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CDC84
11-30-2015, 01:37 PM
http://www.si.com/college-basketball/2015/11/30/hoop-thoughts-battle-4-atlantis-syracuse-texas-am-Gonzaga


Gonzaga

Third place (Def. Washington, 80–64; Lost to Texas A&M, 62–61; Def. UConn, 73–70)

The good: We already knew had the Zags had a terrific frontcourt, maybe the best in the country, but the guards were a big question. Mark Few used a rotation of four guards, varying their minutes and roles according to how each game was flowing. Individually, he does not have any superstars, but he learned that the group ain’t bad.

Each of the four came away with a better understanding of what he needs to improve upon. Redshirt freshman Josh Perkins, the team’s starting point guard, was terrific against Texas A&M (15 points, five rebounds, four assists), but he only scored five points in 17 minutes against UConn because of foul trouble. Eric McClellan, a 6’4” senior, only played 15 minutes against the Aggies, but instead of pouting he showed up ready to compete against UConn, scoring 15 points in 29 minutes.

Elsewhere, it was impressive to watch senior forward Kyle Wiltjer average 19.7 points on 50% shooting. It was equally impressive to watch the Zags rebound from the disappointment of their semifinal loss to dispatch a plucky UConn team in the third-place game. With a minute gone in the second half, the Bulldogs led by 21 points before hanging on for dear life down the stretch. “Showing up on Day 3, that’s a hard thing to do down here for everybody,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “We were coming off a disappointing loss where we felt like we were in position to win. That really tests who you are and what you’re all about, and we showed some fight. That’s probably the best thing we learned.”

The bad: Wiltjer was terrific for most of the game against Texas A&M (18 points, seven rebounds, 4-for-8 from three), but on the game’s decisive possession, Few ran a play for Wiltjer but he elected to pass. The result was a forced shot by Perkins (actually, Melson = CDC) and a one-point Aggies victory. Few dismissed the idea that Wiltjer was “too nice” to be a superstar, but I can’t help but wonder whether Wiltjer has enough of a killer instinct. If he doesn’t have it, he better acquire it between now and March.



The same problem is hampering 6’5” senior Kyle Dranginis, the team’s starting two guard. Few lamented after the win over UConn that the coaching staff and the players have more confidence than Dranginis has in himself. He had 12 assists to just five turnovers, so he’s capable of running the offense, but he averaged just 6.3 per game. That’s not gonna cut it.


I didn’t like that Gonzaga blew a 21-point lead to UConn, and neither did Few. “I’m disappointed in the way we finished that game,” he said. “We’ve got to have guys step up and make shots at the end of these games, and we can’t be afraid to defend because we’re worried about fouling. We were fantastic on the defensive end, but then we just got really out of sorts and tentative.”

Otherwise, I noted two other areas of concern. The first is that this team is not very adept at stopping dribble penetration, which is why UConn was able to outscore the Zags in the paint, 48–34. Moreover, it is clear that the three best players on this team are Wiltjer, 7’1” senior center Przemek Karnowski and 6’11” sophomore center Domantas Sabonis, but Few rarely plays those three together because they get in each other’s way. How often do you see a situation where only two of the team’s best three players can be on the court at the same time?

cggonzaga
11-30-2015, 01:53 PM
Pretty good assessment.


The first is that this team is not very adept at stopping dribble penetration, which is why UConn was able to outscore the Zags in the paint, 48–34.

Don't agree with this at all. Maybe the last 5 minutes of the UConn game but otherwise our perimeter defense was very good all tournament.

jazzdelmar
11-30-2015, 02:29 PM
For Seth, a surprisingly spot on analysis.

CdAZagFan
11-30-2015, 04:59 PM
I'd have to watch that A&M game again, but thought Wiltjer was open for a brief moment in the corner but Melson turned away from him (Seth said Wiltjer "elected to pass")? I was hoping Wiltjer would get the ball - I think he would have hunted his shot...

Hoopaholic
11-30-2015, 05:08 PM
I'd have to watch that A&M game again, but thought Wiltjer was open for a brief moment in the corner but Melson turned away from him (Seth said Wiltjer "elected to pass")? I was hoping Wiltjer would get the ball - I think he would have hunted his shot...

he got the ball on wing and tried back down two or three dribbles then passed it back out to the top

thespywhozaggedme
11-30-2015, 05:44 PM
Any assessment of the A&M game that doesn't mention missed ft's is an incomplete one. Make two more ft's and we win that game. Occums Razor

rawkmandale
11-30-2015, 06:04 PM
Any assessment of the A&M game that doesn't mention missed ft's is an incomplete one. Make two more ft's and we win that game. Occums Razor

That's a great point

CdAZagFan
11-30-2015, 07:28 PM
he got the ball on wing and tried back down two or three dribbles then passed it back out to the top

Just went back and rewatched those last few possessions... Wiltjer didn't touch it on the last possession that resulted in Melson's errant shot (went from KD to Perkins to Melson). He did touch it the possession before that and passed off to Perkins who turned it over.

Hoopaholic
11-30-2015, 07:35 PM
Just went back and rewatched those last few possessions... Wiltjer didn't touch it on the last possession that resulted in Melson's errant shot (went from KD to Perkins to Melson). He did touch it the possession before that and passed off to Perkins who turned it over.

ok...had the last two backwards.....

MDABE80
11-30-2015, 08:10 PM
Forgetting to mention Dranginis' rebounding is a sin. 6.3 ppg is fine if he rebounds like he did and put up so many assist. It did look to me that Kyle turned the ball over more than 5 times.
No mention of DOmas and foul trouble. I f Few keeps DOmas out of stupid fould, he'll and WE will be fine. I do think those 3 main guards ( KD, DMAC and Perks) will develop nicely as we move through the season.

GeorgiaZagFan
11-30-2015, 09:52 PM
Any assessment of the A&M game that doesn't mention missed ft's is an incomplete one. Make two more ft's and we win that game. Occums Razor

...We went 4 for 11 ....and how many of those were the front end of a 1 and 1? We cold have easily had 5 or 6 more points from the line

ZagaZags
11-30-2015, 10:15 PM
...We went 4 for 11 ....and how many of those were the front end of a 1 and 1? We cold have easily had 5 or 6 more points from the line

THIS! http://sr.photos3.fotosearch.com/bthumb/TBZ/TBZ186/arrow01u005.jpg

Reborn
12-01-2015, 05:19 AM
Pretty good assessment.



Don't agree with this at all. Maybe the last 5 minutes of the UConn game but otherwise our perimeter defense was very good all tournament.

I agree with both you and Seth Davis, cggonzaga. Both Texas A&M and UCONN did nothing but drive to the basket and get fouled in the last five minutes of the game. Against UCONN Mark Few finally went to a zone (I kept yelling at him through my TV to go zone. I wonder if he heard me?) for the last couple of minutes. The team, at times, does seem to have trouble stopping dribble penetration. When I rewatched the game I began to wonder if all that traveling finally caught up with the Zags. They looked tired, and that would certainly be one reason that they could not stop the dribble penetration. Kyle Wiltjer especially looked tired. He couldn't even jump, and Few had to take him out of the game for the two most important minutes of the game. Wiltjer also looked tired at the end of the A&M game.

Bogozags
12-01-2015, 05:41 AM
I agree with both you and Seth Davis, cggonzaga. Both Texas A&M and UCONN did nothing but drive to the basket and get fouled in the last five minutes of the game. Against UCONN Mark Few finally went to a zone (I kept yelling at him through my TV to go zone. I wonder if he heard me?) for the last couple of minutes. The team, at times, does seem to have trouble stopping dribble penetration. When I rewatched the game I began to wonder if all that traveling finally caught up with the Zags. They looked tired, and that would certainly be one reason that they could not stop the dribble penetration. Kyle Wiltjer especially looked tired. He couldn't even jump, and Few had to take him out of the game for the two most important minutes of the game. Wiltjer also looked tired at the end of the A&M game.

Reborn,

If memory serves, guards driving to the basket has been a continuing weakness of ours. If you remember the AZ and Duke games, that is all the guards did...they got a pick around the elbow and then continued to the basket and made the basket and/or they were fouled and went to the line...that is a weakness most all teams have...in fact, Duke could not contain the UK guards either...

To combat this type of offense our pick & roll defense must improve or we need to play more zone or the officials have to call those picks more closely then they already are...

thespywhozaggedme
12-01-2015, 07:09 AM
Yup. Way to much over analyzing on why we lost that game; look at the box score: missed ft's, nothing more, nothing less.
...We went 4 for 11 ....and how many of those were the front end of a 1 and 1? We cold have easily had 5 or 6 more points from the line

rennis
12-01-2015, 07:19 AM
...We went 4 for 11 ....and how many of those were the front end of a 1 and 1? We cold have easily had 5 or 6 more points from the line

Hard to believe Seth didn't mention poor FT shooting in his analysis. He talked about how great Josh was in that A&M game (and statistically he was) but the missed 1and1 free throw attempt followed up by a chucked 3 on the next possession was probably the worst 60 seconds of point guard play I've seen this decade by GU. That was the turning point in the game we couldn't recover from, IMO. Josh has a ton of upside and we'd be hosed without him but he's still figuring out the more subtle aspects of his role.

GoZags
12-01-2015, 07:42 AM
Yup. Way to much over analyzing on why we lost that game; look at the box score: missed ft's, nothing more, nothing less.

Eerily similar game to the '05 Round of 32 where f.t. shooting kept the Zags out of the Sweet 16. One of my alltime favorite Zags (Ronny) went 3-9 from the line and overall our bigs went 3-10 in the tough loss.
http://www.gozags.com/sports/m-baskbl/stats/031905aab.html

Zagceo
12-01-2015, 07:55 AM
Yup. Way to much over analyzing on why we lost that game; look at the box score: missed ft's, nothing more, nothing less.

I'll add free throw ATTEMPTS specifically from Wiltjer…………O free throw attempts against A & M and UCONN and 12 attempts against UW.

I expect more teams to double him in the low post until others hit from the outside with consistency.

Growing pains.

mattydog73
12-01-2015, 09:26 AM
Uconn made 26 FG's / 24 of which were within 10 feet of the rim. Safe to say they got to the rim with success.

NumberCruncher
12-01-2015, 09:39 AM
...We went 4 for 11 ....and how many of those were the front end of a 1 and 1? We cold have easily had 5 or 6 more points from the line

Only missed front end was Perkins with 3:12 to go. Memory is a funny thing, isn't it?

cggonzaga
12-01-2015, 09:57 AM
Uconn made 26 FG's / 24 of which were within 10 feet of the rim.

I don't think this is that uncommon from just about every game. Outside of 3pt baskets I'm pretty sure most field goals made come from within 10ft of the rim.

bballbeachbum
12-01-2015, 11:55 AM
disagree about the dribble drive D. in fact, I thought in the UConn game the Zags ran those guys off the 3 point line and forced them to drive, and until the meltdown, did pretty well against it. agree with Few about it

ZagaZags
12-01-2015, 02:02 PM
Only missed front end was Perkins with 3:12 to go. Memory is a funny thing, isn't it?

I deleted the game so I can't go back and watch it again. I was certain it happened more than once. Thanks NumberCruncher for clearing that up. I hate it when a player misses the front end of a 1 and 1.


(Unless it is the other team.):lmao:

Outraged
12-01-2015, 08:12 PM
I just wonder if we made two more free throws what all the analysts would say. We probably would be number 5 in the polls won the tournament and reading how wonderful and unstoppable we are and how we have the most likely team to go undefeated. The fact is we are that team and can go just as far.

I do like Seth's piece though and appreciate his observations going way back to where it all began he says what needs to be said in a way it can be heard.

scott257
12-02-2015, 06:13 AM
More observations -

1) Can anyone even imagine a Gonzaga assistant being whistled for a T?
2) Shem is much stronger than last season - He was bumped good down low a couple of times and was immovable. Now it would be nice if he would start to demonstrate that strength more frequently on the offensive end of the court and dunk with authority.
3) Wiltjer's physicality keeps getting downplayed, but I believe he has made quite an improvement over last season. He certainly seems to be rebounding better than last season.
4) Our young guards have had trouble keeping the handle on the ball, but it seems like they are defending much better and forcing turnovers as well.

bartruff1
12-02-2015, 06:32 AM
Syracuse is ranked 14/19...and A&M is ranked 18/20 .....both lower than Gonzaga...