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View Full Version : The final week of conference play is now here.



Reborn
02-24-2014, 09:51 AM
And the Zags are in first place with a two game lead. It's been a typical hard fought season, with some surprise losses, but overall it's been a very good year for the Zags. We are undefeated at home. And that says a lot. At the beginning of the year I knew that the WCC was going to be a tough conference this season, and perhaps the toughest in the last 20 years. I am not surprised really that we have lost @Portland, @San Diego and @BYU. Well, I think I am surprised at the loss to Portland. But it was bound to happen some time, and the same with San Diego.

what I feel so good about is that GU has put itself in a very good position to win the conference outright, and have already secured a share of the championship, is that they accomplished this with injuries to two key players, Bell and Dower. I can't imagine another team who could have done what GU did. There is just so much pride on this team. I have no doubt at all that Gonzaga will win the conference championship outright. They will win game this weekend, imo. One great characteristic of this team, which is like all the others, is that they take care of their business.

The team struggled this past weekend. There's no doubt about that. They definitely did not play their A game, and I question whether they even played their B game against San Diego. The team seems to be in disarray right now, and are definitely not giving it their best effort 100% of the time, and THAT is not Zag like. The Zags will have a great week of practice, and I have no doubt that the coaches will get the team ready to play this weekend. If they can not put it all together this weekend, then that is the kind of team we have for 2013-14. However, I believe that every Zag has a sense of history and tradition, and to me that fact is what makes Gonzaga what it is. There is now a strong tradition at GU that insists that the guys "get 'er done." This team follows many who have done just that, and a couple of those teams were in much more dire straights then this team. This team has already secured a part of the championship. And now will want to finish it off and become sole champions of the WCC. I believe that because of having a 4 game lead in conference play, the Zags let up a little and it showed. Now it's different. There is no room for letting up. So let's get 'er done guys.

Go Zags!!!

Zags11
02-24-2014, 12:08 PM
Go zags

Reborn
02-24-2014, 04:15 PM
I am looking for some changes to occur this week. I believe we will begin to see more of Coleman and Nunez on a consistent basis. The Zags need more offense, and in particular they need guys who will attack the basket and get to the foul line. The reason Gonzaga's offense is stalling is because the players are content to throw the ball around the perimeter until there are like 10 seconds left in the shot clock and then shoot some stupid shot. How many times have we seen that this year? Way too many. Pangos, Bell, Stockton and even Dranginis are all shooting floaters and NOT getting to the line. Mark Few said in an interview that the coaches have been telling them all week and all game long to attack the rim but players refuse to do that. Well??? Play the guys who do attack the rim. Seems like a good solution to me.

I believe, and hope, that we will have seen the end to the small three-guard offense. Pacific, once again, is a team with BIG guards. I am hoping that Few is getting tired of seeing the Zags start games slowly, dragging and struggling to score. They play catch up for most of the first half, and do catch up and over take the opponent once Few begins to sub. And the second half begins the same way. IMO, our last two losses were lost in the first 5 minutes of the second half, and the last minute of the first half. It's true. Why must we play from behind the entire second half? Why not jump out of the gates and get ahead, and then put Stockton in. I would start Pangos, Bell and Dranginis, and use David to spell Pangos, and make Pangos sit for at least five minutes each half.

I would also sit Bell more. Maybe 12 minutes a game. He is not playing that great, and Dranginis is as good as a defender, imo. When Bell sits we could have David and Coleman and Dranginis in the game. Coleman guarding the two guard and Dranginis the three. David can handle most point guards. And also with this team David could become more of a scorer which I think he would like to do.

I definitely believe that Nunez should now get to be the first guy off the bench at the 4. It's clear to me that Barham can not defend a legitimate 4, and he can not keep a 4 off the boards. If Few wants to use him for his shooting then Use him at the three. He could be the guy to sub for Dranginis. He would make a much better wing at 6'6" then a weak 4.

The Zag bench proved that they can score when Bell and Dower were out. If Few gives them more playing time, and more freedom I believe you will see the team respond. The bench had such a big part of how this season turned out, yet IMO Few has failed to honestly reward them for what they did. IMO he has NEVER rewarded Coleman especially. And Coleman has helped the team in so many ways. He has had brilliant first halves and yet Few never played him the second half. He can score, and lack of scoring has become a problem for the Zags. He has a ton of confidence and lack of confidence has become a problem for the Zags. Yes. He plays helter skelter defense but so does David.

Go Zags!!!

seacatfan
02-24-2014, 04:24 PM
I think the Zags better get it done against Pacific (not an easy game, they've taken down some teams at home), because you do not want to go into the last game of the season at St. Mary's needing the win to take the conference outright. Nothing would make the Gaels happier than playing spoiler to GU and I'm sure they'll give the Zags everything they have.

GU has used undersized players at the 4 numerous times over the years, but usually because of lack of depth. W/ Nunez, Edwards and Meikle sitting on the bench, there is no reason to play Barham at the 4. Ever.

GU actually got off to a great start on offense against USD, but couldn't sustain it. Couldn't play D either. The several minute sequence that resulted in 3 uncontested dunks out of the halfcourt offense for the Toreros was ridiculous.

Oregonzagnut
02-24-2014, 04:45 PM
I think the Zags better get it done against Pacific (not an easy game, they've taken down some teams at home), because you do not want to go into the last game of the season at St. Mary's needing the win to take the conference outright. Nothing would make the Gaels happier than playing spoiler to GU and I'm sure they'll give the Zags everything they have.

GU has used undersized players at the 4 numerous times over the years, but usually because of lack of depth. W/ Nunez, Edwards and Meikle sitting on the bench, there is no reason to play Barham at the 4. Ever.

GU actually got off to a great start on offense against USD, but couldn't sustain it. Couldn't play D either. The several minute sequence that resulted in 3 uncontested dunks out of the halfcourt offense for the Toreros was ridiculous.

The Zags needed to get it done the most against BYU. Not only would that have been the outright title, but it would have been the 2nd near quality win of the season. Pacific is not a quality win but it solidifies our sole WCC championship. Not sure how the regular season WCC champ wouldn't be an at large, but losing to either Pacific or St Marys could be our death knell. 6 losses was unfathomable to me prior to Early Sunday morning.

We have played undersized at the 4 primarily when Dower was out. But we have played undersized at the wing (SF/3 spot) the entire year. Id rather see Barham at the 4 than a PG at the wing.

Reborn
02-24-2014, 05:25 PM
We have played undersized at the 4 primarily when Dower was out. But we have played undersized at the wing (SF/3 spot) the entire year. Id rather see Barham at the 4 than a PG at the wing.

How about subbing Barham at the wing for Dranginis? That's what I'd like to see. And Nunez subbing in at the four.

Oregonzagnut
02-24-2014, 06:27 PM
How about subbing Barham at the wing for Dranginis? That's what I'd like to see. And Nunez subbing in at the four.


That works for me! If you really look at our team, we are pretty balanced and we have decent mix and match options at EVERY position. (if you don't start Stockton) Enough to make me think we can still make a deep run if Few is willing to use fresh legs, tough defense and utilize the bench more.

Karno-Edwards
Dower-Nunez/Meikle
Drano- Coleman/Barham
Bell-Stockton/Drano
Pangos-Stockton

bartruff1
02-24-2014, 06:33 PM
I think Few wants to be as successful as possible and knows more about how to do that with the players available than anyone.

Reborn
02-24-2014, 06:46 PM
I think Few wants to be as successful as possible and knows more about how to do that with the players available than anyone.

But isn't it fun to try to figure it out? Isn't it fun to come on line and share our ideas with others. What kind of a board or discussion would we get if we just always say, "Few knows what's best. Let's just let him coach." Isn't a part of the reason we come here to discuss topics to just think out loud and try to stimulate discussion. I know who the head coach is, and I know what his job is. But my god, this is a forum for basketball discussions. It won't hurt anyone to try to come up with some ideas of how Few might change the lineup. Maybe it's time for a change, and maybe not. In the end Few most likely will keep the same rotation that he's had along along. And we may lose again, and he'll come up with some great reasons why. Sooner or later, imo, it would be best if he could fact the fact that GU has not won a significant game on the road yet. They are 0-4. And 3 of those in the last three weeks.

Here are my five:

PK...Nunez and Edwards
Dower...Nunez, Barham
Pangos...Stockton
Bell...Coleman
Dranginis...Barham, Coleman

CdAZagFan
02-24-2014, 07:22 PM
Like many in this thread, I would love to see more of Coleman - I really love the energy he brings offensively and defensively. That being said, it seems to me that if this team is hitting the threes, the team loosens up a little bit. When we just have to rely on pounding it in the middle the entire game, then the guards get tight at the end. Also, I'm totally baffled what has happened to their good defense - that was something we hadn't seen from some of the past teams, but these last couple of games it has vanished (i.e. slam dunks, wide open threes, etc)...

Oregonzagnut
02-24-2014, 07:32 PM
I think Few wants to be as successful as possible and knows more about how to do that with the players available than anyone.

I agree 100%, BUT...something is amiss. We all see it, but we can't put a finger on it. That is how it is and how it is going to stay. I also believe Few can see something is amiss as well as the team. Yet in hindsight, our front court is carrying the team and is the most consistent, and it is our back court that is struggling injured and thin! That has compounded our problems at defending the perimeter, rebounding and minimizing sloppy turn overs and mental mistakes.

Few would also probably admit that it did not go as he calculated or as he hoped. He will take the credit or blame in any event. Its his job.

With the quote above, you could also say that all 350 Div 1 head coaches should know best what to do for their team. I would bet my life savings that EVERY Div 1 head coach in the nation would fall into that category compared to us saps here at GUBoards. Still, out of all the NCAA Div I head coaches, none all of them always make the right decisions, all of them make some mistakes, and almost all coaches IMO, at some point each season, must choose their best chance and most likely to succeed rotations and commit to them, win or lose. It is a gamble and IMO, I can see the logic looking back prior to injuries hopeful development. If Coleman would have hit a few more of his first shots, we may have been seeing a different team. If Stockton wasn't shooting 25% from 3 we would see a different team. I have no doubt and 100% confidence Few thought it would be the best thing for the most wins this (regular) season. I just disagreed all year as well with the starting lineup. And more people are in agreement in hindsight. I still see evidence that supports using Stockton to back up Pangos and Bell. He could be getting his 25+ minutes that way rather underutilizing our longer, leaner and athletic wings SF/SG like Coleman and Drano. Heck Stockton always could have backed up that 3 spot if Few wanted to go small at some point. stockton still could have gotten 25+ minutes!

“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”

"There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip"

Few made some mistakes just as much as some of the guys on the floor. It is a team effort and Few gets paid to take both credit and blame. I hope Few stays for his entire career and he is learning this year, maybe more than any other year.

bartruff1
02-24-2014, 07:45 PM
I think their defense has been good all year, including the last two games.

Oregonzagnut
02-24-2014, 08:13 PM
I think their defense has been good all year, including the last two games.

I agree mostly, but what do you mean by good? Defense in the paint? Overall D? Perimeter D? Good D compared to our past seasons? Good compared to the rest of the nation?
I would agree overall we have been "good" but not great or even elite. Also I would say this is one of our better defensive teams since our E8 run and one of the top 75 defenses in the nation statistically. However with a SOS of 101 that means as much to me as I hope it does to the selection committee.

But our interior defense far outshines our perimeter defense and our guards this late in the season have trouble handling the athletic and persistent pressure defense or full court transition defense. We do not have a balanced nor a consistent defense (or offense for that matter).

But it does give me hope that we can see both our O and D peak at the same time, since we know it is there, somewhere.

seacatfan
02-24-2014, 08:33 PM
This has been a strange year. Early on the offense was fantastic and the defense was terrible, had to rely on outscoring the opposition. Probably it was mostly the string of injuries that derailed the O, but around that time the D really picked up and the team seemed to get scrappier and more determined. I don't see that same sense of urgency and hustling and tough D now, but the offense is still nowhere near as good as the beginning of the year. So the team is currently not playing great on O or D. Not the right time of the year to be doing the opposite of peaking.

As far as the D against USD, it was bad when the Zags were up by either 7 or 9 about midway thru the first half and then just couldn't get a stop, letting the Toreros come all the way back before halftime. They repeatedly looked clueless defending a simple pick and roll. Something clearly wasn't working that game.

seacatfan
02-24-2014, 08:38 PM
I think Few wants to be as successful as possible and knows more about how to do that with the players available than anyone.

That's such a copout. Just because a coach knows more about basketball than a bunch of goofballs on an internet forum doesn't make him infallible or mean he doesn't make mistakes. I think we all know flexibility isn't one of Few's best assets. If something isn't working, he isn't necessarily going to try to do something different. Most seasons he has his guys that he's going to stick w/ for the lion's share of the playing time good, bad or otherwise.

DixieZag
02-24-2014, 08:47 PM
That's such a copout. Just because a coach knows more about basketball than a bunch of goofballs on an internet forum doesn't make him infallible or mean he doesn't make mistakes. I think we all know flexibility isn't one of Few's best assets. If something isn't working, he isn't necessarily going to try to do something different. Most seasons he has his guys that he's going to stick w/ for the lion's share of the playing time good, bad or otherwise.

Yep. And I think anyone that would argue that is doing so out of blind loyalty rather than just looking at it as fact and trusting that it will come around.

I hope (and I also hope to win the lottery) that Few shakes up the starting line up, go with Pangos, Stockton, Coleman Dranginis and Sam, or Bell, Pangos, Nunez, Dranginis and PK - - I don't know. I just know that this team needs some sort of shake up and I think the three guard line up is so obviously a decent idea proven to not work that it is starting to be very frustrating - near belligerence on Few's part. How he leaves Dranginis or Coleman or Nunez or Barham on the bench while giving the most PT to the three guard line up is just beyond my explanation at this point. It also seems beyond Few's, b/c crunch time (Memphis, BYU and others) has not seen that 3 guard line up.

Baseline
02-24-2014, 09:11 PM
I am looking for some changes to occur this week. I believe we will begin to see more of Coleman and Nunez on a consistent basis. The Zags need more offense, and in particular they need guys who will attack the basket and get to the foul line. The reason Gonzaga's offense is stalling is because the players are content to throw the ball around the perimeter until there are like 10 seconds left in the shot clock and then shoot some stupid shot. How many times have we seen that this year? Way too many. Pangos, Bell, Stockton and even Dranginis are all shooting floaters and NOT getting to the line. Mark Few said in an interview that the coaches have been telling them all week and all game long to attack the rim but players refuse to do that. Well??? Play the guys who do attack the rim. Seems like a good solution to me.

I believe, and hope, that we will have seen the end to the small three-guard offense. Pacific, once again, is a team with BIG guards. I am hoping that Few is getting tired of seeing the Zags start games slowly, dragging and struggling to score. They play catch up for most of the first half, and do catch up and over take the opponent once Few begins to sub. And the second half begins the same way. IMO, our last two losses were lost in the first 5 minutes of the second half, and the last minute of the first half. It's true. Why must we play from behind the entire second half? Why not jump out of the gates and get ahead, and then put Stockton in. I would start Pangos, Bell and Dranginis, and use David to spell Pangos, and make Pangos sit for at least five minutes each half.

I would also sit Bell more. Maybe 12 minutes a game. He is not playing that great, and Dranginis is as good as a defender, imo. When Bell sits we could have David and Coleman and Dranginis in the game. Coleman guarding the two guard and Dranginis the three. David can handle most point guards. And also with this team David could become more of a scorer which I think he would like to do.

I definitely believe that Nunez should now get to be the first guy off the bench at the 4. It's clear to me that Barham can not defend a legitimate 4, and he can not keep a 4 off the boards. If Few wants to use him for his shooting then Use him at the three. He could be the guy to sub for Dranginis. He would make a much better wing at 6'6" then a weak 4.

The Zag bench proved that they can score when Bell and Dower were out. If Few gives them more playing time, and more freedom I believe you will see the team respond. The bench had such a big part of how this season turned out, yet IMO Few has failed to honestly reward them for what they did. IMO he has NEVER rewarded Coleman especially. And Coleman has helped the team in so many ways. He has had brilliant first halves and yet Few never played him the second half. He can score, and lack of scoring has become a problem for the Zags. He has a ton of confidence and lack of confidence has become a problem for the Zags. Yes. He plays helter skelter defense but so does David.

Go Zags!!!


This^^^^^^ I agree totally, lets hope this happens!

bartruff1
02-25-2014, 04:52 AM
No one is infallible , not even the Pope.

I like the line up and hope he stays with it. I think the coach is very flexible.

bartruff1
02-25-2014, 04:58 AM
Lets keep it respectful, differences of opinion is what make the board interesting. It would be boring if we all agreed.

wnczagfan
02-25-2014, 05:04 AM
No one is infallible , not even the Pope.

I like the line up and hope he stays with it. I think the coach is very flexible.


Agree, but I do suspect some fatigue may be a factor late in the game; would like to see some of starters resting a little more so they are fresher at the end. I think there are guys on the bench that could come in more during the game to give the starters more of a breather, although, I concede, Coach Few knows more about the bench guys' capabilities than I do.

bballbeachbum
02-25-2014, 06:31 AM
Lets keep it respectful, differences of opinion is what make the board interesting. It would be boring if we all agreed.

+1

it's fun to talk about these things

On the road to win the WCC. The Zags have struggled on the road so the test is real no matter who the games are against. Hope to see the Zags break thru and shoot well on the road, exorcise some demons, gain some confidence. Kevin is really the guy I hope to see break thru the most, lead this team the way I believe he can and the way I believe he wants to. He wants to be that guy, I'm pulling for him to do it. Interested to see if Few and staff make any adjustments too

Reborn
02-25-2014, 09:21 AM
I think the Zags have won on the road, and they must remember the BIG games they won against San Francisco, Pepperdine and Santa Clara, and LMU too. The two victories at San Francisco and Pepperdine are as big as the losses at BYU and San Diego. It's been as difficult in the past for the Zags to win at San Francisco as it has been for them to win at BYU. And Pepperdine seems to be better than San Diego. It's just been so difficult for the Zags to win at San Diego. If the Zags win both games this weekend it will be a very successful campaign in conference play. To win the conference title by two games would be a very good accomplishment.

When i try to figure out if the conference is better this year, I first look to BYU. BYU, imo, is better this year then last year. They have some very good additions to their team, and especially Mika. And Collings is very good too. If you look at their schedule they have beaten Stanford at Stanford. They beat Texas on a neutral site, and lost to UMASS AND WITCHITA STATE at neutral sites. They lost only one game at home all year and that was to Iowa St by two points. They beat Gonzaga, ranked 25 at home. That to me is a very good resume. Their losses to the best teams on their schedule were on the road at neutral sites, kind of like Gonzaga accept GU's losses were true away games on their opponents' home arenas. BYU is a dangerous team to me. And so is Gonzaga. I am looking forward to the showdown in Vegas.

I know San Francisco is tied for 2nd right now in conference. However, they still must play Pepperdine at Pepperdine. Honestly, I hope they lose to Pepperdine because I don't think they're the second best team in the WCC. It's BYU, IMO!

So, even thought the Zags go on the road again, millions of Zag fans will be at home rooting for them. Let's all come together this week, and find a way to believe the Zags will get 'er done. Not only at Pacific but at St Mary's too. A win at St. Mary's would be a very good win for the Zags.

Go Zags!!!