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Malastein
11-20-2014, 01:46 PM
Let's be real, there's only one team right now that people are talking about as better than our Zags, and that's Kentucky. So let's figure out how well we match up with them. Do we match platoon with platoon? Are we putting that much trust in our starters? What's the game plan for taking them down? Match up zone defense with a barrage of 3 pointers? Do we pound it down low to go strength against strength? How do we beat this team if we see them in the(knock on wood) National Championship game?

gonzagafan62
11-20-2014, 01:50 PM
Id like to see the games against Georgia/St Johns/Minnesota, @UCLA and @Arizona to see how much I trust this team. 3 games and we haven't left the Kennel. Big games next week. Lets see how we do.

gu03alum
11-20-2014, 01:54 PM
Let's be real, there's only one team right now that people are talking about as better than our Zags, and that's Kentucky. So let's figure out how well we match up with them. Do we match platoon with platoon? Are we putting that much trust in our starters? What's the game plan for taking them down? Match up zone defense with a barrage of 3 pointers? Do we pound it down low to go strength against strength? How do we beat this team if we see them in the(knock on wood) National Championship game?
..

Bogozags
11-20-2014, 02:01 PM
UK is at another level all together...I'm hoping that the NBA has a mid-season draft and UK's top ten players just go directly to the NBA by President's Day!

All the BCS teams have lots of athletes and if you remember a sequence last night where both KW and PK were blocked on attempted shots/dunks...we are skilled but not quick and speed can kill...

There is too much hype out there created by the media...as stated, we play/shoot well at home...the test is how we do at the Garden next week...those games will be the test we need...

Everything else is "on-paper-discussion" and I have had some kook aid BUT am hoping the TEAM doesn't drink that beverage...

Reborn
11-20-2014, 02:28 PM
We have lots of time to address Kentucky and Duke. I agree that I want to wait for awhile to see a little more of all teams. And there are other teams Like Witchita St., Ohio St., Villinova Arizona, UNC ect who I haven't even seen play yet.

CDC84
11-20-2014, 02:34 PM
Before I offer my thoughts, I wish to stress the following:

a) Gonzaga hasn't played anyone good enough to suggest they could even hang in a game with UK.
b) Even if they could, UK would win a 7 game series easily. They have way more talent.

That being said, if you look at some of the top 15 teams that are out there, GU appears to have some things going in their favor that other teams don't:

1) The Zags have three of the best three point shooters in the nation in their starting lineup, plus another good one in Dranginis. It's looking like Perkins could be another good one as well. Calipari admitted after the Kansas game that his defense has trouble defending the three ball.

2) Unlike almost every team UK will face this season, the Zags have a legitimate 4 man big man rotation. They may not be as good as UK's guys, but it's better than what most teams have.

3) Despite their platoon system, UK doesn't have a true small forward on their roster. Guys are just playing there. Their offense will suffer to some degree because of it.

4) There isn't a consistent three point shooter on the entire UK roster. Yes, there's a guy that hits threes at the end of games, but there is no one who can shoot it like James Young could last year. In other words, they can be zoned, and so far, Gonzaga's zone has looked awfully good.

5) Gonzaga doesn't appear to be a team that's going to turn the ball over all that much. Excellent guard play.

6) Gonzaga is just as deep as UK in terms of guys who can get out on the floor and compete in a high level game. In other words, you're not going to see GU players grabbing their shorts like Kansas did the other night. Their talent isn't as good, but they have an arsenal of players.

The problem is that Kentucky hasn't even approached what their potential could be come March. Especially on offense. If forced to, I would rather play them now than later. This is a team that trailed Buffalo 38-33 at halftime on November 16. They're still coming together.

Zag_Dad
11-20-2014, 02:57 PM
Before I offer my thoughts, I wish to stress the following:

a) Gonzaga hasn't played anyone good enough to suggest they could even hang in a game with UK.
b) Even if they could, UK would win a 7 game series easily. They have way more talent.

That being said, if you look at some of the top 15 teams that are out there, GU appears to have some things going in their favor that other teams don't:

1) The Zags have three of the best three point shooters in the nation in their starting lineup, plus another good one in Dranginis. It's looking like Perkins could be another good one as well. Calipari admitted after the Kansas game that his defense has trouble defending the three ball.

2) Unlike almost every team UK will face this season, the Zags have a legitimate 4 man big man rotation. They may not be as good as UK's guys, but it's better than what most teams have.

3) Despite their platoon system, UK doesn't have a true small forward on their roster. Guys are just playing there. Their offense will suffer to some degree because of it.

4) There isn't a consistent three point shooter on the entire UK roster. Yes, there's a guy that hits threes at the end of games, but there is no one who can shoot it like James Young could last year. In other words, they can be zoned, and so far, Gonzaga's zone has looked awfully good.

5) Gonzaga doesn't appear to be a team that's going to turn the ball over all that much. Excellent guard play.

6) Gonzaga is just as deep as UK in terms of guys who can get out on the floor and compete in a high level game. In other words, you're not going to see GU players grabbing their shorts like Kansas did the other night. Their talent isn't as good, but they have an arsenal of players.

The problem is that Kentucky hasn't even approached what their potential could be come March. Especially on offense. If forced to, I would rather play them now than later. This is a team that trailed Buffalo 38-33 at halftime on November 16. They're still coming together.



What he ^ said...

coolhandzag
11-20-2014, 03:22 PM
Let's be real, there's only one team right now that people are talking about as better than our Zags, and that's Kentucky. So let's figure out how well we match up with them. Do we match platoon with platoon? Are we putting that much trust in our starters? What's the game plan for taking them down? Match up zone defense with a barrage of 3 pointers? Do we pound it down low to go strength against strength? How do we beat this team if we see them in the(knock on wood) National Championship game?

Just like a 1/4 street race.....run what you brung.

Enjoy the ride. Kentucky has little do with the with the Zags efforts.

CDC84
11-20-2014, 03:32 PM
I realize this is off topic, but one final thought on UK.....they won't be playing 10 guys in the deeper rounds of the tournament. The depth thing is overrated. If you go thru the history of the final four - heck, even the history of the elite 8 - most teams play around 7 guys unless its a blow out. You have to have your best players on the floor, and not all of Kentucky's players are equally talented.

DixieZag
11-20-2014, 03:41 PM
I realize this is off topic, but one final thought on UK.....they won't be playing 10 guys in the deeper rounds of the tournament. The depth thing is overrated. If you go thru the history of the final four - heck, even the history of the elite 8 - most teams play around 7 guys unless its a blow out. You have to have your best players on the floor, and not all of Kentucky's players are equally talented.

Two incredibly good and informative posts CDC - even if it didn't play out that way in hypo to real, just very informative.

I just always think, "in any one game, one team can be red hot and one struggles with everything" - our team can get hot. Plus, just as a layman, it seems that with 4 good big men, if we're getting killed inside, the second half defense can involve the hack a dude and put him on the line strategy.

bartruff1
11-20-2014, 03:45 PM
I realize this is off topic, but one final thought on UK.....they won't be playing 10 guys in the deeper rounds of the tournament. The depth thing is overrated. If you go thru the history of the final four - heck, even the history of the elite 8 - most teams play around 7 guys unless its a blow out. You have to have your best players on the floor, and not all of Kentucky's players are equally talented.

That is exactly what I found so amazing about the Kansas Game...he never put his best players at their positions on the floor at the same time.... never put his best team on the floor and they still blew out a top team with several NBA players of their own.......now, they have a very good schedule and so it is probably they will lose one or some...but they will be upsets...

I will just enjoy the Zags for what they are and not compare them to Kentucky until or if they actually play..

Zag 77
11-20-2014, 03:50 PM
Let us just temper expectations a bit. It is a long season and lots of things can happen. It is a cliche' , but just like the team, we fans need to take the games one at a time. The really tough ones are yet to come.

ZAGGED OUT
11-20-2014, 04:03 PM
Great post, CDC.

I will say that this conversation should really be shelved for quite a while longer. That being said, OP also needs to include Duke into the conversation. Personally, I think UK and Duke are the best two teams in the nation right now. Obviously, that can change as everyone has played only a few games.

Concerning UK- The recipe to beat UK appears to be the following:
Exceptional Guard Play (scoring, and minimal TO's)
Strong Zone (1v1's won't do well)
Frontcourt Depth
EXECUTION (offensively and defensively)

Gonzaga does seem to have the ingredients to that recipe (in no way am I saying they would win) but like I said, I'd rather not dive into the GU v UK convo for quite a while.

FuManShoes
11-20-2014, 04:06 PM
I think the Zags' best chance to get past Kentucky is to never face them. Let's pray they aren't in our side of the bracket or someone else takes them out first. I'm already having visions of 2009.

MDABE80
11-20-2014, 04:32 PM
We will never beat UK inside. They'd swat everything. Long tall leapers. We beat them with 3 pt shooting, no turnovers and some very tough defense. Nothing else matters. As it sits now though, we'd get mugged.
Back to he initial post though. WE are't being talked about in the same sentence with AZ!! We're doing well and likey will be a top ten team. WCC faces us after a difficult OOC....we'll drop in rankings and esteem when we hit the WCC. We rise again when other teams lose. Same way every season I see no intense excitement over the Zags right now. If we're still undefeated come Jan, that'll change......maybe........I hope so.......cause we're really good. Beating SMU and a very weak Joes is good but not exactly earthshattering.

3XaZag
11-20-2014, 04:38 PM
Personally, I haven't been this excited since I was a 12 year old on the lower east side watching the '69 Mets. Ain't this just a lot of fun?

Now for my rational side. I gonna agree with those urging an optimistic caution. We are 3 games in with limited data points for evaluation. We will know so much more by mid December...after the Georgia, Minnesota, Arizona and UCLA games. The latter will be true road games, always neccesary before you can make valid evaluations. Many teams in football and basketball start off hot and then get 'exposed' by better teams as the season wears on.

Given the limited games and St. Joe's weakness against previous opponents (even losing to Farleigh Dickerson), I thought the announcers stenciling us in at # 3 last night was the epitome of hype...fun to listen to but little else. Are we top ten now? Probably, but lets get some more games in against quality opponents before we start drooling all over our couches (even though, I admit, I had to clean up a bit last night).

After mid December our evaulation will be based on reality-actual games played and we will know where we are.

zagamatic
11-20-2014, 07:05 PM
CDC, I agree with all your points. But I would add that coach Few needs to get a little better at working the ref's. I guarantee that A LOT of Kentucky's "talent" is how much the ref's listen to coach Cal. Admit it, Kentucky gets tons of favorable calls. And let's not forget that Kentucky can only put 5 guys on the floor at a time and it was a team led by upper classmen that beat them last year even though Connecticut's front court was probably not on the same level as ours is currently.
And yes, it's only November, but November is for dreams that haven't been crushed yet.

UKWildcatsFan
11-20-2014, 08:22 PM
To beat Kentucky you're going to have to be able to make 3-pointers and free throws. It doesn't appear that getting the ball in the post is going to do much, but we're just three games into the season and things change.

Honestly all you have to do to beat another team is score more points than them (probably something John Madden said at some point).

UKWildcatsFan
11-20-2014, 08:23 PM
CDC, I agree with all your points. But I would add that coach Few needs to get a little better at working the ref's. I guarantee that A LOT of Kentucky's "talent" is how much the ref's listen to coach Cal. Admit it, Kentucky gets tons of favorable calls. And let's not forget that Kentucky can only put 5 guys on the floor at a time and it was a team led by upper classmen that beat them last year even though Connecticut's front court was probably not on the same level as ours is currently.
And yes, it's only November, but November is for dreams that haven't been crushed yet.

It seems like all the schools with a lot of tradition get a lot of favorable calls. It also seems like the team one doesn't want to win gets a lot of favorable calls. Even as a Zag fan, I think we get a lot of favorable calls.

zagamatic
11-20-2014, 09:23 PM
I'm not saying that the Zags don't get the benefit of the doubt, it's just that I've seen coach Few get out-coached in this department too many times. Particularly when Illinois came in and won at K2 is one of many that comes to mind. Kerry Keating almost always wins the battle with the zebras which is why we always have trouble with him. If you go back and watch a lot of the games that we thought we should've won, you can literally see a big difference in the officiating that spurs the run that kills us. Dayton and Memphis last year are also prime examples. Even the Wichita State game. Everyone in the country knew Olynik got fouled on that dunk attempt, but there was no foul called because the opposing coach had been hammering the ref's. Few is a great coach. But as the saying goes, everyone should learn something new every day. And IMO, this is what will continue to keep us out of the final 4.

UKWildcatsFan
11-20-2014, 09:46 PM
I'm not saying that the Zags don't get the benefit of the doubt, it's just that I've seen coach Few get out-coached in this department too many times. Particularly when Illinois came in and won at K2 is one of many that comes to mind. Kerry Keating almost always wins the battle with the zebras which is why we always have trouble with him. If you go back and watch a lot of the games that we thought we should've won, you can literally see a big difference in the officiating that spurs the run that kills us. Dayton and Memphis last year are also prime examples. Even the Wichita State game. Everyone in the country knew Olynik got fouled on that dunk attempt, but there was no foul called because the opposing coach had been hammering the ref's. Few is a great coach. But as the saying goes, everyone should learn something new every day. And IMO, this is what will continue to keep us out of the final 4.

Blaming the refs for Gonzaga not getting to the Final 4 in its entire history (more specifically last 16 or so years) is beyond silly and I would hope all reasonable Zag fans on this board agree.

zagamatic
11-20-2014, 11:00 PM
The calls that referees make literally make up one of the main categories of the game. Calling touch fouls on one end of the court while allowing a mauling at the other end can more than tip the scales in a game. That's not an opinion. And it can completely offset talent, athletic ability and coaching. In a close game a single stretch of as little as three minutes of the referees being partial to one team or the other can and often does determine the outcome. It's just usually not at the end of games when it's the most obvious. Think back to the Dayton game in Maui last year, we had a comfortable lead with about 5 minutes till half as I recall and I specifically remember seeing a change in the way the ref's were calling the game. Dayton proceeded to go on a run to close the half and we all know the outcome of that game. Our bigs ended up fouling out because of that officiating change in the first half saddling them with touch fouls. Maybe it's my mind playing tricks on me, but I seem to recall Dayton's coach influencing that change in the ref's.
I'm not trying to pick a fight or even say that Few is a bad coach. But IMO coaches who most often win the battle with the zebras win the most often. Calipari is a shining example. He's made a very good living at knowing just when and how hard to ride the ref's to get the call in his teams favor. And don't think for a second that it doesn't influence recruiting, especially in the states where kids get to see it more on tv.

bartruff1
11-21-2014, 03:50 AM
Hectoring officials is not productive....They are pro's and their reputation for fairness is as important as their skill...every game is graded...

Sure, they make mistakes....I have seen as many or more breaks for Gonzaga ........ in fact...Casey was on the guy's back and could have been whistled for a foul...

LongIslandZagFan
11-21-2014, 03:58 AM
Hectoring officials is not productive....They are pro's and their reputation for fairness is nearly as important as their skill...every game is graded...

Sure, they make mistakes....I have seen as many or more breaks for Gonzaga ........ in fact...Casey was on the guy's back and could have been whistled for a foul...

True... but it is fun as hell as a fan to yell something at them... especially when they give you a look after you yell it.... not that that happened at MSG vs. Duke or anything. I think Matt Bouldin's godfather, whom I was luck enough to be sitting next to, laughed at that for a good minute or two.