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View Full Version : just my take why we lost



mihalevich
03-29-2015, 06:53 PM
1) I have not said this in past but i really think WCC puts us at a disadvantage against top teams in tourney. There is the obvious reasons
like a team like Duke is much more battle tested...but I also think that Duke dictated how the game was gonna be played regarding fouls
and they were the aggressor...I think we were in reactive mode to Duke and they were aggressors....and thus the aggressors get the calls...
I don't think Zags just sat back and let Duke be the aggressors....But I think Duke has the advantage of brand name and being in more
big conference games that refs respect...right or wrong...I guarantee that if we played this year in a major conference and got tested
on a regular basis that that game would have been played differently and officiated differently...(not blaming refs but lets face the facts)

2) Dome...this sounds like an obvious excuse and the other team played in same dome...but for some reason it seemed to affect us more...
I think Domes for hoops is one of the biggest jokes going in NCAA sports..all because NCAA wants some extra $ as if their TV payout isnt enough.
Pangos and Wiltjer never were comfortable in that setting..why would you be, having to shoot in a giant warehouse with a Black curtain
background...I actually had oppt to go to Houston for regional but passed because games in domes are never well played and its worse being
a spectator...u think its just a coincidence Alford, Wiltjer, and Pangos had trouble making 3's after being on fire in opening weekend?

3) I hate Duke with a passion and all the breaks they get from refs and NCAA....(kind of funny that Duke didnt win conf regular season or tourney,
Notre Dame won conf tourney and was 2-0 against Duke, yet Duke avoided Kentucky with their #1 seed...replace ND's seed with dukes and very probable
Duke loses to Kent yesterday and doesnt get to final 4.) but I give them credit as there perimeter guys seemed to step up and make shots without fear...we
need more of that...

Good year, hope to improve on it next year...

FuManShoes
03-29-2015, 07:47 PM
My three reasons:

1) The Zags shot 2-10 from three, and 5-29 from three at NRG. Bad enough for any team, let alone one that's the top rated three point team in the country and has undersized guards who aren't much of a threat to drive. You can blame the dome, and undoubtedly it played a role, but Duke had few problems.

2) Our steady hand senior point guard who averages 5 asts and 1.3 TO a game had zero assists and three turnovers. Pangos was a nonfactor and rarely can you win with your pg being completely taken out of the game. I'm not sure Few let alone any coach would take the heart and soul leader off the floor, but perhaps there was someone on the bench who could have shaken Cook and gotten to the line. dranginis looked like he was up for it.

3) The Zags average 15pts on 21 free throw attempts a game. Today they got 6 pts on 9 attempts. Some of that was the zebras, maybe a lot of it. Whatever the reason, the Zags didn't do what they usually do.

Bonus) Whatever rebounding advantage we held for 35 minutes of that game went out the door the last 5 minutes. Couldn't get a board. Couldn't buy a bucket.

MDABE80
03-29-2015, 07:51 PM
Didn't defend last 10 minutes and didn't make shots=18 pt turnaround with a loss.

VinnyZag
03-29-2015, 07:59 PM
These are, to me, the clear reasons Gonzaga lost. I said this in the game thread, repeating here:

1) inability to stop dribble penetration by Duke's guards. Duke's guards are really, really good, by the way.

2) too many turnovers. Many of them unforced.

3) three point shooting. Duke made them (see point No. 1 ... Many of M. Jones' 3s we're set up by T. Jones' drives), Gonzaga didn't.

4) Gonzaga's steadfast refusal to go to Wiltjer in the second half. He was being guarded by a guy 4 inches shorter.

5) talent differential. Duke has multiple McDonalds All Americans. Gonzaga does not.

Things I don't believe were factors include officiating and the WCC.

Ekrub
03-29-2015, 08:03 PM
Yet with all of these factors we were a missed bunny from a tie game with 4 to play. Giant momentum swing right there. Regardless of domes, pangos being a non-factor, whatever... We had a chance going down to the last few minutes and just weren't able to capitalize on the opportunity.

Zags11
03-29-2015, 08:18 PM
Wiltjer was 1 for 6 in 2nd half vinny. I thought turnovers killed us. Id gladly take karno over okafor. Our front court trumped theres. Our backcourt got beaten. Our backcourt will be more athletic and fAster next yr but doubt will have 3 point prowess. I hope im wrong. Melson amd Perkins look like could be awesome in 2 yrs. I see a sw16 run nxt yr.

thespywhozaggedme
03-29-2015, 08:21 PM
1 reason and 1 reason only; we lost to a better team. And I'm okay with that.

Zags11
03-29-2015, 08:32 PM
1 reason and 1 reason only; we lost to a better team. And I'm okay with that.

I dont think duke is better. I dont.

roxdoc
03-29-2015, 08:35 PM
Dome Stats:

GU 5 – 29 (17.9%) Season (41%)
Duke 11 – 28 (39.2%) Season (39.2%)
Utah 4 – 16 (25%) Season (40.8%)
UCLA 3 – 13 (23%) Season (36.9%)

Don’t get me wrong. I’m very proud of the Zags and staff and think it was a great season. But I am tempted to trot out our old excuse for previous losses in the dance – the other side just got crazy hot and shot…..their average! (sarcasm alert)

Ekrub
03-29-2015, 08:35 PM
I dont think duke is better. I dont.

Tonight they were. 7 game series would be close.

Zags11
03-29-2015, 08:48 PM
4 to 2 us. Sadly, tonight is all that matters.

Robzagnut
03-29-2015, 09:23 PM
Charles Barkley said it best. He said it depended on if GU's guards could score as much as the Duke guards. They didn't.

Rbo
03-29-2015, 09:31 PM
At about 2:50 left in the first half I said, take out Sabonis and put in Nunez (with 5 fouls to give). About 30 seconds later Sabonis made a critical, dumbass foul that changed the complexion of the game. Give Few and the team credit, they came out at the start of the second half on fire, but we were missing the Sabonis fire that got us back in the game. Without that foul, I think we may have won the game.

Nevada Don
03-29-2015, 09:59 PM
These are, to me, the clear reasons Gonzaga lost. I said this in the game thread, repeating here:

1) inability to stop dribble penetration by Duke's guards. Duke's guards are really, really good, by the way.

2) too many turnovers. Many of them unforced.

3) three point shooting. Duke made them (see point No. 1 ... Many of M. Jones' 3s we're set up by T. Jones' drives), Gonzaga didn't.

4) Gonzaga's steadfast refusal to go to Wiltjer in the second half. He was being guarded by a guy 4 inches shorter.

5) talent differential. Duke has multiple McDonalds All Americans. Gonzaga does not.

Things I don't believe were factors include officiating and the WCC.

I think you are all over it. Great points but I'll echo 1-2 and 3 and your last line. I kind of hate to reply because I as an outsider don't want to diminish such as great season.

mihalevich
03-29-2015, 10:11 PM
disagree on talent differential....no way you can tell me Duke had more talent...If u didnt know they had McDonalds guys before game you probably wouldnt have thought
they had more talent on court...I sure didnt see more talent on duke..probably about even...Kentucky has "Big Macs" at every position yet Motre Dame should have
beat them...Notre Dame had no Mcdonalds guys..McDonalds players means nothing...I would take good 4 yr players over McDonalds guys all the time except the occasional Durrant, anthony davis, etc...
Winslow, jones, okafor are good players but nothing special...The college game has so few studs these days they have to market a guy like Okafor like
the next Kareem...he will be decent nba player, nothing special

MDABE80
03-29-2015, 10:12 PM
Listen, this is nothing magic. We were outscored 13-1 in the lasst 5 minutes. 18 pt turnaround. We didn't play the defense we needed and we sure as sh*t didn't score. So be it.

DixieZag
03-29-2015, 10:37 PM
I think you are all over it. Great points but I'll echo 1-2 and 3 and your last line. I kind of hate to reply because I as an outsider don't want to diminish such as great season.

No one is saying it diminishes a great season. And, I think your outsider opinion is incredibly valuable. You've been told by many, you're always welcome here.

I think we lost due to athletic differences in the guards. Theirs could get into the lane and draw fouls, and get open looks from 3. Neither of ours could. Part of our shooting woes were because of inability to get daylight and get open from 3. When we did, we missed. Kind of amazing we were in it with 4:00 left.

I wonder why Few didn't go zone when we had 2 and 2 on Karno and Sabonis, to protect them some. Might have burned us, but I thought it was worth a try. I, too, asked on the game thread for him to take Sabonis out with 2:00 left in the first half and put Nunez in. Nunez length might have been effective anyway.

I do not think we beat them 4-2, more like them clipping us 4-3. But, we did have the better front court, which is sort of amazing since they have JaO.

It would have been SO interesting to see what would have happened had we tied it at 4:30. Such a huge momentum shift with that. It might have given us the last breath we needed and sucked some of the air out of their chest. Too bad.

john montana
03-29-2015, 11:05 PM
Guard play on both sides. Cook and tyus jones were just too much to handle. They hurt us with penetration and their defense (especially cook) was top notch. PK swallowed up okafor all night and sabonis really denied him the ball. Duke win this game with their guard play on the defensive end.

And Matt jones made shots. Watched him all year, and he could have easily gone 1-7, but he lit it up tonight.

WallaWallaZag
03-30-2015, 12:07 AM
These are, to me, the clear reasons Gonzaga lost. I said this in the game thread, repeating here:
1) inability to stop dribble penetration by Duke's guards. Duke's guards are really, really good, by the way.
2) too many turnovers. Many of them unforced.
3) three point shooting. Duke made them (see point No. 1 ... Many of M. Jones' 3s we're set up by T. Jones' drives), Gonzaga didn't.
4) Gonzaga's steadfast refusal to go to Wiltjer in the second half. He was being guarded by a guy 4 inches shorter.
5) talent differential. Duke has multiple McDonalds All Americans. Gonzaga does not.
Things I don't believe were factors include officiating and the WCC.

agree with 1-2-3 and officiating, but not the rest...including the wcc but maybe not just for the reason everyone thinks. yeah, better competition makes a difference and anyone who thinks otherwise is kidding themselves but it isn't something that can be quantified or be directly responsible for a single loss...on the other hand, the wcc is full of small gyms and it's one thing to go from a high-school gym to key arena and another to go to a football stadium...maybe duke is more comfortable shooting in a dome because they are used to playing in larger arenas? who knows, just another excuse but i believe zags lost this game simply because of the difference in perimeter shooting.

game plan was to see if matt jones could beat the zags with his shooting...he did, and zags couldn't respond on the other end, so credit goes to him for knocking them down (btw, his point totals in their 3 earlier tournament games? 5pts, 3pts, and 3pts).

CarolinaZagFan
03-30-2015, 03:58 AM
We lost because we didn't go "hack-a-okafor" with 5 minutes left. I would've fouled him every trip down the court and watch him airball 3 more FT's until Coach K was forced to take him out.

Birddog
03-30-2015, 04:03 AM
I wrote it elsewhere, but it bears repeating. Cook and Jones each played 40 minutes and made 0 turnovers, Pangos and Bell 5 TO's. Toss in point differential from the guards and you've got the reason Zags lost. Cook and Jones 25 pts, Pangos and Bell 9 pts. Zags bigs were better than Dooks bigs. Barles Charkley got it right.

LongIslandZagFan
03-30-2015, 04:33 AM
Off shooting night. Period. Missed bunny, missed 3s that Kevin never misses.

Is what it is... but from my perspective Duke had little to do with the poor shooting, just an off night... sucked it was in the EE game.

If you want proof that Duke gets all of the calls and non-calls.. go back an rewatch the breakaway dunk by Okafor. He starts the sequence by taking a dribble. He PICKED UP his dribble and replays show this clearly... he then proceeds to all but walk down the lane taking at least 3 1/2 steps... refs... swallowed their whistles. I was watching with non-Zag fans and they were constantly yelling "THAT'S A FOUL" as Duke hacked away at the Zags with no-calls.

Look, in the end, it still came down to missed shots. KW makes that bunny... different game... really think that was the turning point.

zagfan24
03-30-2015, 05:30 AM
Missed shots that usually go in and committed way too many unforced turnovers. That's about it. Duke is a great team, and the margin for error was just too slim to not play their best. I'll say this...it had nothing to do with effort or attitude; the Zags believed they could win and spent every ounce of energy trying to do just that. Sometimes things just don't work out.

The officaiting was abysmal but can't blame that; nor the stadium or the WCC. As a brief aside, Towns > Okafor. By far.

LongIslandZagFan
03-30-2015, 05:41 AM
Missed shots that usually go in and committed way too many unforced turnovers. That's about it. Duke is a great team, and the margin for error was just too slim to not play their best. I'll say this...it had nothing to do with effort or attitude; the Zags believed they could win and spent every ounce of energy trying to do just that. Sometimes things just don't work out.

The officaiting was abysmal but can't blame that; nor the stadium or the WCC. As a brief aside, Towns > Okafor. By far.

Yeah, I wasn't clear on that. Officiating was horrid and a bit one-sided... but they didn't cause the turnovers or the missed shots. It was just not a good shooting night, period.

That being said... I honestly don't get why people are so enamored with Okafor... I just don't. Towns will play for years in the association. Okafor plays horrid D and airballs FTs... If I were an NBA GM... I'd pass on him for Towns in a heartbeat.

JPtheBeasta
03-30-2015, 06:14 AM
Yeah, I wasn't clear on that. Officiating was horrid and a bit one-sided... but they didn't cause the turnovers or the missed shots. It was just not a good shooting night, period.

That being said... I honestly don't get why people are so enamored with Okafor... I just don't. Towns will play for years in the association. Okafor plays horrid D and airballs FTs... If I were an NBA GM... I'd pass on him for Towns in a heartbeat.

Agree with all of that.

So many Zag 3-point attempts were straight on but hit front or back iron; I blame the depth perception/Dome-effect issue. Duke is the outlier for good shooting in a dome, and we have Kenpom to validate that argument. If 2 or 3 of ours go in, there is a lot more pressure on Duke and all of the other analysis goes out the window.

rennis
03-30-2015, 06:22 AM
Look, in the end, it still came down to missed shots. KW makes that bunny... different game... really think that was the turning point.

Totally. We were trending badly but that shot could have changed the course. We tightened up, they smelled blood in the water and took it up even another notch.

All the credit to Duke. They picked us apart. Perfect, perfect game plan. Slowed down the game, put constant, constant pressure on the ball, and jumped the passing lane at every opportunity. I was beyond impressed with their execution, even though their talent was really not on display last night. Their game plan was perfect, and we fell right into their trap down the stretch.

Huge learning opportunity for the coaches, IMO.

TexasZagFan
03-30-2015, 06:38 AM
I doubt that any Duke fan in attendance posts on their boards. Spirited, but respectful, on both sides.

As the clock was winding down, I shouted "great season Zags!!!" A Duke fan turned around and gave me a fist bump. I've never seen Coach K respond to a victory like that.

Zags11
03-30-2015, 07:00 AM
I do dixie believe we win series 4 to 2. Why? Jones doesnt score 16 every game. Karno checks okafor every time. Karno, actually is top 4 defender in post defense all year. I dont believe pangos and bell score 9 combined. We were the better team this year. We fell at wrong time.

zags422
03-30-2015, 07:08 AM
I do dixie believe we win series 4 to 2. Why? Jones doesnt score 16 every game. Karno checks okafor every time. Karno, actually is top 4 defender in post defense all year. I dont believe pangos and bell score 9 combined. We were the better team this year. We fell at wrong time.

Thought our guards played scared and timid the entire game from their dribbling to their aggressiveness to their failure to trust the offense we'd executed all year. Wiltjer got pushed out of the low block all game...not strong enough yet. We failed to make entry passes often and had a lot of standing around at the top of the key.

The one complaint I will always have with Few's offense is that it seems he never ever has a set play to switch up the offense that involves solely looking for a 3 pt shot via double screens and such. With the way Duke overplayed up top, you have to make them pay via screens and runners...one of the worst/untimely games of Pangos career. Bell's shot became so inconsistent as well since the first 15 games of the year. Too bad

I for one honestly think we have a chance to be better next year, but Wiltjer returning (not happening) is probably the pivot in that argument.

Zags11
03-30-2015, 07:15 AM
Yes wiltjer makes a difference whether we are top 10 or top 25. Our back court will be more athletic but idk on deep ball.

Birddog
03-30-2015, 07:16 AM
I for one honestly think we have a chance to be better next year, but Wiltjer returning (not happening) is probably the pivot in that argument.
Just where and why do you think he is going to go?

TexasZagFan
03-30-2015, 07:19 AM
Just where and why do you think he is going to go?

To the weight room for the next 8 months, hopefully. He also needs to develop a step back fadeaway like Dirk, for when he gets pushed out of the box.

Zagceo
03-30-2015, 08:07 AM
To the weight room for the next 8 months, hopefully. He also needs to develop a step back fadeaway like Dirk, for when he gets pushed out of the box.

unstoppable and very doable…..

cjm720
03-30-2015, 08:42 AM
Why we lost = Turnovers and our guards were less aggressive.

#nextyear #gozags #trendingup

seacatfan
03-30-2015, 09:51 AM
I'll say this...it had nothing to do with effort or attitude; the Zags believed they could win and spent every ounce of energy trying to do just that.

This. In the 2 previous meetings in years past with Duke during the regular season I got the impression GU didn't feel like they could win. Didn't see that yesterday. The Zags didn't appear to be intimidated by the Duke mystique. They battled and held their own, just needed more shots to drop and better execution down the stretch.

B Wayne
03-30-2015, 09:56 AM
I don't know how many saw the Duke-Wisconsin game on December 3, but Duke's method and margin of victory against the Wisconsin and Gonzaga was similar. Here is an article for those that did not watch the Duke Wisconsin game. At times I thought i was watching the Wisconsin-Duke game when I saw the Zags play Duke.
http://scores.espn.go.com/ncb/recap?gameId=400587822

This article states Coach Bo "Ryan said his team was bothered in part by Duke's length and athleticism on the wings." Notice how the court looked just a bit smaller or at least congested during the Gonzaga- Duke game. This is the "length and athleticism" that Coach Bo Ryan talked about and is the reason Duke's victory over Wisconsin looked strikingly similar to their victory over the Zags.

Oh, something else to feel less bad about. When Duke played Wisconsin, those freshmen had only about 4 college games under their belt. When they played us they had been battle tested with over 30 games including the ACC conference and tournament schedule. Also, Duke has two 18 year olds who will be top 10 picks in the NBA and no Zags may be going to the NBA this year.

Another bright spot about this loss, at least we won't hear the incessant "they were lucky" stuff such as we heard after the Wichita State loss.

Thank you Zags for giving us a heck of a year!

Reborn
03-30-2015, 10:01 AM
At about 2:50 left in the first half I said, take out Sabonis and put in Nunez (with 5 fouls to give). About 30 seconds later Sabonis made a critical, dumbass foul that changed the complexion of the game. Give Few and the team credit, they came out at the start of the second half on fire, but we were missing the Sabonis fire that got us back in the game. Without that foul, I think we may have won the game.

A huge mistake by Mark Few, in hindsight. And Few will almost always take a guy out when he get two fouls. And with only a little over a minute left to play in the half, I was shocked he didn't take Saboins out. However, I would not list that as a reason why we lost. Listening to the panel of excellent basketball players (Barkley, Kenny Smith ect) I leaned that they thought that the difference was when Coach K made a big change in strategy when he SLOWED THE GAME DOWN. His team was not playing as well as he wanted them to play with a fast pace, which Gonzaga likes to play. Maybe that is the big difference.

bballbeachbum
03-30-2015, 10:38 AM
besides what has already been said above, to me it was Duke's ability to execute their game plan mercilessly (especially in the second half), which offensively appeared to be to attack specific matchups seemingly every time down the floor. it didn't look like Duke went to certain players on their team so much as they went after certain matchups with whoever had them at the time and relentlessly attacked them, especially as the game wore on and off the bounce from the perimeter. Zags would switch things up and Duke would counter and attack the matchups they wanted anyway. Jones was the key at that I thought; bottle up his dribble penetration and he drives and kicks to the weak side and they hit those open shots. that's what it looked like to me.

on the other end of the floor, not sure it was just an off night shooting although playing in that tent is a joke. But I have to give credit to Duke for playing great perimeter pressure D and speeding things up and knocking guys off their spots just enough to throw off the tempo. they mixed things up just enough to keep you thinking (is the double coming?) and that little half press they used seemed to do more than just turn the Zags over a few times, it also slowed the Zag O tempo, and then they really get up and challenge you to drive by them. their aggressiveness set a tone, how hard they played (Zags played hard too), and their physicality is allowed as the Zags experienced.

But, the heart the Zags showed to come back more than once, to take the body blows and the Duke runs and respond and compete, to accept the challenge and fight back and blast out like they did the second half...that was awesome. This Zag team was awesome. They Zags played them tough, battled it out. But in in the end with everything said, Duke was in the position to execute their O down the stretch, the Zags were not. Tip of the cap and shake of the hand

raise the zag
03-30-2015, 11:52 AM
We didn't hit shots when we needed them most.

simple.

We hit our average from 3 & make two more "gimmies", we win.

rennis
03-30-2015, 12:05 PM
We didn't hit shots when we needed them most.

simple.

We hit our average from 3 & make two more "gimmies", we win.

You must first take a 3 to make a 3. We didn't take many. partially our game plan, and partially Duke's defense - they were ALL over the shooters. The game was defensively perfect for Duke, IMO.

ZagLawGrad
03-30-2015, 12:12 PM
We didn't hit shots when we needed them most.

simple.

We hit our average from 3 & make two more "gimmies", we win.

The 4 to 5 shot selections after the Zags were up by 4 in the second half was disastrous. That was very troubling as the momentum had shifted to the Zags, and they tossed it right back by the poor shot selection.

And the Zags got schooled on how an opponent can make short bank shots on drives to the hoop.

FuManShoes
03-30-2015, 12:18 PM
And the Zags got schooled on how an opponent can make short bank shots on drives to the hoop.

Which sucked because that is Wesley, Wiltjer and even Pangos' forte. And yet they all took floaters off those concrete rims. Go to the bank!

gonzagafan62
03-30-2015, 12:41 PM
Okafor is not good. Remember when Karnowski said Okafor was kind of like Brad Waldow of the WCC? Isn't Okafor supposed to be the 2nd best player in the country?

Okafor got 9 points and 8 rebounds. At least Brad waldow got double figures on both sides when it was all said and done. (and then some)

Lastly, Duke was the better overall team last night. Matt Jones came out of nowhere and saved the Dukies. I think a 7 game series would be very close for these two teams. Real cose. But yesterday is all that matters, and in the end, I still think Duke would edge out GU 4-3.

Zagceo
03-30-2015, 01:02 PM
I doubt that any Duke fan in attendance posts on their boards. Spirited, but respectful, on both sides.

As the clock was winding down, I shouted "great season Zags!!!" A Duke fan turned around and gave me a fist bump. I've never seen Coach K respond to a victory like that.

This was unusual. I've been thinking why what made this 12th victory in an elite 8 game so special to cause that reaction?

Don't think we'll ever know for sure but it was spontaneous and genuine IMO.

cjm720
03-30-2015, 02:01 PM
This was unusual. I've been thinking why what made this 12th victory in an elite 8 game so special to cause that reaction?

Don't think we'll ever know for sure but it was spontaneous and genuine IMO.

Didn't he break Wooden's record for most Final Fours? He wanted to do a handstand that's for sure...

seacatfan
03-30-2015, 03:40 PM
Didn't he break Wooden's record for most Final Fours? He wanted to do a handstand that's for sure...

Tied Wooden's record for Final 4's.

former1dog
03-30-2015, 05:59 PM
At the end of the day, Gonzaga didn't play very well. Certainly not like the team we watched most of the season. Unforced turnovers and missed shots, man.

BobZag
03-30-2015, 06:50 PM
I like Coach K, always have. I don't quite understand why he acted more elated about beating our little Zaggies than he did when he beat Carolina or Virginia or anyone else this season. Zags aren't THAT big of a target.

Coach K eliminates our PGs. He did the same with Raivio. The rest of the team has no one at the helm and loses its way w/o the PG.

Zagceo
03-30-2015, 07:56 PM
I like Coach K, always have. I don't quite understand why he acted more elated about beating our little Zaggies than he did when he beat Carolina or Virginia or anyone else this season. Zags aren't THAT big of a target.

Coach K eliminates our PGs. He did the same with Raivio. The rest of the team has no one at the helm and loses its way w/o the PG.

I to like coach K and have been thinking about the unusual reaction of him at the end of our game.

Another strange story if true was in the handshake line Coach K told Pangos he[K] wished Pangos could have experienced a Final Four. If true thats hardly the time and place IMHO to have that conversation.

Maybe he's getting sentimental or maybe its something else.