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View Full Version : Who's the coach who taught the Zags to play defense?



Kiddwell
02-10-2017, 12:20 PM
For a long time the Zags had a rep as a great offensive, but a lousy defensive program. Now the Zags are praised for both offense & defense. Who coached up the defense?

I wondered this question yesterday while watching Pepperdine drop 99 points on defense-feeble BYU. BYU has really nice pieces, but can't play defense worth beans. They'd have a lot more wins each season, IMO, if they could slow down the other guys from scoring. More wins would mean a boost to the WCC's rep too. The Yiners need to hire an assistant who specializes in "D," fast.

:boxing:

:]

Seattle_Zag
02-10-2017, 12:42 PM
Donnie Daniels. He's been on the staff a while now, but I feel like our D has slowly improved over the years to get where it's at now under his lead.

EDIT to add that our defense has been really great this year and is probably the main reason we're #1. I don't think we've ever sniffed a top 5 KenPom adj. D ranking and we're 4 this year. We just have the perfect pieces for a great defensive system. Length, size, athleticism.

thebigsmoove
02-10-2017, 12:48 PM
I think the staff knows how to teach defense as a whole. I think the players we have now took us to this new level, this isnt as much a coaching job as it was an infusion of talent. Zach/Jonathan/Killian give us so much length and athleticism down low to pair with Karnos huge body, that has been the different IMHO. Obviously Nigel/Silas/Perk/Jordan have given us tons of speed and lateral quickness on the perimeter. But the bigs are definitely the different.

billyberu
02-10-2017, 12:50 PM
I remember the Zags making a leap in defensive proficiency when Giacoletti was brought on as an assistant and it's only gotten better since then.

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DixieZag
02-10-2017, 12:52 PM
I wrote on the other thread that I think the influence of the other coaches (one of whom was noted for defense iIRC) has made the program better, and I also note that it's a sign of great coaching to welcome and use the advice of other coaches, not a sign that one was weak in any one area. To the extent Few gladly accepted help from former coaches and used their advice, makes my respect jump even higher, that's what great bosses/managers/coaches do.

TexasZagFan
02-10-2017, 12:58 PM
Donnie Daniels. He's been on the staff a while now, but I feel like our D has slowly improved over the years to get where it's at now under his lead.

EDIT to add that our defense has been really great this year and is probably the main reason we're #1. I don't think we've ever sniffed a top 5 KenPom adj. D ranking and we're 4 this year. We just have the perfect pieces for a great defensive system. Length, size, athleticism.

I really like Coach Daniels. You can tell he keeps the players grounded and focused.

MDABE80
02-10-2017, 01:31 PM
Unique group of players who understand the value of defense. Our "man" defense is gorgeous if you pay attention to it. AND we have the players who can actually make their defense stick.
Zone is Daniels deal and he apparently teaches it pretty well.
Overall though, the kids buy into his schema. It's served them very well.
Think back........have we ever had a defense this good?
I don't remember one.

kitzbuel
02-10-2017, 01:32 PM
I remember the Zags making a leap in defensive proficiency when Giacoletti was brought on as an assistant and it's only gotten better since then.

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Agree

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U Zig, I Zag
02-10-2017, 01:45 PM
Good athletes, excellent athletes at some positions. They all seem to buy into the premise. Follow Melson for a bit, as example. He's a man on a mission on D. Even last night when LMU was hacking and slapping and the game was lonnnng over. He kept at it.

And the biggest reason of all?....

Deep bench that gets meaningful minutes. Good rotations and adjustments. Go out there and work your ass off for 5-6 mins straight and if you need a breather you won't 'lose your place' another guy comes in and does the same thing then you get back in there after he is a bit worn out. That's the key, IMHO, Few willing to look down the bench a ways.

Edited to add that I don't know what specific coach(es) might be responsible. Some of you seem to know the attributes of the coaches a bit better than I do. I would say that Daniels has probably helped GU reach into certain areas that they might have had trouble in before. I think, especially for a team that many think is just a team of white shooters with floppy hair, a person of color coaching and recruiting and a wide variety of previous players being around the program (cultures, races, nationalities) might do as much for recruiting as anything else. Like bringing in people to Pullman, Spokane can be a tough place to be attracted to for some kids used to certain things.

RenoZag
02-10-2017, 02:10 PM
"Experience is the teacher of all things," according to an Italian coach who ruled his brackets with aplomb until his era's selection committee decided they had seen enough. . .and no, it wasn't Calipari, Massimino, or Carnesseca. . .

Enjoy your weekends!

zag67
02-10-2017, 03:59 PM
I think there is not one thing.

1. The players bought into defense wins
2. The players know their limitations and the limitations of the players that they are playing with. They are also more athletic than we are used to. They know they have PK, JWII, Tillie and Zach behind them to protect the rim.
3. Players and coaches seem to know the strong points and players of the teams they play. they seem to know who to leave open versus who they have to guard the most.
4. Our guards attack the 3 point line and our big men hedge out not to allow them open shots.
5. The coaches from Daniels to the rest seem to be spending more time on the defense. Also I wonder if Bones is not in the middle of why they play better defense.

Bogozags
02-10-2017, 04:58 PM
Not sure any one coach was THE coach but I think defence is like a contagious disease, when one player has it others can catch it. I think we have always had one player who was a "stopper!" Two years ago it was Bell and last year it was Eric and Melson and this year it has spread to NWG, Matthews and the rest of the TEAM! They all bought into the rewards program that emanates from playing great TEAM defence and that translates to wins...it also takes unselfish individual play to elevate to the level of TEAM defence we display each and every time GU takes the court...

Our TEAM defence IMO will be the difference tomorrow night against the Gaels...

RenoZag
02-10-2017, 05:02 PM
Not sure any one coach was THE coach but I think defence is like a contagious disease, when one player has it others can catch it. I think we have always had one player who was a "stopper!" Two years ago it was Bell and last year it was Eric and Melson and this year it has spread to NWG, Matthews and the rest of the TEAM! They all bought into the rewards program that emanates from playing great TEAM defence and that translates to wins...it also takes unselfish individual play to elevate to the level of TEAM defence we display each and every time GU takes the court...

Our TEAM defence IMO will be the difference tomorrow night against the Gaels...

Excellent observations