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Lewey
10-23-2014, 08:59 PM
Got to go to the dinner tonight. Here are my notes from Tommy's talk.

Kraziness in the Kennel will be the third team scrimmage. The first two were very “offensive friendly”.

They’re pushing competition among the players. Everyone has to earn their spot / playing time. Trying to get the players to buy in to sharing / playing for the team, not just themselves. It’s important that those who end up not getting as much playing time buy in to that and can see that another player earned it by working hard / playing better. Throughout the talk he mentioned or alluded to chemistry type issues in handling the team with so much talent. The difficulties and unknowns on how it will turn out. Hopeful about how it will turn out, but not sure.

Doesn’t seem to be anyone who specifically brings that infectious energy on the team, like a Sacre. He mentioned coaching the “starter” type group in a scrimmage and they were getting their butt handed to them. They just didn’t seem to have the energy. Something they need to learn.

It’s ½ hour before the first game. You have to name the starters, who are they? Pangos, Bell, probably Byron W. though Kyle D is playing well, Wiltjer and PK. Domas would get good playing time and back up KW and PK. We have legitimate 7 starter level players. (It seems this is pretty much what most people here have been projecting)

Pangos: back to full time point, some backup 2. Fully healthy, but he seemed to play pretty darn well hurt last year.

Bell: working hard, healthy. Trying to limit minutes to keep him healthy.

Dranginis: Playing well seems to have a new found confidence.

PK (so much easier with initials for him): Making a lot of progress, learning how to really dominate.

Wiltjer: A lot of positive aspects to his game, a few negatives, but the positives far outweigh the negatives. Really knows how to put the ball in the basket. He’s not so sure about those 12 foot hook shots, but he keeps making them so the coaches haven’t stopped him.

New Guys: Not coach speak, but these guys are all really good. They’re so good it makes current recruiting tough. They don’t want to just get someone who is a carbon copy of someone they have or create a logjam. And everyone wants playing time.

Sabonis: Unbelievable player and person. Sweetest kid, expects nothing and works his butt off. Seems to have a little bit of Olynyk and a lot of Pendergraft. A great passer.

Perkins: National level talent, reminds him personality wise of Pargo. Hard on himself, works extremely hard.

Melson: Not as well known nationally as Perkins, but a national level talent also. Beautiful jump shot. He (Melson) thinks he belongs out there. Both he and Perkins have a chance to be all league next year. (My comment, it seemed Tommy was talking up / more impressed with Melson than Perkins, but very high on both)

Alberts: Tall guard who can shoot, pass and dribble. More overlooked in recruiting due to his knee problems. May redshirt because of all the talent.

Wesley: Different type of talent. He recently took a big step forward in how to work hard. It seems he has been used to coaches who berated / “pistol whipped” / cursed players to motivate them to play hard. That’s not how we do it at Gonzaga. He’s learning how to be motivated without that. He’s not a selfish player.

Eric M: Lot’s of energy. Recently broke through on a fast break. Tommy mentally debated on whether he reminded him more of Pargo or Meech with his speed and drive. Positive energy, can defend real well but fouls a lot. Good that he will be able to play mid-season, as he’s a guy that’s proven in case someone goes down. They approached his recruitment as with the team they have, they didn’t want to leave an open spot and end up being a piece short.

Angel: Appealing the NCAA ruling that he is now a senior. He only played 10 minutes in an exhibition game his sophomore season before his concussion. He’s practicing real well, loves it here, and is putting up consistent numbers during practice.

Edwards: Playing great. Real chance that he’ll redshirt. He’s really progressed a lot. He’ll make baskets. He’s scoring everyday. He’s holding his own battling PK. He has really, really, really improved (I’m pretty sure that was 3 really’s, and he said it twice. That’s 6 really’s!). He will be a force at 23. He has real good hands. Like a Richard Fox but with better legs (Fox was in the audience).

Some discussion of the coaches. Brian M recruiting real well. Ammo not an official coach so he can’t actually coach, but is there regularly and gives his input. Mike Hart wasn’t sure what he wanted to do last year, and Tommy was urging him to just try something and see how it worked out. Then the video opening came up, and Tommy told him he needed to be a coach. Something that consumes all your time and more. That would fit his mental makeup. Says he’s busting his butt and expects he will do very well at coaching.

Zag365
10-23-2014, 09:16 PM
Thanks, Lewey. Nice detail. After listening to Coach Lloyd did you come away with more/less confidence in high ceiling for this team.

ZagNative
10-23-2014, 09:17 PM
Excellent report! Thank you, Lewy.

Malastein
10-23-2014, 10:29 PM
Just what I've been waiting to hear for quite some time. Sounds like the starters will be pushed more for minutes than they have in a long, long time. The Wiltjier comment reminds me of Ammo stuff, since he'd take his heat check shots even if they didn't seem to be good shots. As long as chemistry isn't an issue, sounds like we'll be seeing a whole lot of improvement from guys which will dictate playing time. Hopefully we see a few guys make in season jumps in their game.

sittingon50
10-23-2014, 10:46 PM
Great recap Lewey. Thanks.

Zagger
10-24-2014, 03:45 AM
Was there too. Not much to add excepting that Tommy mentioned Angel in a manner that came off well. I got the feeling that he's pretty impressed with how Angel is performing. Tommy mentioned Angel not far behind the 7 starters. Tommy also suggested that KD has stepped it up a notch and that scrimmages are quite interesting with darn good competition (non-starting bunch playing quite well against starting bunch). Tommy seemed genuinely miffed by getting beat badly by Arizona last year and he's certainly eager for the rematch. He had little to say about the rest of the WCC in that he's more focused on the earlier games. He did say that the WCC screws up their schedule but that he felt the schedule last year was actually a good thing for the team in not being on the road much early due to injuries - it was better to be having those games at home even if the students were gone. One of Tommy's first remarks was on how good the SMU game's going to be and that the Zags are going to kick a good team's butt. He seems to be looking forward to that game Big Time.

My overall general impression from Tommy last night is that he deeply loves being a Zag coach and gives A LOT of credit to the players - that the players pass on a Zag culture from one group to the next and that he loves seeing this develop in the current newer Zags. He specifically mentioned how Wesley was making this transition in a very positive way from what the coaching atmosphere was like at USC to the atmosphere at GU (where players take on a larger role in helping develop one another's motivation).

All in all - if you can attend one of these annual kick-off events (this was the 2nd one with vows for repeats) in Spokane you won't be displeased. More than specific information you get to see what makes GU special. There were not as many old Zag teammates there this year as last but those that were there had heaps of praise for GU and Spokane - and a few fun stories of past team camaraderie to share with the crowd. I estimated that 200 people were present.

What's going to be a real treat is getting to see the Zags in action this Saturday. I'd be going to that too but .... helping set up and run the Haunted Zombie Hike at Riverside State Park that day.

jazzdelmar
10-24-2014, 04:47 AM
Great report. Eye of the beholder of course, but his enthusiasm for Dom and Melson is obvious and aligned with MF's. Caveat on KW is a bit worrisome. Interesting comment about how the young depth is affecting recruiting targets. Sounds like it was a very fun and candid presentation.

Birddog
10-24-2014, 05:08 AM
Great report. Eye of the beholder of course, but his enthusiasm for Dom and Melson is obvious and aligned with MF's. Caveat on KW is a bit worrisome. Interesting comment about how the young depth is affecting recruiting targets. Sounds like it was a very fun and candid presentation.

IMO he's just trying to temper expectations. Everybody is expecting an Olynik repeat.

jazzdelmar
10-24-2014, 05:38 AM
IMO he's just trying to temper expectations. Everybody is expecting an Olynik repeat.


Perhaps, but KO v KW is apples and refrigerators, IMO. Two different players with unique skills and makeup. Just want KW to be the player he projected out of HS, not necessarily a lotto.

cjm720
10-24-2014, 07:12 AM
Awesome thread, thanks.

Good to see Mike Hart as part of the staff.

bigblahla
10-24-2014, 07:22 AM
The off season is shrinking rapidly.....but it sure seems like a long time until the exhibition and first real game....Kraziness will have to do....looking forward to another great season in Zagland. Would love to see both KD & Angel step up this year...Great report...

Go!! Zags!!!

ValencyLovesZagsInAtlanta
10-24-2014, 07:32 AM
Wow nice write up Lewey! Thanks! Tommy wants to kick the SMU a**! Now that is what I want to hear! Tommy Tommy Tommy!!!!!!!

The thing that stuck out to me the most was the coaches not wanting to be a piece short with respect to the "Big E" recruitment. I have thought from day 1 that EM could be a huge piece to any but whopping we put on teams this year! Not wanting to be a piece short is covering all your bases on the recruiting trail. Great job MF!

As to team chemistry. I don't think last years team had very good team chemistry. There were a few cancers in my opinion and regardless of whether cause was warranted it wasn't good. Part of the recruiting process is being straight up with recruits on PT. The whole it must be earned but is there for the taking....and then mean it. This team is deep so any player not buying in needs to be removed if necessary IMO. From what I have seen and read here the chemistry seems pretty good. DS is special. Why? He already is coming across as unselfish and team orientated. Just buy into WINNING. If you do that you will reap the rewards.

ValencyLovesZagsInAtlanta
10-24-2014, 07:38 AM
Was there too. Not much to add excepting that Tommy mentioned Angel in a manner that came off well. I got the feeling that he's pretty impressed with how Angel is performing. Tommy mentioned Angel not far behind the 7 starters. Tommy also suggested that KD has stepped it up a notch and that scrimmages are quite interesting with darn good competition (non-starting bunch playing quite well against starting bunch). Tommy seemed genuinely miffed by getting beat badly by Arizona last year and he's certainly eager for the rematch. He had little to say about the rest of the WCC in that he's more focused on the earlier games. He did say that the WCC screws up their schedule but that he felt the schedule last year was actually a good thing for the team in not being on the road much early due to injuries - it was better to be having those games at home even if the students were gone. One of Tommy's first remarks was on how good the SMU game's going to be and that the Zags are going to kick a good team's butt. He seems to be looking forward to that game Big Time.

My overall general impression from Tommy last night is that he deeply loves being a Zag coach and gives A LOT of credit to the players - that the players pass on a Zag culture from one group to the next and that he loves seeing this develop in the current newer Zags. He specifically mentioned how Wesley was making this transition in a very positive way from what the coaching atmosphere was like at USC to the atmosphere at GU (where players take on a larger role in helping develop one another's motivation).

All in all - if you can attend one of these annual kick-off events (this was the 2nd one with vows for repeats) in Spokane you won't be displeased. More than specific information you get to see what makes GU special. There were not as many old Zag teammates there this year as last but those that were there had heaps of praise for GU and Spokane - and a few fun stories of past team camaraderie to share with the crowd. I estimated that 200 people were present.

What's going to be a real treat is getting to see the Zags in action this Saturday. I'd be going to that too but .... helping set up and run the Haunted Zombie Hike at Riverside State Park that day.

Great post! Thanks!!!!!!

WBM
10-24-2014, 07:54 AM
Thanks to all for the information, and thanks to the OP for the detailed notes.

I can't wait for tomorrow!

gozagswoohoo
10-24-2014, 08:47 AM
Thanks for this!!

hooter73
10-24-2014, 08:59 AM
Awesome, thanks for the recaps guys!

Positive talk about Dranginis and Angel is not really surprising, but maybe calming. Those two I think are the ones that a lot of people (myself included regarding Nunez) have kind of written off. Great to hear that Sabonis is so solid mentally and a really nice kid. From the Sports Illustrated article I got the impression that he might be a bit of a bruiser - in a good way.

Love to hear that there is a little Pargo attitude in Perkins and Melson. I know for a fact Pargo was not easy to coach but a killer attitude is something that GU players and teams dont always have - hence the 2nd string taking it to the starters in the scrimmages.

Edwards just puts a smile on my face. Shem cant push him around, hes gotten (6 times ;) ) better already... Im a montana boy myself so maybe its a little home pride but Im not going to apologize for it.

Honestly I have not bought into Wesley 100% but reports like this are really interesting to hear how its a brand new culture of coaching for him. I think that little blurb should be told to every single recruit.transfer we ever look at again. A shame that other programs run like that.

exclusivelee
10-24-2014, 09:19 AM
Thanks for the reports.

Great to hear that Angel Nunez is working hard & love hearing that Draino still in contention for significant minutes

madness
10-24-2014, 09:40 AM
Awesome report Lewey! Thanks for doing this!

zagitup
10-24-2014, 10:13 AM
Just two brief additions to what's been reported (thx Lewey and Zagger). During the question/answer session, Tom Hudson was the guy who pressed Tommy to name his starting five if the first game was last night. Tommy let on that Byron Wesley would likely start at the 3, but that KD would be the first guy off the bench, since he's capable of playing all three guard positions. He also said that Sabonis (Tommy said he goes by Domas, not Domatus) would likely be the next guy off the bench, particularly if either Shem or KW pick up any quick fouls. He let on that Sabonis is all business when he's on the court, and that he can get a little fiery when he's out there. I like.

He spent a considerable time talking about Angel (both about the appeal of the NCAA ruling and about Nunez's BB abilities) and that caused my ears to perk up... maybe Mr. Nunez will be seeing more minutes this year than many believe....

Another thing I found interesting was Tommy's belief that Perkins and Melson could both be all-league players next year. He spoke very highly of both, but particularly of Melson, who he said "flew under the radar" nationally during recruiting season, to the benefit of the Zags.

Oh yeah, one more thing. He stated that Kevin would focus more this year on playing the point, although there would be times that he would move over to the two spot. I made the assumption that that meant Perkins would be seeing minutes at the point with Kevin on the floor at the same time.

Salsageek
10-24-2014, 10:30 AM
Thank you for all the recaps from the dinner! Will need to attend one someday...


Just two brief additions to what's been reported (thx Lewey and Zagger). During the question/answer session, Tom Hudson was the guy who pressed Tommy to name his starting five if the first game was last night. Tommy let on that Byron Wesley would likely start at the 3, but that KD would be the first guy off the bench, since he's capable of playing all three guard positions. He also said that Sabonis (Tommy said he goes by Domas, not Domatus) would likely be the next guy off the bench, particularly if either Shem or KW pick up any quick fouls. He let on that Sabonis is all business when he's on the court, and that he can get a little fiery when he's out there. I like.

He spent a considerable time talking about Angel (both about the appeal of the NCAA ruling and about Nunez's BB abilities) and that caused my ears to perk up... maybe Mr. Nunez will be seeing more minutes this year than many believe....

Another thing I found interesting was Tommy's belief that Perkins and Melson could both be all-league players next year. He spoke very highly of both, but particularly of Melson, who he said "flew under the radar" nationally during recruiting season, to the benefit of the Zags.

Oh yeah, one more thing. He stated that Kevin would focus more this year on playing the point, although there would be times that he would move over to the two spot. I made the assumption that that meant Perkins would be seeing minutes at the point with Kevin on the floor at the same time.

Lewey
10-24-2014, 11:26 AM
After listening to Coach Lloyd did you come away with more/less confidence in high ceiling for this team.

Didn't really change my confidence, and to give you a baseline, my confidence is high already. This reminded me that Tommy talked about managing expectations since there has been a lot of talk about this being the best team ever or the deepest team ever. He said he doesn't care at all about managing the expectations of the fans. Just the team's expectations. If I recall right, I think he said he does have high expectations / goals, but he manages the players expectations by pointing out that they haven't done anything yet. And with film study it's pretty easy to find and point out all the things they are doing wrong and need to improve on. Basically trying to keep them grounded in the work they need to do to improve and not get caught up in all the hype.

ValencyLovesZagsInAtlanta
10-24-2014, 11:42 AM
Didn't really change my confidence, and to give you a baseline, my confidence is high already. This reminded me that Tommy talked about managing expectations since there has been a lot of talk about this being the best team ever or the deepest team ever. He said he doesn't care at all about managing the expectations of the fans. Just the team's expectations. If I recall right, I think he said he does have high expectations / goals, but he manages the players expectations by pointing out that they haven't done anything yet. And with film study it's pretty easy to find and point out all the things they are doing wrong and need to improve on. Basically trying to keep them grounded in the work they need to do to improve and not get caught up in all the hype.

Nice!!!!!!!!!!! This is my fav song! It is a great song and when I get inspired about hoops and the great season ahead I listen to it! Listen to the words! :) I love it! I have a UConn connection cause I live out here but my heart is in Spokane. I want to think of all our Zags guys "as the man" when I listen to this song!

Oh ya thanks for posting here! :)xo This song to everyone in Zag Nation! Lets do this!!!!!!!!!! :) Im gonna tell everybody who the Kings are! This years Zags!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlJvJye9c_M

DADoZAG
10-24-2014, 12:30 PM
Didn't really change my confidence, and to give you a baseline, my confidence is high already. This reminded me that Tommy talked about managing expectations since there has been a lot of talk about this being the best team ever or the deepest team ever. He said he doesn't care at all about managing the expectations of the fans. Just the team's expectations. If I recall right, I think he said he does have high expectations / goals, but he manages the players expectations by pointing out that they haven't done anything yet. And with film study it's pretty easy to find and point out all the things they are doing wrong and need to improve on. Basically trying to keep them grounded in the work they need to do to improve and not get caught up in all the hype.

Great job Lewey, Zagger, Zagitup and any other poster that I've missed.

Coach Lloyd presented a confidence that neared arrogance (and I don't mean that in a bad way at all). Staff is seeing great things with these guys.

What was his answer to the question about who in the league he thought would pose the biggest threat? He first mentioned he was now only focused on the OOC, but then Huddy said "BYU will be Good!" Tommy said something to the effect of "I don't care, bring 'em on".

Tommy mentioned that we need to fill the Arena for the WAZZU game. "This should be our home game," I believe was the quote.

Also agree that the kick off is money well spent for any true lover of the ZAGS. Everyone should go if you possibly can.

The same will be said tomorrow night after the Kraziness, just pray for no rain until 4:00 PM. See ya' at K2.

Go ZAGS!

Zagcity
10-24-2014, 12:44 PM
Great job Lewey, Zagger, Zagitup and any other poster that I've missed. Go ZAGS!

Agreed well done, much appreciated :clap:

maynard g krebs
10-24-2014, 04:44 PM
I assume that the comments about Wesley's previous experience refer to O'Neill, who comes across as the ultimate jackass coach, and not about Enfield, who comes across as quite the opposite. Curious if anyone knows if this is an accurate supposition or not.

On another topic I don't see the comments about Wiltjer as a negative at all. Nothing wrong with a 12 ft hook shot if it goes in half the time or better. I like that he's scoring in the post, and seems to be looking aggressively to score. If he needs to be guarded inside and out, it just opens things up more for everybody else.

Zagger
10-24-2014, 05:40 PM
Just two brief additions to what's been reported (thx Lewey and Zagger). During the question/answer session, Tom Hudson was the guy who pressed Tommy to name his starting five if the first game was last night. Tommy let on that Byron Wesley would likely start at the 3, but that KD would be the first guy off the bench, since he's capable of playing all three guard positions. He also said that Sabonis (Tommy said he goes by Domas, not Domatus) would likely be the next guy off the bench, particularly if either Shem or KW pick up any quick fouls. He let on that Sabonis is all business when he's on the court, and that he can get a little fiery when he's out there. I like.

He spent a considerable time talking about Angel (both about the appeal of the NCAA ruling and about Nunez's BB abilities) and that caused my ears to perk up... maybe Mr. Nunez will be seeing more minutes this year than many believe....

Another thing I found interesting was Tommy's belief that Perkins and Melson could both be all-league players next year. He spoke very highly of both, but particularly of Melson, who he said "flew under the radar" nationally during recruiting season, to the benefit of the Zags.

Oh yeah, one more thing. He stated that Kevin would focus more this year on playing the point, although there would be times that he would move over to the two spot. I made the assumption that that meant Perkins would be seeing minutes at the point with Kevin on the floor at the same time.

I didn't feel like Tommy talked a lot until I read posts from others also in attendance. I like what you've recalled zagitup. While listening Tommy can draw you deep into his remarks, you start pondering them, then he's on the road to another topic. I appreciated that Tommy was candid with various comments. It was a good evening.

DixieZag
10-24-2014, 06:25 PM
Thank you to all, especially OP and others at the event.

I am wrong about things all the time. But, I've been saying all off-season that as good as the recruits are, I'm thinking the "surprise" might come from Nunez. I saw Nunez live, 3 rows up, at the SMC game last year - his best, by far. He can do it all, including jump out of the gym with long arms and hit FTs soft at the end of the game. I got the sense that joining the rotation last year added to the somewhat confused 3 guard rotation, and Coleman being up and down, left Nunez spinning a bit and he never got his wheels going. If I recall, his recruiting level going into Louisville was a shade under KW's at Kentucky but not that far. I've felt if he can get comfortable (and the "he loves Spokane" and being a Zag sound like it), I think he might be the "surprise" in terms of a role no one really concentrated on going in.

And, as for Tommy and arrogance in a good way - totally agree. And I love the fact they remind the players daily that A) You've won nothing yet and B) Here's what we can do better, matches up perfectly with adding C. a few weeks in, C. being "And, when you work hard and put it all together, you can play with and beat anyone. I like that tempered arrogance.

ValencyLovesZagsInAtlanta
10-25-2014, 06:28 AM
Thank you to all, especially OP and others at the event.

I am wrong about things all the time. But, I've been saying all off-season that as good as the recruits are, I'm thinking the "surprise" might come from Nunez. I saw Nunez live, 3 rows up, at the SMC game last year - his best, by far. He can do it all, including jump out of the gym with long arms and hit FTs soft at the end of the game. I got the sense that joining the rotation last year added to the somewhat confused 3 guard rotation, and Coleman being up and down, left Nunez spinning a bit and he never got his wheels going. If I recall, his recruiting level going into Louisville was a shade under KW's at Kentucky but not that far. I've felt if he can get comfortable (and the "he loves Spokane" and being a Zag sound like it), I think he might be the "surprise" in terms of a role no one really concentrated on going in.

And, as for Tommy and arrogance in a good way - totally agree. And I love the fact they remind the players daily that A) You've won nothing yet and B) Here's what we can do better, matches up perfectly with adding C. a few weeks in, C. being "And, when you work hard and put it all together, you can play with and beat anyone. I like that tempered arrogance.

^^^^^^^

This is good. :)

Confidence is so important. When you hit the wall you need to push through it. If Tommy keeps this up I'm moving back to Spokane! lol :) Confidence is the most attractive character trait. Right now the Zags have to have the confidence they can put the effort in as you addressed. You have to have swag.

http://espn.go.com/college-sports/basketball/recruiting/player/_/id/95470/angel-nunez

RenoZag
10-25-2014, 07:23 AM
Thanks you to the attendees for your accounts of the festivities. After reading your comments, I'm more eager to see to Zags on the telly.

Mantua
10-25-2014, 12:02 PM
Thank you to all, especially OP and others at the event.


And, as for Tommy and arrogance in a good way - totally agree. And I love the fact they remind the players daily that A) You've won nothing yet and B) Here's what we can do better, matches up perfectly with adding C. a few weeks in, C. being "And, when you work hard and put it all together, you can play with and beat anyone. I like that tempered arrogance.

That's Tommy in a nutshell. He's always had an upbeat swagger trimmed with brutal realism. You need to stay on your toes when Tommy's around.