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BobZag
10-14-2007, 10:31 AM
Besides trying to make all 13 scholie players happy, having 12-13 guys who are all good enough to log meaningful minutes will be a challenge for Few to manage. Thank heavens for Ray Giacoletti. Keeping the rotation going while in the heat of battle is a lot to ask of one coach.

I don't know about the rest of you but I kinda prefer having a bonafide "give it to me" go-to guy like Dickau, Stepp, Ammo... Casey, Cory, Ronny and JP were to an extent.

I don't really see a true, proven go-to guy on this squad. I see 10 guys who could assume that role in 10 different games, by committee if you will, but no Ammo, DD or Blake.

Pargo, yes. Heytvelt, yes. Downs, yes. Bouldin, yes. Pendo, yes. Ira!, probably yes. Daye, probably yes. Gray, maybe. Sacre, maybe. Theo, maybe.

But no proven sure-fire "give the ball to him" go-to clutch guy. I like having that one, or two, players that have "it".

At the end of regulation vs Memphis last season, we sure needed one.

However, the silver lining, for me, is: Who was our sure-fure bonafide go-to guy on the 1999 Elite Eight team? Matt? Richie? Q? I don't think there was one.

Thoughts?

gamagin
10-14-2007, 10:44 AM
on this team will be the one who is open when the moment arrives. that is my hope. For that is the kind of players & team that really can win it all.

Conversely, I think we all knew who should have been open the last few years, which means so did our opponents. Not knowing but setting up plays and having a fallback move, well, that is pure basketball. The stuff of dreams. And books.

gamagin
10-14-2007, 10:53 AM
I asked Ray G. last week . . .

if the 2007 team was going to be platooned, or were the coaches anticipating running them in and out, inserting constantly fresh subs, and basically overwhelming our opponents ?

or just what did he anticipate prior to the season ?

He said he didn't think Few was going to change much in his style.

I think this team may dictate something more than 6-8 man rotation.

I believe this may reveal itself, too. the questioin then would become how quickly this staff adjusts to the new circumstances and the new team.

It's a possible crises, but I consider it an oppportunity if managed.

LynetteG
10-14-2007, 12:21 PM
story on this very topic in today's S-R

Section 116
10-14-2007, 12:35 PM
For those who may not have access to the Spokesman-Review Sunday story mentioned by LynetteG here it is with credit to Jim Meehan:




October 14, 2007


At the outset of every season, Gonzaga men's basketball coach Mark Few tends to have a fairly concrete idea of his starters, rotations and who might redshirt.

This season, not so much.

"I've kind of been a guy that likes to get his starting five, especially if there are seniors and we usually go with that," Few said. "I think this year it could fluctuate a lot and I don't think it's going to be that big a deal.

"I think we're going to play a lot of people and a lot of different combinations. Hopefully we can turn this depth into a luxury."


the rest is here: http://www.spokesmanreview.com/zags/story.asp?ID=214665

Nevtelen
10-14-2007, 12:46 PM
Besides trying to make all 13 scholie players happy, having 12-13 guys who are all good enough to log meaningful minutes will be a challenge for Few to manage. Thank heavens for Ray Giacoletti. Keeping the rotation going while in the heat of battle is a lot to ask of one coach.

I don't know about the rest of you but I kinda prefer having a bonafide "give it to me" go-to guy like Dickau, Stepp, Ammo... Casey, Cory, Ronny and JP were to an extent.

I don't really see a true, proven go-to guy on this squad. I see 10 guys who could assume that role in 10 different games, by committee if you will, but no Ammo, DD or Blake.

Pargo, yes. Heytvelt, yes. Downs, yes. Bouldin, yes. Pendo, yes. Ira!, probably yes. Daye, probably yes. Gray, maybe. Sacre, maybe. Theo, maybe.

But no proven sure-fire "give the ball to him" go-to clutch guy. I like having that one, or two, players that have "it".

At the end of regulation vs Memphis last season, we sure needed one.

However, the silver lining, for me, is: Who was our sure-fure bonafide go-to guy on the 1999 Elite Eight team? Matt? Richie? Q? I don't think there was one.

Thoughts?

I agree, BZ - a set go-to-guy could have really helped vs Memphis or Stanford or even late against Duke and Wazzu last season. Having 1 "go-to guy" shouldn't necessarily dictate that 1 player would _always_ get to take that last shot, but rather that this person should always be on the floor at the end and always be an option. Pargo suffered from an inability to create against set D that knew he would be driving for a shot late last season. If he had had a reliable option to dish to, I think not only would that player benefit, but so would he - by forcing the guy guarding him to stop giving him such a big cushion because he could pass it off. That would make driving to the hoop easier for him.

roxdoc
10-14-2007, 12:55 PM
Although I can see both sides of the question, I personally like the go-to guy being settled by committee. No live by the sword, die by the sword. Last year we had Josh and Derek - then just Derrick. Everybody knew that DR was going to have it in the end and they guarded him very closely, sometimes to his detriment. This year I think the go to guy will change with circumstances, ie match ups - should drive the opposition crazy!

As far as platoon basketball I would guess the coaches will have different sets of 5 for differing circumstances. Lots of people play, but in different combos. Probably tough to set up, but could be pretty effective.

pbriz
10-14-2007, 03:24 PM
I agree, BZ - a set go-to-guy could have really helped vs Memphis or Stanford or even late against Duke and Wazzu last season. Having 1 "go-to guy" shouldn't necessarily dictate that 1 player would _always_ get to take that last shot, but rather that this person should always be on the floor at the end and always be an option. Pargo suffered from an inability to create against set D that knew he would be driving for a shot late last season. If he had had a reliable option to dish to, I think not only would that player benefit, but so would he - by forcing the guy guarding him to stop giving him such a big cushion because he could pass it off. That would make driving to the hoop easier for him.

Think about the Memphis, stanford, and Duke games (not as much wazzu) and who stepped up the biggest for us.

Definitely Pargo in all three of those games. He is our go-to-guy and definitely has the mentality to make the big shots. He knows it too.

Also, why not let pargo go with it on the last play because there is always the pick and pop to pendo.....

applezag
10-14-2007, 03:35 PM
It's beena while since then, but I'm pretty darn sure when the chips were down, it was Matt. Richie was a spot-up, shoot off screens guy. Q was the kind of guy who didn't really care if anyone else was deemed the "go-to guy" because in his own mind he would always think it was him. Q was that player that always had the coaches saying "no, no, no...yes!" (see Stanford game).

I think GU has always sort-of annointed someone as "the guy" since I have been paying attention. I'm not sure if this is through an actual philosophy or conversation the staff has with the team, if they just tend to get the ball in that guy's hands more often in tough situations, or if guys assert themselves into the role. This has shown to succeed and fail at different times. I think one struggle last year was that Raivio saw it as his turn to be that guy, but at times just didn't have the game to fulfill all the expectations of that role. Then when it seemed that Pargo was "the guy", he struggled with it as well.

If I had my guess, this year Pargo will be much better at executing late clock situations. Hopefully he has learned it is better to get going towards the basket before there are 2 seconds left on the clock.

BobZag
10-14-2007, 05:18 PM
I think you're either born with it or not born with it. It's inate. Pargo and Pendo strike me as fearless guys who won't defer to others when the clock is nearing 00. But Pargo has more actual scoring ability. The last thing any team wants is all 12-13 guys saying, "You take it, I don't want it, here you take it," playing hot potato with the ball.

I don't know Ira!'s psyche enough to really know.

I think we'll all see who desires the ball in the clutch and who shies away from it.

This is the most important aspect that will need to sort itself out this season, imo. By March, it should be well-known.

wiszag
10-14-2007, 05:50 PM
BZ,

So what did Ira do to earn the exclamation mark?

wiszag

tyra
10-14-2007, 08:18 PM
DRav was an outstanding shot -- the numbers don't lie. But his late game possessions were based on being an unbelievable free throw shooter. We wanted him at the line. But I think what we are talking about here is more along the lines of last year's Memphis game, down by one or two with one shot left. This year, I am hoping that situation won't present itself that often but when it does, it will be Jeremy commandeering the play. He may or may not kick out but the man will be in charge.

jim77
10-14-2007, 08:42 PM
I really don't see the Zags needing a "go to guy" in crunch time. I think this year's edition is gonna put some daylight between itself and "most" opponents.

I would just as soon have a team with 5 or 6 guys who could drop the hammer. If I had to pick a guy to shoot the last shot, it would probably be Pendo.

dim4sum
10-14-2007, 08:44 PM
Worse case scenario factionalism occurs--players with playing time vs. players without playing time. Which of the players do you think will be most at risk of becoming disgruntled if their playing time is cut back or limited??
I think every one on the team should be aware of this situation up front.
It's easy to say team counts, but the implementation is harder.
From what I see:
Kuso's minutes will be cut back drastically.
Pendo plays hard, but his minutes may drop, without the risk here of dissension.
Heytvelt will lose minutes to Daye. Will he snap under the strain?
Pargo may lose minutes to Gray or Gurganious as will Bouldin. Jeremy may view this year as a showcase year for an early draft entry. Will a reduction in minutes make him an unhappy camper??
Theo Davis is an unproven quantity. Will he get enough minutes to showcase his talents and make up for the many lost years. If he doesn't get the minutes he could turn into a dissenter
Many permutations for dissension exist, and I haven't covered 20 percent of them.
It's up to Few to nip in the bud any such probability. I'm confident he will, but jealousy and discontent, like it or not, are part of human nature.

strawzag
10-15-2007, 08:39 AM
You always need a go to guy! At some point there will be a close game and we will need someone to make a shot. It might be great to know that we have a lot of talented guys who could make it, but really those five players walking out of the timeout need to know that "the man" is going to take it and make it. I know that i would want that one guy to be walking into that huddle already telling everyone that he has got this, before the play has even been called. Plus it has to be a guy that create his own shot. Plays break down and you cant rely on creating a shot for someone. With that being said there is no question that right now it has to be Pargo, i just hope his freethrow percentage will go up. I personally hope that Downs will become that guy since he can make it from anywhere, should be able to always create his own shot, and should be a better freethrow shooter.

ZagNut08
10-15-2007, 08:48 AM
I think the ball will be in pargo's hands at the end of a game...he can beak down defenses quite well. I am guessing they will run some set plays assuming pargo beats his defender, what cuts other players make, and where they set up for a shot. A lot of pressure will be on pargo, not to make the huge shot, but hit the open man for the best shot

TexasZagFan
10-15-2007, 08:56 AM
I think the ball will be in pargo's hands at the end of a game...he can beak down defenses quite well. I am guessing they will run some set plays assuming pargo beats his defender, what cuts other players make, and where they set up for a shot. A lot of pressure will be on pargo, not to make the huge shot, but hit the open man for the best shot

My one request for this year to Jeremy: please don't wait until there's 5 seconds or less on the clock to make your move. Too many times last year, at the end of the half or the game, our offense was stymied because there was insuficient time to go to the second option.

Angelo Roncalli
10-15-2007, 08:59 AM
Worse case scenario factionalism occurs--players with playing time vs. players without playing time. Which of the players do you think will be most at risk of becoming disgruntled if their playing time is cut back or limited??
I think every one on the team should be aware of this situation up front.
It's easy to say team counts, but the implementation is harder.
From what I see:
Kuso's minutes will be cut back drastically.
Pendo plays hard, but his minutes may drop, without the risk here of dissension.
Heytvelt will lose minutes to Daye. Will he snap under the strain?
Pargo may lose minutes to Gray or Gurganious as will Bouldin. Jeremy may view this year as a showcase year for an early draft entry. Will a reduction in minutes make him an unhappy camper??
Theo Davis is an unproven quantity. Will he get enough minutes to showcase his talents and make up for the many lost years. If he doesn't get the minutes he could turn into a dissenter
Many permutations for dissension exist, and I haven't covered 20 percent of them.
It's up to Few to nip in the bud any such probability. I'm confident he will, but jealousy and discontent, like it or not, are part of human nature.

Makes the possibility of the entire team contracting ebola look good by comparison.

upan8th
10-15-2007, 10:49 AM
One great advantage to having a 10 to 11 man rotation of skilled players is that the team can afford to be be much more aggressive defensively. Especially against poor free throw shooting teams, an in-your-face strategy, w/attendant increase in fouls, might provide Ws vs the UConns on the schedule or others that lack GU's roster depth. Flaming redheads, assessed a foul for stepping onto the court, should be exempted, however, from the plan.

MickMick
10-15-2007, 11:16 AM
If the basic philosophy of the flex offense is centered on interchangeable parts, then maybe a "go to guy" isn't as significant as in other offensive styles. It could be simplified further when considering the fast break...ie the first two down the floor are the "go to guys". Ira!, Pargo, and someday Goodson.

But I agree with BZ when considering a team like Butler or WSU. Less athleticism and more strategy is needed. Using the clock wisely, passing the ball wisely, taking the good shot...all a function of Basketball IQ. Smart team play and a "go to guy" that makes the tough shot when called upon is required in matchups like those. A guy that can "counterpunch" Graves or Low.

gamagin
10-15-2007, 01:32 PM
because the best laid plans are usually countered by the other teams best laid plans. And (i'm sure there's an axiom to cover this claim) it's easier to screw things up at a time like this than it is to pull things off.

Stuff happens, there are tons of e.g.'s, but a couple of personal faves includes the unc-georgtown championship game I witnessed in the stands at the superdome.

Ewing is CAMPED under the basket, like a tall oak tree, open and ready, but a freshman makes a mistaken pass at mid court and tosses it into a UNC player's hands.

then, in another, Chris Webber, Mich., calls timeout with no timeouts left and UNC wins (again!), in '93 i think it was.

MAJOR screwups. Season/championship hope ending faux pauxs. As critical as it gets under key circumstances etc etc.,

It happens all the time in less critical, winner-take-all, games. My guess is there are more "surprise" endings that involve the unpredictable. and they swing both ways.

I like to think Boise State fb last year and the statue of liberty play. They not only had planned it. they pulled it off because they planned it. what they planned was if/when they got to a critical point, they were going to be ready. so they were.

Sometimes, often times, it's more about guts and guile than predictability.

I'm sure I watched enough alleged set plays that turned into forced plays on our team last year to realize it's not that difficult to coach against the obvioius play. Maybe some would agree. Maybe not.

What's impossible to coach against is you having all your players ready, willing and able to take the game ending shot. Then going for it. THAT presents a problem.

I'm asking alot, I know. But if this deep talent pool includes everyone knowing and practicing, the same way one pracitces free throws, with the idea that he could easily be getting the last shot . . . that leaves everyone psychologically prepared to do just that.

In my inverse world, since that happens all the time anyway, why not plan for it ?

Surely that is as good a plan as our main guy trying to drive through all five opponents for a shot while others are wide open and standing at their favorite spots, waiting and ready and able to shoot.

Imagine if each player is encouraged to plan for it, dream about it,practice it and then actually got the chance ?

Methinks it has a better chance of going in than the one on five desparate, off balance, buzzer beating, or half court effort that is too often the case.

ZagnetitForce
10-15-2007, 02:41 PM
As my Uncle Ben once told me, "with great depth, comes great responsibility". Now, who will be responsible and who will make the best of it no matter what role they might be given? Will Few and staff require responsibility - I think yes! I believe the Zags have a team full of players with great character and will do what is asked of them for the good of the team!

In response to a couple on-going threads, I hope big Will does not redshirt and gets some decent playing time in. Get him in some late game blow outs and let him develop with a little "on the job training". That way, come March, he might be able to throw in a few good minutes here and there like he did in the WCC tournamnet last year. Could make a huge impact. I think a Will Foster with a year more experience good have helped them a ton in the Indiana game.

D Hark 2003
10-15-2007, 04:40 PM
Hopefully these guys will buy into the zag's team first philosophy, so keeping 13 kids who have schollies happy, shouldnt be a problem. They shoud be happy as long as they are winning, and I don't think they are going to have trouble with that this year. Our lack of depth was a pretty big problem last year come tourny time so i see our depth as a huge positive, and as long as everyone improves during the WCC season come crunch time we will be that much better.

BobZag
10-15-2007, 05:15 PM
Very good responses by everyone. Gamagin makes a great point. That said, who here wouldn't like to see a Jimmy "I'll make it" Chitwood on the team? Good call mjgogaels.

DixieZag
10-16-2007, 07:25 AM
I believe any team needs a go to guy as their preferred option in crunch time, however, the right player needs not only the talent and the cajones, but the ability to recognize when the other team's response to the "go to guy's plan" leaves a much better opportunity for someone else instead of a forced attempt. I was so frustrated last year by Derek, because I felt there were so many occassions where he overplayed the role of senior leader "go to guy" and forced a play, whether the idea was to get him to the line or not. He seemed to forget that he also was our main distributor as well as a valuable scorer and I challenge anyone to make a case that it did not hurt us in several games. The right "go to guy" is right b/c the defense recognizes that he has the ability to adjust to over-playing the go to guy leaving someone with an easy scoring opportunity. That being said, I have never coached a sixth grade basketball team, nevermind a division one school.

roxdoc
10-16-2007, 08:40 AM
Maybe what we need is a decoy go-to-guy.