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View Full Version : Must-read: Luke Winn article on Zags' novel offense



FuManShoes
03-15-2017, 05:45 AM
As Winn notes, the NBA has gone away from post play in dramatic fashion and it's trickling down to college. For anyone wondering why Karnowski isn't getting more NBA looks despite his obvious size and skillset, there's your answer. It's not just about verticality. The game has changed based on analyitcs showing that post ups are the least efficient scoring plays. That is unless you have an elite set of post players, as the Zags do. But they are outliers ...

Http://www.si.com/college-basketball/2017/03/14/ncaa-tournament-gonzaga-bulldogs-post-play-wisconsin-badgers-purdue-boilermakers

krii
03-15-2017, 06:09 AM
And this is exactly why I think Karnowski will have a shot at NBA. He is elite with his skills and there not that many elite, mobile centers off-the-bench in the league. If you put Karnowski in a team like San Antonio, or any other good-shooting team for that matter, and tell him to play in the same way he is playing at Gonzaga, you have an instant offensive weapon to keep the score with a brutal defense in-post whenever needed. Then, whenever things are going bad (ie. the opposing team starts raining threes) you can just put starter in there and continue game.

I know that there is this belief that Karnowski doesn't fit because he can't shoot from outside the paint and he is not mobile enough. Look at Whiteside - he is a bit more mobile yet less efficient and only because of his defense he is able to dominate most of the bigs.

Anyway, great read :-)

willandi
03-15-2017, 06:11 AM
Just a couple of snippets, but how, if your post players are shooting over 60% can the post-up possibly be the worst shot in basketball?

Even in the NBA, the teams that don't use the post-up etc., still see a need for a big body in the center. One that shoots 60%+, can pass out of the double team and is willing to be down on the fast break, HAS to be an edge.

"You can go get any computer and run what the best shots are, and it will tell you the post-up is the worst shot in basketball.”

"Except: What’s the sound thing to do if you’re Gonzaga? You’ve recruited outside America, persuaded 7' 1", 300‑pound Polish center Przemek Karnowski to play for you, and he’s developed into the best low-block passer in college hoops—with a killer lefty jump hook as well. You’ve landed Zach Collins, a 7‑foot McDonald’s All-American freshman with advanced post skills, to serve as Karnowski’s backup; plus you have Johnathan Williams III, a 6' 9" transfer power forward who can score using both hands on both blocks; and Nigel #Williams-Goss, a 6' 3" point guard who’s comfortable backing smaller defenders down into the post.

With that personnel, do you go new-school and spread? No. You become the country’s most efficient, high-volume post team. The Zags use 24.7% of their possessions on post-ups or passes out of the post, while the national average is just 10.4%. They score more points (1.16) on those possessions than any other team, while the rest of D-I scores just 0.86. (In this case, 1.16 is excellent; the numbers D’Antoni quoted were NBA, and they didn’t factor in turnovers.) The Zags went 32–1 by acting as a counter#argument to D’Antoni’s rant: Post play is inefficient and for dummies unless you’re exceptionally good at it—in which case, you can become the No. 1 seed in the West.

bartruff1
03-15-2017, 06:26 AM
That is without doubt the most intelligent analysis of Gonzaga's offense I have read...and as Tommy pointed out, it gives them a advantage....

I don't think it is a accident that 3 of the 10 finalists for the Jabbar Award (Shem, Mika, Landale) are in the WCC.

It will be fascinating to see how the teams with uber athletic wings defend those teams.

I believe he is also right about how ill suited traditional back to the basket 5's are to the NBA....

By now every thing that can be said has been said 100 times....lets play...

CDC84
03-15-2017, 07:44 AM
As Winn notes, the NBA has gone away from post play in dramatic fashion and it's trickling down to college. For anyone wondering why Karnowski isn't getting more NBA looks despite his obvious size and skillset, there's your answer. It's not just about verticality. The game has changed based on analyitcs showing that post ups are the least efficient scoring plays. That is unless you have an elite set of post players, as the Zags do. But they are outliers ...

Http://www.si.com/college-basketball/2017/03/14/ncaa-tournament-gonzaga-bulldogs-post-play-wisconsin-badgers-purdue-boilermakers

Someone posted a quote from a NBA scout. The first player he mentioned was Karno. Even over Collins. He literally said, "I love the Polish big kid. But we just cannot take him because the game has changed at this level. It's not his fault. Could be a late 2nd round pick." I still think he has a chance because he would be a terrific practice player, but for his sake, he's better off in Europe.

rennis
03-15-2017, 08:10 AM
Perhaps the NBA post-play scoring average is so low because NBA post players post up FIFTEEN FEET FROM THE HOOP.

Zagger
03-15-2017, 08:11 AM
Someone posted a quote from a NBA scout. The first player he mentioned was Karno. Even over Collins. He literally said, "I love the Polish big kid. But we just cannot take him because the game has changed at this level. It's not his fault. Could be a late 2nd round pick." I still think he has a chance because he would be a terrific practice player, but for his sake, he's better off in Europe.

Unless ... If everyone is going one way a team that can go both ways WELL will have an advantage. Example - Zags. People tend to trend and I can understand the pressures that this NBA scout is under. The bottom line is that if you have more arrows in your quiver, considering you're a good shot, the more likely you're going to survive - especially if you have to battle some adversities. Pro teams likely have a few $ concerns when it comes to packing a roster with various skills. I'm more than definitely biased when it comes to Mt. K but I feel if he was truly added to an NBA team and utilized effectively, when the situation warranted, that team would have an edge over their rivals.

What's keen about Karnowski in this situation is that he's not a home grown kid. He may very well prefer to go back home and play for a European team. In this case he has the best of both circumstances. He may be able to get into the NBA and he certainly will be sought after back home. I feel the season he's put in has erased most if not all concerns about his back. His chances for success going forward are likely the brightest they've ever been. Should the Zags kick butt over the next couple of weeks they'll only get brighter. Good for Przemek!

TexasZagFan
03-15-2017, 09:13 AM
Unless ... If everyone is going one way a team that can go both ways WELL will have an advantage. Example - Zags. People tend to trend and I can understand the pressures that this NBA scout is under. The bottom line is that if you have more arrows in your quiver, considering you're a good shot, the more likely you're going to survive - especially if you have to battle some adversities. Pro teams likely have a few $ concerns when it comes to packing a roster with various skills. I'm more than definitely biased when it comes to Mt. K but I feel if he was truly added to an NBA team and utilized effectively, when the situation warranted, that team would have an edge over their rivals.

What's keen about Karnowski in this situation is that he's not a home grown kid. He may very well prefer to go back home and play for a European team. In this case he has the best of both circumstances. He may be able to get into the NBA and he certainly will be sought after back home. I feel the season he's put in has erased most if not all concerns about his back. His chances for success going forward are likely the brightest they've ever been. Should the Zags kick butt over the next couple of weeks they'll only get brighter. Good for Przemek!

As the season has progressed, I've noticed large strides in the area of quickness/foot speed. He's been much more nimble and athletic while defending the rim, and has blocked more shots lately. The nay-sayers are going to be shocked at the athleticism and skill displayed by the Zags.

MileHigh
03-15-2017, 09:45 AM
Just a couple of snippets, but how, if your post players are shooting over 60% can the post-up possibly be the worst shot in basketball?

.

I doubt that he is averaging over 60% on his post ups(catch ball on block with back to basket). His FG% includes put backs, buckets off lobs, lay ups where he catches the ball facing the basket, etc

zagfan24
03-15-2017, 09:54 AM
One of the questions I've had about possession efficiency statistics is whether they capture the bigger picture or are looked at merely independently. To put that another way, does a less efficient shot (fewer points on average per shot) gain value by allowing greater floor spacing, forcing the defense to respect each player, etc.? I've felt the same way about the much maligned mid-range jumper. I totally understand that the value of the shot in a vacuum is inferior, but I do wonder if players create more uncertainty for their defender by demonstrating the ability to hit from anywhere, and are also able to open up the floor more both in the post and around the perimeter.

seacatfan
03-15-2017, 10:47 AM
One of the questions I've had about possession efficiency statistics is whether they capture the bigger picture or are looked at merely independently. To put that another way, does a less efficient shot (fewer points on average per shot) gain value by allowing greater floor spacing, forcing the defense to respect each player, etc.? I've felt the same way about the much maligned mid-range jumper. I totally understand that the value of the shot in a vacuum is inferior, but I do wonder if players create more uncertainty for their defender by demonstrating the ability to hit from anywhere, and are also able to open up the floor more both in the post and around the perimeter.

I was also thinking about the mid range jumper. I keep hearing that's the worst shot in basketball. Now it's the post up? I can't keep up w/ new age basketball. I kind of feel like I'm being told I know nothing about the game I've been watching my whole life. I still like to think if you can make the ball go in the basket, it really doesn't matter where you're shooting from.

MontanaCoyote
03-15-2017, 11:25 AM
Unless ... If everyone is going one way a team that can go both ways WELL will have an advantage. Example - Zags. People tend to trend and I can understand the pressures that this NBA scout is under. The bottom line is that if you have more arrows in your quiver, considering you're a good shot, the more likely you're going to survive - especially if you have to battle some adversities. Pro teams likely have a few $ concerns when it comes to packing a roster with various skills. I'm more than definitely biased when it comes to Mt. K but I feel if he was truly added to an NBA team and utilized effectively, when the situation warranted, that team would have an edge over their rivals.

What's keen about Karnowski in this situation is that he's not a home grown kid. He may very well prefer to go back home and play for a European team. In this case he has the best of both circumstances. He may be able to get into the NBA and he certainly will be sought after back home. I feel the season he's put in has erased most if not all concerns about his back. His chances for success going forward are likely the brightest they've ever been. Should the Zags kick butt over the next couple of weeks they'll only get brighter. Good for Przemek!

What I want for Karno. Finish his graduate work. What a great story right there. Success wherever he plays and a secure financial future for himself and his family. Happiness, he's earned it. Good health. And........and just maybe seeing him return to Gonzaga in some capacity when his playing days are over...........coach, public relations, recruiting. I want him back!

When I think of this I picture Shem ducking through a door and walking into a room to talk to high school seniors interested
in attending GU. Whoa! The Mountain, His Presence! Talk about a first impression!

One great kid!

GonzagasaurusFlex
03-15-2017, 11:39 AM
As the season has progressed, I've noticed large strides in the area of quickness/foot speed. He's been much more nimble and athletic while defending the rim, and has blocked more shots lately. The nay-sayers are going to be shocked at the athleticism and skill displayed by the Zags.

Yeah, I agree. PK playing best ball of his career. Everyone talks about how important matchups are in the tourney; not many teams have had to match up vs Karnowski. Tillie is a problem solver, as Few has said; PK is a problem starter!!

ZagWhoShotLibertyValance
03-15-2017, 11:53 AM
Hmmm. Would Arvydis Sabonis, using the same analysis, been perceived as the value he became? Is the game so different? Didn't he play in much the same style, with superlative passing skills from the post?

Zagceo
03-15-2017, 12:00 PM
As the season has progressed, I've noticed large strides in the area of quickness/foot speed. He's been much more nimble and athletic while defending the rim, and has blocked more shots lately. The nay-sayers are going to be shocked at the athleticism and skill displayed by the Zags.

agree.....

How many even remember what Przemek looked like a year ago?

http://i1298.photobucket.com/albums/ag58/Corey_Olson/Screen%20Shot%202017-03-15%20at%209.33.51%20AM_zpsxvpdspgn.png