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TheZagPhish
01-19-2015, 07:16 AM
ESPN's Four Corners (http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/page/fourcorners150119/some-college-hoops-teams-guards-trust-others) this morning features so called trustworthy backcourts. Zags get slotted to the "backcourts we don't trust" column with this quick assessment:


Gonzaga: Love the experience and leadership. Hate the defense.

Looks like a few people noticed the slip in defense. Here's hoping that we reset expectations on Thursday.

hooter73
01-19-2015, 07:36 AM
the numbers dont lie, but I dont agree.

willandi
01-19-2015, 07:55 AM
The loss of JP has affected that quite a bit, and when you have an exceptionally strong frontcourt, they protect the rim and allow the backcourt to gamble on steals, and work in a different way.
Is it really worthwhile to look at just one aspect of any team w/o also looking at the other aspects? GU has needed a slashing, scoring wing for some time. If Karno and Dower had averaged 20/10 each while KP and GBJ averaged 15 with 8 assists each, Mike Hart would have been the perfect wing, and the slashing/scoring wing would have been more of an afterthought.
It works with any position, now matter how you slice it. Excellence at other positions affect all the positions.

basketballzag
01-19-2015, 08:43 AM
The loss of JP has affected that quite a bit, and when you have an exceptionally strong frontcourt, they protect the rim and allow the backcourt to gamble on steals, and work in a different way.
Is it really worthwhile to look at just one aspect of any team w/o also looking at the other aspects? GU has needed a slashing, scoring wing for some time. If Karno and Dower had averaged 20/10 each while KP and GBJ averaged 15 with 8 assists each, Mike Hart would have been the perfect wing, and the slashing/scoring wing would have been more of an afterthought.
It works with any position, now matter how you slice it. Excellence at other positions affect all the positions.

This team needs JP and EC to step in and take some pressure of Bell/Pangos. What is the latest with EC--I suspect if he isn't playing by the 1st week of Feb that he is probably done for the year due to the injury.

cjm720
01-19-2015, 09:00 AM
This team needs JP and EC to step in and take some pressure of Bell/Pangos. What is the latest with EC--I suspect if he isn't playing by the 1st week of Feb that he is probably done for the year due to the injury.

Can EM take a medical RS?

rennis
01-19-2015, 09:43 AM
They should have also said "lack of depth"

Bulldogs hold their own when the starters are on the floor together (notice how fast they start?)

As soon as Pangos gets a first half breather, it's all up in the air. It's happened nearly every game this month...

Chicken Ball
01-19-2015, 10:06 AM
Disagree. Backcourt defense has not been the problem the last few games. Against Pepp, it was Davis and Raines, two front court guys. Against LMU, the guy who had the unusually strong performance was Herman, another big man. If anything, our post players have been the ones responsible for the lapse in D this year. Pangos and Bell have been above average to good this year, I'd say. I think Karno, Sabonis, and Wiltjer need to step it up a notch and adjust to the smaller, quicker WCC post men.

CDC84
01-19-2015, 10:29 AM
I think some pundits do not like the fact that GU's guards are undersized.

Gary is an above average defender at this level, regardless of his size. See his work on Tyler Haws and other wing scorers.


Disagree. Backcourt defense has not been the problem the last few games. Against Pepp, it was Davis and Raines, two front court guys. Against LMU, the guy who had the unusually strong performance was Herman, another big man. If anything, our post players have been the ones responsible for the lapse in D this year. Pangos and Bell have been above average to good this year, I'd say. I think Karno, Sabonis, and Wiltjer need to step it up a notch and adjust to the smaller, quicker WCC post men.

Agree with this observation.

CDC84
01-19-2015, 10:43 AM
At the end of the day, the Zags are ranked at 42 in defensive efficiency. Is that great? No. But it's also not terrible. Wisconsin, who is supposed to have incredible defense (according to the pundits) is ranked at 61. Duke is at 51. Notre Dame is at 161. The Zags are still holding teams to 38.5% from the floor and 31.4% from the 3 point line. I don't think the defense is a lost cause....it does need to improve. Ideally, I'd like see that efficiency ranking lower down to the high teens.

webspinnre
01-19-2015, 10:58 AM
Yeah, our defensive problems haven't been with opponents guards this year. Probably just taking a narrative and plugging it in without actually critically examining it.

rennis
01-19-2015, 11:21 AM
Ideally, I'd like see that efficiency ranking lower down to the high teens.

I think the "eye-test" problem GU is facing right now is that defensive efficiency *should* be on the upswing through conference play, but doesn't appear to be trending that way.

Zagquette
01-19-2015, 12:20 PM
From my ¨eye test¨, it appears the often lamented lack of 3-pt defense appears to be improved. Or am i mistaken? From the stats, it appears to only be marginally improved from the last two years (opp % 31.4 (current), 31.8% 2013-14, 33% 2012-13%), but from what I have seen the guards haven't let the ¨guy¨ from the other team torch us from three as they have in the past. Am I wrong?

Vanzagger
01-19-2015, 12:54 PM
with this balanced scoring we are fine. Now the people hoping/predicting Pangos would average closer to 20 don't understand the Big Picture. I think Pangos is the best pg in the nation by the way.

Also against Pep Pangos' first rest we had 2 bunnies and 2 free throws then he was back in. Rich Fox wasn't there to comment on how easy it was.

zagfan24
01-19-2015, 01:01 PM
From my ¨eye test¨, it appears the often lamented lack of 3-pt defense appears to be improved. Or am i mistaken? From the stats, it appears to only be marginally improved from the last two years (opp % 31.4 (current), 31.8% 2013-14, 33% 2012-13%), but from what I have seen the guards haven't let the ¨guy¨ from the other team torch us from three as they have in the past. Am I wrong?

I agree. I think GBJ deserves credit here, as does Karnowski. Bell is almost always effective at shutting down the other team's best perimeter player, and Karnowski defends well enough that we rarely have to double on the low block.

Great perimeter defense takes a lot of effort, and it'd sure help to have Perkins and McClellan off the bench to give a few extra minutes of pure hustle. I think Melson is getting better, but from what I've seen he has a propensity to close out too hard at times, allowing his man to get by him without much effort. I think he'll be a very good to great defensive playe rin time.

ZagaZags
01-19-2015, 01:32 PM
Can EM take a medical RS?

Yep. ( If he is injured the rest of this season.)

Bogozags
01-19-2015, 01:42 PM
Yep. ( If he is injured the rest of this season.)

Zigzags,

If I'm not mistaken, EC (GU) would have to apply for a waiver. He has five years to complete four years of eligibility, except for religious exemptions (BYU) or military active service. A medical red-shirt would take him past his "five" years...Gibbs actually had six years and played four...am not sure the qualifications for the MRS but it surely is possible...believe he would only get one semester added(?)...

Mantua
01-19-2015, 02:32 PM
the numbers dont lie, but I dont agree.

I don't agree either. The defensive problems have more to do with the burden put on Kevin and Gary who try to clean up problems when the rest are out of position on both ends. They are also worn out by trying to keep things covered. There was some improvement in the last game. I'm on the fence about Perkins coming back or not. If he's fit enough to play well, it would help a lot to have him back for tournament time. I imagine that it's his choice.

willandi
01-19-2015, 03:12 PM
Is our backcourt FT defense improving? Or is it suspect as well!

JPtheBeasta
01-20-2015, 06:17 AM
It looks like the columnist was trying to be provocative. If you look at the list below, he/she picked on some highly ranked teams. I read this article similar to the Love/Hate fantasy football column that Matthew Berry puts out- which doesn't necessarily equate to an opinion of how good/bad a player is, but how they will do relative to expectations.

Caviats. Achille's Heals. Interesting trends in matchups and statistics. However you want look at it. Attempting to point something out that you wouldn't necessarily notice casually. I'm not too worried about this one.


So which backcourts don't we trust?

• Arizona: Tempted to add the Wildcats to the top list, but Gabe York still isn't there defensively; T.J. McConnell isn't always there offensively.
• Louisville: Because it's hard to forget that Duke game. Defensively there are no better guards in the country than Chris Jones and Terry Rozier, but it's hard to get that assault on the poor rims out of my head. They are just too erratic as scorers.
• Duke: Krzyzewski didn't go zone just because Louisville couldn't shoot; the Blue Devils' guards would have had a hard time keeping Jones and Rozier in front of them. Love Duke's depth and offense in the backcourt; worried about the defense.
• Gonzaga: Love the experience and leadership. Hate the defense.
• Wisconsin: Afraid isn't the right word here; more in a holding pattern to see how Bronson Koenig does taking over for Traevon Jackson, and how Jackson plays once he returns.

TheGonzagaFactor
01-20-2015, 07:11 AM
San Diego State is supposed to be a top-notch defensive team.

SDSU allowed 61 to Arizona in regulation on a neutral floor.

Zags allowed 60 to Arizona in regulation in their building.

The defense can be very good, even without Perkins/McClellan.

WallaWallaZag
01-20-2015, 07:44 AM
San Diego State is supposed to be a top-notch defensive team.

SDSU allowed 61 to Arizona in regulation on a neutral floor.

Zags allowed 60 to Arizona in regulation in their building.

The defense can be very good, even without Perkins/McClellan.

zags did play pretty good defense that game, but i'm afraid some of it has to do with zona sometimes being an offensively inept team as well, which is surprising considering their talent...maybe part of it is their focus on being a defense first team. i was disappointed that pangos got outplayed by arizona's point, though he had a lot of help.

Bkzag
01-20-2015, 08:52 AM
zags did play pretty good defense that game, but i'm afraid some of it has to do with zona sometimes being an offensively inept team as well, which is surprising considering their talent...maybe part of it is their focus on being a defense first team. i was disappointed that pangos got outplayed by arizona's point, though he had a lot of help.

Much of the time in the second half, he had a 6'7" guy guarding him making it really difficult to get his shot or run the offence, which might be a big reasons he was "outplayed"...

bballbeachbum
01-20-2015, 01:47 PM
idk about these dart throwing exercises but for conference play 5 of the first 7 have been on the road, and in the WCC the Zags usually enjoy a significant advantage inside so teams look elsewhere plus the WCC opponents have guard oriented attacks by default because they cannot recruit paint talent. thought the Zag guards played well in OOC and showed well defensively although when GBj isn't on the floor there is a dropoff imo, but that's more a credit to his level of play and not a rip on the others

but frankly, I hate the never-ending narrative pushed by the heads re. west coast basketball in general and the Zags specifically. Let me ask you all, could Aaron Craft have played D for the Zags the way he did for OSU without fouling out? how about if he played for the Zags against OSU? lol

whatever, it is what it is, I can't stand it, and Crafty is hardly the only example. whole programs get away with this seems to me...Reputations that precede which DO impact things on the floor. For the Zags to overcome, quality depth will be a big key imo, not difficult to understand why I hope. This team may be the one with that card, we'll see.

a bit of a rant, please excuse that aspect of my post, and of course please feel free to tell me I'm out of it if you think so :cool:

mgadfly
01-20-2015, 02:40 PM
I think the Zags defense has been pretty good lately outside of Pepperdine and Portland. It isn't what it was in the non-conference games, but considering 5 of 7 games have been on the road I wouldn't be too alarmed just yet.

Our overall offensive and defensive efficiency are 120.7 O-Rating (2nd nationally) and 93.0 (41st nationally).
Our conference offensive and defensive efficiency are 119.5 (2nd in conference play) and 96.7 (2nd in conference play).

So our in-conference defense is dragging our rating down quite a bit. Here is game to game:

at BYU: 1.14 O-Rating & 1.05 D-Rating
They were 27 for 31 from the free throw line. I'm not sure if that is the fault of the perimeter defense or the interior defense. Tyler Haws had an O-Rtg of 113 with 17 points. A bunch of role players chipped in with some efficient scoring. That 113 O-Rtg to an opponents player looks bad out of context that the game was on the road and it was Haws (123.6 on the season).

at San Diego: 0.92 O-Rating & 0.74 D-Rating
This isn't the game that is hurting our defensive rating. Outside of Johnny Dee (20 points, 114 ORtg) the Zags shut them down. Still, for the second straight game it was a perimeter player that did the damage. And once again it was a nationally ranked top 100 player in efficiency with a season ORtg above 120 (121.9).

at Portland: 1.28 O-Rating & 1.10 D-Rating
Alec Wintering destroyed us. 20 points, an incredible 135 O-Rating. TVDM had 17 points inside but only had a 103 O-Rating (below the team's overall rating for the game). Wintering once again a very efficient guard with an ORtg above 120 on the season (120.9). Still, through the first three games the perimeter defense was clearly where teams were efficient against us even if in 2 of those 3 games we held their all-star guard to below their season efficiency average.

vs San Francisco: 1.35 O-Rating & 0.88 D-Rating
SF/PF Kruize Pinkins had 20 points with an ORtg of 144! Meanwhile, PF Mark Tollefsen, who has been incredibly good and efficient on the year had 5 points with a 52 ORtg. He was shut down like most of the rest of the team. So I'm not sure if Pinkins is the fault of the frontline or backcourt and if the bigs' performance against Tollefsen made up for any failures they had against Pinkins... Overall, a very good game defensively even if Pinkins went off.

vs Santa Clara: 1.25 O-Rating & 0.90 D-Rating
Starting center Matt Hubbard has been atrocious for them pretty much the whole season. Then, against one of the better defending frontlines he will face he goes off for 15 points and a 120 O-Rtg. Basically everyone else was bottled up including Brownridge (14 points, 103 O-Rating) who is normally their only real offensive threat (118.5 season ORtg).

at Pepperdine: 1.20 O-Rating & 1.17 D-Rating
Jett Raines (26 points, 139 ORtg), Stacey Davis (21 points, 121 ORtg), Shawn Olden (11 points, 126 ORtg), and Lamond Murray (12 points, 115 ORtg) had their way with us. Every single one of them played better than their season average for O-Rtg:
Raines: 114.2
Davis: 102.1
Olden: 100.7
Murray: 92.5
Maybe most of the blame should go to the bigs but I can't help but think that it was a complete failure defensively from the coach to the bigs to the guards. Maybe a little more ball pressure or getting out of the 1-3-1 a little sooner would have helped. I don't know...

at LMU: 1.20 O-Rating & 0.92 D-Rating
Nobody did much against the Zags in this game. Egbeyemi 14 inefficient points (103 ORtg) and the Zags held Marin Mornar (the only efficient scorer for them) to a pretty poor 89 ORtg and 4 points. The biggest let down was probably against Petr Herman who had 11 points with a 111 ORtg. On the season he has done pretty much nothing against anyone but us. That's not good for the bigs even if they shut down Mornar.

Overall, considering the fact we were on the road and against some of the better offensive guards in the country, our defense was pretty good. The Pepperdine game was the exception. Our defense was horrible and there really isn't an excuse for it. If we play that way on the road against SMC we'll get beat.

Guards or Bigs? I'd say the rising D-Rtg (a bad thing) is mostly due to great guard play against us. But a 114-ish O-Rtg against Haws and Dee is nothing to be too ashamed of considering what they do to most teams.