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View Full Version : Myron Medcalf calling out our porous defense



thespywhozaggedme
12-16-2018, 12:07 PM
Since the team's win over Arizona in the Maui Invitational last month, Gonzaga has surrendered 82.8 points per game. North Carolina made 55 percent of its shots outside the paint on Saturday, per ESPN Stats & Info. The Bulldogs have a fleet of playmakers, but a Gonzaga team that started the day ranked first in adjusted offensive efficiency on KenPom.com has failed to play with the defensive discipline that fueled its predecessors.
Gonzaga's rise from mid-major king to perennial national power is tied to its defensive ascent. The Bulldogs have finished within the top 30 in adjusted defensive efficiency on KenPom.com the past six seasons, a stretch that featured an Elite Eight run in 2015 and an appearance in the national title game in 2017.

They've lost that defensive mojo. Before Saturday, Gonzaga had not allowed 100-plus points in regulation since a 2007 road loss to Virginia.

This is unlike Mark Few's program. Yes, the eventual returns of Tillie and Crandall should help. But the team's defensive lapses have followed the Bulldogs all season. Those problems cost them a neutral-site win when they squandered a late lead against Tennessee last weekend in Phoenix, and they were never competitive Saturday against North Carolina, which made 52 percent of its 3-pointers.

Gonzaga won't compete for a national title unless the team addresses its defensive problems.

http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/25542885/why-gonzaga-ucla-syracuse-concerned

WBM
12-16-2018, 12:32 PM
I read that this afternoon, too, and I thought it was pretty convincing. I have been more and more impressed with our defense these last several years, and it is the thing I believe is holding us back from reaching our potential (above injuries, obviously) right now.

I really didn't get to see much from Crandall, but I've seen other posters who are hopeful he can be a boon to our defense when he returns. Obviously Tillie will help, too. We have a lot of time to grow, but I do worry that we will be training against WCC opponents, most of whom are not high caliber teams.

Zags11
12-16-2018, 12:33 PM
Shhh you'll offend people.

jazzdelmar
12-16-2018, 12:35 PM
Indeed. That sky is cracking wide open. Don’t look.


Shhh you'll offend people.

willandi
12-16-2018, 12:35 PM
Geno's being injured has hurt the perimeter defense.

JPtheBeasta
12-16-2018, 12:51 PM
Poor defense is in part due to lack of depth. I’m not worried.... yet. (Although I have thought since the pre-season that a lack of a Karnowski-like presence in the middle is keeping this from being a complete team).

MontanaCoyote
12-16-2018, 12:59 PM
OK, but nothing new! A quick look at posts on this board, game thread and post game, affirmed the lack of D, not only for the NC game but as a precursor for the season to come.

The question remains. Can the Zags get good enough on D to beat the Dukes, Tennessee’s, NC’s and Kansas’ of this world.
That IS THE Question!

TexasZagFan
12-16-2018, 01:03 PM
OK, but nothing new! A quick look at posts on this board, game thread and post game, affirmed the lack of D, not only for the NC game but as a precursor for the season to come.

The question remains. Can the Zags get good enough on D to beat the Dukes, Tennessee’s, NC’s and Kansas’ of this world.
That IS THE Question!

Not if our starters continue to average 30+ minutes a game. It's a long season, and fatigue leads to mental errors as the game gets down to crunch time. Getting Killian and Geno back soon will solidify the rotation.

MontanaCoyote
12-16-2018, 01:07 PM
Poor defense is in part due to lack of depth. I’m not worried.... yet. (Although I have thought since the pre-season that a lack of a Karnowski-like presence in the middle is keeping this from being a complete team).

So have I, and posted it as well. Nicknamed Karno “The Presence” simply because his presence, in, of and by itself changed
Everything. Remember the line, “You need taxi fare to get around him.” We do miss that........ a lot.

MDABE80
12-16-2018, 01:32 PM
Zags yielding 78.8 Ppg.Ranked 305th in points allowed. This article was published earlier in the post game thoughts.

bartruff1
12-16-2018, 03:06 PM
duh

raise the zag
12-16-2018, 04:59 PM
Geno's being injured has hurt the perimeter defense.

As I've posted ad nauseum, Geno was instantly our best, most creative defender on the perimeter.

His ball handling is suspect, but he gets in a defensive stance and commits to plugging the lane.

He is a pretty good slasher too.

If his shooting comes around, will be such a difference maker by season's end.

MontanaCoyote
12-16-2018, 05:10 PM
As I've posted ad nauseum, Geno was instantly our best, most creative defender on the perimeter.

His ball handling is suspect, but he gets in a defensive stance and commits to plugging the lane.

He is a pretty good slasher too.

If his shooting comes around, will be such a difference maker by season's end.

I thought you said you were done posting until...........!? Welcome back!

JPtheBeasta
12-17-2018, 04:36 AM
So have I, and posted it as well. Nicknamed Karno “The Presence” simply because his presence, in, of and by itself changed
Everything. Remember the line, “You need taxi fare to get around him.” We do miss that........ a lot.

Agreed. Even JW3’s contributions would be welcome right now.

Outraged
12-17-2018, 04:52 AM
We just need to get in position under the basket. We need to get in front of the ball. We need to follow for 2nd chance opportunities. We need to communicate.

siliconzag
12-17-2018, 05:30 AM
Race horse basketball is a winning strategy, until it isn't. The power of prayer is apparently overestimated against the good three point shooting teams. I am glad I am in Italy and don't have to watch. Congrats on the Duke game incidentally.

jazzdelmar
12-17-2018, 05:35 AM
And the Creighton game? :D


Race horse basketball is a winning strategy, until it isn't. The power of prayer is apparently overestimated against the good three point shooting teams. I am glad I am in Italy and don't have to watch. Congrats on the Duke game incidentally.

zagzilla
12-17-2018, 11:50 AM
I'm not sure how much hope to place on Tillie and Crandall returning. When he has been healthy, Tillie has been a middling defender prone to great efforts and then lapsing into indifference at other times.

We haven't seen enough of Crandall to really know how to assess him-especially vs high level players.

Clarke is a high level defender and so is Josh. Rui is a work in progress and Kispert is mostly a defensive liability. Norvell can lock people down but needs to commit to it every possession.

One thing that is definitely true is that fewer minutes for starters with a healthy bench means everybody is fresher at the end of games. We looked gassed at the end of the Tennessee game. However, against UNC, we looked soft from the opening tip. Nice that we turned them over as much as we did but hard to tell if that was more about them being sloppy or us getting after them.

With the current level of defense we are a sweet 16 team. If Few can get them straightened out, we are as good as anybody out there.

ZZ

CarolinaZagFan
12-17-2018, 12:08 PM
I’d like to see a lineup of Josh, Zach, Rui, Clarke and Petrusev get some run to see if a lineup like that would work when Tillie returns.

zagdontzig
12-17-2018, 12:21 PM
He's not wrong. When was the last time an away put up 90 points at Chapel Hill and lost?

JPtheBeasta
12-17-2018, 12:50 PM
I understand being beaten in individual matchups from time to time but the poor defensive rotations and the collective lack of interest in playing up on the 3-point shooters is what has been so painful to watch. The good news is that those things should be correctable.

MontanaCoyote
12-17-2018, 12:52 PM
Agreed. Even JW3’s contributions would be welcome right now.

Right! Both his attitude and his play.

siliconzag
12-17-2018, 02:04 PM
Creighton is an inexperienced team with no inside presence Jazz. [Preseason Rating 8th in the Big East) Jays are just learning to play together. 1 junior and four sophomores. They also suffer from inconsistent defense. Not sure if they have a shot but with Nova down it looks to me they do and if so, assuming no more injuries they are potentially a threat March. Anyway, good to hear from you, even with the apparent snark. Buon Natale a te e Zitat la famiglia. Sili. PS I think Marquette may be BA big threat to Villanova this year.

jazzdelmar
12-17-2018, 02:20 PM
Forza, Juve. No snark. So no Vinci Avalon this year? Buono Natale



Creighton is an inexperienced team with no inside presence Jazz. [Preseason Rating 8th in the Big East) Jays are just learning to play together. 1 junior and four sophomores. They also suffer from inconsistent defense. Not sure if they have a shot but with Nova down it looks to me they do and if so, assuming no more injuries they are potentially a threat March. Anyway, good to hear from you, even with the apparent snark. Buon Natale a te e Zitat la famiglia. Sili. PS I think Marquette may be BA big threat to Villanova this year.

MontanaCoyote
12-17-2018, 03:32 PM
I understand being beaten in individual matchups from time to time but the poor defensive rotations and the collective lack of interest in playing up on the 3-point shooters is what has been so painful to watch. The good news is that those things should be correctable.

Correct. Sometimes (in my ignorance I suppose) I just can’t believe how far off our guys play D on perimeter shooters. Collapsing to the middle is one thing, but this “Long Distant D” will get us a return flight home from The Dance a lot sooner than I think any of us want to see.

DADoZAG
12-17-2018, 03:41 PM
Not if our starters continue to average 30+ minutes a game. It's a long season, and fatigue leads to mental errors as the game gets down to crunch time. Getting Killian and Geno back soon will solidify the rotation.

True, but it's not just the minutes.

It's the pace.

Starters get gassed spinting up on offense every play.

Go ZAGS!

CDC84
12-17-2018, 09:28 PM
Not trying to create excuses, 8 out of the 9 last nine games have been against BCS/BE teams, and many of them ranked or NCAA tourney capable. Most on the road or neutral. The Zags need some games against easier competition to improve. If you saw the Mark Few Show, he admits he overdid the schedule, but in fairness to him, he couldn't have known about the injuries. Too many heavy hitters in a row.

Medcalf should've cut GU some slack for the Duke game. If a team defends Duke like that, and if they have a good offense, they'll have a chance to win. Because no one is slowing down Duke's offense except maybe Virginia. I am not the least bit concerned about the amount of points that GU allowed Duke.

Also, I am more concerned about GU defensive stats other than PPG. So much of that is about game pace.

raise the zag
12-18-2018, 09:47 AM
Just saw we currently rank/rate 203rd of 347 teams in defensive points given per possession.

Not great but not as bad I thought.

We are near dead last in overall 3pt defense, but not that terrible in 2pt D.

However, based on KenPom we have played the 3rd toughest schedule in College Hoops...when you account for the offenses we have played against. Our power index SOS is #1.

We still ranked #63rd overall in defense, and #1 in offense. O e of the more interesting stats is that we are ranked Top 10 overall in KenPom, and the next lowest defense is ranked around #25. Found that particularly intriguing...a significant discrepancy.

CDC84
12-18-2018, 10:00 AM
Gonzaga is 65th in defensive efficiency at kenpom.com as of today.

WallaWallaZag
12-19-2018, 11:03 PM
Gonzaga is 65th in defensive efficiency at kenpom.com as of today.

so i guess throttling ut-arlington didn't help the ranking much...of course they had poor offensive efficiency numbers to begin with.

gonzagafan62
12-20-2018, 12:12 AM
so i guess throttling ut-arlington didn't help the ranking much...of course they had poor offensive efficiency numbers to begin with.

Nope. We back #60 now

GrizZAG
12-20-2018, 05:17 AM
We've been getting killed on the O boards lately. In fairness, we have a talented freshman in Fillip that is learning how to bang and rebound without fouling, Rui who certainly has it all, but is out of position way too often and is struggling with boxing out, and Norvell who at times doesn't stay in front of his man. Clarke is our MR. Rebound and for some reason is not at his normal level of intensity at times lately or out of position, Kispert who doesn't stay in front of his man at times and two young projects as backup off the bench. Add to these deficits fatigue and here we are. Not super hard to figure out what's going on.
Salt in some bonehead turnovers, missed easy shots and sloppy play and it's not a good recipe for success.
We know coaches are well aware and working hard to get these deficits cleaned up so it's all part of building a new team from new pieces and parts this year.
Add however that we tend to sag off perimeter shooters too often leaving sharpshooters too much room to play. Teams are putting up record 3 point shooting against us too often.

raise the zag
12-20-2018, 05:58 AM
We've been getting killed on the O boards lately. In fairness, we have a talented freshman in Fillip that is learning how to bang and rebound without fouling, Rui who certainly has it all, but is out of position way too often and is struggling with boxing out, and Norvell who at times doesn't stay in front of his man. Clarke is our MR. Rebound and for some reason is not at his normal level of intensity at times lately or out of position, Kispert who doesn't stay in front of his man at times and two young projects as backup off the bench. Add to these deficits fatigue and here we are. Not super hard to figure out what's going on.
Salt in some bonehead turnovers, missed easy shots and sloppy play and it's not a good recipe for success.
We know coaches are well aware and working hard to get these deficits cleaned up so it's all part of building a new team from new pieces and parts this year.
Add however that we tend to sag off perimeter shooters too often leaving sharpshooters too much room to play. Teams are putting up record 3 point shooting against us too often.

good post/overview.

even UT-Arlington beat us on offensive boards.

the 3pt shooting has been PTSD from 2008-2013 era.

its quite interesting 4 teams have shot their season high in 3pt shots made & 3pt % vs us. certainly no coincidence.

while the 3pt defense is mostly two players getting abused on perimeter, or simply getting lost, its a team effort.

2nd chance points are a problem for ANY team, no matter how good you are, at the D1 level, they will make shots eventually, esp given 2 or 3 chances.

North Carolina had 21 2nd chance points...even if we cut that in half...which is reasonable, its a tie game. Zags had 0....0 2nd chance points. Unheard of stat.

maynard g krebs
12-20-2018, 10:25 AM
even UT-Arlington beat us on offensive boards.



They missed twice as many shots, so had twice as many opportunities, more or less. Zags got a much higher % of o boards than UTA did.

So I guess it depends on how you define beat.

WallaWallaZag
12-20-2018, 09:16 PM
Agreed. Even JW3’s contributions would be welcome right now.

jw3 had a physicality and toughness about him that current zags lack...clarke is a better athlete, shotblocker, and scorer, but the extra size and strength jw3 has on him makes a difference in the paint...he knew how to throw his muscle around. jw3 better one-on-one post defender and knew how to carve out space in the paint.