PDA

View Full Version : Coach Few is having an "Off" Year



DixieZag
02-24-2014, 10:15 PM
Ok, I said it.

I think he's trying to get the team to adjust to something in his mind, rather than adjusting his approach to the strengths of the team. I think the team lacks confidence, it shows up on the road and in close games. I think that guys are afraid to get aggressive because big brother is looking. I think the team is repeating problems from last year's tournament in playing "not to lose" more than grabbing wins (e.g. Memphis, which looked a lot like. . . ). I think there is a lot of talent sitting unused. I think the talent that is being used is frustrated and lost sight of what they're trying to do. I think the team has needed a shake up, starting line up shake up, or going zone for a half, full court press for a half, something - anything, to get out of the unbelievably predictable pattern we're in. And, I don't see many signs that any of this will be recognized, let alone addressed. . . oh, and I see a bit of finger pointing from his comments when he would be far better served offering quotes about what the coaches need to consider, that's the only part that makes me a little angry.

There.

I am not saying I think I can coach. I am not saying Few is a dummy. I am not saying I want another coach, just the opposite. I think he's the best man for the job and I hope he stays until he retires b/c I think of all programs in the country, this one is perhaps most reliant on its coach for success. I like him. I like his teams and the players he recruits. I think he's a great guy and a credit to GU

I just think he's having an awful year. Yes, we're likely to win the conference. But, how many wins have we left out there on the table? Yes, it's supposed to be a rebuilding year - I'd argue that we have more talent than we thought. Yes, Pangos has been hurt - I'd argue that makes the lack of creativity even more glaring. I see a team adrift when it's supposed to be coming together - I see a coach not changing things up.

We all have ups and downs, I have had a bad decade.:o The sun will rise tomorrow, we'll likely be better next year and coach Few is my favorite coach in the country and who I would want my kid to play for. I just think he's having a bad year.

SteelZag
02-24-2014, 10:29 PM
Ok, I said it.

I think he's trying to get the team to adjust to something in his mind, rather than adjusting his approach to the strengths of the team. I think the team lacks confidence, it shows up on the road and in close games. I think that guys are afraid to get aggressive because big brother is looking. I think the team is repeating problems from last year's tournament in playing "not to lose" more than grabbing wins (e.g. Memphis, which looked a lot like. . . ). I think there is a lot of talent sitting unused. I think the talent that is being used is frustrated and lost sight of what they're trying to do. I think the team has needed a shake up, starting line up shake up, or going zone for a half, something - anything, to get out of the unbelievably predictable pattern we're in. And, I don't see many signs that any of this will be recognized, let alone addressed. . . oh, and I see a bit of finger pointing from his comments when he would be far better served offering quotes about what the coaches need to consider.

There.

I am not saying I think I can coach. I am not saying Few is a dummy. I am not saying I want another coach, just the opposite. I think he's the best man for the job and I hope he stays until he retires b/c I think of all programs in the country, this one is perhaps most reliant on its coach for success. I like him. I like his teams and the players he recruits. I think he's a great guy and a credit to GU

I just think he's having an awful year. Yes, we're likely to win the conference. But, how many wins have we left out there on the table? Yes, it's supposed to be a rebuilding year - I'd argue that we have more talent than we thought. Yes, Pangos has been hurt - I'd argue that makes the lack of creativity even more glaring. I see a team adrift when it's supposed to be coming together - I see a coach not changing things up.

We all have ups and downs, I have had a bad decade.:o The sun will rise tomorrow, we'll likely be better next year and coach Few is my favorite coach in the country and who I would want my kid to play for. I just think he's having a bad year.

Plus infinity and then some. My favorite post of the year.

Oregonzagnut
02-24-2014, 11:37 PM
Dixie, this post shows, it is not what is said, but who says it and how. WOW. You have the respect of everyone and when you say this so well, rather than several members who have taken a beating for saying similar things.

But you have added a twist. Few may be struggling and having a bad year himself! Is he caught clinging to the past comfort and repetition of season after season, but seeing a ceiling in the dance may be due to some abstract flaw in preparation for the dance? The teams in the E8 all seem to have something we do not. It is not a crapshoot. But what is it?

He will only find it if he learns to enter a place he has never been. Trusting his players.

Is this the year he tosses the Fitzgerald era playbook that created a highly specialized mid major powerhouse but did not have instructions to adapt to the highest level recruits and sweet 16 elitism? Can he keep the philosophy of work ethics and recruiting morality but change the practices and playbook to foster the highest level of skills and chemistry in a team? Is this the year he realizes it is time to toss part of the old paradigm and start a new chapter for the new era of Gonzaga Basketball?

Thank you Dixie for at least seeing and posting what some (including myself) have been saying since the K.St loss. We played our best ball when Bell and Dower were both out. Not because they were out, and hurt but because the rest had to think on their feet and you could see the creativity and intensity in everyone including Few. It was actually new territory. Go back and watch those 1st 4-5 games of the WCC. See the eyes and the demeanor. Look at the defense and offense. We need that back and we can get it WITH Dower and Bell if Few trusts everyone to use what Few has taught them, but force them to think on their feet again and accept some blown plays early. Let the team get in the zone.

Toss the playbook Few. Go to Pacific and toss the playbook. Gamble. Trust your players. Trust them to take ALL that you have taught them and trust them with "your" STREAK. Put it in their hands 100% and it will be the best thing for the program and possibly the best thing for you!

Ok, stream of consciousness over and dream state interrupted with reality.

thanks dixie. You are right, at least IMO. Fews development into an elite, HOF coach is up to Few. He is close, and this difficult time may be just what he needs to commit to whatever change the program needs to get over that hump.

seacatfan
02-24-2014, 11:41 PM
I think something changed somewhere along the way. It goes beyond Few, it's the whole program. They went from being the hunter to the hunted. The playing not to lose mentality has been an issue for some years now. I think a sense of entitlement has crept in as well, instead of playing with a chip on the shoulder. The performance in the NCAA Tourney is pretty much an annual disappointment now. When was the last time they actually beat somebody they weren't supposed to? It's been forever. They've been the victim of plenty of upsets though. With the George Masons and VCUs and Butlers making Final 4 runs, I kept thinking GU's turn was coming. I don't think that anymore. It's hard as a fan to accept, but I just don't see them turning that corner. I actually think too big of an emphasis got placed on trying to convince everyone that they'd outgrown the mid major or Cinderella label. That point is valid, but it seems like it took away their hunger and the program has been static for a long time now. You can pretty much count on winning the WCC, getting into the Big Dance, probably winning the first round game and then getting thumped in the second round. I want more for GU but wishing doesn't make it so.

Oregonzagnut
02-25-2014, 12:29 AM
With the George Masons and VCUs and Butlers making Final 4 runs, I kept thinking GU's turn was coming. I don't think that anymore. It's hard as a fan to accept, but I just don't see them turning that corner. I actually think too big of an emphasis got placed on trying to convince everyone that they'd outgrown the mid major or Cinderella label. That point is valid, but it seems like it took away their hunger and the program has been static for a long time now. You can pretty much count on winning the WCC, getting into the Big Dance, probably winning the first round game and then getting thumped in the second round. I want more for GU but wishing doesn't make it so.

I think we will turn the corner. I think our turn is coming. For me the biggest problem is emphasizing that the tournament is just a crapshoot. that is a copout and it doesn't really look at the physical makeup of the vast majority of FF teams as well as the chemistry and emotional passion the mid majors had that actually got that far. There is a rare element of unique cohesion and emotional chemistry that makes the little dog beat the big dog 4 straight times, simply because they have something far greater than the sum of the parts.

It goes beyond physical power, having 6'4 guards and McDonalds AllAmericans. For the teams seeded less than the top 3 seeds, it takes a certain emotional nurturing and a belief that every game is winnable and there is no such thing as being tired or accepting being down (or even up) 15 pts with 5 minutes left. For some players it is called getting "in the zone". They rule and they have career nights. But a true miracle happens when ALL FIVE PLAYERS TO BE IN THE ZONE AT ONCE! The coach has to know how to best allow that and then know when to not interrupt it.

Get all five players in the zone for a game and magic happens. Sometimes "less is more" and Phil Jackson describes that so often as a major factor in winning his championships. So did Jordan. The Zone is real and I am not sure i have seen a Zag really get in the zone since.......

jim77
02-25-2014, 12:34 AM
Ok, I said it.

I think he's trying to get the team to adjust to something in his mind, rather than adjusting his approach to the strengths of the team. I think the team lacks confidence, it shows up on the road and in close games. I think that guys are afraid to get aggressive because big brother is looking. I think the team is repeating problems from last year's tournament in playing "not to lose" more than grabbing wins (e.g. Memphis, which looked a lot like. . . ). I think there is a lot of talent sitting unused. I think the talent that is being used is frustrated and lost sight of what they're trying to do. I think the team has needed a shake up, starting line up shake up, or going zone for a half, full court press for a half, something - anything, to get out of the unbelievably predictable pattern we're in. And, I don't see many signs that any of this will be recognized, let alone addressed. . . oh, and I see a bit of finger pointing from his comments when he would be far better served offering quotes about what the coaches need to consider, that's the only part that makes me a little angry.

There.

I am not saying I think I can coach. I am not saying Few is a dummy. I am not saying I want another coach, just the opposite. I think he's the best man for the job and I hope he stays until he retires b/c I think of all programs in the country, this one is perhaps most reliant on its coach for success. I like him. I like his teams and the players he recruits. I think he's a great guy and a credit to GU

I just think he's having an awful year. Yes, we're likely to win the conference. But, how many wins have we left out there on the table? Yes, it's supposed to be a rebuilding year - I'd argue that we have more talent than we thought. Yes, Pangos has been hurt - I'd argue that makes the lack of creativity even more glaring. I see a team adrift when it's supposed to be coming together - I see a coach not changing things up.

We all have ups and downs, I have had a bad decade.:o The sun will rise tomorrow, we'll likely be better next year and coach Few is my favorite coach in the country and who I would want my kid to play for. I just think he's having a bad year.

We have 23 wins and we're one win from clinching the conference title....that doesn't exactly equate to a bad year in my book or an "OFF" year. Do I agree with every move he makes...nope but, I don't have the info or experience he does either.

I don't see a bunch of killer teams in college BB this year...in fact on the right day we could get it together and beat almost any of them. Heck, I'd have to say considering the injuries to KEY players...SAM..KEVIN and GARY Coach FEW has had a great year considering what hes had to juggle. I am not counting this team out of a deep run because I think their capable of it and the competition ain't that much better... OH, and I still want to see Nunez help get our rebounding back where it belongs. GO ZAGS!

ZagaZags
02-25-2014, 12:56 AM
This sums it up right here.
https://twitter.com/SDinwiddie_25/status/436237334099406848/photo/1

wnczagfan
02-25-2014, 03:53 AM
Wow! Really? An off year?

After losing Olynyk early? After losing Harris and Hart, dealing with the flu running rampant through our team, turf toe, a broken hand, a twisted ankle, a back injury, and we are still a lock for at least a tie for WCC regular season champions, and most likely will lock it up outright? This is a bad/off year? I'm not saying we're not in a little slump here that Coach Few has some work to do to address, but I believe the Zags have already exceeded my preseason expectations of what they would accomplish this year.

We are 23-6 with all of these obstacles, setbacks, and challenges, and so I think, all things considered, Coach Few is having a great year!

bigblahla
02-25-2014, 04:07 AM
Transition year.....if we win the last two regular season games and get to 25 wins before the WCC tournament IMO it is a very good year for this TEAM said it months ago and I'll say it again here now.

It would help if some here had a more grounded reality about this particular TEAM of Zags and who we really are.

I enjoy every game and fully expect to win each one but if we lose I get to see why. The main causes are lack of focus and poor effort by our players sometimes self induced sometimes we are just outplayed...it happens. Many here keep laying this at the feet of Coach with continued PT suggestions some I agree with some I don't but it would be nice if some of you could actually understand the other TEAM wants to win just as much as we do and on occasion they do win.

Perfection is not Gonzaga basketball and I am doing my best to let threads like this pass me by but I do not believe Coach is having an off year as you can read in my first sentence in this post. Different strokes for different folks.

Just my opinion.

Go!! Zags!!!

bartruff1
02-25-2014, 04:40 AM
I don't think he is having a off year at all.

GoZags
02-25-2014, 04:56 AM
I don't think he is having a off year at all.

But the message board experts (all of them) are EN FUEGO !!!

I'm wondering what'd happen if the Zags get a little healthier, get to the dance and win a couple of games (there's a chance this could happen).

Would our vocal minority of guboardmembers still think Few had an "off year"?

bartruff1
02-25-2014, 05:02 AM
But the message board experts (all of them) are EN FUEGO !!!

I'm wondering what'd happen if the Zags get a little healthier, get to the dance and win a couple of games (there's a chance this could happen).

Would our vocal minority of guboardmembers still think Few had an "off year"?

First of all, the year is not over and secondly, I would not be at all surprised if he wins the WCC Coach of the Year...... again.

Birddog
02-25-2014, 05:36 AM
I think he's the best man for the job and I hope he stays until he retires b/c I think of all programs in the country, this one is perhaps most reliant on its coach for success. I like him. I like his teams and the players he recruits. I think he's a great guy and a credit to GU

BUT

1)
I think he's trying to get the team to adjust to something in his mind, rather than adjusting his approach to the strengths of the team
2)
I think the team lacks confidence, it shows up on the road and in close games.
3)
I think that guys are afraid to get aggressive because big brother is looking.
4)
I think the team is repeating problems from last year's tournament in playing "not to lose" more than grabbing wins (e.g. Memphis, which looked a lot like. . .
5)
I think there is a lot of talent sitting unused.
6)
I think the talent that is being used is frustrated and lost sight of what they're trying to do.
7)
I see a bit of finger pointing from his comments when he would be far better served offering quotes about what the coaches need to consider, that's the only part that makes me a little angry.
8)
I just think he's having an awful year.
9)
I'd argue that we have more talent than we thought.
10)
I see a team adrift when it's supposed to be coming together
11)
I see a coach not changing things up.

Did I miss anything?


coach Few is my favorite coach in the country and who I would want my kid to play for.. I just think he's having a bad year

But other than the above points, you love the guy, right?

DixieZag
02-25-2014, 06:28 AM
BUT

1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
6)
7)
8)
9)
10)
11)

Did I miss anything?



But other than the above points, you love the guy, right?

No to your first question and yes to the second. I have no idea why someone would say there's a contradiction in that? Seriously? One has to blindly support everything in every year and always look at the bright side of everything? This may be a glass half empty post and for people to disagree is great, I learned a ton from LIZF early in the year when we disagreed. But, I really really don't understand why if there's a post critical about the trends of the year and team it is some comment on the overall worth of the coach, it just makes no sense to me at all.

And to the others about 23 wins and all that, yes, acknowledged, I'm talking about the things that I am seeing in their play, his quotes, the lack of confidence and the way they play late with a lead, things one feels when watching a team we have since forever.

GUZag08
02-25-2014, 06:34 AM
Love that people blame Few, not that Pangos/Bell have been hugely disappointing. Pangos has the injury excuse, but the two are complete nonfactors on the road quite often

DixieZag
02-25-2014, 06:42 AM
Transition year.....if we win the last two regular season games and get to 25 wins before the WCC tournament IMO it is a very good year for this TEAM said it months ago and I'll say it again here now.

It would help if some here had a more grounded reality about this particular TEAM of Zags and who we really are.

I enjoy every game and fully expect to win each one but if we lose I get to see why. The main causes are lack of focus and poor effort by our players sometimes self induced sometimes we are just outplayed...it happens. Many here keep laying this at the feet of Coach with continued PT suggestions some I agree with some I don't but it would be nice if some of you could actually understand the other TEAM wants to win just as much as we do and on occasion they do win.

Perfection is not Gonzaga basketball and I am doing my best to let threads like this pass me by but I do not believe Coach is having an off year as you can read in my first sentence in this post. Different strokes for different folks.

Just my opinion.

Go!! Zags!!!

I think it is a great post. I like these. I want to be challenged and have facts thrown back at me and I think most people do. What I don't understand is the overall feel that to question or criticize somehow means there's maliciousness or something behind it. It's just weird that I would say that we've underperformed.

One fact brought up by coach and people - the number of wins and the undefeated at home thing. Ok, true, but there were no Illinois, Michigan States, Notre Dams etc, there's no Delly-Mickey team coming in, no BYU team that plays defense. As to overall record? We lost to Dayton after a huge lead, Memphis same. Lost to Portland/USD and one off shot by Sam from being beaten by one of the bottom dwellers? I just think they're underperforming and maybe it's on the players, more. I'm open to hearing anything.

And to GU08 - - Whatever probs there are there're multiple causes, this doesn't go beyond what I said, "he's had a bad year" - that doesn't exclude good things or causes from players.

Chicken Ball
02-25-2014, 06:44 AM
But the message board experts (all of them) are EN FUEGO !!!

I'm wondering what'd happen if the Zags get a little healthier, get to the dance and win a couple of games (there's a chance this could happen).

Would our vocal minority of guboardmembers still think Few had an "off year"?

I think the unspoken element was, "So far." Obviously, if we reel off 4 wins in the NCAAs, it's a good year. But you're missing the point of what's being said.

This year has had some unique challenges, some of which have been overcome (Bell's and Dower's injuries, PK's slow start) and some of which have not (Pangos' injury, a sputtering offense, decreasing effectiveness on the boards, Coleman and Nunez's inconsistency). Some are out of the coach's control, some are in it. Overall, I agree with the OP.

BMAN
02-25-2014, 06:54 AM
Love that people blame Few, not that Pangos/Bell have been hugely disappointing. Pangos has the injury excuse, but the two are complete nonfactors on the road quite often

I think the question should be that if pangos and bell are having a bad game should they still play 30 some minutes. In those games should Coleman,Nunez,dranginas etc have more minutes

GoZags
02-25-2014, 07:01 AM
I think the unspoken element was, "So far." Obviously, if we reel off 4 wins in the NCAAs, it's a good year. But you're missing the point of what's being said.

This year has had some unique challenges, some of which have been overcome (Bell's and Dower's injuries, PK's slow start) and some of which have not (Pangos' injury, a sputtering offense, decreasing effectiveness on the boards, Coleman and Nunez's inconsistency). Some are out of the coach's control, some are in it. Overall, I agree with the OP.

Don't disagree ..... but this post about Few having an "off year" could be made every year .... as every year there are things that we can question about Few and his coaching. We can go back to last year (AP #1 in the nation) and find countless posts by many of this year's questioners (I won't say "detractors").

This year, "so far" HAS seen 23 wins ...... a consensus Top 30 in rankings by computers and for the most part the polls. This "off year" has produced the signing of the highest rated recruit coming out of high school in the history of Gonzaga basketball (Josh Perkins .... Scout.com Top 25) and we'll see in April that the Program will sign the best Euro prospect ever (when Sabonis signs .... and while "nothing is in the bag until it is in the bag" .... this is a close to being "in the bag" as possible .... just waiting for April 16 when the NLI signing period begins).

Have there been some moves that fans question? Yes ..... happens every year .... happens every game.

As for this year ..... the Opera a'int over 'till the fat lady sings ..... and while I'm not as optimistic about Kevin's ability to go 100 percent (like he was the first few weeks of the season) I do feel as if this team, under HC Mark Few, will gel and continue to make us all proud to be Gonzaga fans.

Zags11
02-25-2014, 07:09 AM
The flame is lit.

I dont see any bad losses but 2. So 33% of the losses are bad in my book. The issue is unlike many years we dont have solid wins to stick out to us or the committee. WVU? BYU? Smc? Nothing sticks out. We still have a chance to make march and imo, a very good chance. I believe we will make a run in the NCAA Tournament even with all the struggles lately.

realtydog
02-25-2014, 07:16 AM
this is so silly--------maybe it's Kyle having the off year-----he had an open look at a three at the end of the game against Dayton, Memphis, and San Diego----he missed all three--if makes it--we may have won---The point is = sometimes the shots are missed ----that's not due to bad coaching

SWZag
02-25-2014, 07:20 AM
I actually believe it's a number of people on this board that are having an off year.

kclubfounder
02-25-2014, 07:25 AM
I think Few is having a bad year because he didn't protect our #1 player from getting turf toe.

If he had protected his leader, his point guard, his Cousy award candidate, who nearly every Zag fan was excited to see be the undisputed leader of this year's squad then this season would most likely have a completely different feel and outcome.

Hopefully he will learn from this big mistake. Hopefully when he has a player who he is counting on as much as KP he will ensure that said player does NOT develop turf toe.

cjm720
02-25-2014, 07:26 AM
Many felt that he was having his best coaching season through early league play. Funny how perceptions and things change. On the heels of losing an out of no where all-American leaving us with little depth up front and injuries to our veteran guards, I opine that he's having a damn good coaching year.

SWZag nailed it though...

DixieZag
02-25-2014, 07:32 AM
I actually believe it's a number of people on this board that are having an off year.

Probably true.

GZ's point about recruiting is a good one - the best are capable of doing well through tough times and he's one of the best. As to the players and shots? Yes, we have players that aren't stepping up (Sam is NOT one of them, the guys is doing everything), there are multiple reasons. I like GZ's posts b/c they make points, not act like it is illegitimate to question - as to "any year" I would disagree and GZ, I've been one arguing against posts like this is other years. In years where there were a lot more losses, when the team seemed to rise up and play beyond what we thought they were capable of during some games. I can think of one game this year where I found myself saying "wow" and that was over SMC (ironically when the line ups were shaking up totally).

bartruff1
02-25-2014, 07:38 AM
I actually believe it's a number of people on this board that are having an off year.

I have to disagree.....I think they are having a great time.....now last year was a off year, till the Shockers.....really saved their season....they stormed the court and had a banner off season...

Reborn
02-25-2014, 07:58 AM
I must confess that I sure don't understand people who were not disappointed by the loss to WSU. Anyway. GUBoards has helped me come to see how "different" people really are. And I have also come to accept that there is room for us all in ZagNation.

I think this is a very good thread because this is definitely a topic that can be debated, if we accept each other. So far I see alot of respect on both sides. This might shock some of you but I actually think Few has done a good job this year. And in some ways his best ever. What the Zags accomplished while Bell and Dower were out was remarkable. And it was even more remarkable when you take into consideration the attacks of the flu virus. I felt during that month that Few would certainly be voted "Coach of the Year" in the WCC for sure.

You might also be surprised to know that I don't think that losing three games so far in conference is such a horrible thing. I have always hoped that the WCC could become a better (tougher to win games) conference because if it could then the Zags would be better prepared for the NCAA tournament if they got invited. I do believe the conference is good this year, and better then I've seen it in a long time. And I'm glad. If in fact, the conference is better and Gonzaga wins the championship outright then to me it is a successful year. The conference championship means so much. At least I believe it does. Considering all of the challenges that the team has had, if they are outright champions I would say that up to this point Few has had a good year. There is lots of basketball left to play, so I will stay focused on the games at hand, and the goals for the week. Let's win the WCC championship outright, and get 'er done this week. Then let's worry about the WCC tournament next week.

I criticize Mark Few at times, and I personally believe that the team is stronger with Coleman and Nunez playing more. I have my opinions about other players, and have expressed them. But believe me, I totally know who is the coach of the Zags, and I respect his decisions even when I don't agree with them all. I know that he's the captain of the ship, and like I said, doing a good job one more time. Most fans have their favorite players, we like some more than others. But in the end, most fans accept the decisions the coach makes. I think it's healthy to be able to criticize both players and coaches here on the site. It's our disagreements and differences that make this board work. But in the end, if we can't celebrate all the good that IS happening, then I feel sad for the overall community.

Stay strong ZagNations. Believe!!!
Go Zags!!!

LongIslandZagFan
02-25-2014, 08:13 AM
I must confess that I sure don't understand people who were not disappointed by the loss to WSU.

Considering how they lost next to nobody and how good they are this year... I'd say WSU was under-seeded last year. Yes, disappointing. But to beat that team, GU had to have the engine running at full steam like it had most of the year. Offensively, they did nothing wrong in that game. They were the same offensively efficient team they were most of the year. When the Zags lost their best perimeter defender, WSU went nuts. Have Bell in that game and it could have been a deep run. There is disappointment and there is also accepting the reality of it. The reality was just that... they did everything they did all year... except defend the three in the second half and there was a good reason why and it had nothing to do with Mark Few.

gonzagafan62
02-25-2014, 08:20 AM
Considering how they lost next to nobody and how good they are this year... I'd say WSU was under-seeded last year. Yes, disappointing. But to beat that team, GU had to have the engine running at full steam like it had most of the year. Offensively, they did nothing wrong in that game. They were the same offensively efficient team they were most of the year. When the Zags lost their best perimeter defender, WSU went nuts. Have Bell in that game and it could have been a deep run. There is disappointment and there is also accepting the reality of it. The reality was just that... they did everything they did all year... except defend the three in the second half and there was a good reason why and it had nothing to do with Mark Few.

Bingo. Good post LIZF

Zagceo
02-25-2014, 08:47 AM
“Everybody wants to pick one entity. For 5 minutes it’s this or that, but a lot of games go like that. Right now getting consistent play out of (player) A, B and C.#…”


“Usually they’re going to let you play so you have to step up and make a tough play. Whether that’s delivering the ball in the post where they can finish, or just making a hard, closely guarded basket or you have to make a tough enough play to get yourself to the foul#line.”


“I’ve talked to (Dower) that we have to find him even if it’s a broken play or another option doesn’t work. They have to look for him more, but he has to put himself in a position where they can get him the ball,#too.”


“The guards were having a hard time,but we were having success (inside) so that’s why we were going to it. We put 3-point shooters out there so they couldn’t double and the bigs were one-on-one and they were#delivering.”


“Both (the San Diego and BYU games) have been very similar. It’s hard to pinpoint either one, offense or defense, because we’re not consistently getting stops (with the) way we started the#game and the second half again. On offense, we find some success going one way and we just don’t keep doing#that.”

I believe if you are the coach and get the credit for the team success you should be able to shoulder more of the blame for the losses. Say what you want in the locker room but in the media protect your players. Thats why you get the big bucks. It can't hurt in recruiting either. I got your back mentality.

He can't pinpoint either offense or defense because we are not consistently getting stops. This is not a strong statement by the leader of the team. Coach is struggling and the team feels that weight.

Coach Few has the most secure job in college sports. I would prefer to hear him say it's my fault that I didn't prepare better or it was my fault because the rotations were not better. Any reason just fall on the sword for the team because you are superman and tomorrow that cut will have healed.

Just one Alums view point.

Go Zags


This is a quote I would like to see from our coaches. This is from Coleman after the loss at Memphis.

“It’s a good test,” he said. “When the tournament comes, we’re going to see a team like that in the first round. When we’re up 9 with a couple minutes to go, we have to keep our foot on gas and not let#up.”

bartruff1
02-25-2014, 08:59 AM
I thought his explanations were right on.

Vanzagger
02-25-2014, 09:00 AM
He can fall on the sword for the team or he can laugh when when a reporter says E Harris was a lottery pick after his freshman year.

Few does so many amazing things but I guess we are not suppose to bring up areas where maybe he can improve.

bartruff1
02-25-2014, 09:04 AM
I am under the impression that the forum is full of suggestions about where he can improve..... I even saw one that suggested he should fix his teeth.

cjm720
02-25-2014, 09:15 AM
He can fall on the sword for the team or he can laugh when when a reporter says E Harris was a lottery pick after his freshman year.

Few does so many amazing things but I guess we are not suppose to bring up areas where maybe he can improve.

My take is that we will have zero influence on how he operates, so there's very little point. He is what he is and I'm certain he tries to improve every single year. I believe the program is in good hands and we will continue to have bright seasons.

Mr Vulture
02-25-2014, 09:21 AM
Seriously? This entire forum has turned into one negative post after another...get a grip. I am not even going to read the posts because I am laughing too hard at the title to take it seriously. :explode:

TacomaZAG
02-25-2014, 09:43 AM
IMHO, here is the issue this year in games against above average competition, and it's ALL on Coach. The 3-guard lineup has killed us since Maui. There, I said it.......let the flogging begin.

The reason KP and GBJ are having sub-par years are the injuries (not on Coach at all) but even more the fact that they are both required to play out of position for at least 20 minutes per game. KP is a point guard, not a shooting guard, and GBJ is a combo guard, not a small forward. That singular decision has cost us dearly on both ends of the court throughout the year and will continue to haunt us for the rest of the year, in the WCC Tourney and especially in the Dance, should we get there. With the 3-guard lineup, against above average competition, we are simply too small, too slow, and WAY too predictable on both offense and defense.

The total number of wins this year are not the point, the discussion topic should be how many wins do we have against top-50 teams at neutral or away sites. Not many, if any..........and last time I checked there will be no post season games at the Kennel. In years past, we always had a win or two, minimum, on which to hang our hats, this year we have none, not even close.

Put KP back at the point, where he belongs, and put GBJ back at the 2, where he typically flourishes. Back each of them up for 4-5 minutes a game with DS, and let KD/GC/DB split time at the 3. Why not give it a try for the two remaining conference games, since a share of the league title is already assured. It would be great to see this kind of "innovative thinking" to the stagnant current state of the team, but I fear Coach's ego and ultra conservative nature will not allow him to admit to a failed experiment and make the necessary changes.

I said it during the Maui tournament and I'll repeat it here.......If we continue with the 3-guard lineup, this team is going nowhere.

Go ZAGS

bartruff1
02-25-2014, 09:49 AM
There is no reason for you or anyone to be flogged....well unless you enjoy it of course......... but that is another subject.

Certainly all opinions are welcome and deserve respect.

GoZags
02-25-2014, 10:00 AM
I've heard that some dentists say a persons personality can be affected by the way they smile or don't smile. If your job is in the entertainment business and you find yourself on TV or in recruits living room I would think a big smile might not hurt.

I mean why do parents get their kids teeth "fixed". I guess they must believe it helps the kids in some way.

If you think I'm being funny or mean you could not be more wrong. I'm giving feedback from dental professionals that I believe have some credibility.

Just think how good the winningest (or 2nd winningest) coach in NCAA D1 basketball could be if he hadn't suffered his severe facial lacerations (and multiple subsequent surgeries) from going through the windshield in the early-90's car accident, or just think if he'd only gotten a couple of his teeth straightened.

We sure wouldn't be having these threads about Head Coach Mark Few's "off" years, or Mark Few underperforming.

wnczagfan
02-25-2014, 10:01 AM
I have had a bad decade.


Oh, by the way, I am really sorry about that. Hope things look up for you from here on.

Also, to clarify, I wasn't disagreeing with all of the points you made; I agree with the idea that sometimes we look like we are playing "not to lose" instead of continuing to play the way we got the lead, and think that is a valid observation. I also think some of the players are gassed by the end of the game, and wish we would substitute them out for longer rest periods, seeing that we have what appears to be some talent on the bench, so that our starters are fresher at the end of the game. And, if they are not playing well at all during a game, bringing in someone else for more minutes that game that is eager to play. (And I am not criticizing Coach Few; I am "helping" him, LOL).

My point earlier was I just don't think it has been an "awful" year for Coach Few, but rather a surprisingly successful one that he deserves a lot of credit for.

bballbeachbum
02-25-2014, 10:01 AM
Considering how they lost next to nobody and how good they are this year... I'd say WSU was under-seeded last year. Yes, disappointing. But to beat that team, GU had to have the engine running at full steam like it had most of the year. Offensively, they did nothing wrong in that game. They were the same offensively efficient team they were most of the year. When the Zags lost their best perimeter defender, WSU went nuts. Have Bell in that game and it could have been a deep run. There is disappointment and there is also accepting the reality of it. The reality was just that... they did everything they did all year... except defend the three in the second half and there was a good reason why and it had nothing to do with Mark Few.

Hey LIZF, have to disagree about the Zags doing nothing wrong offensively in that game, if that's what you meant, and their efficiencies in that game.

FG %--35.6%

3Pt. %--34.8%

FT%--69.0%

add to that a combined 4-17 from 3 for KP and Kelly, and 2-8 from the floor for E, and 13 turnovers.

I do agree that losing Gary in that game was a loss the Zags could not overcome in light of the offensive inefficiencies noted above.

and I'm not calling out Few, to be clear

cjm720
02-25-2014, 10:03 AM
Just think how good the winningest (or 2nd winningest) coach in NCAA D1 basketball could be if he hadn't suffered his severe facial lacerations (and multiple subsequent surgeries) from going through the windshield in the early-90's car accident, or just think if he'd only gotten a couple of his teeth straightened.

We sure wouldn't be having these threads about Head Coach Mark Few's "off" years, or Mark Few underperforming.

Any more details on the accident. It's actually the first time I heard about it and I was on campus then.

gamagin
02-25-2014, 10:10 AM
I think most of the psychoanalysis is psycho. Fwiw. Voodoo.

But this thread, what it is attempting, appears to be valid. It's only complicated when the psychoanalysis takes over from the facts as we know them.

Someone here said some time ago this could be Few's toughest coaching job, perhaps ever. I think that speaks to the heart of things. Whoever said it should get a prize. This is as tough as I've seen any team of his struggle.

Up to this year there were a succession of players ready, WILLING, and able to not just step into a starting role, but a leadership role as well. That is the vaunted machine we all wanted to se and still do.

Our designated leader, KO, left. The kind of leadership Hart brought to the system also left, leaving a 1-2 void I don't think anyone really realized was SO important. But it was and now it's gone.

KP was tabbed and GbJ was assumed to be more than capable of filling KO's role, at least in scoring.

Our season was wobbling along pretty well until all those hungry teams who are tired of losing to GU started to test and exploit those spots where they knew we could/ should be vulnerable. And stuck to their guns.

The fact as it turns out is KP has had a very rocky year. The extent of his injury only exacerbated the situation, which was met with nose to nose harassment and frustration. Everything I think I would have done to stop this dangerous but vulnerable team was tried on them. Everyone knew the giant was wounded and this was their chance, perhaps for the next 20 years if they don' t pounce.

KP's injury would't matter as much if he didn't have to shoulder KO's job of leading, instead being a leader in training. And Part of Hart's role in addition to his own.

So what's really dropped off ? Leadership. Taking charge. Going for it and knowing what to do. Being prepared or preparing to fill in and be the next AA a year or two early. Being Hart if you were DB or KD last year. They're willing and KD might even get there in a year or two. But he's needed now.

On the job training. Learning how to box with a bunch of guys intent on coming into a game solely to take as many cheap shots at you as possible, pushing and shoving you around to see what you are going to do about it. They know you are PK but they also know you are working on your quick temper. So let's see how that's coming along.

And to hell with strategy. The strategy is student body straight at you for 40 minutes -- just see what you will do about.

This doesn't even consider the injuries. It doesn't consider the levels of development of some super possibilities also looking to crack into the lineup. GC is the best kid I've seen at GU since the top 5-6 all-times at getting to the rim. But it's ragged as hell otherwise. AN has a sweet shot and an amazing arc and accuracy at the f.t. Line. But they, too, have system issues and throwin them in With the rest of them working on THEIR roles makes things even more complicated.

So Few has tried to accelerate the learning curve and keep the system together and try and get p.t. To those who have earned it. At a faster clip than the adjustments can be made.

All the speculation about what he should and should not do are fair game. Otoh, if you think it's fair to imagine what you think and put those words in his mouth, I think that's where the tinfoil hats start popping up.

I think MF should use GC and AN for the dandy sniper work they provide, and insert anyone else to go get some fouls underneath, and to get their beaks wet in the process.

If MF has really failed at anything, IMO, it has been not getting that bench ready to go. And try their specialties more often, because it appears now that plan a needs a plan b and c, just like our opponents throw at us until they find something that works, even if it's just a few mins. The part of his philosophy that used to take care of the prep phase of our usual teams has been disrupted. As have we, to the delight of coaches like Billy and Portland. PoR win was the first by their coach in his entire eight year career. Usd ended a six year drought. Why wouldn't they do and try anything ?

So should we.

GoZags
02-25-2014, 10:13 AM
Any more details on the accident. It's actually the first time I heard about it and I was on campus then.

Coach was a passenger in the front seat of a car and he wasn't wearing his seat belt. May have been '94 or '95 (I've destroyed the brain cells that would hold that level of memory) ..... I'd have to look at some old tapes of the first NIT and see if there are any close ups of the bench. These days you can barely see the scars ..... but they're still there.

cjm720
02-25-2014, 10:17 AM
thx, gz

GUZag08
02-25-2014, 10:22 AM
I think the question should be that if pangos and bell are having a bad game should they still play 30 some minutes. In those games should Coleman,Nunez,dranginas etc have more minutes

I like Kyle a lot. I say throw him the keys to run the offense, more of a PG than Pangos in my opinion. I might overrate KD but if he starts hitting 3s he'd be the real deal

GoZags
02-25-2014, 10:35 AM
thx, gz


FWIW (and this is important to me in the context of this thread) at the time Mark went through the windshield I would NEVER have guessed I'd be a part of a "conversation" like this .... discussing Fewie as a HC .... and as a HC who has taken the Zags to the dance 14 straight years ..... and as a HC that has led the Zags to an AP #1 ranking (http://extramustard.si.com/2013/03/04/the-20-smallest-schools-ever-to-be-ranked-no-1-in-the-ap-top-25/) .... and has become the winningest (or 2nd winningest) coach in NCAA D1 hoops.

I think this is what bothers me (and perhaps Gamagin and others) ..... we've known Mark Few since he arrived on campus and was told by the campus elders that he'd never finish first in the league. He was told "Just don't finish last .... last place isn't tolerated around here." Mark Few told me (and the Pontiff) that decades ago.

In his 25 years at Gonzaga he's been a model of consistency and strength. Do I agree with his every move? His every strategy? Of course not .... he may not be perfect but he sure knows more about it than me .... AND ..... he is still growing as a Coach .... and as a leader.

LongIslandZagFan
02-25-2014, 10:36 AM
Hey LIZF, have to disagree about the Zags doing nothing wrong offensively in that game, if that's what you meant, and their efficiencies in that game.

FG %--35.6%

3Pt. %--34.8%

FT%--69.0%

add to that a combined 4-17 from 3 for KP and Kelly, and 2-8 from the floor for E, and 13 turnovers.

I do agree that losing Gary in that game was a loss the Zags could not overcome in light of the offensive inefficiencies noted above.

and I'm not calling out Few, to be clear


http://college-basketball.si.com/2013/06/20/how-wichita-state-topped-gonzaga/


Nine possessions. 23 points. A six-point deficit turned into a seven-point lead in just over seven minutes. The opponent, the top-ranked team in the land, had scored 1.25 points per possession during the surge, a figure that would have led Division I for the season. The Zags didn’t choke. They were beaten by one of the greatest stretches of clutch offense we’ll ever see.

Zagceo
02-25-2014, 10:49 AM
Nice article LIZF

I like what WSU coach said before the last run


“So in the huddle,” Marshall said, “I asked all of them, ‘If I told you Oct. 15, Round of 32, No. 1 team in the nation, you’re down [five], would you take it? Would you have taken it?’ And every one of them said, “Yeah, hell, sure we’d have taken that.’

“Then, and I may be making too much of this after the fact, but when they were leaving the huddle, Ron Baker looked at me and said, ‘I got this.’”

I would love to know what Coach Few said to our team in that same time out. Anyone know?

wnczagfan
02-25-2014, 10:49 AM
Coach was a passenger in the front seat of a car and he wasn't wearing his seat belt. May have been '94 or '95 (I've destroyed the brain cells that would hold that level of memory) ..... I'd have to look at some old tapes of the first NIT and see if there are any close ups of the bench. These days you can barely see the scars ..... but they're still there.

It's touched on just a little bit in the book:

"Tales From the Gonzaga Hardwood" by Dave Boling (Sports Publishing). If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it.

It will give you a good appreciation from where the Zags and Mark Few came to where they are now.

cjm720
02-25-2014, 10:52 AM
FWIW (and this is important to me) at the time Mark went through the windshield I would NEVER have guessed I'd be a part of a "conversation" like this .... discussing Fewie as a HC .... and as a HC who has taken the Zags to the dance 14 straight years ..... and as a HC that has led the Zags to an AP #1 ranking .... and has become the winningest (or 2nd winningest) coach in NCAA D1 hoops.

I think this is what bothers me (and perhaps Gamagin and others) ..... we've known Mark Few since he arrived on campus and was told by the campus elders that he'd never finish first in the league. He was told "Just don't finish last .... last place isn't tolerated around here." Mark Few told me (and the Pontiff) that decades ago.

In his 25 years at Gonzaga he's been a model of consistency and strength. Do I agree with his every move? Of course not .... He is not perfect.

BUT ..... he has earned and deserves my respect.

I never missed a game since I stepped foot on campus in 1991 (other than my junior year in Florence). I played hoops nearly every day at the Martin Centre. I worked for the Athletic Department as a sophomore. I remember asking Jeff Brown's girlfriend out at the time and when she relayed they were dating, I nervously told her to bring him a long. I knew many of the players and cheerleaders. I saw Few and other coaches every single day. The basketball team was a big deal and it was my whole time on campus. We had the nation's longest home winning streak and was widely considered one of the most feared home venues because of the rowdy Kennel Club. And then we made the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 1995 after a heroic run in the conference tourney largely fueled by my sharp shooting friend John Rillie. Since, we've been to 15 NCAA appearances and all in a row. Every thing is gravy for me. I'm proud of the program. I feel we will continue to trend up. I do think we have an uphill battle for major success due to conference affiliation, but I also feel that Gonzaga is one of the best college basketball stories ever and we aren't close to the final chapter.

Zagceo
02-25-2014, 10:54 AM
It's touched on just a little bit in the book:

"Tales From the Gonzaga Hardwood" by Dave Boling (Sports Publishing). If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it.

It will give you a good appreciation from where the Zags and Mark Few came to where they are now.

I think he was driving back from Boise with his first wife Marcy. The book is great.

Angelo Roncalli
02-25-2014, 10:59 AM
I think he was driving back from Boise with his first wife Marcy. The book is great.

I'm pretty sure Marcy is his only wife.

Zagceo
02-25-2014, 11:01 AM
I'm pretty sure Marcy is his only wife.

I always introduce my wife as "meet my first wife Sarah" joke.

GoZags
02-25-2014, 11:01 AM
I never missed a game since I stepped foot on campus in 1991 (other than my junior year in Florence). I played hoops nearly every day at the Martin Centre. I worked for the Athletic Department as a sophomore. I remember asking Jeff Brown's girlfriend out at the time and when she relayed they were dating, I nervously told her to bring him a long. I knew many of the players and cheerleaders. I saw Few and other coaches every single day. The basketball team was a big deal and it was my whole time on campus. We had the nation's longest home winning streak and was widely considered one of the most feared home venues because of the rowdy Kennel Club. And then we made the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 1995 after a heroic run in the conference tourney largely fueled by my sharp shooting friend John Rillie. Since, we've been to 15 NCAA appearances and all in a row. Every thing is gravy for me. I'm proud of the program. I feel we will continue to trend up. I do think we have an uphill battle for major success due to conference affiliation, but I also feel that Gonzaga is one of the best college basketball stories ever and we aren't close to the final chapter.

GREAT story(s).

I agree .... this story is FAR from over.

As I've written before ..... I've known every score (and the Zags' record) since I stepped foot on campus in the Fall of '73 .... which wasn't easy as shortly after graduation I needed the 5 Star (late edition) Final in Chicago where the west coast scores were in mouse type ..... and in the late 70's/early 80's spent a great deal of time in China (32 trips). I befriended the United States Marines who were guarding our embassy .... and they kept me up to date on the important things in life (Zag basketball and Husky football). Never dreamed I'd have this much fun following Zag hoops.

And since we're in this thread .... if Fewie IS having an off year .... I'll take it. He isn't perfect and I'm still of the belief that the Zags best days on the floor continue to lie ahead (and will include advancing to the Final Four).

gozagswoohoo
02-25-2014, 11:03 AM
You know what I just realized? Okay....so Mark's wife's name is Marcy.... (pronounced MAR-SEE). But what if the 'c' in Marcy actually used the 'kuh' version of the letter c, instead of the 'see'. In that case, her name would be pronounced MAR-KEE.

And so it would be Mark, and Marcy (pronounced Markee) Few....


Weird...

bballbeachbum
02-25-2014, 11:07 AM
http://college-basketball.si.com/2013/06/20/how-wichita-state-topped-gonzaga/

yes. shall I repost the offensive numbers from the Zags? both sides of the ball had chances to win that game. thanks for the friendly conversation.

GoZags
02-25-2014, 11:11 AM
I always introduce my wife as "meet my first wife Sarah" joke.

Henny Youngman (Take my wife, PLEASE) sat behind me on an allnight flight about 30 years ago. He didn't stop cracking one liners the entire flight. It was a hoot .... didn't get a wink of sleep despite the nice First Class upgrade. Sorry this doesn't have anything to do with Mark's "off" year .... but your post (and joke) reminded me of that. Tacos anyone?

LongIslandZagFan
02-25-2014, 11:18 AM
yes. shall I repost the offensive numbers from the Zags? both sides of the ball had chances to win that game. thanks for the friendly conversation.

WSU won with 23 points in 9 possessions. The didn't score on just 1 of those possessions. That pretty much rarely happens. 1.25 pts per possession is GREAT offensive basketball. In the end, regardless of the full game numbers... you really only need to look at that stretch... that is where the 13 point swing happened... and during that time... GU was offensively doing quite well. WSU was just doing way better.

DixieZag
02-25-2014, 11:42 AM
http://college-basketball.si.com/2013/06/20/how-wichita-state-topped-gonzaga/

If you are going to challenge LIZF's view (and I have occasionally) you best be ready to see facts that gut your point to the core thrown directly at you - and then either reconsider or use a different tact, always learning. Very good stuff LIZF.

And, I actually see a lot more discussion analysis in this thread than many of the others, no matter how LOL it is to some. I don't think there's a thing wrong with critique, and I am learning a lot of things I didn't know when I wrote it this; - - which is why a person should read responses beyond their own posts.

mattydog73
02-25-2014, 11:45 AM
Ninety nine percent of the time I just read comments but thought I would chime in today on this topic. The Staff and MF all have to tweak their approach every year. However, with that said, they certainly maintain a specific culture and approach in how they attempt to win games and be successful. To understand this approach, you first must understand that this is first and, foremost a business complete with staff, management, marketing, recruiting and even PR. I bring this up, because many of the decisions made are business decisions, including those made on the court. The system employed by the staff is holistic approaches to bringing in; improving/developing kids that will, primarily work well within the established system. Just as in business, the roles are well defined and the staff is looking to ensure an adequate pipeline of kids that will fit the style of play and approach employed by the staff.

MF, if you have noticed, has modified his Offensive approach over the last 5 years. In the past, he ran mostly, flex cut action that brought the high posts out and relied upon a number of screens and mismatches to create space and open shots. In contrast, with a perceived trust in his Guard's ability to grasp his preferred, and more complex Offensive of the 4-1 motion O the approach has altered. This is a business decision. It is not personal, and it is not because he is some egomaniac that insists his way is best. It is this staff's approach to being successful. In business, most successful companies must have a meticulous dedication to executing their plan; even more so, if they do not have the revenue and scale to match their competitors. Stick to the plan. The plan has worked for, what 16 years +? Has it not?

Now here is the rub: How is success defined? Well, that is relative and specific to the business. In my industry, this year success is defined as the ability to remaining flat, that is to say not go backwards. However, our company will not accept the industry standard and has determined to set our goals at 5-7% overall growth. The point being, each individual, person, business, basketball program, etc. can define success according to external factors as well as internal goals. The reality is, the GU men's basketball program believes, overall they are hitting their goals and targets. I cannot disagree, as they are a business operating in a specific way to achieve the results they desire. GU men's basketball is a small business that has grown in revenue, scale, recruiting prowess and has served as the fuel to grow other programs throughout the University. From a business standpoint, they are exceeding goals YOY. GU competes with the large programs on a National scale while maintain a significant amount of success year after year.

I say all of that to point out, the staff and Mark Few all have a job to do and they take that very seriously. Mark Few believes that IF his players can execute the offensive and defensive approaches employed, they will be successful i.e. win many games. With that said, every business must look at what they do and or how they do things to ensure they can resolve the deficiencies as well as accentuate the positives they possess. In this case, the program is a very stable, family orientated environment to which, the staff is able to leverage these to earn the trust of recruits and their parents. To that end however, they certainly know and realize they must strive to increase their reach and capacity to garner the more talented recruit. The business must continue to add talent to the roster in the ongoing effort to stay completive and grow as a program. The need is for players capable of growth while operating within the parameters they have set.

It is my opinion; this is where the program, as business must grow in flexibility and approach. GU has become a national player but has used the small, regional, "we are your friendly neighborhood business" approach to climb well past any other "mid-major" program. (See #1 ranking #1 seed in 12-13) However, this approach will only take them to the level they have achieved. It could be said, that the program sees "flat growth" or the maintaining of a level near their "high water mark" as success. In which case, the business will continue its model for the near future until it no longer becomes viable, for what could be, a myriad of reasons. However, if the program leadership defines success as a projected line of growth YOY with some setbacks along the way, then some things will need to change to achieve increased performance of the program and its players.

The first change needed, is a willingness to go after and do what is required to secure commitments from more gifted players that possess the acumen to succeed in the program. I believe we can all see the move by the staff to do just this. *see incoming recruiting class + Wiltjer*

Secondly, there needs to be a comprehensive overhaul of the offensive and defensive approach while maintaining the sound philosophies that have generated success. Better, more gifted, BB players are capable of working "off script" and need a system that still generates movement and mismatches while promoting a way in which to realize and maximize their abilities. I feel this is imperative to the success of the program, as the Staff has made a move on "change #1": recruit and secure a higher level of athlete. However, if this is done apart from making some changes to allow for the jump in talent, the net result will be, at best, flat growth and at worst a sharp decline due to rejection of a system that will be seen as very restrictive.

Again, IMO: The answer, here is to continue the evolution of the MF offense. This has changed over time and needs to continue on to its next natural form. One in which very talented, offensive minded players have freedom of movement, and more importantly the freedom to perform in a more high-risk high reward style. I am certain those people who accuse MF of being a poor coach do not know a thing about the game. The 4-1 motion offense is VERY complex and these players have implemented all nine options this year. That is a testament to the staff and the BB IQ of these players. With that said, the structure itself has very little room for players like Coleman & Nunez to utilize their natural talents. With that said, GU will have three more recruits + Wiltjer next year that have the same athletic ability and/or style of Coleman and Nunez. Will the staff understand the needed changes in their approach to resolve some of the execution issues? Can they find ways to alter the offensive and defensive mindsets to maximize the talent level and style of play, while still keeping the core values that have driven so much success? As a fan, I hope so. I believe the program and the Staff are strong enough, wise enough to make the key changes needed to promote growth and take the another large step onto that national stage.

GoZags
02-25-2014, 11:55 AM
I believe I'm speaking for more than myself when I say ..... feel free to "chime in" more often, mattydog.


Ninety nine percent of the time I just read comments but thought I would chime in today on this topic. The Staff and MF all have to tweak their approach every year. However, with that said, they certainly maintain a specific culture and approach in how they attempt to win games and be successful. To understand this approach, you first must understand that this is first and, foremost a business complete with staff, management, marketing, recruiting and even PR. I bring this up, because many of the decisions made are business decisions, including those made on the court. The system employed by the staff is holistic approaches to bringing in; improving/developing kids that will, primarily work well within the established system. Just as in business, the roles are well defined and the staff is looking to ensure an adequate pipeline of kids that will fit the style of play and approach employed by the staff.

MF, if you have noticed, has modified his Offensive approach over the last 5 years. In the past, he ran mostly, flex cut action that brought the high posts out and relied upon a number of screens and mismatches to create space and open shots. In contrast, with a perceived trust in his Guard's ability to grasp his preferred, and more complex Offensive of the 4-1 motion O the approach has altered. This is a business decision. It is not personal, and it is not because he is some egomaniac that insists his way is best. It is this staff's approach to being successful. In business, most successful companies must have a meticulous dedication to executing their plan; even more so, if they do not have the revenue and scale to match their competitors. Stick to the plan. The plan has worked for, what 16 years +? Has it not?

Now here is the rub: How is success defined? Well, that is relative and specific to the business. In my industry, this year success is defined as the ability to remaining flat, that is to say not go backwards. However, our company will not accept the industry standard and has determined to set our goals at 5-7% overall growth. The point being, each individual, person, business, basketball program, etc. can define success according to external factors as well as internal goals. The reality is, the GU men's basketball program believes, overall they are hitting their goals and targets. I cannot disagree, as they are a business operating in a specific way to achieve the results they desire. GU men's basketball is a small business that has grown in revenue, scale, recruiting prowess and has served as the fuel to grow other programs throughout the University. From a business standpoint, they are exceeding goals YOY. GU competes with the large programs on a National scale while maintain a significant amount of success year after year.

I say all of that to point out, the staff and Mark Few all have a job to do and they take that very seriously. Mark Few believes that IF his players can execute the offensive and defensive approaches employed, they will be successful i.e. win many games. With that said, every business must look at what they do and or how they do things to ensure they can resolve the deficiencies as well as accentuate the positives they possess. In this case, the program is a very stable, family orientated environment to which, the staff is able to leverage these to earn the trust of recruits and their parents. To that end however, they certainly know and realize they must strive to increase their reach and capacity to garner the more talented recruit. The business must continue to add talent to the roster in the ongoing effort to stay completive and grow as a program. The need is for players capable of growth while operating within the parameters they have set.

It is my opinion; this is where the program, as business must grow in flexibility and approach. GU has become a national player but has used the small, regional, "we are your friendly neighborhood business" approach to climb well past any other "mid-major" program. (See #1 ranking #1 seed in 12-13) However, this approach will only take them to the level they have achieved. It could be said, that the program sees "flat growth" or the maintaining of a level near their "high water mark" as success. In which case, the business will continue its model for the near future until it no longer becomes viable, for what could be, a myriad of reasons. However, if the program leadership defines success as a projected line of growth YOY with some setbacks along the way, then some things will need to change to achieve increased performance of the program and its players.

The first change needed, is a willingness to go after and do what is required to secure commitments from more gifted players that possess the acumen to succeed in the program. I believe we can all see the move by the staff to do just this. *see incoming recruiting class + Wiltjer*

Secondly, there needs to be a comprehensive overhaul of the offensive and defensive approach while maintaining the sound philosophies that have generated success. Better, more gifted, BB players are capable of working "off script" and need a system that still generates movement and mismatches while promoting a way in which to realize and maximize their abilities. I feel this is imperative to the success of the program, as the Staff has made a move on "change #1": recruit and secure a higher level of athlete. However, if this is done apart from making some changes to allow for the jump in talent, the net result will be, at best, flat growth and at worst a sharp decline due to rejection of a system that will be seen as very restrictive.

Again, IMO: The answer, here is to continue the evolution of the MF offense. This has changed over time and needs to continue on to its next natural form. One in which very talented, offensive minded players have freedom of movement, and more importantly the freedom to perform in a more high-risk high reward style. I am certain those people who accuse MF of being a poor coach do not know a thing about the game. The 4-1 motion offense is VERY complex and these players have implemented all nine options this year. That is a testament to the staff and the BB IQ of these players. With that said, the structure itself has very little room for players like Coleman & Nunez to utilize their natural talents. With that said, GU will have three more recruits + Wiltjer next year that have the same athletic ability and/or style of Coleman and Nunez. Will the staff understand the needed changes in their approach to resolve some of the execution issues? Can they find ways to alter the offensive and defensive mindsets to maximize the talent level and style of play, while still keeping the core values that have driven so much success? As a fan, I hope so. I believe the program and the Staff are strong enough, wise enough to make the key changes needed to promote growth and take the another large step onto that national stage.

DixieZag
02-25-2014, 12:19 PM
Plus one GZ - - matty, that's a very well thought out analysis, even people disagreeing with you would be well served considering some of the points made.

Please take a few moments and add some views whenever you can, that was excellent.

zagfan1
02-25-2014, 12:29 PM
These are my thoughts:

1. Rebounding, turnovers, and free throw shooting have hurt us this year.
2. We have problems guarding against physical/big teams.
3. We have seen less fluidity in the offense this year.
4. GBJ and KP have underperformed.
5. We are going through a recent rough patch where we have lost two games in a row. Need to right the ship.
6. Our transfers (Coleman and Nunez) were not as good as we thought they would be.
7. Few will probably need to stretch and go beyond his comfort zone to keep the team competitive going forward.
8. Success in the conference tournament and NCAA tournament are always the highest priorities and we should expect the best out of our GU team and coaches.

cjm720
02-25-2014, 12:32 PM
Good post, Mattydog73.

jazzdelmar
02-25-2014, 12:47 PM
Henny Youngman (Take my wife, PLEASE) sat behind me on an allnight flight about 30 years ago. He didn't stop cracking one liners the entire flight. It was a hoot .... didn't get a wink of sleep despite the nice First Class upgrade. Sorry this doesn't have anything to do with Mark's "off" year .... but your post (and joke) reminded me of that. Tacos anyone?

Best of Henny: You wanna help, don't help

LongIslandZagFan
02-25-2014, 12:50 PM
These are my thoughts:

1. Rebounding, turnovers, and free throw shooting have hurt us this year.
2. We have problems guarding against physical/big teams.
3. We have seen less fluidity in the offense this year.
4. GBJ and KP have underperformed.
5. We are going through a recent rough patch where we have lost two games in a row. Need to right the ship.
6. Our transfers (Coleman and Nunez) were not as good as we thought they would be.
7. Few will probably need to stretch and go beyond his comfort zone to keep the team competitive going forward.
8. Success in the conference tournament and NCAA tournament are always the highest priorities and we should expect the best out of our GU team and coaches.

1. It may seem like it... but GU is #50 in Rebound Margin, 36th in A2TO Margin, and 61st in TOs (these are out of 345 teams). FTs is pedestrian but not horrible at 129th. But I will grant you... the last few games based on the straight eye test it might be hard to disagree.
2. Not completely buying into this one. They led Memphis, who fits that bill, for much of the game.
3. This is one I can agree with, especially as of late.
4. Injuries have a major role in this... anyone who doubts the turf toe isn't bothering him still... when was the last time you saw him airball a straight on 3 like the one he had against BYU?
5. You mouth to God's ears.
6. Coleman has shown flashes of brilliance rolled up with bonehead plays. Nunez is still a work in progress but I see great things from him in the future.
7. Yes. But don't expect major changes.
8. This is the one time I am glad that the Zags finish the conference tourney earlier... time to get KP and others more healthy.

wnczagfan
02-25-2014, 12:50 PM
I actually see a lot more discussion analysis in this thread than many of the others...

+1

seacatfan
02-25-2014, 12:55 PM
Hey Kansas won a Title fairly recently with 3 smallish guards. Unfortunately I don't think Pangos, Bell and Stockton quite measure up to Russell Robinson, Mario Chalmers and Sherron Collins.

ZAGLAWQB
02-25-2014, 01:10 PM
Game by game analysis says home/away has factored significantly in to win/loss record. Games that opponents hung around longer than expected repeatedly is a sign of overall parity with the competition. Optimism, history, and a flawed ranking system make for great fans across the country at places like Gonzaga. In reality, this team, like all basketball teams, passes the "eye" test for a number of moments every game. However, the player by player analysis exposes many weaknesses from size, strength, quickness, athleticism, and desired team rhythm---throw in injuries also. Bottom line: 1) these kids are playing their hearts out without surface discord apparently; 2) the pressure created within each player's willingness to be coachable is significant, often times on an untimely basis; 3) the Coaches seem to see the 'big picture" with this group and have stuck to a solid course, both with player patterns and player expectations....
My take on the year---great coaching job as coaching "up" is so difficult at the collegiate player ego( healthy and unhealthy included) level and this staff's focus has resulted in excellent record, healthy position going into conference tournament, and with a little luck, some exciting moments come "Madness" time.

Zagceo
02-25-2014, 01:18 PM
Any more details on the accident. It's actually the first time I heard about it and I was on campus then.

Gonzaga Hardwood book
Found it on page 57 with heading of Game Face

Nobody questioned Mark Few's dedication to coaching. But his response to a nasty car wreak offered conclusive proof that he'd practically crawl through glass to get to work. While he was an assistant to Dan Fitzgerald, Few and his wife, Marcy were in a crash so serve that it could have taken their lives.

Within a few short days Few showed up with his face bruised and held together with more stitches than a softball.

Reborn
02-25-2014, 01:55 PM
Ninety nine percent of the time I just read comments but thought I would chime in today on this topic. The Staff and MF all have to tweak their approach every year. However, with that said, they certainly maintain a specific culture and approach in how they attempt to win games and be successful. To understand this approach, you first must understand that this is first and, foremost a business complete with staff, management, marketing, recruiting and even PR. I bring this up, because many of the decisions made are business decisions, including those made on the court. The system employed by the staff is holistic approaches to bringing in; improving/developing kids that will, primarily work well within the established system. Just as in business, the roles are well defined and the staff is looking to ensure an adequate pipeline of kids that will fit the style of play and approach employed by the staff.

Now here is the rub: How is success defined? Well, that is relative and specific to the business. In my industry, this year success is defined as the ability to remaining flat, that is to say not go backwards. However, our company will not accept the industry standard and has determined to set our goals at 5-7% overall growth. The point being, each individual, person, business, basketball program, etc. can define success according to external factors as well as internal goals. The reality is, the GU men's basketball program believes, overall they are hitting their goals and targets. I cannot disagree, as they are a business operating in a specific way to achieve the results they desire. GU men's basketball is a small business that has grown in revenue, scale, recruiting prowess and has served as the fuel to grow other programs throughout the University. From a business standpoint, they are exceeding goals YOY. GU competes with the large programs on a National scale while maintain a significant amount of success year after year.

It is my opinion; this is where the program, as business must grow in flexibility and approach. GU has become a national player but has used the small, regional, "we are your friendly neighborhood business" approach to climb well past any other "mid-major" program. (See #1 ranking #1 seed in 12-13) However, this approach will only take them to the level they have achieved. It could be said, that the program sees "flat growth" or the maintaining of a level near their "high water mark" as success. In which case, the business will continue its model for the near future until it no longer becomes viable, for what could be, a myriad of reasons. However, if the program leadership defines success as a projected line of growth YOY with some setbacks along the way, then some things will need to change to achieve increased performance of the program and its players.

Secondly, there needs to be a comprehensive overhaul of the offensive and defensive approach while maintaining the sound philosophies that have generated success. Better, more gifted, BB players are capable of working "off script" and need a system that still generates movement and mismatches while promoting a way in which to realize and maximize their abilities. I feel this is imperative to the success of the program, as the Staff has made a move on "change #1": recruit and secure a higher level of athlete. However, if this is done apart from making some changes to allow for the jump in talent, the net result will be, at best, flat growth and at worst a sharp decline due to rejection of a system that will be seen as very restrictive.

Again, IMO: The answer, here is to continue the evolution of the MF offense. This has changed over time and needs to continue on to its next natural form. One in which very talented, offensive minded players have freedom of movement, and more importantly the freedom to perform in a more high-risk high reward style. I am certain those people who accuse MF of being a poor coach do not know a thing about the game. The 4-1 motion offense is VERY complex and these players have implemented all nine options this year. That is a testament to the staff and the BB IQ of these players. With that said, the structure itself has very little room for players like Coleman & Nunez to utilize their natural talents. With that said, GU will have three more recruits + Wiltjer next year that have the same athletic ability and/or style of Coleman and Nunez. Will the staff understand the needed changes in their approach to resolve some of the execution issues? Can they find ways to alter the offensive and defensive mindsets to maximize the talent level and style of play, while still keeping the core values that have driven so much success? As a fan, I hope so. I believe the program and the Staff are strong enough, wise enough to make the key changes needed to promote growth and take the another large step onto that national stage.

Thanks for your thoughts, Mattydog73. Your post answers a question I have had floating around in my head for a couple years now, and it has to do with how how MF's program can evolve into a program that meets the needs of more gifted athletics? Or something like how can the Zags basketball program move from a mid-major powerhouse into an elite basketball program nationally? Your essay helps me understand this, at least from a business model, and to some extent it has helped. It will take me a few days to decipher what you have written (it's complex). Your explanation of Few's system certainly helps me to understand why Coleman and Nunez are not replacing Stockton. Most likely Stockton is the player who understand's MF's system the best. However, the problem with David Stockton is that he is a poor shooter at times, and especially from the outside. Most teams do not guard him, and because of his gambling style on defense he often hurts the team. I believe that in the last two weeks, David has tried to become more of an offensive scorer and he has really been forcing it offensively. He has tried to evolve into a primary scorer and to me that is why he ended up on the bench. That is just a guess of course.

And of course who have guessed that Pangos would get injured this year? And that Gary Bell would break his hand? I agree with gamagin when he said he feels that Few's biggest problem this year has been in developing his bench players.

I agree that flexibility by Mark Few is the key to move this program forward. I wonder how open minded Mark is. I don't know him so I can not judge that. I just finished watchin an ESPN special on Coach K and Jim Boeheim of Syracuse. Boeheim was asked what aspect of Coach K surprised him the most when they were developing a program and coaching the American Men's basketball team together for the last ten years? Boeheim answered that what surprised him the most was how open minded, and such a great listener, Coach K was. Boeheim said that most "great" coaches are not open minded to what others have to say. It's their way or the highway. I wondered as I listened to the interview with the two coaches if Mark Few was opened minded. Is he a good listener to what others say, or it his way or the highway.

when you say flexibility is important, I assume that you mean that a person is open minded to the opinions of those great people around him. If anyone knows MF well, let me ask you if you think MF is open minded or is he the kind of coach who demands things to be done his way and his way only. When I read your post, Mattydog I wondered when you described the kind of system you believe MF needs to move toward, if you believe that that system needs to be open minded (flexible) or do you see it as a "closed" system, and that to fit into it you do it MF's way? As you describe where you think MF's system is now it seems to be "closed." Can you or anyone respond to this?

Go Zags!!!

seacatfan
02-25-2014, 02:22 PM
Good posts. I've struggled to articulate some of my thoughts about the evolution of the Gonzaga program. The makeup of the team and the style of play is certainly different than what it was when the run got started w/ the Elite 8 year. What worked best then apparently doesn't anymore. I think it continues to be a challenge and at times a struggle to figure out how to best maximize the talents and abilities of the players that GU is now able to attract, certainly a higher caliber of recruit than in days of yore. I think some of those early teams you can accurately say were greater than the sum of the parts. Unfortunately I think some more recent teams have been the opposite, less than the sum of the parts. Still trying to figure out how to get some of those great parts to fit together. The one that really sticks out in my mind was the 08/09 edition of the Zags. Had a good record, had some big wins. Got to the Sweet 16 (barely). Then got curb stomped by eventual champion Carolina. They didn't really have any chance in that game, Zags didn't play bad, they just couldn't play up to that level. But I've always felt like that team could've done more. Maybe win a few more games, avoid a bad loss or two and get a better seed so you don't run into that juggernaut Carolina team in the Sweet 16. Daye/Heytvelt/Pargo/Bouldin/Gray/Downs plus a few others, that was quite a collection of talent. It just never quite gelled IMO.

kitzbuel
02-25-2014, 02:30 PM
Now here is the rub: How is success defined? Well, that is relative and specific to the business. In my industry, this year success is defined as the ability to remaining flat, that is to say not go backwards. However, our company will not accept the industry standard and has determined to set our goals at 5-7% overall growth.

Do you work at the same company I do? :)

GoZags
02-25-2014, 02:39 PM
Good posts. I've struggled to articulate some of my thoughts about the evolution of the Gonzaga program. The makeup of the team and the style of play is certainly different than what it was when the run got started w/ the Elite 8 year. What worked best then apparently doesn't anymore. I think it continues to be a challenge and at times a struggle to figure out how to best maximize the talents and abilities of the players that GU is now able to attract, certainly a higher caliber of recruit than in days of yore. I think some of those early teams you can accurately say were greater than the sum of the parts. Unfortunately I think some more recent teams have been the opposite, less than the sum of the parts. Still trying to figure out how to get some of those great parts to fit together. The one that really sticks out in my mind was the 08/09 edition of the Zags. Had a good record, had some big wins. Got to the Sweet 16 (barely). Then got curb stomped by eventual champion Carolina. They didn't really have any chance in that game, Zags didn't play bad, they just couldn't play up to that level. But I've always felt like that team could've done more. Maybe win a few more games, avoid a bad loss or two and get a better seed so you don't run into that juggernaut Carolina team in the Sweet 16. Daye/Heytvelt/Pargo/Bouldin/Gray/Downs plus a few others, that was quite a collection of talent. It just never quite gelled IMO.

My opinion is '09's dance was one of the "luck of the draw" situations. UNC curb stomped everyone ..... Zags played them as well as anybody. A different region "could" have made all the difference in the world vis a vis going farther. But nobody was close to Carolina that year. I made the trip to Memphis for the Sweet 16 in '09 .... hoping to get to one of those again some day (hopefully soon).

seacatfan
02-25-2014, 02:40 PM
I looked at the Zags schedule for 08/09. 3 games made all the difference in the world. They kicked away the Battle in Seattle game against UConn, they had that one and let it get away from them. Then the inexplicable home loss to Portland St. and road loss at Utah. You change those 3 L's to W's and they probably don't meet North Carolina 'til the Final 4, and nobody else was anywhere near as good as the Heels that year.

GoZags
02-25-2014, 02:45 PM
I looked at the Zags schedule for 08/09. 3 games made all the difference in the world. They kicked away the Battle in Seattle game against UConn, they had that one and let it get away from them. Then the inexplicable home loss to Portland St. and road loss at Utah. You change those 3 L's to W's and they probably don't meet North Carolina 'til the Final 4, and nobody else was anywhere near as good as the Heels that year.

Yes. I know. But even as good as the Zags were .... you've alluded to the miracle finish it took in the round of 32 against WKU to even get to the Sweet 16.

Oregonzagnut
02-25-2014, 03:03 PM
But the message board experts (all of them) are EN FUEGO !!!

I'm wondering what'd happen if the Zags get a little healthier, get to the dance and win a couple of games (there's a chance this could happen).

Would our vocal minority of guboardmembers still think Few had an "off year"?

I would say yes. But if I broke my leg in the morning and won the lottery later that evening, it would depend on whether the lottery win was bigger than my hospital bill. It is all relative.

Sadly the board has turned into a "you are either a Few hater or a Few worshiper" 2 party system with ringleaders on both sides. The Few/Stockton bashing does get annoying, but the "STFU if you are not a head coach" logic is just as annoying.

Few will find a way to fix both his and the teams issues. We will peak. I really think that if we simply improve just a little bit in every area, like rebounding, sloppy turnovers, Karno's FTs and Stocktons 3 pt%, we will win the next 5 games no problem.

Plus I think we win the conference outright on Thursday and we win the auto bid as well and if that happens we get the 8/9 seed and I pray we can get tot he 2nd round to play a 1 seeded undefeated Shocker team. I REALLY want the chance to stop their undefeated season in an epic grudge match.

seacatfan
02-25-2014, 03:04 PM
Yes. I know. But even as good as the Zags were .... you've alluded to the miracle finish it took in the round of 32 against WKU to even get to the Sweet 16.

I didn't mean to make the stretch that the Zags would've gotten to the Final 4 if they didn't run into Carolina, certainly not a given. Just would've been nice to avoid them. I think LSU gave the Heels a tough game in the 2nd round, but Lawson missed part of the game w/ some kind of foot or toe injury (where have I heard that before?). When they were hitting 3's Lawson and Ellington were one heck of a backcourt duo and pretty much unguardable.

Mantua
02-25-2014, 03:17 PM
Thanks for this thread Dixie. Most of these posts have been well considered and respectful. I think matty has done a great job of articulating the struggles coaches face. Flexibility is key to many kinds of games (backgammon came to my mind right away.) Sometimes though, as much as the players and the coaches struggle towards a solution, things just don't come together for wins. In the end we don't know what's going on behind the scenes. Our theories seem to be very well developed, but we still just don't know. Failure is tough. As fans, we want this team to succeed, but if they don't, we can forgive and hope for a better season next year. Few is a good coach. The players are talented wonderful kids.

NOW BEAT PACIFIC!

Oregonzagnut
02-25-2014, 03:20 PM
Ninety nine percent of the time I just read comments but thought I would chime in today on this topic.

Although the money business part is the reality, it does complicate any understanding of the rationale behind EVERY decision.

I agree 100% with your post and I have been saying some of the same things that basically, I believe Few is evolving and learning how to best develop and utilize the improving recruiting talent he is getting. But Few takes the slower approach without backing out of commitments he makes to the program, players or to himself. At times there is almost a conflict of interest between maintaining loyalty in choosing a specific course and direction, but also trying to do what will win games.

But in analyzing your post, you have single handedly bridged the gap of truth between the dichotomy of this board right now. The fact that Few is improving and knows what needs to happen to build a tournament ready team is not the same process or strategy that we used 10 yrs ago. He knows major paradigms must change, in his own habits and coaching style as well as the programs willingness to take a few lumps to get there.

I hope Few stays for his career. And I think we will turn the corner and get a string of deep runs in the tournament in this next decade. I think some of us think it could have happened sooner though. Maybe maybe not, but we all are enjoying this ride no matter what.

Thanks Mattydog73! Very accurate and sticky worthy dissertation.

BEAT PACIFIC

bballbeachbum
02-25-2014, 06:24 PM
WSU won with 23 points in 9 possessions. The didn't score on just 1 of those possessions. That pretty much rarely happens. 1.25 pts per possession is GREAT offensive basketball. In the end, regardless of the full game numbers... you really only need to look at that stretch... that is where the 13 point swing happened... and during that time... GU was offensively doing quite well. WSU was just doing way better.

one only needs to look at that stretch? right on, we disagree, peacefully and respectfully. Was it an important stretch? obviously. But important also are the numbers 8-22, 6-17 and 2-8...that's 16-47 from the big 3 for 34% shooting. Still cannot understand how that is good O, or good enough, or that nothing went wrong on O when you see those kinds of numbers from your 3 best scorers and the team, plus the 13 turnovers including the E to David gaffe.

The Zags picked a bad game to shoot 35%/35%/69% to end up losing by 6 even after WSU went crazy from deep and during that stretch. And yes, I still believe that with Gary healthy the Zags win. ALL of those factors played equal parts seems to me...the stretch, Gary's injury, and responding with 34%.

bballbeachbum
02-25-2014, 06:25 PM
If you are going to challenge LIZF's view (and I have occasionally) you best be ready to see facts that gut your point to the core thrown directly at you - and then either reconsider or use a different tact, always learning. Very good stuff LIZF.

And, I actually see a lot more discussion analysis in this thread than many of the others, no matter how LOL it is to some. I don't think there's a thing wrong with critique, and I am learning a lot of things I didn't know when I wrote it this; - - which is why a person should read responses beyond their own posts.

happy to challenge when the numbers are on my side.

seacatfan
02-25-2014, 06:39 PM
There seem to be different recollections of the Tourney run from last year. The way I remember the offense was bad in both games. Barely escaped a Southern team that had no business hanging around with the Zags in the first round. It seemed to me like Pangos and Olynk were the only two that were even looking to score in either game. Both had a lower FG% than they typically did during the season. Everyone else seemed to scared to even shoot. Harris was a no-show in both games. Gets back to that playing scared or playing not to lose idea. It sure seemed evident to me.

Oregonzagnut
02-25-2014, 07:10 PM
There seem to be different recollections of the Tourney run from last year. The way I remember the offense was bad in both games. Barely escaped a Southern team that had no business hanging around with the Zags in the first round. It seemed to me like Pangos and Olynk were the only two that were even looking to score in either game. Both had a lower FG% than they typically did during the season. Everyone else seemed to scared to even shoot. Harris was a no-show in both games. Gets back to that playing scared or playing not to lose idea. It sure seemed evident to me.

Few played basically a 6 man rotation for both games. He got even MORE conservative and less deep in his bench. We shot average (southern) and horribly (WSU) and did not find a hot hand on our bench to light a spark nor utilize fresh legs and mixing matchups. But IMO, Mike Hart was the biggest one who played all 40 minutes and played without any care about expectations or the future. He left it all out there. IMO, everyone else played rigid and with the idea the most important thing was playing the system and they will come out OK. Since it is a crapshoot anyway, we can blame fate for our loss.

I wouldn't say the offense was bad but I would say we were not in synch. For either game.

I don't expect poetry in motion if the script is dictated.

gonwick
02-25-2014, 07:40 PM
My only problem with the op is that I don't think it should be necessary to preface every criticism of few with praise. I respect how it was done here, but I lament that it seems to have become a necessity on the board. Few is a man who makes around a million dollars teaching young men to play a game. He has a job that will never be threatened. He has an obsequious and/or nonexistent sports media to face in Spokane. We all know his win record, we all know the tournament streak. It is impossible to watch a game on root without hearing about both multiple times. This is a message board, for discussion about concerns, for venting, for sharing excitement (which there is precious little of this season). This message board is like a tea party compared to almost everything else on the web. If few can't be subjected to even hypothetical questions, there is a real problem.

If personnel are underperforming, use them differently, don't complain about it to the media. Cut minutes, reallocate them. He recruited his players and he teaches them, which suggests that if they don't fit the system or don't know what they are doing or aren't great players, he shares responsibility. To borrow from the above business analogy, if he is the CEO, the company is only as good as his hires. Sure, some leave early and others may never want to come to Spokane. Gu, on the heels of a number one ranking, misssed out on every good big prospect this summer. Maybe that was the long game, planning for sabonis, although I doubt it. Injuries suck, but they happen to every team. Maybe there was no way to rest kp and get the wins needed. Maybe cutting his minutes wouldn't have helped. BZ had it right, the toe may have doomed the season.

Few is a good man. He is a good coach. He might not be a great one. The program has done big things in a small conference with a disproportionately large budget and tremendous support from a national sports network. Let's just trust that, when he doesn't read the board, he won't be offended if someone wonders why he does things that make no sense.

FuManShoes
02-25-2014, 08:37 PM
Hard to argue with the OP. It seems Few has been off his game for awhile and this team reflects his own lack of enthusiasm and adaptability. As for X's and O's and personnel, you have to wonder why Stockton, Pangos and Bell are on the floor together so much. That trio hasn't extended defenses since the first month of the season and their lack of size has hurt on defense and the boards, where we had little margin to begin with. Our front court was a known issue coming in but instead of sacrificing offensive efficiency - a fallacy to begin with - by playing guys who can help on the boards and committing to hustle and disruptive D, Few sticks religiously to "his" offensive guys who haven't shot well. Yes Stockton causes steals and racks up assists -he's savvy - but at what cost to the team given his shooting struggles and turnovers? Why is Coleman an afterthought in the second half? Where is Nunez?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk (http://tapatalk.com/m?id=1)

Zag79
02-26-2014, 01:54 AM
FWIW (and this is important to me in the context of this thread) at the time Mark went through the windshield I would NEVER have guessed I'd be a part of a "conversation" like this .... discussing Fewie as a HC .... and as a HC who has taken the Zags to the dance 14 straight years ..... and as a HC that has led the Zags to an AP #1 ranking (http://extramustard.si.com/2013/03/04/the-20-smallest-schools-ever-to-be-ranked-no-1-in-the-ap-top-25/) .... and has become the winningest (or 2nd winningest) coach in NCAA D1 hoops.

I think this is what bothers me (and perhaps Gamagin and others) ..... we've known Mark Few since he arrived on campus and was told by the campus elders that he'd never finish first in the league. He was told "Just don't finish last .... last place isn't tolerated around here." Mark Few told me (and the Pontiff) that decades ago.

In his 25 years at Gonzaga he's been a model of consistency and strength. Do I agree with his every move? His every strategy? Of course not .... he may not be perfect but he sure knows more about it than me .... AND ..... he is still growing as a Coach .... and as a leader.

Well that about sums up everything here. +1 GZ, to say coach is perfect is downright silly. But to not appreciate what we have here is much worse, he's one of the top coaches in college basketball matter of factly.

Zagceo
02-26-2014, 07:07 AM
FWIW (and this is important to me in the context of this thread) at the time Mark went through the windshield I would NEVER have guessed I'd be a part of a "conversation" like this .... discussing Fewie as a HC .... and as a HC who has taken the Zags to the dance 14 straight years ..... and as a HC that has led the Zags to an AP #1 ranking (http://extramustard.si.com/2013/03/04/the-20-smallest-schools-ever-to-be-ranked-no-1-in-the-ap-top-25/) .... and has become the winningest (or 2nd winningest) coach in NCAA D1 hoops.

I think this is what bothers me (and perhaps Gamagin and others) ..... we've known Mark Few since he arrived on campus and was told by the campus elders that he'd never finish first in the league. He was told "Just don't finish last .... last place isn't tolerated around here." Mark Few told me (and the Pontiff) that decades ago.

In his 25 years at Gonzaga he's been a model of consistency and strength. Do I agree with his every move? His every strategy? Of course not .... he may not be perfect but he sure knows more about it than me .... AND ..... he is still growing as a Coach .... and as a leader.

GZ you seem to have a personal investment in Coach Few. I respect that. I have a personal investment in Gonzaga University as an Alum and feel this Gonzaga University Board is where I can discuss all things Gonzaga Basketball. You make the point that you don't agree with his every move or every strategy I respect that also. Why should I be called out when I elaborate on some of the same moves or strategies?
I get the feeling you're willing to admit that some strategies may be questionable but you'd prefer they not be talked about in public. This is where I get confused because this is exactly the forum in which these things are to be debated.

LongIslandZagFan
02-26-2014, 08:26 AM
Hard to argue with the OP. It seems Few has been off his game for awhile and this team reflects his own lack of enthusiasm and adaptability. As for X's and O's and personnel, you have to wonder why Stockton, Pangos and Bell are on the floor together so much. That trio hasn't extended defenses since the first month of the season and their lack of size has hurt on defense and the boards, where we had little margin to begin with. Our front court was a known issue coming in but instead of sacrificing offensive efficiency - a fallacy to begin with - by playing guys who can help on the boards and committing to hustle and disruptive D, Few sticks religiously to "his" offensive guys who haven't shot well. Yes Stockton causes steals and racks up assists -he's savvy - but at what cost to the team given his shooting struggles and turnovers? Why is Coleman an afterthought in the second half? Where is Nunez?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk (http://tapatalk.com/m?id=1)

Which is why the team was ranked #1 last year with a 1 seed in the tourney.

Really off his game.

Fire him.

WallaWallaZag
02-26-2014, 08:31 AM
Which is why the team was ranked #1 last year with a 1 seed in the tourney.

Really off his game.

Fire him.

despite the great year last year i will say that imo the team didn't appear to be peaking in march...the loss to wsu overshadows the struggles and potential signs of problems during the game against southern.

Zags11
02-26-2014, 08:48 AM
Sadly, most people care how you finish, not how you start. It was amazing last year but the defeat stung for awhile for me. I felt better when that team made F4. However, it sucks that we always run into the buzzsaw or a team with unbelievable night. It happens but more so lately on a frequent basis.

However, we cannot diminish what few has done. Thats ludicrous to do so. We can hope for better results in march but at same time thank god Few gets us to march.

vandalzag
02-26-2014, 08:51 AM
Few played basically a 6 man rotation for both games. He got even MORE conservative and less deep in his bench. We shot average (southern) and horribly (WSU) and did not find a hot hand on our bench to light a spark nor utilize fresh legs and mixing matchups. But IMO, Mike Hart was the biggest one who played all 40 minutes and played without any care about expectations or the future. He left it all out there. IMO, everyone else played rigid and with the idea the most important thing was playing the system and they will come out OK. Since it is a crapshoot anyway, we can blame fate for our loss.

I wouldn't say the offense was bad but I would say we were not in synch. For either game.

I don't expect poetry in motion if the script is dictated.

You say 6 man rotation, who should have played more? The team played the whole year with short bench. The main subs were Dower, Stockton, and PK. Against WSU Dower had 3 fouls in 6 minutes and was having one of his not ready to play games. PK did not play, so maybe a couple minutes but last year he was not ready to play against a team like WSU. Both Barham and KD were not close to being ready to play. The one weakness of that team last year wad depth. And when Bell went down it showed, since they really lacked a a shooting guard. EDI really was not the answer. So do you thing the playing PK and Dower a few more minute would have made the difference in the game? Neither were defensive standouts on the interior, nor would they have negated any 3pt shooting. The loss was not about defense as much as it was about a short bench. But the primary reason for the loss was due to shooting 35% from the field. Besides DS DB, PK, SD, and KD were the bench choices. Out of all of those the only one who had chance to be a "hot hand" was Dower and he could not stay on the court (3 fouls in 6 minutes), add to the fact who are you going to pull for dower EH or KO. KO had 26(with a ton of misses) and EH had 12 & 7 with 3 steals so playing good, not great. No the issue(besides the big 3 missing close to 30 shots) was no scoring for Bell and there was not a guard on the bench who was capable of replacing that. KD at the time was not ready, even this year where he is 3,4, or 5X better than last year is not a scorer(6 pts per game this year) and last year the game was still too fast. The minutes he did play he looked lost. So who would have been the HOT hand?

Zag 77
02-26-2014, 08:59 AM
This is getting silly. There are 300+ Division I teams. Ours is 23-6 and has been ranked most of the year. I suspect there are about 250 coaches who would love to have that kind of year.

WallaWallaZag
02-26-2014, 09:01 AM
You say 6 man rotation, who should have played more? The team played the whole year with short bench. The main subs were Dower, Stockton, and PK. Against WSU Dower had 3 fouls in 6 minutes and was having one of his not ready to play games. PK did not play, so maybe a couple minutes but last year he was not ready to play against a team like WSU. Both Barham and KD were not close to being ready to play. The one weakness of that team last year wad depth. And when Bell went down it showed, since they really lacked a a shooting guard. EDI really was not the answer. So do you thing the playing PK and Dower a few more minute would have made the difference in the game? Neither were defensive standouts on the interior, nor would they have negated any 3pt shooting. The loss was not about defense as much as it was about a short bench. But the primary reason for the loss was due to shooting 35% from the field. Besides DS DB, PK, SD, and KD were the bench choices. Out of all of those the only one who had chance to be a "hot hand" was Dower and he could not stay on the court (3 fouls in 6 minutes), add to the fact who are you going to pull for dower EH or KO. KO had 26(with a ton of misses) and EH had 12 & 7 with 3 steals so playing good, not great. No the issue(besides the big 3 missing close to 30 shots) was no scoring for Bell and there was not a guard on the bench who was capable of replacing that. KD at the time was not ready, even this year where he is 3,4, or 5X better than last year is not a scorer(6 pts per game this year) and last year the game was still too fast. The minutes he did play he looked lost. So who would have been the HOT hand?

imo, aside from the bell injury, olynyk's lack of efficiency as you referenced was a primary reason for the loss...have to give some credit to wsu defense though, which i think is very under-rated.

back on topic...the few having an off year idea...much of it has to do with an individual's expectations for the year. and the off year probably isn't so off anymore if the zags win at pacific an smc...at least temporarily until the next loss anyways.

northsidezagfan
02-26-2014, 09:14 AM
This is getting silly. There are 300+ Division I teams. Ours is 23-6 and has been ranked most of the year. I suspect there are about 250 coaches who would love to have that kind of year.

Very true, but not 250 coaching the amount of talent Few does. No reason to lower standards just because other programs are not as successful.

Maybe I just take it for granted. I guess I am a "bandwagon fan" who only started following the team in 1999 (mostly due to the fact I was only 10 at that time) who doesn't know what it is like for Gonzaga to have a losing season. But I still think it is OK to have high expectations and not base our expectations on which other schools would be happy to be 23-6.

Zags11
02-26-2014, 09:35 AM
Go zags!!

vandalzag
02-26-2014, 09:37 AM
imo, aside from the bell injury, olynyk's lack of efficiency as you referenced was a primary reason for the loss...have to give some credit to wsu defense though, which i think is very under-rated.

back on topic...the few having an off year idea...much of it has to do with an individual's expectations for the year. and the off year probably isn't so off anymore if the zags win at pacific an smc...at least temporarily until the next loss anyways.

Agree on the WSU defense. This was not a fluke wind by them, they proved it last year and kept it going this year. They were a legit team, giving Louisville all they could handle. I think last year was a year where you had 10 plus teams that were capable of winning the title. WSU was a very underrated and GU was a little overrated. Both were capable of beating the other and GU had a bad shooting night, due in part to the great defense. Play a best of 3 or 5 and I doubt that GU shoots 35% and WSU hits 50% of their 3's.

Zags11
02-26-2014, 09:39 AM
Last yr zags win 3 to 1.

cjm720
02-26-2014, 10:10 AM
While I disagree with the OP generally, another way to look at this is that we were ranked #1 to end the regular season last year...so, there's no where to go but down.

Wichita State is now 30-0. Good for them and certainly adds to the context of the loss IMO.

seacatfan
02-26-2014, 10:27 AM
Sadly, most people care how you finish, not how you start. It was amazing last year but the defeat stung for awhile for me.

Ditto. It was a great regular season, but a disastrous end. The pundits and critics said GU didn't deserve a #1 seed and were overrated. Sure seemed to me like GU went out and proved them right. It wasn't just the Wichita St. game, the Zags looked BAD against Southern. Their faceplant in the Tourney is something they aren't going to live down for a while. They had a golden opportunity last year and didn't take advantage of it.

mattydog73
02-26-2014, 11:22 AM
when you say flexibility is important, I assume that you mean that a person is open minded to the opinions of those great people around him. If anyone knows MF well, let me ask you if you think MF is open minded or is he the kind of coach who demands things to be done his way and his way only. When I read your post, Mattydog I wondered when you described the kind of system you believe MF needs to move toward, if you believe that that system needs to be open minded (flexible) or do you see it as a "closed" system, and that to fit into it you do it MF's way? As you describe where you think MF's system is now it seems to be "closed." Can you or anyone respond to this?


Speaking purely from an X's and O's standpoint. The Art and Science of the game itself, as it were. I would say, he is showing signs of flexibility and an openness to incorporate some "art" into his approach, though I believe he still leans much more on the side of the inherent value of GU's "established theory" predicated upon past success, if you will.

MF is much more apt to reign it in, when the games are close contests, as he is operating on his trust in established formulas that work, if executed properly. In this way he is rigid in thought and approach. However, I do believe with age, he has come to a cross-roads so to speak. It can no longer be ignored that very talented kids are not thriving in his current system and something has to give. Really the fundamental question is, are these kids the issue or is the established system or formula? The list of athletic kids that are providing diminished returns on their high talent level is growing significantly. The close-minded coach believes it is the kids, the totally opened minded, "embrace the Art coach" lets them play school yard. In both approaches the game is ugly IMO.

In this regard, MF has a track record of insisting players conform to the mold of what he knows works. If they don't or can not, they sit. If they follow this path, the mindset around them as the brand of player that can't be trusted takes shape, and solidifies. This was seen time and time again with M. Downs, M. Arop, M. Carter, G Landry, Now Coleman...and maybe Nunez. ( I will concede however, that G. Landry though a gifted athlete, just was not able to fit in for additional reasons outside of this specific topic.) IF you cannot thrive in the system, the issue is you, not the system. That seems to have been the general approach and belief.

Back to X's and O's. It is just my opinion but I think the solution and change needed is a simple one of approach. Currently, the motion offense run is a Guard orientated offense that works hard to establish the pick and roll as it's primary weapon, with the movement of the ball from side to side and off-ball screens being the main drivers of the remaining options to create shots. This is done to create space for the guards and/or to create passing angles to the post. When it is run correctly, by kids with high BB IQ who are making shots, it is a thing of beauty. When it is not run well or shots are missed, it is a clock eating, pass fest that ends in one shot, a miss, and not many offensive rebounds. IMO, the motion offense is great for talented kids with High BB IQ, but not the 4-1 as it's success is far too dependent upon a significant number of moving pieces to, well move and move correctly. Simply said, it is a machine with many moving parts that have very limited and defined paths and functions. If one piece moves outside of that, chaos. **see Coleman and Nunez in some of their first starts**

I am of the opinion that the staff can keep the core elements of their approach, the applied science if you will, and add in some free flowing, dance around the stage, art to their offensive sets just by going 5 out motion offense. It spreads the floor, gives much more freedom of movement, allows for the pick and pop, high-low, and...drum roll please ...one on one action, drive and create style for very athletic, talented players who need a bit of freedom to maximize their abilities. Honestly, MF and staff have great offensive minds, they just need to "kick their shoes off" sometimes and be willing to play a brand of ball that shifts a bit more control and trust onto their kids.

All just IMO of course.

Reborn
02-26-2014, 11:41 AM
thanks for answering my question, mattydog73. Thanks for taking the time for a very good explanation. That's pretty much how I see it too. To me, I see Coleman as a player who has really done well to trying to fit into Few's system. He has not only made some beautiful shots but has also become a pretty darn good passer. I feel the same with Nunez. He comes into a game and plays much better defense then Barham, and definitely rebounds twice as good. And yet he continues to sit the second half. I do believe that he's still a little slow in knowing THE SYSTEM, and apparently that's why he's not playing.

To me there is alot of things about the game of basketball then one's "precious" offensive system. Things like defense and rebounding, toughness and creativitiy, and certainly confidence are a few. I don't care how well someone may know the offensive sets, ect, in the end they still need to put the ball in the basket. And in this sense, Few's offense is failing right now. Even guys like Gary Bell and Kyle Dranginis look like they are totally out of sync. And to my surprise, even Kevin Pangos looks so uncertain of what to do. And what irritates me is that Few has given up his transition offense in favor of his half court system. Oh well. It is what it is.

Go Zags!!!

Zagceo
02-26-2014, 11:42 AM
Its a conundrum for a coach like Few. He wants to kick his shoes off but doesn't want his feet to stink! ;)

Well written thanks Matty!

cjm720
02-26-2014, 11:45 AM
Excellent post, Matty.

Agree with a lot. And I think you're right and it might be a weaknesses, all depends on if we win really, but MF does expect players to adapt to his system. Makes sense to me, it is his system. I'm reminded of an interview in which he was talking about Coleman. He expressed that he was surprised Coleman would want to play at GU (i.e., transfer) after a time at Providence where there was limited structure to the offense and he was allowed a lot of freedom to roam.

Our best seasons have typically come with a go-to player - Dickau, Stepp, or Ammo - and those guys would make any coach look like a genius.

I contend Pangos could have been one. I also contend that Coleman and Nunze aren't the answer and we would likely have a loss or two more with them due to being in the wrong place at the wrong time and sloppy turnovers. But like many observations, we will never know.

Beat Pacific!

seacatfan
02-26-2014, 12:10 PM
Speaking purely from an X's and O's standpoint. The Art and Science of the game itself, as it were. I would say, he is showing signs of flexibility and an openness to incorporate some "art" into his approach, though I believe he still leans much more on the side of the inherent value of GU's "established theory" predicated upon past success, if you will.

MF is much more apt to reign it in, when the games are close contests, as he is operating on his trust in established formulas that work, if executed properly. In this way he is rigid in thought and approach. However, I do believe with age, he has come to a cross-roads so to speak. It can no longer be ignored that very talented kids are not thriving in his current system and something has to give. Really the fundamental question is, are these kids the issue or is the established system or formula? The list of athletic kids that are providing diminished returns on their high talent level is growing significantly. The close-minded coach believes it is the kids, the totally opened minded, "embrace the Art coach" lets them play school yard. In both approaches the game is ugly IMO.

In this regard, MF has a track record of insisting players conform to the mold of what he knows works. If they don't or can not, they sit. If they follow this path, the mindset around them as the brand of player that can't be trusted takes shape, and solidifies. This was seen time and time again with M. Downs, M. Arop, M. Carter, G Landry, Now Coleman...and maybe Nunez. ( I will concede however, that G. Landry though a gifted athlete, just was not able to fit in for additional reasons outside of this specific topic.) IF you cannot thrive in the system, the issue is you, not the system. That seems to have been the general approach and belief.

Back to X's and O's. It is just my opinion but I think the solution and change needed is a simple one of approach. Currently, the motion offense run is a Guard orientated offense that works hard to establish the pick and roll as it's primary weapon, with the movement of the ball from side to side and off-ball screens being the main drivers of the remaining options to create shots. This is done to create space for the guards and/or to create passing angles to the post. When it is run correctly, by kids with high BB IQ who are making shots, it is a thing of beauty. When it is not run well or shots are missed, it is a clock eating, pass fest that ends in one shot, a miss, and not many offensive rebounds. IMO, the motion offense is great for talented kids with High BB IQ, but not the 4-1 as it's success is far too dependent upon a significant number of moving pieces to, well move and move correctly. Simply said, it is a machine with many moving parts that have very limited and defined paths and functions. If one piece moves outside of that, chaos. **see Coleman and Nunez in some of their first starts**

I am of the opinion that the staff can keep the core elements of their approach, the applied science if you will, and add in some free flowing, dance around the stage, art to their offensive sets just by going 5 out motion offense. It spreads the floor, gives much more freedom of movement, allows for the pick and pop, high-low, and...drum roll please ...one on one action, drive and create style for very athletic, talented players who need a bit of freedom to maximize their abilities. Honestly, MF and staff have great offensive minds, they just need to "kick their shoes off" sometimes and be willing to play a brand of ball that shifts a bit more control and trust onto their kids.

All just IMO of course.

Good thoughts. I think this goes hand in hand with what I was thinking in my thread about athletic wings at GU and their repeated failure to thrive.

DADoZAG
02-26-2014, 02:05 PM
IMO, mattydog73 has, in two posts in just twelve hours, nailed it.

Interesting handle as well.

Few's system, his recipe if you will, was developed to use slightly above average athletes with way above average IQ. (some athletes were more than slightly above average, some not, the sum is what's important)

That recipe has created many a soufflé.

That said, when the ingredients change, the recipe must change or the soufflé goes flat.

Few is one of the best Program Administrators in the history of mbb. He's not having an "off year". He's simply found himself with ingredients that don't create the soufflé he's used to.

'Like the analogy of staff taking their shoes off. Time to get some mud between the toes...

There is time...

Go ZAGS!

GonzagasaurusFlex
02-26-2014, 04:17 PM
Speaking purely from an X's and O's standpoint. The Art and Science of the game itself, as it were. I would say, he is showing signs of flexibility and an openness to incorporate some "art" into his approach, though I believe he still leans much more on the side of the inherent value of GU's "established theory" predicated upon past success, if you will.

MF is much more apt to reign it in, when the games are close contests, as he is operating on his trust in established formulas that work, if executed properly. In this way he is rigid in thought and approach. However, I do believe with age, he has come to a cross-roads so to speak. It can no longer be ignored that very talented kids are not thriving in his current system and something has to give. Really the fundamental question is, are these kids the issue or is the established system or formula? The list of athletic kids that are providing diminished returns on their high talent level is growing significantly. The close-minded coach believes it is the kids, the totally opened minded, "embrace the Art coach" lets them play school yard. In both approaches the game is ugly IMO.

In this regard, MF has a track record of insisting players conform to the mold of what he knows works. If they don't or can not, they sit. If they follow this path, the mindset around them as the brand of player that can't be trusted takes shape, and solidifies. This was seen time and time again with M. Downs, M. Arop, M. Carter, G Landry, Now Coleman...and maybe Nunez. ( I will concede however, that G. Landry though a gifted athlete, just was not able to fit in for additional reasons outside of this specific topic.) IF you cannot thrive in the system, the issue is you, not the system. That seems to have been the general approach and belief.

Back to X's and O's. It is just my opinion but I think the solution and change needed is a simple one of approach. Currently, the motion offense run is a Guard orientated offense that works hard to establish the pick and roll as it's primary weapon, with the movement of the ball from side to side and off-ball screens being the main drivers of the remaining options to create shots. This is done to create space for the guards and/or to create passing angles to the post. When it is run correctly, by kids with high BB IQ who are making shots, it is a thing of beauty. When it is not run well or shots are missed, it is a clock eating, pass fest that ends in one shot, a miss, and not many offensive rebounds. IMO, the motion offense is great for talented kids with High BB IQ, but not the 4-1 as it's success is far too dependent upon a significant number of moving pieces to, well move and move correctly. Simply said, it is a machine with many moving parts that have very limited and defined paths and functions. If one piece moves outside of that, chaos. **see Coleman and Nunez in some of their first starts**

I am of the opinion that the staff can keep the core elements of their approach, the applied science if you will, and add in some free flowing, dance around the stage, art to their offensive sets just by going 5 out motion offense. It spreads the floor, gives much more freedom of movement, allows for the pick and pop, high-low, and...drum roll please ...one on one action, drive and create style for very athletic, talented players who need a bit of freedom to maximize their abilities. Honestly, MF and staff have great offensive minds, they just need to "kick their shoes off" sometimes and be willing to play a brand of ball that shifts a bit more control and trust onto their kids.

All just IMO of course.

Best post I think I've ever read on this board.
THANK YOU for offering an intelligent assessment without personalizing, calling people out or bashing other posters in the process.

Oregonzagnut
02-26-2014, 04:25 PM
I think almost all of us have elements to our opinions that are correct. Matty seems to pull together parts of both sides of the spectrum and that is usually the way it is in life. But I have been saying this for almost 2 years now. Matty says it better IMO. to a tee pretty much except I had no idea that the 5 out motion offense would be the best help in this situation to maximise player in game "options".

Most agree the "short leash" theory of Fews coaching implies it is limiting to our bench's development when they need to make mistakes to learn. Matty says Few is "showing signs of flexibility and an openness to incorporate some "art" into his approach". I agree. But IMO incorporating flexibility and "art" really comes down to releasing the need for control and letting the players have some room to win the game. Art should not be dictated or scripted and Basketball Art can be "poetry in motion". It is competitive improvisation. But where do our players get the chance to create their art. Do they have any creative green light?

I can't fathom Few is a dictator, but he isn't exactly a "Phil"osophical Zen master either. There is a balance and I just think Few has evolved into a more controlling form of coaching that is starting to need to become more flexible and fun again.

He needs to lengthen his leash a little bit, but not abandon his core values and philosophy. Few can have his cake and eat it too.

GonzagasaurusFlex
02-26-2014, 04:25 PM
I believe I'm speaking for more than myself when I say ..... feel free to "chime in" more often, mattydog.

BUMP

peg645
02-26-2014, 04:43 PM
I couldn't agree more. I have been following the Zags since Cinderella 1999, when I had only known of the university when I was looking for a teaching position several decades before that, and this is the first year I have felt so terribly unhappy and frustrated. I almost dread looking at the games. Something "just isn't right" and I think you have hit it!

Zagceo
02-26-2014, 04:50 PM
It would be great if the mods would take Mattys 2 posts and make a sticky which only Matty can add to and the rest of us can create some kind of mirror of that thread and add to it. Make sense or possible?

Matty deserves a better thread title of his own.

Zags11
02-26-2014, 05:19 PM
Lol yep