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View Full Version : Gonzaga: Lion or Lamb? ESPN Says Lamb.



gonzagafan62
01-26-2015, 07:47 AM
http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/page/fourcorners150126/better-tested-coast-conference-season

Gonzaga
Lamb. Most troubling game, per KenPom: at Saint Mary's, 78 percent. The Zags are an interesting conundrum. They're likely headed to yet another No. 1 seed, a gaudy record and a host of doubters. Why? Because two years ago, they were a No. 1 seed with a gaudy record and lost in the second round. Lamb or lion, Gonzaga will carry an awful lot of pressure with it into the tourney.

CarolinaZagFan
01-26-2015, 07:50 AM
So we're a lamb while UNC is a lion? Complete joke. I've never seen a team as soft as UNC that shoots as poor as they do. We'd roll them.

DixieZag
01-26-2015, 07:51 AM
Kentucky is also a "lamb" - to give you an idea.


This year could present an interesting case study in NCAA tournament prep. Two teams are currently undefeated overall; another (Gonzaga) is likely to skate through a protracted winning streak thanks to a lousy conference; another (Wisconsin) could be barely challenged. Elsewhere in the country -- like in the ACC, Big 12 and Big East -- no one is going to come out unscathed.

So who will be better served?

"I had one veteran coach tell me one time, that the less games you have to be stressed about the better you are in March,'' Kansas coach Bill Self said. "Other coaches have told me, 'No, you're better if you're battle-tested.' So I don't really know which is the best.''

History doesn't offer an assist.

On the one hand, the Big East in 2011 put 10 teams into the tourney on the backbone of its well-respected league. Only two made it out of the first weekend, although one -- UConn -- won it all.

Then again, Gonzaga has been the class of the West Coast Conference for years and has yet to make it to the Final Four, let alone win a title.

In 2012, Kentucky lost just two games -- one on a buzzer-beater to Indiana -- and won a national championship. The next year, Louisville took its Big East lumps, including a three-game skid in January, and won a national championship.

And then there's the Wichita situation. Did the Shockers lose to Kentucky in the second round because they hadn't lost before? Or because Fred VanVleet's 3-pointer just missed?

So which is it: better to go into March like a lion or a lamb?

"I don't know, to be honest with you,'' said West Virginia's Bob Huggins. "Maybe it depends on how fragile the psyche of your team is.''

Zagdawg
01-26-2015, 07:54 AM
I would like to carry a chip into the dance-- get the guys more focused.

The media can help our boys -- like in the last few years where we were said to be underdogs in our games against Florida State, St Johns, West Virginia and Oklahoma State --"no way the Zags can beat a team from --the XXX conference" --they are just not fast enough, not athletic enough, don't play good enough defense, they don't have any burger boys---and the boys came out and proved the media incorrect.

FuManShoes
01-26-2015, 08:04 AM
Honestly the thing that worries me is end of game defense and free throw shooting. GU should have more than enough offensive firepower but when it comes down to the end of a one-possession game, will we get a stop or a key board? If Wesley or Bell get sent to the line, much as we'd want Pangos in that spot, will they convert? Time will tell. Hard not to like the talent, size, depth, versatility, experience, unselfishness and pysche of this team but there's something be said for having to gut a few out down the stretch against equal competition and the Zags have had to do that only a few times.

ZenZag
01-26-2015, 08:07 AM
"I had one veteran coach tell me one time, that the less games you have to be stressed about the better you are in March,'' Kansas coach Bill Self said. "Other coaches have told me, 'No, you're better if you're battle-tested.' So I don't really know which is the best.''

History doesn't offer an assist.

Could it be that the tourney truly is a crap shoot as Coach Few has said so often? That would be my take....

Zags_Fanatic
01-26-2015, 08:15 AM
Did anyone actually read the article? Lion/Lamb is based solely on remaining schedule and whether it is good to be tested or coast to the NCAA tournament. That's why only GU and UK are listed as Lambs because of their weaker conferences. Not something to take personally, although I would question Dana's description of the conference as "lousy." Certainly not elite but the WCC is a top ten conference and not a cakewalk by any means.

krozman
01-26-2015, 08:20 AM
Gonzaga traditionally flames out before they prove they deserved the seed they received. Until the zags turn that narrative around by "over performing" in the tournament, that's just what the naysayers will say. It will be said 1000 different ways because writers have to write, and it's a long way to March. Same old story. Different day.

HenneZag
01-26-2015, 08:34 AM
Same old story. It's no mystery we play in a weaker conference, the WCC doesn't get enough credit IMO, and I was hoping that BYU an SM would help bolster the RPI this year. BYU has struggled and SM doesn't get the NC schedule. Pepperdine has also dropped a couple games after they played us tight. Anyway, just babbling.

It's simple...take care of who's in front of us in March and make a run, it will put a stop to all this Lamb/Lion BS. I do wish we had another premier game other than Memphis before conference play is complete.

BULLDOG#1
01-26-2015, 08:40 AM
I sort of agree with GU being a Lamb.

Not saying they won't lose a game in conference, because they could -- but the WCC isn't setting the zags up for the tourney. The zags just aren't getting pushed and tested like they would in a better conference.

Wisconsin, for example, will likely have a handful of L's -- but they're playing a tough, hard-nosed, conference schedule which way better prepares them for the tourney. GU doesn't have that competition.

Few and staff really need to coach the team that they probably won't shoot such a high % against better defensive teams.

I was thinking about this while watching the SMC game. There was a point when the typical bozo WCC refs were whistling Sabonis and Shem for the most ticky-tac fouls. I noticed that both of them just laid off defensively and let the Gaels catch way deep (or worse, they flopped) because they just wanted to stay in the game and I'm sure they knew that SMC had no chance of stopping them on the other end. It's a great strategy for the WCC, but it ill-equips them for being tourney ready -- where the bigs can pound on each other. Ditto open looks for our guards. Do you think a really tough minded defensive team would give a scorching hot Melson the looks that SMC did?

I love the makeup of this team, and I have faith in the coaching staff. The tourney record isn't what it should be, but I agree with Few that it's a crap shoot. The shockers knocked off the #1 GU team, but really, the shockers would have beaten anyone that night... and the zags just happened to lose their #1 perimeter defender to injury. This team deserves the ranking and I'm hoping for that #1 seed. The pundits can say whatever they want, but I'm pretty sure an 8 or 9 seed power conference team will cringe when they see a draw that has them second round vs the zags.

The consistency of the zags will eventually punch through and they'll make a deep run. Could it be this year? From what I've seen, they've got a great chance because of chemistry, depth, and shooting. Never know, though. It is a crap-shoot.

Until that day, I guess they are Lambs. So be it. A great offensive Lamb will beat our a strong defensive Lion... we all know great offense beats great defense.

TheZagPhish
01-26-2015, 08:43 AM
ESPN sells pageviews and advertising for Disney. They likely heard that last Monday's slap, "Untrustworthy Backcourts", got posted to the Zags' lockers, and better still written about in the local press.

gonzagafan62
01-26-2015, 08:47 AM
I sort of agree with GU being a Lamb.

Not saying they won't lose a game in conference, because they could -- but the WCC isn't setting the zags up for the tourney. The zags just aren't getting pushed and tested like they would in a better conference.

Wisconsin, for example, will likely have a handful of L's -- but they're playing a tough, hard-nosed, conference schedule which way better prepares them for the tourney. GU doesn't have that competition.

Few and staff really need to coach the team that they probably won't shoot such a high % against better defensive teams.

I was thinking about this while watching the SMC game. There was a point when the typical bozo WCC refs were whistling Sabonis and Shem for the most ticky-tac fouls. I noticed that both of them just laid off defensively and let the Gaels catch way deep (or worse, they flopped) because they just wanted to stay in the game and I'm sure they knew that SMC had no chance of stopping them on the other end. It's a great strategy for the WCC, but it ill-equips them for being tourney ready -- where the bigs can pound on each other. Ditto open looks for our guards. Do you think a really tough minded defensive team would give a scorching hot Melson the looks that SMC did?

I love the makeup of this team, and I have faith in the coaching staff. The tourney record isn't what it should be, but I agree with Few that it's a crap shoot. The shockers knocked off the #1 GU team, but really, the shockers would have beaten anyone that night... and the zags just happened to lose their #1 perimeter defender to injury. This team deserves the ranking and I'm hoping for that #1 seed. The pundits can say whatever they want, but I'm pretty sure an 8 or 9 seed power conference team will cringe when they see a draw that has them second round vs the zags.

The consistency of the zags will eventually punch through and they'll make a deep run. Could it be this year? From what I've seen, they've got a great chance because of chemistry, depth, and shooting. Never know, though. It is a crap-shoot.

Until that day, I guess they are Lambs. So be it. A great offensive Lamb will beat our a strong defensive Lion... we all know great offense beats great defense.

Yeah I mean the only thing I disagree with is the Wichita State thing. You make some very interesting points, and some really good things. But if Gary Bell doesn't break his foot, Wichita State has no chance against us. None. We were still up like 9 with 3 and change. Wichita State wasn't beating a lot of teams that night. We were just snake bitten again.

rennis
01-26-2015, 08:53 AM
Good. Bring on the doubters and haters this year. If ever GU has had a (favored) team that can silence them, this is it.

Zagdawg
01-26-2015, 08:57 AM
Didn't Wichita State go on to be like 39-2 over the next year (with their one loss in the final 4?-- and no loss again until the dance the following year as a #1 seed against Kentucky #8 seed)--I'm thinking that Wichita State was not too bad of a team.

gonzagafan62
01-26-2015, 09:05 AM
Didn't Wichita State go on to be like 39-2 over the next year (with their one loss in the final 4?-- and no loss again until the dance the following year as a #1 seed against Kentucky #8 seed)--I'm thinking that Wichita State was not too bad of a team.

Obviously they aren't a bad team, I was just referencing to that particular game. Gonzaga should have won, and that whole thing may not have happened. It could have, but I doubt it. Beating a team like Gonzaga #1 team in the country, and going to the Final Four can bring a lot of confidence. A good team yes, but Gonzaga should have won that night.

Angelo Roncalli
01-26-2015, 09:08 AM
Gonzaga traditionally flames out before they prove they deserved the seed they received. Until the zags turn that narrative around by "over performing" in the tournament, that's just what the naysayers will say. It will be said 1000 different ways because writers have to write, and it's a long way to March. Same old story. Different day.

If a team performs to seed, how can you call it a "flameout." They've reached the projected destination.

CDC84
01-26-2015, 09:19 AM
I've never seen a team take so much heat for losing to a team in the second round that went on to win the west region and move on to the final four, and then come back the next year and go undefeated until the second round of the NCAA tournament. Such a terrible loss!

BobZag
01-26-2015, 09:28 AM
Can't disagree with ESPN. Zags haven't gotten past the Few 32 in quite a while, no matter what seed.

thegloriousgoateeofKP
01-26-2015, 09:31 AM
Could it be that the tourney truly is a crap shoot as Coach Few has said so often? That would be my take....

It is. a 40-minute sample size is just not big enough to draw any conclusions about the quality of basketball teams. It's not NEARLY big enough. If college basketball were like European soccer, where everyone plays everyone and then the best team at the end of the season is crowned champion, it'd be a lot more representative.

TheGonzagaFactor
01-26-2015, 09:51 AM
So we're a lamb while UNC is a lion? Complete joke. I've never seen a team as soft as UNC that shoots as poor as they do. We'd roll them.

It's lamb or lion in regards to how much a team is tested throughout the season. Article is right. UNC will be tested and we won't.

jim77
01-26-2015, 09:52 AM
Past performances have no bearing on what will go down this year.

The WCC hasn't prepared the Zags for the tourney in the past due to quickness and athleticism. Its hard to get up to a higher game speed in 1 game after playing 16 games of the other variety. I will say this year's squad has a lot fewer weaknesses than in the past....and is probably the best shooting Zag team EVER. They are arguably the best shooting team in the country this year. What can take this team down? A defense that's gets up into their grills...and stays there. Kentucky can cover us like a blanket and totally disrupt our offense....Remember Arizona? They went after Kevin near the end to slow the offense down...it worked. If the Zags get space...they will eat a team alive...their shooters are THAT good. I do think the team is better now than when they played AZ. The one thing this team has been doing well in the WCC this year is the pass....this team is registering lots of asissts in its games. The Zags can take most teams in the WCC with 1 on 1 scoring...but, it won't work against the great athletic/defensive teams. Thye Zags must manufacture a bucket against the good teams...and this team manufactures them as good as any Zag team. Our unselfishness bodes well for the Zags. Keep using the screens and passes to score...those are what will pull you through in the tough games.

This weekend's showdown with Memphis should be a good test.

I just have this crazy notion that KY and GU will meet for all the marbles and it will be the biggest game since Magic and Bird faced off in 1979....just keep Whichita...AZ...and Louisville out of our side of the bracket.

Good to see Coach Few still getting Nunez minutes..even though he seems lost...actually hes trying too hard. We get into a battle with a KY or Louisville he may be the difference with his length and athleticism. We would certainly zone KY and having a guy like Angel could put us over the top. Keep putting him in!

I'm reminded of a game a years ago against a crazy athletic Memphis team...we fouled nearly all our bigs out and had David Pendergraft playingt Center. David was a total warrior that game and we came up a bit short....having a Nunez type for that would have pulled that game our way.

Zaga
01-26-2015, 09:59 AM
completely agree!

Zaga
01-26-2015, 10:00 AM
Good. Bring on the doubters and haters this year. If ever GU has had a (favored) team that can silence them, this is it.

With this!

seasontixholder
01-26-2015, 10:03 AM
Any astute BB commentator wouldn't compare this team with those of years past. It fails on two levels.

Throw out our loss to UNC champions, hardly a lamb one. Then exactly how do we compare NOW to any of the other recent Marches? The ones having DStockton as a point guard or having Marquise Carter or GBJ injured, going down to defeat?

I fail to see underperformance. Sure, I'll grant that there weren't out-of-body experiences. But so what? The talent level is different, and the other guys didn't really do bellyflops, imo.

gonzagafan62
01-26-2015, 10:16 AM
Any astute BB commentator wouldn't compare this team with those of years past. It fails on two levels.

Throw out our loss to UNC champions, hardly a lamb one. Then exactly how do we compare NOW to any of the other recent Marches? The ones having DStockton as a point guard or having Marquise Carter or GBJ injured, going down to defeat?

I fail to see underperformance. Sure, I'll grant that there weren't out-of-body experiences. But so what? The talent level is different, and the other guys didn't really do bellyflops, imo.

Exactly. In 2011, we had Demetri and Marquise starting 2 tournament games. lol Its like the bearer of bad news, yet we still destroyed St. John's.

We weren't the better team in most of them. We were better in the Wichita State game, but not with no depth at the 2 position when Bell went down.

What ESPN and others fail to realize is how hard it is just to make the damn tournament. 16 years in a row, going on 17. That puts us in elite territory there. 6 straight years in the round of 32. Again, elite territory. The only other team to match that, the last 6 years is Kansas. It shows you the overwhelming diversity of teams that have made the tournament and THEN believe THEY CAN WIN.... like Florida Gulf Coast, Mercer, Norfolk State, Lehigh... these upsets are becoming so common now, its hard to survive and advance most times.

Last year we didn't have much of a chance against Arizona, but we beat the "crowned Final Four representatives" Oklahoma State by 8. Here's my favorite line of any article anywhere:


Despite bracketologists across the country picking No. 9 seed Oklahoma State to make a deep NCAA tournament run this March, No. 8 seed Gonzaga eliminated the Cowboys on Friday in San Diego, jumping out to an early 9-0 and never trailing on the way to a 85-77 second-round victory.

This team will make it, but it has only had a legit shot 3 or 4 times over the 16 years. Legit shots, now.

JPtheBeasta
01-26-2015, 10:21 AM
I think we are a Lamb until we prove otherwise. There's nothing wrong with that. We've been hyped before and been a let down. I wouldn't expect perception by the media or others outside of the fanbase to see it any other way at this point. Respect is earned. We do that by making it to a Final Four.

This year's GU team has a pretty big set of fangs and is pretty hungry, so a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing might be what this team is. I hope so...

titopoet
01-26-2015, 10:24 AM
So we're a lamb while UNC is a lion? Complete joke. I've never seen a team as soft as UNC that shoots as poor as they do. We'd roll them.

Nah, not how the article is written. Will the WCC battle test GU? If no then the rate them as a lamb. The other notable lamb... Kentucky, everyone's favorite to win it all. As the article says a lamb does not mean doom.

With that uncertainty in mind, then, let's look at the top contenders and figure out whether they are more likely to be lambs or lions, and what it might mean.

ZagLawGrad
01-26-2015, 10:40 AM
I remember sitting in the EnergySolutions arena in SLC two years ago watching the #1 ranked Zags in a too close for comfort game with Southern. It was obvious to me then that Zags were not true #1 ranking material. And while Wichita State went on to the Final Four, Zags needed to beat them to keep credibility. No excuses.

Whether we like it or not, the WCC is a weak conference for the most part. Until the Zags prove otherwise by a deep run in March, then the powder puff comments and reputation will continue. If I were on the outside looking in like commentators and fans elsewhere, I would put up the same criticisms of the Zags.

zagfan24
01-26-2015, 10:54 AM
Thinking about it, part of what has actually hurt the Zags national reputation might be making the tournament every year. Even in the "down years" the WCC does allow the Zags a better chance to get into the tourney. Thus our weaker teams add to a negative perception of Gonzaga's overall tournament performance. Mostly, though, the Zags just need to break through and at least reach the Elite 8 if the national reputation is to change. Sure, it's "crapshoot," but eventually good teams find their way through. I have my fingers crossed that this is the year.

ZagLawGrad
01-26-2015, 10:55 AM
Thinking about it, part of what has actually hurt the Zags national reputation might be making the tournament every year. Even in the "down years" the WCC does allow the Zags a better chance to get into the tourney. Thus our weaker teams add to a negative perception of Gonzaga's overall tournament performance. Mostly, though, the Zags just need to break through and at least reach the Elite 8 if the national reputation is to change. Sure, it's "crapshoot," but eventually good teams find their way through. I have my fingers crossed that this is the year.

Good points. But it will take a Final Four in my opinion to make a dent in the national reputation.

gonzagafan62
01-26-2015, 11:02 AM
Good points. But it will take a Final Four in my opinion to make a dent in the national reputation.

Definitely agree.

zagfan24
01-26-2015, 11:03 AM
Good points. But it will take a Final Four in my opinion to make a dent in the national reputation.

If they get a 1 seed, I agree with you.

DixieZag
01-26-2015, 11:04 AM
Did anyone actually read the article? Lion/Lamb is based solely on remaining schedule and whether it is good to be tested or coast to the NCAA tournament. That's why only GU and UK are listed as Lambs because of their weaker conferences. Not something to take personally, although I would question Dana's description of the conference as "lousy." Certainly not elite but the WCC is a top ten conference and not a cakewalk by any means.

That's why I pasted that passage.

Zagger
01-26-2015, 11:19 AM
The more opposing teams think the Zags are lambs .... the worse will be the outcome for the opposing teams. I'm fully sold on this bunch of Zags being VERY hard to beat come March.

ZagLawGrad
01-26-2015, 11:24 AM
The more opposing teams think the Zags are lambs .... the worse will be the outcome for the opposing teams. I'm fully sold on this bunch of Zags being VERY hard to beat come March.

Appreciate your enthusiasm. But its not the first time that sentiment has been expressed. Let's see how it plays out.

RenoZag
01-26-2015, 11:28 AM
I think we are a Lamb until we prove otherwise. There's nothing wrong with that. We've been hyped before and been a let down. I wouldn't expect perception by the media or others outside of the fanbase to see it any other way at this point. Respect is earned. We do that by making it to a Final Four.

This year's GU team has a pretty big set of fangs and is pretty hungry, so a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing might be what this team is. I hope so...

Well put.

Beat the Pilots !

DixieZag
01-26-2015, 11:28 AM
We are frustrated by the lack of the deep run - I am.

But, we're spoiled in that we are almost never bounced out in the first round, which is nearly as remarkable as the run in consecutive appearances itself.

Is it just me or do others here almost assume we'll be playing on the weekend in the NCAAs? Did anyone else just assume we'd beat Ok State? I pretty well did. Why? Because we always win in the first round.

It's frustrating but it is also satisfying in many ways. We've never been on the 2-4 seed end of a first game elimination. The "Few 32" goes both ways.

MDABE80
01-26-2015, 11:30 AM
Apart from the article's opinion, where are we weak? What area do we need to improve ot justify a deep run prediction. It's folly for this team to be labelled soft because we went south 2 years ago. If it's the WCC, perhaps i cna understand.............if that's it, big deal. True but nothing we can change.

MTZag03
01-26-2015, 11:32 AM
The more opposing teams think the Zags are lambs .... the worse will be the outcome for the opposing teams. I'm fully sold on this bunch of Zags being VERY hard to beat come March.

The major difference between this year's team and years past is defense and depth. I believe this team is better positioned than any ever to make a run. If GU keeps tightening the screws on D in conference play, come tourney time we will be ready.

seacatfan
01-26-2015, 11:35 AM
I don't get the excuse of the WCC not preparing GU for the Tournament. So...what conference were they in when they went to the Elite 8, and then followed it up with consecutive Sweet 16s? Did the WCC somehow prepare them better back then, even though overall the conference supposedly has improved markedly since then? Playing in mid major conferences didn't prevent George Mason, Butler (x2), VCU and Wichita St. from advancing to the Final 4. It's an excuse, nothing more, and not one I buy into.


I noticed one other poster mentioned GU barely survived against Southern and looked bad doing it, prior to the Wichita St. loss. Much has been made of Bell's injury, but the Zags were not playing like a team that was going to make a deep run in the Tourney that year regardless.

gonzagafan62
01-26-2015, 11:43 AM
I don't get the excuse of the WCC not preparing GU for the Tournament. So...what conference were they in when they went to the Elite 8, and then followed it up with consecutive Sweet 16s? Did the WCC somehow prepare them better back then, even though overall the conference supposedly has improved markedly since then? Playing in mid major conferences didn't prevent George Mason, Butler (x2), VCU and Wichita St. from advancing to the Final 4. It's an excuse, nothing more, and not one I buy into.


I noticed one other poster mentioned GU barely survived against Southern and looked bad doing it, prior to the Wichita St. loss. Much has been made of Bell's injury, but the Zags were not playing like a team that was going to make a deep run in the Tourney that year regardless.

I agree with all points you made except this one. If we would have beaten Wichita State, we go on and play La Salle. Something tells me we win that game, but we will never truly know. After that is Ohio State. In a one game decisive tournament, you never know.

All in all its just speculation anyway. UGH! Beat the Pilots!

Zagdawg
01-26-2015, 11:49 AM
One of the primary differences that we have not had the luxury of in the past is depth --(as mentioned by a few posters).

If we lose Bell to an injury or foul trouble -- we have a good number of other players that can step up and take on the opposing teams best guard.

If the opposing team game plans to take Karno or Kyle W or Pangos out of the equation-- we have 4-6 other guys that will step up and can score big as needed.

I have not seen a night where our entire team is off and I don't expect to see it-- we are only going to get better as EzMac and Perkins get back into bball shape.

I can see our skill and preparation get us through the 1st game and our depth being the difference maker in the 2nd game of the 1st weekend.

Come give this little lamb a hug. ;)

Go Zags

seacatfan
01-26-2015, 11:59 AM
I agree with all points you made except this one. If we would have beaten Wichita State, we go on and play La Salle. Something tells me we win that game, but we will never truly know. After that is Ohio State. In a one game decisive tournament, you never know.

All in all its just speculation anyway. UGH! Beat the Pilots!

That's true, LaSalle was a surprise getting to the Sweet 16 and IIRC Wichita St. hammered them. Ohio St. was solid but not great, anything is possible. It seemed to me like GU was playing tentative and scared in the Tourney that year. Pangos and Olynk were the only 2 playing aggressively on offense. Harris didn't play very well in either game. Stockton was a lot better as a Sr., that year he and Hart were not going to score hardly any points for you and there wasn't a lot on the bench, especially perimeter players.

seacatfan
01-26-2015, 12:01 PM
One of the primary differences that we have not had the luxury of in the past is depth --(as mentioned by a few posters).

If we lose Bell to an injury or foul trouble -- we have a good number of other players that can step up and take on the opposing teams best guard.

If the opposing team game plans to take Karno or Kyle W or Pangos out of the equation-- we have 4-6 other guys that will step up and can score big as needed.

I have not seen a night where our entire team is off and I don't expect to see it-- we are only going to get better as EzMac and Perkins get back into bball shape.

I can see our skill and preparation get us through the 1st game and our depth being the difference maker in the 2nd game of the 1st weekend.

Come give this little lamb a hug. ;)

Go Zags

This year's team definitely has more offensive balance than 2 years ago. Definitely have to pick your poison. I don't think there's been a game yet this year where at least a couple guys weren't "on" shooting and scoring.

jake
01-26-2015, 12:05 PM
It's a poor article that never really explains exactly what they mean by lion or lamb and what their conclusions mean. Kentucky is a Lamb? Does that mean they won't be tested much until the tournament or are likely to flop in the tournament? From what I can tell all they mean by lamb is they haven't been tested much going into March. That's true for us.

Regarding the general point of the article, I'm of the camp that being tested is good (as in playing good competition), but I'd rather be tested by winning a tough one than losing. Also, if being tested means a game where you play down to your competition, I fail to see the good in that.

MBAGael
01-26-2015, 12:07 PM
So would Francis like lamb chops or to be eaten by a lion?

gonzagafan62
01-26-2015, 12:11 PM
That's true, LaSalle was a surprise getting to the Sweet 16 and IIRC Wichita St. hammered them. Ohio St. was solid but not great, anything is possible. It seemed to me like GU was playing tentative and scared in the Tourney that year. Pangos and Olynk were the only 2 playing aggressively on offense. Harris didn't play very well in either game. Stockton was a lot better as a Sr., that year he and Hart were not going to score hardly any points for you and there wasn't a lot on the bench, especially perimeter players.

True, but like Wichita State, one game could have ignited confidence in Harris, and the rest of the team. The thing you need to do (for all really good teams) is get past the first weekend. If they did that, its very speculative, but it could have ignited the fire. Its all relative to one's opinion, but I really think we had a chance to compete with Ohio State (I really think La Salle's time came at the S16, and it showed with their play against WSU.) They were just happy to be there then.

Nevada Don
01-26-2015, 12:13 PM
Take it from someone who's been to the Sweet 16 recently. You guys will do better this year in the Dance.

I just had to say something positive from our side after the shellacking last week:mecry: (while we still can).

I seriously hope you guys make a DEEP run this year.

gonzagafan62
01-26-2015, 12:16 PM
Take it from someone who's been to the Sweet 16 recently. You guys will do better this year in the Dance.
I just had to say something positive from our side after the shellacking last week:mecry: (while we still can).
I seriously hope you guys make a DEEP run thi8s year.

Thanks ND. I am sure the rest of us would love to see SMC back in the Sweet Sixteen again (or further) too. In the tournament, I always root for the conference. One of these days, we will 2 teams deep in the tourney!!!!! (I believe!)

raise the zag
01-26-2015, 12:33 PM
But it will take a Final Four in my opinion to make a dent in the national reputation.

Honestly, Final 4's are a gamble, not entitled nor expected of a 1 seed. In some years, zero 1 seeds advance that far and never, ever has four 1 seeds advanced in the same year.

An Elite 8 would do the trick, heck another Sweet 16 would be nice, yet an Elite 8 is where its at -- Final 4 is just gravy. For any school or seed.

Think about what the last Elite 8 did for us...1999.

We have the talent, and the accolades; however, our Coaching style doesn't lend well to DO-OR-DIE type of games/tournaments.

We coach in the post-season as we do in the regular season. Props to Coach for staying patient, consistent, and true to his style, yet sitting your best players with only 3 fouls & 5 mins to go isn't going to get you anywhere. Maybe against LMU, not against UVA.

Most teams that advance to Final 4 are fouling out guys left and right to get there, they push the limit, they go "all in" -- for instance, Ohio St played their 3 best players all 40 mins vs us. Not saying we do that, just pointing out that Coaching style changes in post-season for many teams.

Gotta take RISKS. Coach Few does not. Just not him. That's OK too, its finally refreshing to see we finally foul the shooter when up 3. I'm sure it gets under his skin, yet he's doing it.

Coach is a marathon runner, not a sprinter when it comes to strategy and executing the plan. We always win Game 1 b/c we have a week to prepare. Everything from sets to substitutions to strategies are implemented. We generally have a tough time, no matter the year (even West Kentucky), in 2nd Round.

Much tougher to plan on a whim. Not to mention going ALL IN. Playing a guy for 40 mins, or allowing a guy to FOUL OUT is OK when it comes to NCAA Tourney style.

Nearly every team who advances in NCAA has at least one player foul out, again, its not about a player fouling out, its allowing it to happen i.e. taking risks and playing to win at ANY cost.

Trying new things. Mixing it up. A wild card player emerging. Riding a hot hand instead of subbing or resting them. Playing ANY player with 4 fouls if under 3-4 mins...cough, Ohio St, cough...if a team is raining three's, run a 4-1 zone just BECAUSE, just try it. Change it up. Do anything, even if against the grain...TO WIN!!!

Just going for it.

We don't. We approach and play NCAA Tourney games like its Thursday night in late January. Way too conservative in crunch moments.

Bites us in the arse year after year.

Nevada Don
01-26-2015, 12:33 PM
Thanks ND. I am sure the rest of us would love to see SMC back in the Sweet Sixteen again (or further) too. In the tournament, I always root for the conference. One of these days, we will 2 teams deep in the tourney!!!!! (I believe!)

Next chance for us is probably 3 years from now so we rely on you to continue to fly the WCC Colors.

CDC84
01-26-2015, 12:38 PM
Another point must be made....it is not a guarantee that Gonzaga is going to get a number one seed. If they can go to Pepperdine and win by just two, they could very lose at Santa Clara, USF or St. Mary's. The only chance that GU has to get a number one is to totally win out, and even then that might not be enough depending on what teams like Wisconsin and Arizona continue to do. I mean, if Arizona wins the Pac 12 regular season and postseason titles with no more than 3 or 4 losses, the committee is probably going to give them the one in the west based on the head to head matchup in December. Getting a one is not a given.


I don't get the excuse of the WCC not preparing GU for the Tournament. So...what conference were they in when they went to the Elite 8, and then followed it up with consecutive Sweet 16s? Did the WCC somehow prepare them better back then, even though overall the conference supposedly has improved markedly since then? Playing in mid major conferences didn't prevent George Mason, Butler (x2), VCU and Wichita St. from advancing to the Final 4. It's an excuse, nothing more, and not one I buy into.

Back in 1999, Gonzaga wasn't that much better in terms of their talent than the rest of the teams in the WCC. They had to win the tournament to even get in the dance. The league prepared them better in the sense that they were in more competitive basketball games throughout January and February. And once they got in the dance, nobody knew who they were, and there were no expectations. They had nothing to lose. The same with the next two teams that went to the sweet 16. The same can be said for George Mason and many of these other non-BCS teams who managed to sneak their way into the final four. However, those teams simply did not have the fan, media, poll ranking and seed expectations that the current Gonzaga teams do. There is more pressure on them these days, and in my view, the team's inability to handle that pressure at times is what has led, in part, to some their tournament disappointments. I see a team in March that sometimes plays scared and tries to protect leads as opposed to a team that goes for the throat. I'm not talking about NCAA losses like Arizona and Syracuse where GU was clearly overwhelmed by talent, but NCAA games that GU should've won.

That being said, I don't use the league as an excuse, although I hope that the league continues to get better. The history of college basketball has seen highly ranked teams (with big expectations) from non-power conferences whose solution to the league competition problem was to compete against themselves and just steamroll teams. Like Memphis in Conference USA, or Tark's UNLV teams in the Big West and PCAA. Richard Fox talked about this during Saturday's TV broadcast....that GU needs to find ways in many of these games to compete against themselves in order to stay sharp. It will not only help them in the NCAA's, but also better prepare them for the top teams they face within the WCC. I really liked what Tommy Lloyd said after the Pacific win on Saturday night....that it is GU's goal to be a top 20 team in defensive efficiency nationally. These are the kinds of goals you have to focus on when you play a team like Pacific.

MDABE80
01-26-2015, 12:39 PM
We've been playing down or up to the level of competition nearly all this year. Frankly, I was surprised we did so well with the AZ game which we should have won. I know we have talent..and a lot of it.but AZ and those types ( St Johns, SMU, etc) all improved because of their year's experience and likely that comes from their difficult conference schedules. They get better. We
re pretty much holding even.....we might be better, we might be the same..it's just not possible to tell in the WCC. When we enter the tournament, well know. We have 6 weeks till selection Sunday/ SHortly after that, we'll be shown to be fraudulent ( in the media anyway) or the cinderella story will reappear. I do hope it's the latter.

maynard g krebs
01-26-2015, 12:39 PM
I've never seen a team take so much heat for losing to a team in the second round that went on to win the west region and move on to the final four, and then come back the next year and go undefeated until the second round of the NCAA tournament. Such a terrible loss!

Interesting that Duke gets a pass for losing to Lehigh and Mercer.

CDC84
01-26-2015, 12:47 PM
Duke probably gets a pass because of all the final fours they have been to and the national titles they have won.

cjm720
01-26-2015, 12:47 PM
We've been playing down or up to the level of competition nearly all this year. Frankly, I was surprised we did so well with the AZ game which we should have won. I know we have talent..and a lot of it.but AZ and those types ( St Johns, SMU, etc) all improved because of their year's experience and likely that comes from their difficult conference schedules. They get better. We
re pretty much holding even.....we might be better, we might be the same..it's just not possible to tell in the WCC. When we enter the tournament, well know. We have 6 weeks till selection Sunday/ SHortly after that, we'll be shown to be fraudulent ( in the media anyway) or the cinderella story will reappear. I do hope it's the latter.

WCC really does not prepare us well for the big dance...whether it's inferior athletes, horrible refs, our relative domination that perhaps inflates egos...who knows what it is, but I'll continue to say the WCC hurts us...that along with some unfortunate matchups and locations, has really put a damper on post season runs.

The kool-aid's flowing though and I feel that this team has all the weapons to beat nearly anyone and the experience to overcome any adversity. #trendingup #finalfourplease

Zagger
01-26-2015, 12:53 PM
The major difference between this year's team and years past is defense and depth. I believe this team is better positioned than any ever to make a run. If GU keeps tightening the screws on D in conference play, come tourney time we will be ready.

:) and FTs.
Plus, there are 10 more games before the WCC Tournament. As much as I feel the Zags have improved in the last 10 - I'm expecting continued improvement (especially in D and even in passing) as they further mesh as a team. Zag depth will mean more and more as March approaches (I've been in somewhat of a fishbowl when it comes to the Zags in that I do not know if there are any other teams with the depth that we have.) It might be interesting to see a few other Zags start in the next 10 games. I think it would be worthwhile to see how some Zags play against a fresh bunch of starting competitors.

ZagsGoZags
01-26-2015, 12:54 PM
From the article:
"Once again this week, the Associated Press ranked 25 teams. None of them were named Michigan, Michigan State, Syracuse, Florida or UConn. The last time that didn't happen before this season? 1997. Why does that matter? Because sports thrive on big names and college basketball right now is without some of its traditionally biggest. Those five schools count 28 Final Fours among them and at least one has appeared in five of the past six national semifinals. This past weekend, four of the five (all but UConn, big winners over South Florida) lost."

A bit of confusion among the traditional BB powerhouses could work in our favor this year, come Dance time. The author called the WCC a lousy conference. Pomeroy ranked the WCC #7 last week. If dominating the WCC is easy, because it is a mid-major, why aren't there more teams around the country that have dominated their lousy conference as well as we have?

I have said this before, but the GU Basketball world was not calling the NCAA Tournament a crap shoot between 1999-2006. Since 2007 to now we all love to call it a crap shoot. We get to a couple of Final Four's, and we will no longer enjoy calling it a crap shoot. In that case achieving in the Big Dance will be cited as proof of our greatness.

gonzagafan62
01-26-2015, 12:56 PM
Honestly, Final 4's are a gamble, not entitled nor expected of a 1 seed. In some years, zero 1 seeds advance that far and never, ever has four 1 seeds advanced in the same year.
An Elite 8 would do the trick, heck another Sweet 16 would be nice, yet an Elite 8 is where its at -- Final 4 is just gravy. For any school or seed.

Think about what the last Elite 8 did for us...1999.

We have the talent, and the accolades; however, our Coaching style doesn't lend well to DO-OR-DIE type of games/tournaments.

We coach in the post-season as we do in the regular season. Props to Coach for staying patient, consistent, and true to his style, yet sitting your best players with only 3 fouls & 5 mins to go isn't going to get you anywhere. Maybe against LMU, not against UVA.

Most teams that advance to Final 4 are fouling out guys left and right to get there, they push the limit, they go "all in" -- for instance, Ohio St played their 3 best players all 40 mins vs us. Not saying we do that, just pointing out that Coaching style changes in post-season for many teams.

Gotta take RISKS. Coach Few does not. Just not him. That's OK too, its finally refreshing to see we finally foul the shooter when up 3. I'm sure it gets under his skin, yet he's doing it.

Coach is a marathon runner, not a sprinter when it comes to strategy and executing the plan. We always win Game 1 b/c we have a week to prepare. Everything from sets to substitutions to strategies are implemented. We generally have a tough time, no matter the year (even West Kentucky), in 2nd Round.

Much tougher to plan on a whim. Not to mention going ALL IN. Playing a guy for 40 mins, or allowing a guy to FOUL OUT is OK when it comes to NCAA Tourney style.

Nearly every team who advances in NCAA has at least one player foul out, again, its not about a player fouling out, its allowing it to happen i.e. taking risks and playing to win at ANY cost.

Trying new things. Mixing it up. A wild card player emerging. Riding a hot hand instead of subbing or resting them. Playing ANY player with 4 fouls if under 3-4 mins...cough, Ohio St, cough...if a team is raining three's, run a 4-1 zone just BECAUSE, just try it. Change it up. Do anything, even if against the grain...TO WIN!!!

Just going for it.

We don't. We approach and play NCAA Tourney games like its Thursday night in late January. Way too conservative in crunch moments.

Bites us in the arse year after year.

All #1 seeds, went in 2008.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_NCAA_Men%27s_Division_I_Basketball_Tournament

I agree though, we MUST take risks in some facets of our game. We need to not be so conservative. In 2011 or 2012 we didn't play conservative at all, but 2013 comes around, and we play conservative, why? I agree, Few needs to push the envelope just a LITTLE more in these big games, to do anything to win in the tournament. I am not sick of his style, I just want to break through a little more than we do. Go ALL IN.

Like you stated, his philosophy has seemed to change on fouling the shooter up 3, and that is neat to see it working too. Now if he can just change a few things in the tournament, we are all good.

I agree with riding the hot hand. Most times it seems that he does sub them out, and the player looks dumbfounded. Why take them out of the game?

Good post, btw, I agree with a lot of it. Time to take some damn chances. Not a lot, just a couple.

NumberCruncher
01-26-2015, 12:57 PM
I'm sure this article will pull the wool over many people's eyes.

seacatfan
01-26-2015, 02:02 PM
Good thread, I'm enjoying reading everyone's thoughts. Agree the weight of expectations seems to have affected GU in the Tournament some years. The idea of going "all in" and switching things up if necessary, doing anything possible to win games in the Tourney--why WOULDN'T everyone do this? Playing the odds and doing things the way you've always done it isn't always a good approach in a single elimination tournament. I agree getting as far as the Elite 8 would do wonders for GU's national perception. Final 4 would be even better, but winning 3 games is still big. Also agree that Duke is untouchable in the national media, you never hear a single word of criticism or doubt cast their way. Anyone that actually pays attention knows that they have not been nearly as dominant of a program since the early 2000's.

seacatfan
01-26-2015, 02:03 PM
I'm sure this article will pull the wool over many people's eyes.

Are you saying the intent of the article is to fleece us?

rennis
01-26-2015, 03:40 PM
Another point must be made....it is not a guarantee that Gonzaga is going to get a number one seed.

Agreed.




Back in 1999, Gonzaga wasn't that much better in terms of their talent than the rest of the teams in the WCC. They had to win the tournament to even get in the dance. The league prepared them better in the sense that they were in more competitive basketball games throughout January and February. And once they got in the dance, nobody knew who they were, and there were no expectations. They had nothing to lose. The same with the next two teams that went to the sweet 16.

Disagree. In 1999 Gonzaga beat the WCC by an average of almost 17ppg, including the tourney. And they flat out DESTROYED Santa Clara (in their house) in the tournament championship game to advance to the NCAAs. And they absolutely DID have a chance for an at-large bid. They snuck into the top 25 a couple of times that season (they lost to San Diego immediately following their first ever ranking!) and were getting a lot of press in the mid-major discussions. Andy Katz was already talking about them that year. I won't say he predicted what happened, but we were his Cinderella pick that year, long before the NCAA tournament started.

I've drawn parallels in other threads with this squad and that squad already - this team is the first team that reminds me of the 1999 squad. Not because they play the same brand of basketball, but because they are capable of beating an average/good team by 20 or 30 points on any given night. Most of the teams since 1999 were not on that level.

If we want to compare this team to 1999, the 1998 "snub" by the selection committee and the losses to Wichita State and Arizona the last two years could not be more different, but could have the same effect on the teams.

Ezag
01-26-2015, 03:45 PM
we're lamb until we do something in the post season....no matter how good our reg season is, we are judged by what we do at the big dance

basketballzag
01-26-2015, 03:57 PM
Can't disagree with ESPN. Zags haven't gotten past the Few 32 in quite a while, no matter what seed.

Wrong BobZag--at least one Zag won a National Championship so you can't say all Zags. And I think Wiltjer will provide that leadership to get us thru to the Final Four.

Reborn
01-26-2015, 05:08 PM
The 2013 team had an injured Gary Bell with a broken foot. Had he not had the injury, my prediction is that GU would have beaten Wichita St and advanced to the Final Four. It hurt us not only on defense but on offense. Gary Bell is always a threat on offense. And he is getting his shot back once again.

The team with Pargo, Heytvelt, Matt Bouldin, Gray, ect had to play eventual champion North Carolina in the Sweet 16. That was a very good team, and IMO would have advanced to at least ther Elite 8. They did not lose because they were lambs. If my memory is correct UNC beat every team they played by more points then they beat the Zags by. In this case, as in others, the match-up was unfortunate.

Then we come to Adam Morrison't last year in college basketball. That was a dang good team, and if it had not been for bad luck the Zags, most likely would have made it to the Final Four that year. That was a pretty tough team, imo. So bad luck does happen sometimes. If the ref had called a foul on UCLA when they stripped the in-bounds pass from Bautista, IMO Zags would have won that game. Bad call imo cost us that game. The game was played in a very biased environment that clearly favored UCLA. So where the game is played does matter. I believe the year Gonzaga lost to Davidson, they possibly had a better team the Davidson. However, like the UCLA loss, this loss to Davidson was played in their back yard and the crowd clearly favored Davidson.

The other teams, imo were not good enough to advance past the Round of 32. I believe many people, including sports writers and announcers, don't realize how good a team has to be to reach the Sweet 16. You have to be damn good, and Gonzaga,nor most teams in the Big 6 conferences, will make it that far either (to the round of 16). A good question is, do those pundits realize how good a team must be to reach the round of 32? Do you fans here on this Board realize that. You have to have a really good team to make it to the Round of 32. And look how many times Gonzaga has done THAT. It has been alluded to here. The have been years that I kind of doubted that we'd win our first game, the time we played St. John's (who had a really good team), the time we beat Florida St. Most people believe Gonzaga was not tough enough to beat that Florida St team who were VERY TOUGH. There was at least one more year that the Zags were predicted to lose in the first round.

In analyzing the Zags, I just believe too many people really don't know how tough it is to advance in the NCAA tournament. To be ranked in the top 32 year after year after year, without a slip, is truly amazing, imo. And in some of those years that the Zags reached the Round of 32 they were ranked in the top 20 or 25 at the end of the season in the final poll.

Also if you take a look at upsets of teams in those 6 major conferences this year, you will see that the teams lost to a team that is not as good as BYU, St. Mary's and even not as good as Pepperdine. I am one who believes that the WCC is not a BAD as some believe. The reason the Zags have not advanced to the Sweet 16 or beyond has nothing to do with the WCC. I've outlined the reason why I believe they lost. And I"ve mentioned how many times they have advanced to at least the Round of 32.

Now about this years team. It is the best Gonzaga team EVER. Period. If we avoid injuries or bad luck, especially when the reffing is against us, and play in a region that is favorable to GU (like Seattle) I believe that this team will advance to the Final 4. I've believed it all year, and nothing that I've seen so far, has made me change my mind. Do I believe that Gonzaga will go undefeated in conference play? Yes. They are good enough to do that, and there is not a team in the conference that is as good as GU. I'm not sure if we'll get a #1 seed, but I would be satisfied with a 2 as long as we were in the West Region and in the Seattle pod in the first two games. I would love to play Arizona again to see who goes to the Final Four.

Gonzaga is tough on D this year. If the pundits or other coaches don't know that, then too bad for them because Gonzaga will really surprise them. Ask St Mary's. St Mary's IS a good team. They are still in the hunt for a NCAA bid, and I hope they get it. My montra is JUST STAY HEALTHY.

Go Zags!!!
One game at a time!

NotoriousZ
01-26-2015, 07:31 PM
... I mean, if Arizona wins the Pac 12 regular season and postseason titles with no more than 3 or 4 losses, the committee is probably going to give them the one in the west based on the head to head matchup in December. Getting a one is not a given...


In that scenario, if the one seed came down to the head to head between Arizona and us I'd think it would more likely be ours because we took them to overtime on their home court and barely lost. I'd also think that most of the committee would have seen tape of that game, and it would show that we were better IMO. But if we win out, we should do very well with a one or two seed out west.

Go Zags!

Zags11
01-26-2015, 07:53 PM
It depends on the year imo. Our team vs nc had no shot just like any other team but this team has no excuses. Just like our only 1 seed, and im sorry the team choked at the end. Was wsu a very good basketball team? Absolutely. We were so rigid in both games and the collapse was noticeable when it started. This team needs to make sw16 and have the makeup for deep run.

BTB
01-26-2015, 08:06 PM
Interesting point about the WCC's strength - we currently have 4 teams in KenPoms top 100. Pepperdine has sneaked up to 96. BYU is ahead of SMC 39 vs. 53. Not sure if we've ever had 4 top 100 teams before. Pepperdine is also 114 in BPI and could easily soon be top 100. They're much lower in RPI though, somewhere near 160.

The Zags may not be challenged as much as other teams, but this is the overall toughest WCC we've ever played in.

gonzagafan62
01-26-2015, 08:10 PM
Interesting point about the WCC's strength - we currently have 4 teams in KenPoms top 100. Pepperdine has sneaked up to 96. BYU is ahead of SMC 39 vs. 53. Not sure if we've ever had 4 top 100 teams before. Pepperdine is also 114 in BPI and could easily soon be top 100. They're much lower in RPI though, somewhere near 160.

The Zags may not be challenged as much as other teams, but this is the overall toughest WCC we've ever played in.

I think in 2013 we had Santa Clara in the top 100. I think

gonzagafan62
01-26-2015, 08:13 PM
In that scenario, if the one seed came down to the head to head between Arizona and us I'd think it would more likely be ours because we took them to overtime on their home court and barely lost. I'd also think that most of the committee would have seen tape of that game, and it would show that we were better IMO. But if we win out, we should do very well with a one or two seed out west.

Go Zags!

Someone gets it!!!!! Arizona should not get the head to head tiebreaker Bc it wa in OT and it was on their court. So what if they won? If we won it's different, but on their court and they go to OT why should it be theirs

cdools
01-26-2015, 08:39 PM
http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/page/fourcorners150126/better-tested-coast-conference-season

Gonzaga
Lamb. Most troubling game, per KenPom: at Saint Mary's, 78 percent. The Zags are an interesting conundrum. They're likely headed to yet another No. 1 seed, a gaudy record and a host of doubters. Why? Because two years ago, they were a No. 1 seed with a gaudy record and lost in the second round. Lamb or lion, Gonzaga will carry an awful lot of pressure with it into the tourney.

Sorry but what does what happened two years ago or ten years ago have to do with this year? Rankings and Lamb or Lion is all just media conjecture. If anything the loss and the memory of two years ago will help the Zags who are still here, and two of the guys who are still here are among the best back courts in America. The main thing that we all love about the NCAA tourney is that it IS a crap shoot and on a given day anyone can win, and often with crazy shots and buzzer-beaters. The Zags are a veteran team that is VERY deep with scoring weapons all over the floor. Chances are good that they will get a high seed, so let's enjoy the ride and see where it takes us.

montanazag88
01-27-2015, 04:05 AM
Apart from the article's opinion, where are we weak? What area do we need to improve ot justify a deep run prediction. It's folly for this team to be labelled soft because we went south 2 years ago. If it's the WCC, perhaps i cna understand.............if that's it, big deal. True but nothing we can change.

To agree with the article means there is not much we can do, which is not all that accurate. Perimter defense is good, but not suffocating enough to decide a game in the last 5 minutes against more athletic and skilled teams in the tourney. Arizona game this year was a foreshadowing of what we will see in this year's tourney as in many past years - losing a lead to a hot hand and a passive approach to "protecting" a lead w 5-8 minutes left on defense and offense. Those are things that are in our control. With this depth, I'd like to see us trap in the half court like Syracuse with a goal of extending a lead at the end of a game....not protecting it until the 2 minute mark. All of this is armchair, but most posts after tourney losses come with frustration over our inability to 1. Stop the hot hand, 2. Play aggressive defense and 3. Break through tighter defenses when we have the lead. Our conference by virtue of the lack of number of higher caliber athletes on each team makes it very difficult for any WCC coach to prepare for winning these tpes of games. However, it seems to be a good goal for any superior team in our conference to attempt to blow out the 2, 3, 4 and 5 seeds....the half court zone trap or other high pressure trapping defensive scheme seems to be something we could change to address our tourney woes. again, just an observation.

TheGonzagaFactor
01-27-2015, 08:23 AM
True, but like Wichita State, one game could have ignited confidence in Harris, and the rest of the team. The thing you need to do (for all really good teams) is get past the first weekend. If they did that, its very speculative, but it could have ignited the fire. Its all relative to one's opinion, but I really think we had a chance to compete with Ohio State (I really think La Salle's time came at the S16, and it showed with their play against WSU.) They were just happy to be there then.

We would've won that region if not for WSU going off. We were the only team that gave them a game en route to the F4. They killed Pitt, La Salle, and OSU.

TheGonzagaFactor
01-27-2015, 08:25 AM
Interesting point about the WCC's strength - we currently have 4 teams in KenPoms top 100. Pepperdine has sneaked up to 96. BYU is ahead of SMC 39 vs. 53. Not sure if we've ever had 4 top 100 teams before. Pepperdine is also 114 in BPI and could easily soon be top 100. They're much lower in RPI though, somewhere near 160.

The Zags may not be challenged as much as other teams, but this is the overall toughest WCC we've ever played in.

Pepperdine and BYU sure to nose dive, though. Each 5-4 in WCC with a few more losses coming.

75Zag
01-27-2015, 10:00 AM
If I was NCAA Committee I would be reluctant to give GU another #1 seed given what they did with the last one. But if GU wins out from here, it may be difficult for the Committee to explain why they are "discriminating" against a non-Power Conference school in seeding, so maybe GU gets another #1. This needs to be the year that GU proves that it does NOT have a soft lamb-like underbelly that can be ripped out by the traditional powerhouse schools once the Tournament begins. Go deep and shut up the critics, or get tossed at the 32 again and prove that the critics are right.

Go Bulldogs!

hooter73
01-27-2015, 10:10 AM
If I was NCAA Committee I would be reluctant to give GU another #1 seed given what they did with the last one. But if GU wins out from here, it may be difficult for the Committee to explain why they are "discriminating" against a non-Power Conference school in seeding, so maybe GU gets another #1. This needs to be the year that GU proves that it does NOT have a soft lamb-like underbelly that can be ripped out by the traditional powerhouse schools once the Tournament begins. Go deep and shut up the critics, or get tossed at the 32 again and prove that the critics are right.

DING DING DING

Angelo Roncalli
01-27-2015, 10:33 AM
If I was NCAA Committee I would be reluctant to give GU another #1 seed given what they did with the last one. Go Bulldogs!

Using this logic, UConn should be given a number 1 seed because of how well they performed last year.

seacatfan
01-27-2015, 10:40 AM
The committee allegedly takes an unbiased look at the resumes of all teams to determine seeding. I quite frankly find that impossible to believe. It's not a blind process, they see the names of the teams they are evaluating, even if subconsciously they have to be influenced at least a little bit by the name, tradition, conference affiliation, etc. of some of the teams.

They also OBVIOUSLY tinker with the seeding to set up intriguing match ups, if not in the 1st round then in subsequent rounds. They can deny it all they want, doesn't make it true.

DixieZag
01-27-2015, 10:49 AM
They also OBVIOUSLY tinker with the seeding to set up intriguing match ups, if not in the 1st round then in subsequent rounds. They can deny it all they want, doesn't make it true.

Sooo true.

Watch, we'll draw Wichita State "somehow." Or the University of Washington, or Long Beach State, and one can be darn sure we will draw Arizona (hopefully) b/c of the classic, the beat down, and the OT. The last one is a dream b/c it would likely mean we are one/two in the west and in that situation, I really don't care who the one and who the two is.

BULLDOG#1
01-27-2015, 10:51 AM
If I was NCAA Committee I would be reluctant to give GU another #1 seed given what they did with the last one. But if GU wins out from here, it may be difficult for the Committee to explain why they are "discriminating" against a non-Power Conference school in seeding, so maybe GU gets another #1. This needs to be the year that GU proves that it does NOT have a soft lamb-like underbelly that can be ripped out by the traditional powerhouse schools once the Tournament begins. Go deep and shut up the critics, or get tossed at the 32 again and prove that the critics are right.

Go Bulldogs!

By this rational, then there's no way Duke should get a #1 because they flamed out to Mercer ... and Lehigh before that...

And Virginia? They were a #1 last year, and didn't make it out of the sweet 16 and the year prior they didn't even make the dance, so they probably shouldn't be a #1 either...

If the zags win out, they should get the #1, Lion or Lamb. Prior year performance shouldn't factor in.

CDC84
01-27-2015, 11:01 AM
FWIW - The WCC is 9th in the RPI right now. The Mountain West Conference is at 12. The Missouri Valley 10. There are 24 other leagues worse than the WCC in the RPI right now.

75Zag
01-27-2015, 11:26 AM
Not wanting my prior post to be misinterpreted. If I was hiring the NCAA Committee and paying them performance bonuses, I would expect that their #1 seeding would exactly correspond with the Final Four. I would not want them to engage in some sort of media-driven popularity contest, I would want them to predict with 100% precision who would play in the Final Four by naming the four #1 seeds. Using that mandate, I wonder whether the Committee would give GU a #1 seed. With all due respect to GU's success OOC and in the WCC, I think I would not. But that is just me.

Go Bulldogs!

hooter73
01-27-2015, 11:34 AM
everyone calling for logically arguments either dont get it or are trying to justify a #1. Watch the Zags, then watch any of the other top ten teams. There is a difference, not in stats, but in that unidentifiable something that says we do not stack up.

23dpg
01-27-2015, 11:38 AM
everyone calling for logically arguments either dont get it or are trying to justify a #1. Watch the Zags, then watch any of the other top ten teams. There is a difference, not in stats, but in that unidentifiable something that says we do not stack up.

Respectfully disagree, strongly.
After Kentucky, I feel that Gonzaga is in a group of about 10 teams that could win it all.

PS. I watch a lot of college basketball.

gonzagafan62
01-27-2015, 12:03 PM
Respectfully disagree, strongly.
After Kentucky, I feel that Gonzaga is in a group of about 10 teams that could win it all.

PS. I watch a lot of college basketball.

exacltly.

cjm720
01-27-2015, 12:07 PM
everyone calling for logically arguments either dont get it or are trying to justify a #1. Watch the Zags, then watch any of the other top ten teams. There is a difference, not in stats, but in that unidentifiable something that says we do not stack up.

Does Arizona "stack up?"

hooter73
01-27-2015, 12:09 PM
Does Arizona "stack up?"

They did when they beat us, lol ;)

Yep, maybe Im out of the loop or just so jaded by our history, but I dont think Im the only one and apparently, the ESPN annalists are in the same camp.

cjm720
01-27-2015, 12:14 PM
If I was NCAA Committee I would be reluctant to give GU another #1 seed given what they did with the last one. But if GU wins out from here, it may be difficult for the Committee to explain why they are "discriminating" against a non-Power Conference school in seeding, so maybe GU gets another #1. This needs to be the year that GU proves that it does NOT have a soft lamb-like underbelly that can be ripped out by the traditional powerhouse schools once the Tournament begins. Go deep and shut up the critics, or get tossed at the 32 again and prove that the critics are right.

Go Bulldogs!

You mean the critics that get nearly every single prediction wrong? :) I see your point and I'm sure those thoughts will creep into the committee's mind, but this is an entirely different season, different team, different landscape in college hoops. Almost pulling out the victory in Arizona tells me everything I need to know about this team...

maynard g krebs
01-27-2015, 12:46 PM
Not wanting my prior post to be misinterpreted. If I was hiring the NCAA Committee and paying them performance bonuses, I would expect that their #1 seeding would exactly correspond with the Final Four. I would not want them to engage in some sort of media-driven popularity contest, I would want them to predict with 100% precision who would play in the Final Four by naming the four #1 seeds. Using that mandate, I wonder whether the Committee would give GU a #1 seed. With all due respect to GU's success OOC and in the WCC, I think I would not. But that is just me.

Go Bulldogs!

I read here the other day that all four 1 seeds have made the final four exactly one time. Extending your "logic", as the person hiring the committee, when your committee failed to pick the final four with 100% accuracy (as they almost inevitably would), wouldn't that mean that you had failed in your mandate to hire the right people to pick the final four?

The committee's job is to seed the teams according to who they have beaten and who they have lost to, period, not to be Nostradamus and predict likely future outcomes.

gonzagafan62
01-27-2015, 01:07 PM
I read here the other day that all four 1 seeds have made the final four exactly one time. Extending your "logic", as the person hiring the committee, when your committee failed to pick the final four with 100% accuracy (as they almost inevitably would), wouldn't that mean that you had failed in your mandate to hire the right people to pick the final four?

The committee's job is to seed the teams according to who they have beaten and who they have lost to, period, not to be Nostradamus and predict likely future outcomes.

Yup its true, last time I used a Wikipedia article, (oops!) to show the validity of the statement. Here is a better article:

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/ncaatourney08/columns/story?id=3321336

After Kansas vs Davidson Game:


Make the 3-pointer to beat Kansas while Russell Robinson, Brandon Rush and Sherron Collins all took a turn for less than a second each defending him, and the Wildcats would become the first No. 10 seed in the Final Four -- a first appearance for the new chic school in suburban Charlotte as well as for the Southern Conference.


Miss, and the top-seeded Jayhawks advance and make this year's Final Four the first all-No.-1-seed event.


He missed. And, for the first time, you can say without reservation that the NCAA tournament selection committee had it all right at the top.

75Zag
01-27-2015, 03:12 PM
I strongly disagree that the Committee should be doing anything other than trying to pick four #1 seeds based upon teams they predict will make it to the Final Four. The fact that they have rarely been successful does not change their mission.
I would be OK if the Google folks took over NCAA seeding and used their computer skills instead of the potentially biased humans involved. A #1 seed should not be some sort of "Miss Congeniality" prize, nor should it be recognition of the media's latest favorite "little engine that could".

Go Bulldogs!

seacatfan
01-27-2015, 03:43 PM
I believe the committee's job is to pick the top four seeds based on their strength of schedule and results during the entirety of the season. One would expect this would identify 4 quality teams, but it's not really the same thing as picking the 4 teams expected to advance to the Final 4. If a team started slow, had a number of bad losses but picked up momentum and started killing everybody down the stretch, they might be a team everybody picks in their brackets for a Final 4, but their resume wouldn't warrant a #1 seed. Conversely a team could have some big OOC wins early, play in a tough conference and avoid having very many losses, but kind go flat down the stretch, and while their resume looks good, they have the look of a team that is going to go down early in the Tourney.

And then there is last year. Nothing prior to the Tourney gave anyone any reasonable expectation that UConn and Kentucky would be the 2 teams in the Championship game. Yet there they were. There's no way the committee could've been expected to identify those teams as the last 2 standing. They appropriately gave them mediocre seeds, that's what those 2 teams earned during the season. But once the Tourney started both obviously elevated their level of play. The committee does a better job some years than others with the overall seeding process, but expecting them to pick the 4 teams that will make the Final 4 as the #1 seeds is asking for the nearly impossible.

maynard g krebs
01-27-2015, 04:24 PM
I strongly disagree that the Committee should be doing anything other than trying to pick four #1 seeds based upon teams they predict will make it to the Final Four. The fact that they have rarely been successful does not change their mission.
I would be OK if the Google folks took over NCAA seeding and used their computer skills instead of the potentially biased humans involved. A #1 seed should not be some sort of "Miss Congeniality" prize, nor should it be recognition of the media's latest favorite "little engine that could".

Go Bulldogs!

They stopped using computer ratings in college football because the results were disastrously bad; the computers were so far apart based on the criteria used that they were just averaging a bunch of "garbage in, garbage out" so they wisely went to using a committee. Results still were arguably imperfect (TCU) but still better than before, and the 4 seed proved their worth.

I doubt anybody at Google knows much about basketball. I suppose you could use Kenpom to seed; that's universally recognized as the most accurate computer data available on basketball. I don't think Kenpom has a "Miss Congeniality" component in its data. As of now, Kenpom's #1 seeds are, in order:

Kentucky
Virginia
Gonzaga
Arizona

I suppose you could say any of Duke, Wisconsin, Villanova, Utah are more deserving than the lower 2 of the above, but doing so would involve subjective bias based on things like past years' performance, conference affiliation, sos, quality wins etc. So it seems to me that you are logically contradicting yourself. By definition, projecting expected future performance is more subjective and subject to bias than simply seeding based on season-long data.

And btw, I'm not arguing for a 1 seed for the Zags. As much as I hate Duke, at this point I'd say their quality wins give them a better resume than the Zags. I'm just saying if you seed on future expectations rather than season performance, you are introducing the exact bias you claim you are trying to avoid.

JPtheBeasta
01-27-2015, 09:06 PM
Respectfully disagree, strongly.
After Kentucky, I feel that Gonzaga is in a group of about 10 teams that could win it all.

PS. I watch a lot of college basketball.

+1

Every team has flaws. Even Kentucky, who is great on defense, has been challenged to find offense at times (and the same could be said of Virginia).

Hoopaholic
01-28-2015, 05:12 AM
They stopped using computer ratings in college football because the results were disastrously bad; the computers were so far apart based on the criteria used that they were just averaging a bunch of "garbage in, garbage out" so they wisely went to using a committee. Results still were arguably imperfect (TCU) but still better than before, and the 4 seed proved their worth.

I doubt anybody at Google knows much about basketball. I suppose you could use Kenpom to seed; that's universally recognized as the most accurate computer data available on basketball. I don't think Kenpom has a "Miss Congeniality" component in its data. As of now, Kenpom's #1 seeds are, in order:

Kentucky
Virginia
Gonzaga
Arizona

I suppose you could say any of Duke, Wisconsin, Villanova, Utah are more deserving than the lower 2 of the above, but doing so would involve subjective bias based on things like past years' performance, conference affiliation, sos, quality wins etc. So it seems to me that you are logically contradicting yourself. By definition, projecting expected future performance is more subjective and subject to bias than simply seeding based on season-long data.

And btw, I'm not arguing for a 1 seed for the Zags. As much as I hate Duke, at this point I'd say their quality wins give them a better resume than the Zags. I'm just saying if you seed on future expectations rather than season performance, you are introducing the exact bias you claim you are trying to avoid.

garabge in garbage out by a computer is dependant upon the humans entering the garbage in

committee discussing and determining is based upon humans entering their opinions into the discussion which also can be garbage in garbage out

BUT

I LOVE and prefer the human touch and the committee I would give anything (well almost anything) to be a fly on wall of a committee selection meeting.....that would be the top of my bucket list