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View Full Version : Better coaching or just better players?



tyra
02-10-2017, 09:45 AM
Is Coach Few getting even better as a coach? Or does he just have such a great team and talent? I tend to think it is the former. Take defense. His last couple of teams have excelled at his. Was it just that he all of sudden (after what? 16 years?) had a group of players who were more defensively minded or capable? I doubt it. But I don't know. What do you think? Are there other areas where you think he is getting better? Have at it.

MickMick
02-10-2017, 09:56 AM
I have always believed that Few has done more with less. Put any other coach at GU in the year 2000 and speculate where the program would be 17 years later. Few is one of the best ever. Period.

Finally, Few is getting the "more" that the big schools enjoy. It really isn't that surprising. The great John Wooden needed 14 years to reach his first title game and his resources were considerable (That Olynyk led, #1 seed team, would have been year 14 I believe).

The answer is obviously....both.

On another note, I am starting to really believe that Randy Bennett is an extremely undervalued coach (at a national level) as well.

TexasZagFan
02-10-2017, 09:56 AM
The program has evolved, tyra. Just look at the resources that have poured into scouting and game preparation, and there's much more to come.

It jumped out at me when Zach was quoted after the Arizona game, where he complimented the scouts: (paraphrased) AZ didn't do anything we didn't expect.

Coming from a freshman, that's huge IMO. Compare that to the lack of maturity shown by the Kentucky freshman, and I think we got the player that fit best into our system.

Zagceo
02-10-2017, 09:57 AM
not sure.......ask Romar

gonzagafan62
02-10-2017, 09:59 AM
Better players getting developed into elite players. Few has always done more with less and now you're seeing the development. Pretty simple. Few is one of the best of all time and has improved himself also but I've always thought he's great

CdAZagFan
02-10-2017, 10:11 AM
This is definitely his deepest, most talented group of athletes he's ever had, IMO. That being said, I believe Few has done a remarkable job growing and evolving as a coach - adapting his teams based on the talent level he has to work with. His defensive schemes are evolving and getting better, and his ability to switch his offensive schemes between guard-oriented teams, and post-oriented teams has been fun to watch. Also his ability to integrate these transfer athletes so successfully has been another step in his coaching evolution...

Hoopaholic
02-10-2017, 10:24 AM
Anyone who can replace 4 starters while integrating 3 transfers and 2 freshman is doing an exceptional coaching job

ZagMan in Philly
02-10-2017, 10:26 AM
I give coaches a lot of credits for putting the players in the right positions to win, but it is ultimately the players that are more talented than we ever had before. I think if the 05-06 team that lost to UCLA had NGW, they could have won it all.

Zag_Dad
02-10-2017, 10:27 AM
not sure.......ask Romar

Baaa Haaa Haaaa ... that was funny

RenoZag
02-10-2017, 10:29 AM
Anyone who can replace 4 starters while integrating 3 transfers and 2 freshman is doing an exceptional coaching job

This. Zags are fortunate to have him running the show.

Zagger
02-10-2017, 10:30 AM
My spin is that Few gets better at what he's doing (as well as the other coaches on staff) and that this group has good skill depth, good camaraderie and is very likely more coachable. When players are interviewed they always mention something along the pals (camaraderie) part. They're all managing to keep from getting seriously injured too. There are a lot of ancillary things too - fans, maybe fewer distractions in Spokane, all sorts of things that just might happen to mesh with this group of Zags. I'd agree with most of what's been said above me too in this thread. I also think it sure helps when there are a lot of contributors towards total points in a game - the depth part. Lots of things for other teams to try and plan for.

TexasZagFan
02-10-2017, 10:32 AM
Better players getting developed into elite players. Few has always done more with less and now you're seeing the development. Pretty simple. Few is one of the best of all time and has improved himself also but I've always thought he's great

I have developed a new reply to Power 5 naysayers: how good would the Zags be if they had an additional $10-$15 million a year to plow into the program?

To my knowledge, the Zags have had one top-25 recruiting class...ever, and that was last year. Wasn't able to find detailed info on revenues generated by the men's program, but it seems reasonable the Zags are in the $10-$12 million range. Compare that to the blue bloods, and their revenues upwards of $25 million.

Fans of these "power schools" need to ask themselves why they aren't excelling, with their top-25 recruiting classes, year in and year out.

amaronizag
02-10-2017, 10:36 AM
Few is the head coach so he gets the credit, but it has been a team effort starting with the coaching staff. I give Tommy a huge amount of credit for convincing Few to add a European influence to the GU style of play and eventually phasing out the flex motion offense. Offensive production and player skills improved dramatically with those changes. Daniels stepped up development of our bigs and Travis Knight changed player conditioning. I see a marked difference in game plans this year thanks to Ken Bone's scouting input. The entire coaching staff has matured, learned, improved over time, and put the program on a steady upward trajectory. Great improvements made by the coaching staff are reflected in the quality of recruitment, quality of basketball, and incredible success of the program. The remarkable and unparalleled achievement and upward trajectory shows no sign off drop off in the near future. Very exciting times.

LongIslandZagFan
02-10-2017, 10:59 AM
Both. He has improved as a coach... but the caliber of players has also increased over the years.

bballbeachbum
02-10-2017, 11:50 AM
Few is the head coach so he gets the credit, but it has been a team effort starting with the coaching staff. I give Tommy a huge amount of credit for convincing Few to add a European influence to the GU style of play and eventually phasing out the flex motion offense. Offensive production and player skills improved dramatically with those changes. Daniels stepped up development of our bigs and Travis Knight changed player conditioning. I see a marked difference in game plans this year thanks to Ken Bone's scouting input. The entire coaching staff has matured, learned, improved over time, and put the program on a steady upward trajectory. Great improvements made by the coaching staff are reflected in the quality of recruitment, quality of basketball, and incredible success of the program. The remarkable and unparalleled achievement and upward trajectory shows no sign off drop off in the near future. Very exciting times.

+1 well said, thanks. Zags have had some very talented teams with great athletes and defensive players before including at the rim but played differently, defended to force the kick but now defend to deny it, an emerging philosophy in college basketball seems to me because of how the game has changed and evolved, and things like that are evident in Few and Staff's career growth imo

and the depth of quality players on this year's team cannot be denied, their influence on what we're talking about, their ability to take the gameplans and execute with high efficiency and confidence has been awesome (got to get the rash of Karno turnovers lately hashed out, get him confidently clicking on that again)

fun question tyra with lots of great answers, enjoyed reading them. ultimately for me , in its simplest form, as Mick Mick and others succinctly said, it's both.

Zaga
02-10-2017, 12:06 PM
Anyone who can replace 4 starters while integrating 3 transfers and 2 freshman is doing an exceptional coaching job

No question about it! COY should be coming soon. Go Zags!

#runthetable

jazzdelmar
02-10-2017, 12:13 PM
I give coaches a lot of credits for putting the players in the right positions to win, but it is ultimately the players that are more talented than we ever had before. I think if the 05-06 team that lost to UCLA had NGW, they could have won it all.

Finally, the voice of reason arrives on this thread

23dpg
02-10-2017, 12:17 PM
Finally, the voice of reason arrives on this thread

It feels like everyone was saying this. Consensus seems to be; both, in various degrees.

jazzdelmar
02-10-2017, 12:21 PM
It feels like everyone was saying this. Consensus seems to be; both, in various degrees.

Hmmmm....I don't think so...the hosannas to Few were flying........Look, Few was always a good coach.....is he better? Maybe.......but the quantum leap is the quantity of high level talent, thank you Tommy....Tillie is an eyelash behind Collins and so is Williams....thats the bigs....Goss may very well be the best ever all round guard in the modern era.....the other guards fill holes with ability......Players play.....though Few is def more animated than ever, he could hardly be less....

VinnyZag
02-10-2017, 12:23 PM
Sustained success has opened doors for players GU wouldn't have had a shot at getting 5 or 10 years ago. Collins and Perkins wouldn't have been Zags a decade ago, I would think.

But coaching, too. And not just Few, the assistants as well. Lloyd, Daniels, Michaelson are really good.

23dpg
02-10-2017, 12:25 PM
Hmmmm....I don't think so...the hosannas to Few were flying........Look, Few was always a good coach.....is he better? Maybe.......but the quantum leap is the quantity of high level talent, thank you Tommy....Tillie is an eyelash behind Collins and so is Williams....thats the bigs....Goss may very well be the best ever all round guard in the modern era.....the other guards fill holes with ability......Players play.....though Few is def more animated than ever, he could hardly be less....

I agree with what you wrote. I honestly believe that is generally what most fans think. Maybe I was extrapolating the equality of both sides of the OP. I do think he is a better coach than he was 10-12 years ago.

zag buddy
02-10-2017, 12:28 PM
Amaronzag is right. the joining of top tier coaches for short periods of time have helped Few coach differently. My fear is that the NCAA tourny has been Few's weakest link in exposing his coaching style. He tends to get too authoritative during the play of these games. I would hope this year he listens to his staff of excellent coaches and does not go it alone as he always does, to me in the past. Loosen up and listen coach it's just a game. Trust your players as Wooden always did and listen to your excellent assistant coaches. Players can't play when they are tight and coaches can't coach when they are tight.

TexasZagFan
02-10-2017, 12:39 PM
Amaronzag is right. the joining of top tier coaches for short periods of time have helped Few coach differently. My fear is that the NCAA tourny has been Few's weakest link in exposing his coaching style. He tends to get too authoritative during the play of these games. I would hope this year he listens to his staff of excellent coaches and does not go it alone as he always does, to me in the past. Loosen up and listen coach it's just a game. Trust your players as Wooden always did and listen to your excellent assistant coaches. Players can't play when they are tight and coaches can't coach when they are tight.

With the glowing comments about NWG's leadership, not to mention when Karno is on the court, I don't think that's an issue this year.

Coach Few has been pretty steady in the close games, was great tactically in the Iowa State game.

DixieZag
02-10-2017, 12:43 PM
Hmmmm....I don't think so...the hosannas to Few were flying........Look, Few was always a good coach.....is he better? Maybe.......but the quantum leap is the quantity of high level talent, thank you Tommy....Tillie is an eyelash behind Collins and so is Williams....thats the bigs....Goss may very well be the best ever all round guard in the modern era.....the other guards fill holes with ability......Players play.....though Few is def more animated than ever, he could hardly be less....

He has the influence of some very experienced former coaches in those meetings, and I think they in-particular have helped with defense (Few's always been great with offensive flow) and that help is showing this year.

But, and I've not seen anyone note this, the ability to seek out and take-in the advice/coaching from these other guys IS a sign of great coaching! How many adults here would be threatened by being a boss who loves getting good people under him and taking their experience/advice and adding it to the program in any job? That's what great managers do.

So, I think there's absolutely nothing wrong with saying that A) the players are the most important asset, gotta have the guys to get it done, B) adding in the experience, and then using that experience from other coaches is a sign of greatness, not weakness. There's nothing wrong with any of us at work saying "wow, this guy really knows how this works" and then adding it. Poor coaches/leaders are too insecure to admit they can get a huge benefit adding in the experience of others.

RenoZag
02-10-2017, 01:08 PM
Discussion of Few's coaching skills pop up as often as "the WCC stinks" threads and they serve the same purpose: passing the time between ballgames.

229SintoZag
02-10-2017, 01:09 PM
The premise of this thread is a false dichotomy.

Few is better coaching now than ever--he continues to improve.

We have better overall players and better depth than ever.

Take better players and coach them better and--voila--you have your best year in program history.

It's not rocket science folks......

Zaga
02-10-2017, 01:32 PM
It's not rocket science folks......

Well stated!

DixieZag
02-10-2017, 02:22 PM
The premise of this thread is a false dichotomy.

Few is better coaching now than ever--he continues to improve.

We have better overall players and better depth than ever.

Take better players and coach them better and--voila--you have your best year in program history.

It's not rocket science folks......

As I look down the thread, it seems like most people have summarized it as exactly that.

Bogozags
02-10-2017, 05:25 PM
Discussion of Few's coaching skills pop up as often as "the WCC stinks" threads and they serve the same purpose: passing the time between ballgames.

Having substantive discussion on never ending topics that can neither be proven or disproven is what life is all about! Right? :D

GoZags
02-10-2017, 05:48 PM
As mentioned earlier by Amaronizag, having Ken Bone scouting our opponents (and helping with the game plan ... including defense) is huge. Ken's contributions are incredibly valuable.

Sure .... the Zags are deep. Sure, the Zags have talent.

But ... they also have Ken Bone complimenting the "official" staff and in my opinion, this IS a difference maker for this years' Zags.

Zagceo
02-10-2017, 05:55 PM
Has been mentioned


Few is the head coach so he gets the credit, but it has been a team effort starting with the coaching staff. I give Tommy a huge amount of credit for convincing Few to add a European influence to the GU style of play and eventually phasing out the flex motion offense. Offensive production and player skills improved dramatically with those changes. Daniels stepped up development of our bigs and Travis Knight changed player conditioning. I see a marked difference in game plans this year thanks to Ken Bone's scouting input. The entire coaching staff has matured, learned, improved over time, and put the program on a steady upward trajectory. Great improvements made by the coaching staff are reflected in the quality of recruitment, quality of basketball, and incredible success of the program. The remarkable and unparalleled achievement and upward trajectory shows no sign off drop off in the near future. Very exciting times.

willandi
02-10-2017, 05:58 PM
I have developed a new reply to Power 5 naysayers: how good would the Zags be if they had an additional $10-$15 million a year to plow into the program?

To my knowledge, the Zags have had one top-25 recruiting class...ever, and that was last year. Wasn't able to find detailed info on revenues generated by the men's program, but it seems reasonable the Zags are in the $10-$12 million range. Compare that to the blue bloods, and their revenues upwards of $25 million.

Fans of these "power schools" need to ask themselves why they aren't excelling, with their top-25 recruiting classes, year in and year out.

I saw where the big 12 (?) was holding back $10 MIL of the $25 MIL due to Baylor until they show that they have changed the atmosphere on campus relating to rape etc. They get about $25 MIL PER YEAR. Even the WCC schools could build new arenas with that kind of jack! Or the WCC Commish could get a nice raise! LOL

RenoZag
02-10-2017, 06:02 PM
Having substantive discussion on never ending topics that can neither be proven or disproven is what life is all about! Right? :D

Indeed.

GoZags
02-10-2017, 06:06 PM
Has been mentioned

Thanks for the correction ..... very good insight by amaronizag ....

gonzagafan62
02-10-2017, 06:46 PM
Hmmmm....I don't think so...the hosannas to Few were flying........Look, Few was always a good coach.....is he better? Maybe.......but the quantum leap is the quantity of high level talent, thank you Tommy....Tillie is an eyelash behind Collins and so is Williams....thats the bigs....Goss may very well be the best ever all round guard in the modern era.....the other guards fill holes with ability......Players play.....though Few is def more animated than ever, he could hardly be less....

The sun does shine in the daytime jazz. LOL! I do agree though

Zagdawg
02-10-2017, 07:35 PM
Few bringing in good talent that fits well with the program --and coordinating and developing the talent, game planning and preparation--overall leads to program improvement and potentially one of the best programs we have fielded.