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View Full Version : Withers' Blog: Don't look now



sittingon50
07-31-2018, 03:35 PM
https://en.bloguru.com/GloryHounds/329960/dont-look-now-but-arizonas-peering-up-at

hockeyzag
08-01-2018, 09:59 AM
Thanks for posting. I love Bud's blog.

CDC84
08-01-2018, 10:49 AM
The second season that Arizona got beat by Wisconsin in the elite 8 was a joke. Villanova had zero business being a one seed that season. Wisconsin should've been the number one in the east, with Zona the number one in the west. I am pretty sure that if the NCAA would have done their job correctly, Sean Miller would have a final four under his belt.

tinfoilzag
08-01-2018, 11:05 AM
https://en.bloguru.com/GloryHounds/329960/dont-look-now-but-arizonas-peering-up-at

Since 2000, we are 2-6 vs AZ. As far as program goes, I think we are currently in better shape than AZ but in head-to-head, we are still the little brother.

ZagzKrak
08-01-2018, 11:11 AM
The second season that Arizona got beat by Wisconsin in the elite 8 was a joke. Villanova had zero business being a one seed that season. Wisconsin should've been the number one in the east, with Zona the number one in the west. I am pretty sure that if the NCAA would have done their job correctly, Sean Miller would have a final four under his belt.

Missed seeding happens all the time....Zags 11 seed Utah 3 seed...Zags win by 22 and everyone knew going into that game that the Zags were heavy favorites.

raise the zag
08-01-2018, 11:16 AM
Thanks for posting. I love Bud's blog.

Ditto. This recent post screams off-season though...

Kinda pointless but still Zag news. I'll take it.

seacatfan
08-01-2018, 12:32 PM
The second season that Arizona got beat by Wisconsin in the elite 8 was a joke. Villanova had zero business being a one seed that season. Wisconsin should've been the number one in the east, with Zona the number one in the west. I am pretty sure that if the NCAA would have done their job correctly, Sean Miller would have a final four under his belt.

Pretty sure Kaminsky played the 2 best games of his career in back to back Tourney appearances against Arizona. They made him look like Lew Alcindor. If that wasn't bad enough, the in my opinion way overrated Sam Dekker also had a career game against the Cats the second meeting. Wisconsin was a mediocre 3 point shooting team that couldn't miss in that '15 game. I've hated Wisky ever since.

rennis
08-02-2018, 06:20 AM
I loved Dekker. Reminds me a lot of Calvary. Just not as bouncy or tough.

CDC84
08-02-2018, 08:59 AM
Especially with the haircut.

CDC84
08-02-2018, 09:17 AM
Missed seeding happens all the time....Zags 11 seed Utah 3 seed...Zags win by 22 and everyone knew going into that game that the Zags were heavy favorites.

I agree that misseedings do occur (see Gonzaga 2002), but I'm sorry, you CANNOT mess up number one seeds. No excuses. I can deal with mess ups elsewhere (unless they involve the Zags :)), but not with number ones. Arizona was as much of a clear cut #1 as Wisconsin was. Everyone on that 2015 committee should never be allowed to serve on the committee ever again based on that mistake alone.

Regarding that Zag team who beat Utah.....were the Zags really heavy favorites with Vegas? Gonzaga wouldn't have even made the tournament if they had not won the WCC tournament. I doubt that any 11 has ever been a heavy favorite over a 3.

That being said, if you go back throughout the history of the NCAA tournament, every single season you will find one if not two number three seeds that are "weak." It happens every single season, and I have zero idea why, but it has NOTHING to do with misseeding. The teams who get the threes deserve them, but you just know they are vulnerable. It's why I feel the #11 seed is one of the best seeds you can get in the tournament if you are not a protected seed. 6's can be beaten, and then you might draw that weak 3 seed. And if you beat the 3, then you don't have to face the one seed in the S-16. Utah was a vulnerable team who I felt could be beaten by Gonzaga the moment I saw them on the screen. I knew that Karno would kick Pöltl's butt in that game. The same exact 11 seed/3 seed thing happened in 2010 when Washington blew out a very weak New Mexico team, which launched UW into the sweet 16. But again, Utah and New Mexico DESERVED their 3 seeds based on accomplishment.

I can deal with the 11 seed/3 seed phenomena, but you cannot screw up number one seeds. The committee MUST get those right, and it's inexcusable for them to make any errors in that area. Arizona not getting a number one that year was, in my opinion, one of the worst misseedings in the history of the NCAA tournament. Villanova had ZERO business being a one. I also felt it was tremendously unfair that the committee stuck Arizona in the same region with Wisconsin again after the same two teams faced each other in the west regional elite 8 the previous season. They have to avoid stuff like that when they can.

Fans were deprived of having the final four they should have had: Wisconsin, Arizona, Kentucky and Duke. It would've been one of the best final fours ever. And Sean Miller wouldn't have this monkey on his back. I'm talking about the FBI :)

MDABE80
08-02-2018, 11:45 AM
CDC: one word--->politics. I've always though much of the seeding process has a lot ( not all) to do with politics. Few's in the middle of politics but to his credit, everyone seems like him and the Zag teams he produces these days. He's a good guy, does his Coaches for Cancer things and contributes to others' programs to help people out.

In some ways it's like being on an editorial board. You make friends.....grants come your way as do further publications.
Marks done a masterful job developing this program on and off the court.

007Zag
08-02-2018, 12:14 PM
Regarding that Zag team who beat Utah.....were the Zags really heavy favorites with Vegas? Gonzaga wouldn't have even made the tournament if they had not won the WCC tournament. I doubt that any 11 has ever been a heavy favorite over a 3.

I don't know that it qualifies as "heavy", but the Zags were a 1.5-pt favorite according to this: http://archive.sltrib.com/article.php?id=3683015&itype=CMSID

soccerdud
08-02-2018, 12:47 PM
minor point, cdc-- but it was domas that worked poetl; not karno. that was the year of karno's bad back.

also, we were slight favorites in both of our first two games, iirc. but i definitely agree that we had to win the wcc tournament to get in.

Zagger
08-02-2018, 04:38 PM
It's going to be interesting to see how consistent Arizona can be - and to see how well Brandon Williams does. Having A FBI investigation hanging over the program's head has got to be difficult.

gonzagafan62
08-02-2018, 06:27 PM
Missed seeding happens all the time....Zags 11 seed Utah 3 seed...Zags win by 22 and everyone knew going into that game that the Zags were heavy favorites.

No they weren’t... not by Vegas or analysts. They were underdogs big time. That being said, Zags were a sexy pick to MAYBE upset Utah, but Utah was a clear favorite... let’s not be silly here i

ZagzKrak
08-02-2018, 06:32 PM
No they weren’t... not by Vegas or analysts. They were underdogs big time. That being said, Zags were a sexy pick to MAYBE upset Utah, but Utah was a clear favorite... let’s not be silly here i

Yes they were...Vegas had Zags -1.5.....just about every talking head was picking the Zags to win that game.

ZaGrad
08-04-2018, 03:10 PM
This article provides good context on how strong the Zags were as an 11: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/gonzaga-just-keeps-proving-it-never-should-have-been-an-11-seed/

Going into the game against Cuse, they had a 17 percent chance of reaching the Final Four. Crazy to think that they were a few bounces from potentially making it that year, with probably the weakest team in a decade. Sabonis and Wiltjer were awesome, but there was a huge drop-off after that.

DixieZag
08-04-2018, 06:16 PM
CDC: one word--->politics. I've always though much of the seeding process has a lot ( not all) to do with politics. Few's in the middle of politics but to his credit, everyone seems like him and the Zag teams he produces these days. He's a good guy, does his Coaches for Cancer things and contributes to others' programs to help people out.

In some ways it's like being on an editorial board. You make friends.....grants come your way as do further publications.
Marks done a masterful job developing this program on and off the court.

This.

Mark Few is one of the best coaches of the game. But as an overall "program manager" he is in the top handful in history. Some will find a way to read that comment as a negative re; "distilled basketball coaching." Not at all. It is that "program management" is the real coin of the realm in college basketball, where the head coach IS the star, he sets the tone/expectations for everyone from the top assistant, to the top recruits, to the basketball ops and even the academic support people (as seen in our graduation rates).

His work as the Leader of all things Zag basketball has given us many benefits that indirectly led to wins. Without Few and his reputation, would we have landed one of the all-time Zags (even a one year grad) Brian Wessley? Would Kyle have spent a year on the bench reinventing himself without having a training staff on the absolute cutting edge in R/D the entire idea of "training"? Would other blue bloods LIKE Sean Miller and Arizona warmly embrace home and home series with Gonzaga if Mark Few himself didn't so obviously represent "the top of the sport"?

More?

In the last 2-3 years, I've noticed we've gone further in the tournaments, and a marked improvement in defense. Is it coincidence that over those same years Few reached a helping hand out to coaches who can definitely "coach" but might need a spot to re-invent themselves over a couple years. Few brought in many guys who were particularly strong in certain areas, and I see Few as a man comfortable enough in his skin to listen to an unpaid assistant's suggestions based on their experience/strength. Is it coincidence? It couldn't happen without the right players, but I don't think it was just a coincidence the coaches were there, too.

When I hear you use the word "politics" I assume it is in the sense of money/power. Few has always been right in the middle of that measure. He knows you're not going to be elite without elite stuff and looking elite. He does not, however, let money define the program as it has in some other areas. He will fight for every dollar that is rightfully Gonzaga's. But he won't sell out his principles for that dollar.

You're right.

It gives him great flexibility in a sport where how one is perceived impacts everything from scheduling, to recruiting, to seeding, and he has all that because I've always thought of him more as a CEO than coach, but YES, he can coach with the best of them, too. In my mind, you can't give a college coach a bigger compliment. Nick Saban is NOT a football savant. He is a program management savant.