PDA

View Full Version : Pre-WCC Tournament Press



ZagNative
03-04-2016, 01:24 PM
NYT (AP) story (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/04/sports/ncaabasketball/conference-tournament-win-would-save-gonzaga-streak.html?_r=0): "Conference Tournament Win Would Save Gonzaga Streak"

“We just have to win out in this tournament to get a bid into the N.C.A.A. tournament,” guard Silas Melson said.

While the team tries not to focus on the streak, which began when some of them were still in diapers, it can be hard to ignore.

“To be honest, it would suck for us to go 17 years in a row and then not make it,” Melson said.

Gonzaga is tied with Kentucky and Wisconsin for the fifth-longest appearance streak in the tournament’s history, trailing North Carolina (27), Kansas (26), Duke (20) and Indiana and Michigan State (18 each). No other midmajor program is even close.

Seattle-Times (http://www.seattletimes.com/sports/gonzaga-bulldogs/gonzaga-men-attempt-to-reload-in-wcc-tournament-keep-ncaa-tourney-streak-alive/), "Gonzaga men attempt to reload in WCC tournament, keep NCAA tourney streak alive"


The fight they showed in the regular season finale win at BYU – a game only decided in the final seconds – gave the team a much-needed confidence boost as they head into Saturday night’s quarterfinal game against No. 7 seed Portland.

“I think it reinforces the fact that we’re able to dig out a game in a hostile environment against a really good team, and the fact that we were finally able to win one of the close ones,” Few said.

Gonzaga (23-7, 15-3 WCC) is favored against Portland (12-19, 6-11), which it swept in the regular season, 92-66 on the road and 85-74 at home. The Pilots are 1-3 all-time against Gonzaga in the WCC tournament, with their sole victory against the Zags coming in the 1996 title game.

The Bulldogs know that winning the WCC tournament and the automatic NCAA tournament bid that comes with it is their best shot at keeping their NCAA tournament streak alive, but they’re trying to keep it all in perspective and not get caught up in the magnitude of what they’re fighting for.

“We approach every game like it’s the same. No matter what, we’re trying to win the game,” said Wiltjer, who conceded that the single-elimination format of the next game does put a different spin on the situation. “It creates an edge because we know what’s on the line. But we try not to look at it as pressure. We’re playing the same game. We look at it as a one-game season, every game.”

Hoopaholic
03-04-2016, 01:31 PM
kind of curious who did their fact checking.....last I thought Kentucky missed the ncaa tournament in 2013 so not sure how they can have the fifth longest appearance streak.....or am I missing something

LongIslandZagFan
03-04-2016, 01:38 PM
kind of curious who did their fact checking.....last I thought Kentucky missed the ncaa tournament in 2013 so not sure how they can have the fifth longest appearance streak.....or am I missing something

True... but they didn't use the word active. So guessing it means current and prior streaks.

ZagNative
03-04-2016, 01:41 PM
Hwie Stallwick, (http://sportspressnw.com/2215803/2016/gonzagas-sabonis-is-a-pro-among-wcc-boys)"Gonzaga’s Sabonis is a pro among WCC boys"

They call 23-7 an off-year at Gonzaga, but they call Domantas Sabonis, the 6-foot-11 Lithuanian who’s averaging 17.2 points and 11.9 rebounds, sir. WCC hoops tourney begins Friday.

SPOKANE — College basketball observers have spent two years searching for the proper words to describe Gonzaga sophomore Domantas Sabonis. Northern Arizona coach Jack Murphy may have provided the most succinct description to date.

“He’s an NBA player playing in college,” Murphy said after Sabonis sank 12 of 13 shots and scored 26 points in just 18 minutes against NAU this season.

Murphy’s complimentary exaggeration may become fact as soon as next season. NBA draft boards, for the second year in a row, predict Sabonis will be taken in the first round, should he pass on his next two years of college eligibility.
All season, Gonzaga has consistently faltered at crunch time against top opponents. That said, the Bulldogs would be far more vulnerable if not for the skill, spirit and sweat of Sabonis.

“He’s so open to coaching and so receptive to it and hungry for it,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said after a recent practice. “And then he’s got this work ethic that’s just insatiable.

“The guy’s going to give you everything he’s got in practice, go ‘ice up,’ get something to eat, study a little bit and then come back down here at 9 o’clock tonight and start shooting with Wiltj (WCC scoring leader Kyle Wiltjer).

“When you have that kind of attitude paired with a really, really bright, intelligent, quick-learning kind of mind, the sky’s the limit.”

After averaging 9.7 points and 7.1 rebounds as Gonzaga’s top reserve last season, Sabonis now averages 17.2 points and 11.9 rebounds as a starter. The 6-foot-11, 240-pound forward ranks sixth in the WCC in scoring, and he’s first in rebounding and double-doubles (19) and third in field-goal shooting percentage (60.2).

Through Wednesday, Sabonis ranked sixth in the nation in rebounds and eighth in double-doubles. He attacks the glass like a starving teenager attacks a ham sandwich.

Hoopaholic
03-04-2016, 01:49 PM
True... but they didn't use the word active. So guessing it means current and prior streaks.

I can buy that ...referring back to their 1992 thru 2008 consecutive streak......little misleading but I can buy it......lets get in and then we wont be mentioned in same sentence with Kentucky elevating us above them.....:)

DixieZag
03-04-2016, 01:51 PM
I know they're more optimistic after BYU, but I really hope the pressure doesn't get to them. OTOH, they played SMC better on the road, played BYU better on the road, they do seem to respond better to pressure away from the expectations at home.

Zagger
03-04-2016, 01:54 PM
http://campusinsiders.com/news/west-coast-conference-basketball-tournament-bracket-schedule-03-02-2016

Though the Gonzaga Bulldogs were projected to be the clear favorite in the West Coast Conference for the 2015-16 season, it's the Saint Mary's Gaels that hold the No. 1 seed in the WCC Tournament. This, thanks to becoming one of the premier offensive threats in the nation.
We'll see! Go Zags!

ZagNative
03-04-2016, 02:09 PM
Las Vegas Review Journal, (http://www.reviewjournal.com/sports/basketball/ncaa-basketball-tournament/west-coast-conference-tournament-might-be-mild-or-wild) "West Coast Conference tournament might be mild or wild"

By STEVE CARP
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

It could wind up being the same old story, but if the regular season is any indication, the West Coast Conference men’s basketball tournament may be something other than Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga playing in Tuesday’s championship game at Orleans Arena.

The Gaels swept the Bulldogs for the first time in 21 years to gain the top seed. But Saint Mary’s lost twice to Pepperdine, which was swept by Gonzaga, which split with Brigham Young, which split with Saint Mary’s.

You get the picture.

“I think it’s wide open,” Saint Mary’s coach Randy Bennett said. “With the quarterfinals Saturday being an eight-team tournament, it’s become a pressure-filled game. You can’t afford a slip-up. You do what you have to do to survive and advance.”

Gonzaga coach Mark Few said Saturday’s 71-68 win over BYU at the Marriott Center was nice. But it doesn’t mean much now.

The Bulldogs (23-7) will open play Saturday against Portland as the No. 2 seed, which means they wouldn’t see Saint Mary’s until Tuesday’s championship game. The Gaels will play the winner of today’s opening-round game between No. 8 Loyola Marymount and No. 9 San Diego.

“From now on, it’s single elimination,” Few said. “You lose, you’re out. So you can’t afford an off-night at this point.

“For us, we’ve got a group that has battled all year. We’ve found ways to hang in there, and I’m hoping we can carry some momentum from the BYU game into the tournament.”

The third-seeded Cougars (22-9) have been inconsistent at times. And that scares coach Dave Rose.

“We haven’t been able to put a string of eight or nine games together,” Rose said. “We’ve got a young bench. But I’m hoping the format will help us. We’re pretty much playing eight guys.”

Pepperdine could be the wild card. The Waves (17-12) had a strong first half of the conference season, but they’ve dropped two of their past three, so it may come down to whether Stacy Davis and Lamond Murray, Pepperdine’s two best players, are on their game.

“They’re streaky,” Bennett said of Pepperdine. “They can get on a run and beat anyone.”

Coach Crazy
03-04-2016, 02:09 PM
http://campusinsiders.com/news/west-coast-conference-basketball-tournament-bracket-schedule-03-02-2016

"Though the Gonzaga Bulldogs were projected to be the clear favorite in the West Coast Conference for the 2015-16 season, it's the Saint Mary's Gaels that hold the No. 1 seed in the WCC Tournament. This, thanks to becoming one of the premier offensive threats in the nation."

We'll see! Go Zags!

When did St. Marys become one of the premier offensive threats in the nation?

RenoZag
03-04-2016, 02:23 PM
Thank you for posting those links, ZN.

Hoopaholic
03-04-2016, 03:33 PM
When did St. Marys become one of the premier offensive threats in the nation?

tied for nations best offensive efficiency rating 1.169
Best shooting percentage in nation at 51%
Best effective shooting percentage in nation 59%
6th in nation for 3 pt FG%
3rd in true shooting percentage 121.6%

think that qualifies as a premier offensive threat in my book

Coach Crazy
03-04-2016, 03:48 PM
tied for nations best offensive efficiency rating 1.169
Best shooting percentage in nation at 51%
Best effective shooting percentage in nation 59%
6th in nation for 3 pt FG%
3rd in true shooting percentage 121.6%

think that qualifies as a premier offensive threat in my book

Yeah, but then I look at their total offensive production and their non-conference schedule, and I have a hard time with calling them premier. Being only 3.4 points better than Gonzaga in AdjO and having far less quality to their schedule doesn't sound like premier to me.

Hoopaholic
03-04-2016, 05:25 PM
Yeah, but then I look at their total offensive production and their non-conference schedule, and I have a hard time with calling them premier. Being only 3.4 points better than Gonzaga in AdjO and having far less quality to their schedule doesn't sound like premier to me.

ok good decent people can disagree on what the definition of premier is........I look at those numbers and say they are solid in top ten in nation in offense which to me is premier........which doesnt mean we are not either......AND we are a premier defensive team to go with our solid offensive numbers but none of that takes away from SMC success this year IMO and we will beat them in the finals if we face them

Ekrub
03-04-2016, 05:29 PM
Yeah, but then I look at their total offensive production and their non-conference schedule, and I have a hard time with calling them premier. Being only 3.4 points better than Gonzaga in AdjO and having far less quality to their schedule doesn't sound like premier to me.

Doesn't adjo rake into consideration SOS

GonzagasaurusFlex
03-05-2016, 05:25 AM
Thanks for this thread ZN. I'm early morning game prepping with coffee and reading every article linked here. My favorite quote is from the NY Times article:


“Our goal wasn’t to play our best basketball in November,” McClellan said. “Our goal was to play our best basketball now.”

gonzagabasketball
03-05-2016, 06:08 AM
Gonzaga is tied with Kentucky and Wisconsin for the fifth-longest appearance streak in the tournament’s history, trailing North Carolina (27), Kansas (26), Duke (20) and Indiana and Michigan State (18 each). No other midmajor program is even close.



I can buy that ...referring back to their 1992 thru 2008 consecutive streak......little misleading but I can buy it......lets get in and then we wont be mentioned in same sentence with Kentucky elevating us above them.....:)

It says in tournament history, what is misleading about that?

Nevada Don
03-05-2016, 06:43 AM
tied for nations best offensive efficiency rating 1.169
Best shooting percentage in nation at 51%
Best effective shooting percentage in nation 59%
6th in nation for 3 pt FG%
3rd in true shooting percentage 121.6%

think that qualifies as a premier offensive threat in my book

Thanks Hoopaholic.
Expressing objectivity and or respect for a rival does not take away from your core beliefs about your own program.

gonzagabasketball
03-05-2016, 07:45 AM
Thanks Hoopaholic.
Expressing objectivity and or respect for a rival does not take away from your core beliefs about your own program.

Not to mention that after watching their offense eat GU alive in the second half of two losses I would sooner question the validity of the Zags defensive rankings rather than the Gaels offense. Even though I happen to know that while neither set of numbers may tell the whole story, that both are relatively indicative of what is occurring on the floor.

By their very nature fans are often far removed from objectivity. Gonzaga's fan base as represented by this message is generally pretty basketball savvy and quite reasonable as far as fan bases go. But when it comes to losing at the hands of SMC, a program that by every objective metric is inferior, it just cant be because they are the better team this year. Does. Not. Compute.

It must be because GU plays poorly, not because SMC is actually good, haha.

(And by the way, I can be as guilty of this mindset as anyone.)

Go Zags

amaronizag
03-05-2016, 07:55 AM
Ekrub asked "Doesn't adjo rake into consideration SOS"

Not really. Here is the formula for calculating Offensive Efficiency
1) Calculate the number of total number of possessions for your team using this formula:
field goals attempted - opponent defensive rebounds + turnovers + (0.4 x free throws attempted) = total number of possessions for the season.
FGA - OR + TO + (0.475 x FTA) = Total # of possessions for the season.

2) Divide the team's total points scored for the season by the possessions calculated in Step 1.

3) Convert the offensive PPP number to an efficiency rating by multiplying by 100.
1.18 points scored per possession becomes an offensive efficiency rating of 118.

Hoopaholic
03-05-2016, 08:03 AM
Gonzaga is tied with Kentucky and Wisconsin for the fifth-longest appearance streak in the tournament’s history, trailing North Carolina (27), Kansas (26), Duke (20) and Indiana and Michigan State (18 each). No other midmajor program is even close.




It says in tournament history, what is misleading about that?

it was me and my misreading of it......

just not normally how it is discussed and it appears it was written that way to ensure Kentucky was included in the discussion and I will be happy when we make it this year and Kentucky would no longer be in that type of discussion anymore

DixieZag
03-05-2016, 08:59 AM
Blanchette vignette: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2016/mar/04/blanchette-of-all-years-for-the-zags-to-be-on-the-/

GrizZAG
03-05-2016, 10:00 AM
The tournament should be a barn burner. A Zags / SMC would show a highly rated offense against a maturing highly rated defense. A BYU meeting again will be who has the hot hands and between Portland and Pepp we have complete capable wild card teams to face perhaps.

My take is that this current Zag team is not the one we saw earlier in the season after the loss of Karno. The BYU win on a hostile court was paramount in terms of the psyche of this team. These players are now invested in each other, know and trust each other and the confidence factor is far higher. We will be putting a more mature, committed and confident group on the floor for the tournament. I like our chances a lot.

Hoopaholic
03-05-2016, 10:31 AM
The tournament should be a barn burner. A Zags / SMC would show a highly rated offense against a maturing highly rated defense. A BYU meeting again will be who has the hot hands and between Portland and Pepp we have complete capable wild card teams to face perhaps.

My take is that this current Zag team is not the one we saw earlier in the season after the loss of Karno. The BYU win on a hostile court was paramount in terms of the psyche of this team. These players are now invested in each other, know and trust each other and the confidence factor is far higher. We will be putting a more mature, committed and confident group on the floor for the tournament. I like our chances a lot.

spot on my friend

TheZagPhish
03-05-2016, 11:57 AM
Blanchette: Of all years for the Zags to be on the edge (http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2016/mar/04/blanchette-of-all-years-for-the-zags-to-be-on-the-/)


Tonight, the Gonzaga men begin their quest for an 18th straight trip to the NCAAs through the only avenue that remains open to them – winning the WCC tournament and the league’s auto bid.

(More prudent – and more learned – minds have not dismissed their chances of an at-large invitation. But in this space, the impulsive hipshot still rules.)

And if there is a poster child for the tenor and tribulation of the 2016 college basketball season, it might well be Gonzaga.

Zagceo
03-05-2016, 12:13 PM
If you watched the whole USF game in San Francisco…….anything is possible.


“We’ve just got to keep our head down and find a way to get to the (NCAA) tournament,” Lloyd said. “Because with preparation and good performances, I feel we can win games there – multiple games. We have the pieces to do it, and it’s the kind of year you’re not going to be overwhelmed by anybody.”

gonzagabasketball
03-05-2016, 12:21 PM
it was me and my misreading of it......

just not normally how it is discussed and it appears it was written that way to ensure Kentucky was included in the discussion and I will be happy when we make it this year and Kentucky would no longer be in that type of discussion anymore

Of course, I was just sort of ribbing you. But Kentucky should always be in discussion, thats what gives this feat meaning and figures into the significance of detractors being unable to dismiss this run as a trend or gimmick.

To be frank, I think this context really brings the accomplishment home.

Current streaks are just that, current. Bad recruits, a poor coach, sanctions, injuries, transfers, early entry, a lot of issues can derail a current streak of any kind. But out of all the players and coaches and teams and programs and seasons ever, GU is mentioned amongst those particular names....well, it really sets Gonzaga apart when viewed with a historical perspective.