PDA

View Full Version : Gonzaga...getting ready for conference play at 10-2.



Reborn
12-23-2013, 11:12 AM
Wow. It's already time to get ready for Conference play. Time is going so fast this season. The Zags are off to a pretty good start this season, and are 10-2 and ranked in the top 25 at 24. Actually, when you think about it the Zags were 10-2 at this time last season. Even though The Zags are certainly beat up going into conference play, they have managed to play well with their B game because of injures. I think the Zags have a good bench and this will help them.

With Sam Dower now hurt and most likely not available to play for awhile the question remains, "Who will take his place." I do have concerns. The WCC is not a physically tough conference. Nor is a conference with alot of big guys like PK (BYU would be one who does). PK, imo, does not guard well against shorter centers; so Im worried what guys like Waldo will do to GU? From what I have seen, GU needs to go with Meikel. I think he's the best big man to play for Sam. PK will do ok on offense, but not on D. I think that because Sam was such a good scorer, Few may need to go with the smaller lineup with Drew Barham or Dranginis starting. He started Dranginis the second half of the Kansas St game; so most likely he will be the one to take Sam's place. If it were my choice I'd go with Barham. He's a little taller.

I think the schedule will really help us. We will begin with our first 4 games at home. This will give the Zags time to make the adjustment to play without Sam Dower. Pacific will be a tougher game then many think. Zags better be mentally ready for them.

DixieZag
12-23-2013, 11:24 AM
We face SMC at home with the possibility of all three of these, no students, no Sam and a no movement Pangos - - ruh ro.

Sort of brings it home for me. Zags have had worse Decembers, by far, losing four of five, but this is right up there with a loss to KSU and. . .

zag944
12-23-2013, 11:46 AM
Sort of brings it home for me. Zags have had worse Decembers, by far, losing four of five, but this is right up there with a loss to KSU and. . .

Yep. Worse Decembers in the W-L columns, but between the eye test and the caliber of schedule in many of those seasons, well, I felt a lot better. This team has looked wonderful in some games, but there is a lot working against us firing on all cylinders right now.

sittingon50
12-23-2013, 12:29 PM
Hey, sometimes even the Seahawks don't show up, eh?

primal23
12-23-2013, 12:53 PM
Horrible sports weekend for Washington. Only 2 positives IMHO, the lady Zags won, and the UW men lost.

Baseline
12-23-2013, 03:27 PM
With everyone hurting and the play of the last few games GU is going to have a hard time and its my opinion that BYU will win it outright and GU will be in a fight for second. The wild card loses will probably determine 2nd place.
Memphis looms huge for an at large bid.

Reborn
12-23-2013, 07:55 PM
I watched the game again last night and I felt the Zags did well without Sam. They were behind by 4 at the half and with 4 min to go in the game they were behind by 4. The Zags did miss Sam down the stretch because he is a Senior and can score. But the Zags had Barham taking his place and Drew had a great game scoring. Sam will get better in time, and that is the important thing. The Zags are good enough right now to win those first four games at home. After the home stand the Zags go on the road for 3 games: at Portland, at Pepperdine and at Loyola Marymount. Then on January 23rd and 25th we have two very tough games at home: San Diego and BYU, and thank God these games are at home. I'm thinking by this time Sam will ready to play. The schedule, which so many have hated, just may be the one thing that saves this season.

While watching the game again last night I tried to focus on Kevin and Gary's game. I wanted to do my best to see how injured they were. IMO, I would not be blaming the loss on their injuries. Both looked fine to me. Some of yu say Kevin can't go to the hoop now because he can't jump up into the air, or he's afraid of getting the toe hurt worse. BS. He scored in the second half on two beautiful moves to the basket. And his shooting from the outside looked good. What surprised me the most about the game was how sloppy Gonzaga was down the stretch, and especially Kevin. At one stretched late in the game, they committed 3 turnovers in four possessions and Kansas St scored on two of those turnovers. Also our rebounding was very bad at the end as well. PK looked so tired.

The Zags won six straight games before losing to K State. There was only one game out of those six that was played in K2. When you stop and think about THAT, IT is really an amazing thing for the Zags. And we beat some pretty darn good teams during that streak: Arkansas, West Virginia (in their home) and New Mexico St. These may not be top twenty teams but they are all very good teams and as good as most team in the WCC.

Sam has only averaged 25 minutes a game so the Zags have played plenty without him in the lineup. Karnowsky has been averaging 23 min a game, and against K State he played 30 minutes, and looked pretty tired. I do't think the answer to Sam's injury is to give PK more minutes. Edwards or Meikle need to be ready now to come in off the bench and give PK a rest for 7 or 8 minutes a game. I would focus on how to split up Sam's minutes without increasing PK's. So Few has 23 minutes to divide up between Barham, Dranginis, Coleman, and maybe Nunez. I have no idea how good Nunez is, but if he has any game at all, now is the time for him to show it. Nothing has been said about how good Barham played Saturday. If there was a bright spot in that game it was Drew Barham. He had his best game as I Zag I think. And who knows? Maybe Coleman will be given more minutes.

For me the thing to think about is how will Gonzaga be able to pick up Sam's points. Sam is one of our best scorers, averaging almost 14 points per game. I'm thinking Nunez. He's 6'9 inches tall, which is the same as Dower. And he is offensive minded with a good outside shot, like Sam. In the past Mark Few, when asked about Nunez, has said he doesn't need him to be a scorer. Well. IMO, now he does. Right now Gonzaga needs a scorer. They need someone who is offensive minded. Sam was not good on defense at all, so IMO, anyone on the bench is as good as Sam is on defense.Sam was a pretty good rebounder, averaging almost 7 per game; so whoever gets those minutes will need to be a good rebounder. I also feel that this is the right time to have Gary Bell take that next step and begin to be the offensive player that he can be. He needs to be so much better than that 3 point scorer that he was Saturday. It is time for him to STEP UP.

I think the other guy we need to think about is Meikle. He is 6'8". So Meikle has the height. Meikle has been subbing in more at the five when he has played, but he is NOT a five. He's a four. I know in high school he had a decent outside shot. for some reason Meikle does not seem to be the man at this point because so far he has not played much, if any, at the four. So I feel Sam's minutes are going to be going to either Barham or Nunez. Drew has been playing decently at the four

Mojo13
12-23-2013, 10:39 PM
No meaningful wins and two loses to mediocre teams. This isn't the same as last year.
This WCC is widely considered a crappy conference and I will consider this year a great success if the Zags make it to the madness.

sittingon50
12-23-2013, 10:55 PM
http://kenpom.com/conf.php?c=WCC

Reborn
12-23-2013, 11:35 PM
what kind of a post is this. An advertisement for Ken Pom web site? Why post if you have no information for fans who are not members of other sites. You are right...a waste of space.

Oregonzagnut
12-23-2013, 11:35 PM
Our RPI is 20.
Our SOS is 46.

We are the best team in our conference and I don't think we will lose more than 2 games.

Reborn
12-23-2013, 11:37 PM
Our RPI is 20.
Our SOS is 46.

We are the best team in our conference and I don't think we will lose more than 2 games.
Thanks Oregonzagnut. It's nice to see someone who's not lazy and thinks about others.

2wiceright
12-24-2013, 12:30 AM
While watching the game again last night I tried to focus on Kevin and Gary's game. I wanted to do my best to see how injured they were. IMO, I would not be blaming the loss on their injuries. Both looked fine to me. Some of yu say Kevin can't go to the hoop now because he can't jump up into the air, or he's afraid of getting the toe hurt worse. BS. He scored in the second half on two beautiful moves to the basket. And his shooting from the outside looked good. What surprised me the most about the game was how sloppy Gonzaga was down the stretch, and especially Kevin. At one stretched late in the game, they committed 3 turnovers in four possessions and Kansas St scored on two of those turnovers. Also our rebounding was very bad at the end as well. PK looked so tired.

The Zags won six straight games before losing to K State. There was only one game out of those six that was played in K2. When you stop and think about THAT, IT is really an amazing thing for the Zags. And we beat some pretty darn good teams during that streak: Arkansas, West Virginia (in their home) and New Mexico St. These may not be top twenty teams but they are all very good teams and as good as most team in the WCC.


Reborn, I like a lot of the ideas you have regarding replacing Sams minutes until he can return. It's also very refreshing to come on here and see your positive outlook when every other poster seems ready to throw in the towel on this season. Thanks for keeping the positive vibe going- as you mentioned our schedule which we thought of initially as a curse may serve to save us!
One observation I had (and it may be just quibling) was Meehans article about observing Coach Few after the game give Kevin a hug and state "we need to get you better". You know better than most how many of these high caliber athletes play through pain. I too focused on him to see if I could notice a visual difference and came to a different conclusion. I saw him wincing in pain (grimaced) trying to make sharp cuts w/out the ball as well as going for a loose ball. He's also been not shooting near as much in the first half but seems to push through it all when the team needs him the most (the 2 threes against K-State, and 3 threes the previous game). He definetly isn't cutting near as much to the hoop. Although he had a couple silly turnovers he somehow managed to keep them to 2. And with David not playing as much he sat out on the perimeter (mostly in the first half) and mainly focused on passing (instead of driving or hunting his shot) for 6 assists.

So yeah, his stats were OK, but I (and this is really all we have to go on as fans, the eye test) have come to finally believe that when Mark Few says something- that's the way it usually is (regarding what Few said to Kevin and even Kevin and Few on the 'Mark Few Show') stating he no longer practices during the week- just treats his toe and pays attention to the game plan for the next week... Just going by that I have to think he's playing at about 60% (guess) and that's when he warms up in the second half. Obviously I'm not stating anything groundbreaking or 'new'- but for us to have a shot to win the WCC- OR make it to the dance, I really think both him and Gary will have to play some of their best ball- especially against BYU (if we are to have a shot at winning the WCC). IMHO...
I hope your scenario of temporarily replacing Sam plays out like you layed it out... Merry Christmas!
http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2013/dec/18/gonzaga-notebook-injured-toe-keeps-pangos-from/

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2013/dec/22/zags-lose-twice/

ZagaZags
12-24-2013, 01:04 AM
Our RPI is 20.
Our SOS is 46.

We are the best team in our conference and I don't think we will lose more than 2 games.

2 games lost in WCC , 1 game lost vs Memphis. 26-5 add a few more wins in Vegas.

bigblahla
12-24-2013, 05:32 AM
Before the season started I believed we could have 2-4 losses in the OCC due to our thin front court. The nightmares of most here came to reality when both Shem and Sam fouled out of the Dayton game and were then joined on the bench by Kevin with 5 fouls. As the OOC played out it became evident this team would live and die through the back court offensive production. Finishing the OOC at 10-2 is as good as I expected.

I think I have as good a handle on the rosters of our WCC opponents as anyone who posts here as I have watched as many games by our WCC brethren, both on the net and on the tube, as possible. There are 5 teams that can be in the hunt and Gonzaga is one of the 5.

I stated months ago that if this Zags team wins 25 games and gets to the Dance that coach and staff did a heck of a job with what they had to work with. This has as much to do with our WCC brethren as it does our Zags. There is no huge talent gap in the WCC this year. As this conference season plays out we may be required to win the WCC tournament just to make the Dance.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Zags swept the WCC in conference play or that they end up with 3-5 losses as the competition in the WCC is going to be fierce. The brethren see and smell the blood in the water and like sharks they will be circling for the kill.

Our biggest advantage is Shem there is no player like him in the WCC as he goes so go the Zags. We cannot count on our back court to continually bail us out. I have stated many times he isn't ready for the spotlight and still believe it to be true. The holes in his game are everywhere but all are fixable and in time will disappear as he matures as a player and a man. His time is next season but we can hope for the best this year.

Coach's proclivity to play it close to the vest will not serve him or the team well in the WCC. This is the time he needs to become unorthodox in his approach and step out of his comfort level put away the hook and short leash. We are going to lose some games and IMO floor experience in some of those losses is very important for Coleman, Edwards, Meikle and Nunez. I think Coleman now understands what he has to do to play but he is still just a cog in the system. Meikle as others have stated needs time. I've never believed Nunez to be the cavalry but he needs to see the floor or there is no justification for his schollie or roster spot. With Sam hurting Edwards should play. Sam's injury sucks but may truly be a blessing in disguise as necessity is the mother of invention.

This will be one of Mark Few's toughest years as a coach and if he somehow wins the conference or the tournament or both and manages to guide this team to the "Dance" he deserves WCC coach of the year honors because the odds are really stacked against that happening.

I don't think BYU wins the conference nor anyone else not named Gonzaga but then I'm a fan(atic). I wouldn't be surprised with a 2nd-4th place finish and having to win the WCC tournament to go Dancing based on what I've seen so far.

Just my opinion.

Go!! Zags!!!

gozagswoohoo
12-24-2013, 08:05 AM
I asked this in another thread, but it is probably better placed in this one.


This is just me being curious to hear your thoughts on this, but here is my question:

What do you think would have been better for Gonzaga...which would benefit us more come tourney selection time?


A 5 point loss against Baylor

-or-

Our win against Chaminade

HenneZag
12-24-2013, 08:43 AM
League Play is going to be a grind this year. SM and BYU are very good teams. I was impressed when I watched SM play against Boise State last week. Kind of remind me of the Zags to be honest, Waldo is a bit more seasoned than Karnowski. Overall our guards are more talented but its going to be a battle from start to finish.

Karnowski needs to find consistency. When teams have depth fouling him is a smart move, especially on the road. He showed up during WV and then tanked vs K State. Its hard to know what kind of player you get from week-week. He consistently is getting handled by smaller more athletic bigs, I want to see a mean streak and some friggin confidence for pete's sake.

Meikle, for some reason I am very intrigued with him. I like what I see when he comes into games, he's aggressive, move's good without the ball and a bit more athletic then Karnowski.

We lack physicality and toughness as a whole, of course this is my opinion. We need that nasty attitude such as what KO & Harris brought to our team last season. Were one dimensional at this point so it's simple, if we don't make the majority of our shots we will struggle against quality opponents. There will be times this year when we hit just about everything and other times such like Kstate where we miss shots that we normally sink. Fasten your seat-belts. Side Note, I am depressed over the Hawks and the Zags last week hoping to turn that around next weekend, Go Zags!

sittingon50
12-24-2013, 10:17 AM
Reborn,

Sorry you have a problem with me. I did not realize that posting a "link" to KenPom was blocked out to non-subscriber's. I guess now I have learned something.

In the post above mine, Mojo stated "This WCC is widely considered a crappy conference...." The link shows KP ranking the WCC 9th of 33 conferences, which goes directly to that statement.

And since you mentioned "a waste of space", I guess that puts me in good company.

This is the time of year for making lists; you go back on mine , after having been off for about 12 hrs. What was I thinking?

Have a great Christmas.

zag944
12-24-2013, 10:34 AM
I asked this in another thread, but it is probably better placed in this one.


This is just me being curious to hear your thoughts on this, but here is my question:

What do you think would have been better for Gonzaga...which would benefit us more come tourney selection time?


A 5 point loss against Baylor

-or-

Our win against Chaminade


I think the 5 point loss against Baylor personally for several reasons.

1) Id feel quite a bit more confident now if we had played a top dozen team well.
2) The win vs Dayton, loss vs Baylor, and (presumed) win vs Cal is much better for tournament resume. Better oppenents, and its 2-1, rather than the 1-1 path we took since Chaminade doesn't count (Division II school).
3) Id have been able to watch the last 2 games at Maui, wouldn't have been at work :)

Reborn
12-24-2013, 02:17 PM
Reborn,

Sorry you have a problem with me. I did not realize that posting a "link" to KenPom was blocked out to non-subscriber's. I guess now I have learned something.

In the post above mine, Mojo stated "This WCC is widely considered a crappy conference...." The link shows KP ranking the WCC 9th of 33 conferences, which goes directly to that statement.

And since you mentioned "a waste of space", I guess that puts me in good company.

This is the time of year for making lists; you go back on mine , after having been off for about 12 hrs. What was I thinking?

Have a great Christmas.

OMG...Are you kidding me? Can't you take a little criticism? Anyway, do as you please...It's your life, but I certainly meant you no harm. I just thought you were being a little lazy is all. I do apologize for hurting you. I'll be much more careful in the future. MerryChristmas to you and your family

Reborn
12-24-2013, 02:34 PM
After watching St. Mary's play this past week, I believe what I thought about them earlier. They have been rated above us all season in the RPI ranking, but they will certainly fall behind us now. The Zags also dropped to a lower ranking after losing to Kansas St. but I think our ranking will be higher then theirs.

BYU looks awfully good, even though they have lost more games then GU they may be better. We will see. Their ranking in the RPI is much higher then ours. They have played some really good teams in their OOC schedule. As has been mentioned by others, Pacific is a plus to the WCC. They are rankedin the RPI ranking in the top 40 I believe. Very good. Wouldn't it be cool if the WCC got four teams into the NCAA tournament in March. And we all know that San Diego is always tough in the WCC and will have to be accounted for. Oh, by the way we better worry about Portland because they too have been playing really well.

Reborn
12-27-2013, 11:08 PM
Conference play begins tomorrow, and we will now be getting alot of basketball. It's really great. We won't have to wait a full week now before we get to see a game. The last two or three weeks it's been one game week. Now, to get us started we get to see four games in 8 days. This will be almost like a tournament where GU played 3 games in 3 days in Maui. Ithink the fact that Gonzaga played in Maui will help them with the kind of schedule they play in conference. The Zags have this 4 game home stand in 8 days. They have 3 consecutive away games from Jan 9-18 (Portland, Pepperdine and LMU). And then finally, to end conference play the Zags will play four consecutive away games against the top 4 teams in the conference. Now that will be a challenge.

I am more excited about conference play this year. More than I have been before I think. I think it's going to be a really exciting campaign, with alot of close games. The games last year, for the most part were not close. Gonzaga could go undefeated again,imo. But the games will be much closer. However, my prediction is that they will lose two games. As I get ready to go to bed I am remembering that at this time last season Gonzaga had lost just One game, to Illinois. They had a great conference run. Anyway, for this year's Zags, It all begins tomorrow. So!!!! Let's Go Zags!!!

Go Zags!!!

sittingon50
12-28-2013, 12:28 AM
And on & on & on &.....

Reborn
12-28-2013, 08:11 AM
And on & on & on &.....

Great post..........hahahahahah you must have been tired. I thought you were putting my on your ignor list?

Reborn
12-29-2013, 11:06 AM
A pretty good day in the WCC for upsets. BYU losing to LMU, San Diego losing to Pepperdine, and I think Portland losing to USF at home was an upset. I watched the LMU vs BYU game, and I watched the Portland and USF game. These teams are so much better this year. The teams are playing defense. The games were very enjoyable to watch and showed that this league is going to be tough this year.