teams' 3pt percentage against GU, it's hard to see it in the Dance, where the Zags gave up 47% or so to teams that weren't great from the line. And while Wichita St has proven itself a legit team by beating some good defensive teams on the way to the Final Four, the Zags are the only one they killed from the perimeter. Chalk it up to our size inside, their hot hand, or more likely, a combination of our lack of size on the perimeter, missed assignments, an injured defender and their hot hand.

WSU 3pt shooting in the Dance:
vs Pitt: 2-10
vs GU: 14-28
vs La Salle: 5-12
vs Ohio St: 8-20

MDABE80
04-01-2013, 09:13 AM
For the past two weeks that's exactly what's been gnawing at my belly too CDC. Longth is one thing but Louisville isn't all that long out front and they still manage to shut off 3 point shooting. Syracuse' defense ......and it's been this way for years.......is something to emulate but few do/can.

Either we have the absolute worst luck or we need to erase the board and start over. Just be random chance, we cannot be this bad at 3 pt defense. It's nearly impossible. And yet, teams with seeming little 3 pt expertise clean up against us from 3 land. It's a mystery. They meet up with us, and they're magicians at shooting 3's. I'm sure the coaches have noticed. What to do? I dunno.

Syracuse has long kids who use that zone. Louisville's kids are just quick to the ball but to be fair, Pitino has a very workable system. ...certainly nothing genius.

It's got to be frightening/infuriating to the staff to know what's coming but not be capable of stopping it.

Ezag
04-01-2013, 09:14 AM
Ok, what we need this off season is to find a way for Kevin, Gary and David to grow 3-5 inches taller...

zagco
04-01-2013, 09:19 AM
We got a lifetime supply of breaks and luck and good fortune in the late 1990's. Since then, we have to scratch and claw for everything in the tournament.

Birddog
04-01-2013, 09:58 AM
I wonder how Florida fans feel about the number1 scoring defense in the country giving up 10 of 19 from "3"? Are they demanding change?

CdAZagFan
04-01-2013, 10:25 AM
Nice post, Reborn... I feel the same way. I keep hearing how the Zags weren't tough enough and/or they can't defend the three - but looking at the season as a whole, I thought they showed both of those things throughout the entire season - better than they had in years.

MDABE80
04-01-2013, 10:49 AM
When it comes to 3 pt defense in the Wichita State game, here's a corker! Looks like a crazy stat..but it's a true one. Ewwwwww...what luck!



Per @tjonessltrib, Wichita State's hit their last seven threes. Chances of a .330 team (their regular-season mark) doing that: 2346-to-1

GrizZAG
04-01-2013, 09:30 PM
In watching the NCAA's I noticed the refs were allowing defenders on the perimeter to get much closer and have far more contact outside than the typical WCC refs would allow.

Is it possible that our players are conditioned to be a bit too careful defending the perimeter because of learned behavior from tight WCC refs? We just were not glued to the opposition like many of the high octane eastern teams are defending the perimeter. Tons of contact with no calls is what I observed.

Is this a possible explanation to some degree?

Zagsker
04-01-2013, 10:16 PM
I wonder how Florida fans feel about the number1 scoring defense in the country giving up 10 of 19 from "3"? Are they demanding change?

Is it a yearly problem for them as well?

Birddog
04-02-2013, 03:28 AM
Is it a yearly problem for them as well?
Actually I got it wrong, my memory was off a little. Florida was 3rd in the country for fewest pts allowed and 9th in FG% defense. You got the gist of what I meant by my post. I'm solidly in the camp that feels the Zags problem if any is personnel not defensive scheme. Did you notice how many wide open 3's Florida gave up from the baseline corner? I mean WIDE open! They allowed 53% from "3".

SteelCityZag
04-02-2013, 05:13 AM
The thing that just keeps coming back to my mind again and again after watching the Southern and Wich St. games was how their long range shooters just shot over the top of GU's guards again and again.....even if GU's guards properly closed out.

It's very frustrating to go from that to watching the Syracuse and Louisville defenses come out with all their length and systematically destroy their opponent's ability to shoot 3's.

CDC, I couldn't agree more. I think the error was with not adjusting the 2-3 Zone for this team where the guards are not, shall we say, long/tall. A modified 3-2 may have helped, because our defense on the blocks kept improving all year. It may have helped to frustrat their shooters before they were able to get shots up that were either open (GBJ's injury playing a role) or overtop our smaller backcourt lineup. The way we win, is to force them to shoot over KO, SD, and EH. The way we lose is exactly how it went down.

mgadfly
04-02-2013, 07:19 AM
I'm solidly in the camp that feels the Zags problem if any is personnel not defensive scheme. Did you notice how many wide open 3's Florida gave up from the baseline corner? I mean WIDE open! They allowed 53% from "3".

Anecdotal evidence aside (Florida's game), we have consistently underperformed in two areas during the Mark Few era. 1. 3 pt field goal defense, and 2. steal percentage.

With the arrival of Ray G and David Stockton our steal percentage has steadily climbed and is much more acceptable.

Our 3 pt field goal defense continues to be our worst attribute as a team (other than in 2012 and 2008). Year in and year out. If 15 years isn't a large enough sample size to determine that part of the problem is "scheme," then I don't know what is...


That said, just because the scheme has been exploited by good three point shooting teams doesn't mean we should change it. During the same 15 years where we consistently underperformed in this area we have been very successful and were able to do a lot of other things amazingly well. It's possible that if we extend the defense to take away the three, our defensive FG% (which is traditionally very good) climbs as teams get to the rim more often.

caduceus
04-02-2013, 10:14 AM
Top 10 2P% defenses over the past 5 seasons:


Team Pct SD
Kansas -8.34 -14.2
UConn -7.58 -13.4
Kentucky -7.37 -12.8
Texas -6.03 -10.2
Florida St -6.10 -9.6
Louisville -5.73 -9.5
Memphis -5.53 -9.4
Miss St -5.38 -9.1
Gonzaga -5.11 -8.1
USC -5.18 -8.1

The percentage above is how opponents 2P% fared against these teams compared to their average.


Per Ken Pomeroy (http://kenpom.com/blog/index.php/weblog/entry/one_last_post_on_3p_defense), teams with better 2P% defenses tend to have better 3P% defenses:

http://kenpom.com/assets/3p_2p.png


The overall effect a team can influence 3P% is minimal (3% or less) compared to 2P% defense, however.

cjm720
04-02-2013, 10:52 AM
With our low post players they were forced to beat us from the outside. It worked.

While the Zags 3pt defense was improved this year, at least according to opposing teams' 3pt percentage against GU, it's hard to see it in the Dance, where the Zags gave up 47% or so to teams that weren't great from the line. And while Wichita St has proven itself a legit team by beating some good defensive teams on the way to the Final Four, the Zags are the only one they killed from the perimeter. Chalk it up to our size inside, their hot hand, or more likely, a combination of our lack of size on the perimeter, missed assignments, an injured defender and their hot hand.

WSU 3pt shooting in the Dance:
vs Pitt: 2-10
vs GU: 14-28
vs La Salle: 5-12
vs Ohio St: 8-20

surfmonkey89
04-02-2013, 11:05 AM
Wow, that 2pt defense stat is really impressive. Might have even played a role against Wichita St if we didn't give up 14 3s.

I agree that our guards are too short, which allows the opponent to shoot over the top. My question is: knowing this, why not make an adjustment? Maybe focusing on their quickness to prevent attempts?

People can complain about Coach K as they want. The simple truth is that he adjusts his team year to year, based on who he has. Seems to work pretty well, versus trying the same thing over and over but expecting a different result.

As much as I loathe the quote, "You go to war with the army you have" is pretty fitting in this case. You can't keep going with a game plan that pretends your weaknesses don't exist. At some point "Keep sawing wood" becomes "La la la I can't hear youuuuu!", and sooner or later comes back to bite you.

cjm720
04-02-2013, 11:21 AM
People can complain about Coach K as they want. The simple truth is that he adjusts his team year to year, based on who he has. Seems to work pretty well, versus trying the same thing over and over but expecting a different result.

Gosh, it sure would be nice to have all those all-americans...could you imagine what Coach Few could do then?

surfmonkey89
04-02-2013, 11:28 AM
Gosh, it sure would be nice to have all those all-americans...could you imagine what Coach Few could do then?

Please. The point was that, even with the talent they get, they still have to adjust the game plan year to year.

We have lesser talent (which shouldn't be considered an insult compared to Duke), so if anything we should be MORE flexible.

Instead, we've been lamenting the same problems for over a decade.

cjm720
04-02-2013, 11:59 AM
I won't take the time to look but I am certain our defense has statistically gotten better, especially this year and behind the arc.

mgadfly
04-02-2013, 07:12 PM
I won't take the time to look but I am certain our defense has statistically gotten better, especially this year and behind the arc.

This year's defense was better, but not behind the arc.

We held opponents to 31% behind the arc last year, good for 31st in the nation.

This year we held them to 32.9%, good for 115th overall.

zagco
04-03-2013, 10:03 AM
Zagco does not get why the 3-point line in college basketball is where it is. It should be at the international distance.

Marcus
04-03-2013, 10:18 AM
Zagco does not get why the 3-point line in college basketball is where it is. It should be at the international distance.

This.

I also feel that the shot clock is too long.

GeorgiaZagFan
04-04-2013, 11:04 AM
The thing that just keeps coming back to my mind again and again after watching the Southern and Wich St. games was how their long range shooters just shot over the top of GU's guards again and again.....even if GU's guards properly closed out.

It's very frustrating to go from that to watching the Syracuse and Louisville defenses come out with all their length and systematically destroy their opponent's ability to shoot 3's.

a bit of a contradiction here...L'ville starting guards are 6'0" and 6'1" ...they are shorter than the Zags ...this 3-point defense myth is just that ..Wichita State got the same looks against Pittsburgh and went 2-20 ...they got the same looks against OSU and went 8-20, same looks against LaSalle (starting guards of 6'1 and 6'0") and went 5-12 ....and against the Zags they went 14-28 ....

willandi
04-04-2013, 11:26 AM
We should have rotated EH, KO and Sam/Barham/PK to the 3 point line, and had KP, DS, KD cover the inside! That would have shut down those 3's!

But seriously, they made some crazy, amazing shots, ones that shouldn't have gone in. We lost GBJ on the outside, and it still took a couple of missed calls for them to beat us.

Maybe the mantra should be, "No guards under 6'8"! that would handle the length. Of course there are those that would complain that those little 6' guys just run circles around our big fellas!

MDABE80
04-04-2013, 12:21 PM
I don'tknow if anyone watched the McD's All Star game last night. 6 were going to Kentucky which usually means someone there will be leaving. Who knows where they land???
But WOW, those kids looks like NBA leaper types. An amazing array of talent. The announcers thought Kentucky should ne preseason no 1. Based on freshmen?? I just can't see it.....but who knows?

Cal's got an amazing arsenal coming.

mgadfly
04-04-2013, 03:02 PM
I don'tknow if anyone watched the McD's All Star game last night. 6 were going to Kentucky which usually means someone there will be leaving. Who knows where they land???
But WOW, those kids looks like NBA leaper types. An amazing array of talent. The announcers thought Kentucky should ne preseason no 1. Based on freshmen?? I just can't see it.....but who knows?

Cal's got an amazing arsenal coming.

So Kentucky's lineup will look something like this?

*PG: Andrew Harrison, #1 ranked PG, 5 star recruit 2013
*SG: Aaron Harrison, #1 ranked SG, 5 star recruit 2013
*SF: Alex Poythress, #3 ranked SF, 5 star recruit 2012
*PF: Julius Randall, #1 ranked PF, 5 star recruit 2013
*C: Dakari Johnson, #1 ranked C, 5 star recruit 2013

bC: Willie Cauley-Stein, #11 ranked C, 5 star recruit, 2012
*bF: Kyle Wiltjer, #5 ranked PF, 5 star recruit, 2011
*bF: Marcus Lee, #9 ranked PF, 5 star recruit, 2013
*bSF: James Young, #3 ranked SF,5 star recruit, 2013

*McD AA's

And he may still sign Wiggins, the #1 player overall, and #1 SF.

8 or 9 All-Americans, a few veteran players, brothers at guard with good chemistry... I could see them winning it all.

titopoet
04-04-2013, 03:12 PM
So Kentucky's lineup will look something like this?

*PG: Andrew Harrison, #1 ranked PG, 5 star recruit 2013
*SG: Aaron Harrison, #1 ranked SG, 5 star recruit 2013
*SF: Alex Poythress, #3 ranked SF, 5 star recruit 2012
*PF: Julius Randall, #1 ranked PF, 5 star recruit 2013
*C: Dakari Johnson, #1 ranked C, 5 star recruit 2013

bC: Willie Cauley-Stein, #11 ranked C, 5 star recruit, 2012
*bF: Kyle Wiltjer, #5 ranked PF, 5 star recruit, 2011
*bF: Marcus Lee, #9 ranked PF, 5 star recruit, 2013
*bSF: James Young, #3 ranked SF,5 star recruit, 2013

*McD AA's

And he may still sign Wiggins, the #1 player overall, and #1 SF.

8 or 9 All-Americans, a few veteran players, brothers at guard with good chemistry... I could see them winning it all.

It does depend on Wiggins. Duke getting Jabari Parker makes them a player for NC. The truth is those two small forwards are the class of the class. Whichever gets Wiggins: Florida State, UNC, Kansas or Kentucky will be a player. If he chooses any of the others over Kentucky, that team leaps Kentucky. Wiggins is a once in a generation player like MJ, Kobe, or Lebron.