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View Full Version : The Athletic: Interesting Take On Zags



GonzagasaurusFlex
01-30-2019, 06:19 PM
Kendra Andrews of The Athletic (and current Gonzaga student) posted an article last Friday about Tillie. In reply to a comment there she said:


Kendra Andrews
I think itís very likable that Few plays Rui Clark and Tillie as starters and moves Corey Kispert to the bench. I think Killian is fully healed however heís not back to his old self as far as playing. Once heís got his quickness back and is has his legs under him a bit more I think youíll see him start. I would predict he is back starting by the end of the month/beginning of February.

Zagceo
01-30-2019, 06:26 PM
yep

DixieZag
01-30-2019, 07:19 PM
In terms of raw firepower to put points on the board, I doubt we've ever had 5 players like that on the floor all at once. They might give-up 95 in a game, but if you score 115, you still win by 20.

Outraged
01-30-2019, 07:22 PM
Kendra Andrews of The Athletic (and current Gonzaga student) posted an article last Friday about Tillie. In reply to a comment there she said:

I can see that. I think Krispert is a pistol off the bench. Also with all things being equal Tillie has limited time to get recognized to move to the next level. Offensive rebounds.

MDABE80
01-30-2019, 10:39 PM
Not worried about Killian getting noticed. I think we all want the title. I do anyway. I have doubts Killian goes to the NBA with such limited play this year.

Zagger
01-31-2019, 03:43 AM
Not worried about Killian getting noticed. I think we all want the title. I do anyway. I have doubts Killian goes to the NBA with such limited play this year.

There will be substantial buzz about Killian before the Dance is done. I feel that Killian was known pretty well by NBA scouts. He'll just have to show that he's back and that shouldn't take too long. I also feel that Killian will be a starter soon. Maybe not against BYU this evening. More likely @ home against San Diego on Saturday.

Hoopaholic
01-31-2019, 04:38 AM
Too late in season to change what is working and risk potential upset of the apple cart

GrizZAG
01-31-2019, 05:20 AM
Too late in season to change what is working and risk potential upset of the apple cart

This thought has been in my mind as well.

The core team that beat Duke was able to gel quite nicely from a chemistry standpoint. KT does change the mix, however I do believe him to be a superior player and this is no slight on him at all, he's terrific and talented. Now we have an adjustment situation with both KT and Geno in the mix. It has to be a challenge for MF.

NotoriousZ
01-31-2019, 05:35 AM
I like that lineup in smaller doses. Rui can hit the three, but he is far more valuable working in the paint. And keeping our bigs out of foul trouble is the key for us anyway.

bballbeachbum
01-31-2019, 06:59 AM
Too late in season to change what is working and risk potential upset of the apple cart

makes sense to me. KT fouls a lot too, so off the bench a nice role for him. He can still get 25+ minutes, play a key role, be a difference maker or even the best player on the floor any given night, etc.

thespywhozaggedme
01-31-2019, 07:12 AM
Kendra Andrews of The Athletic (and current Gonzaga student) posted an article last Friday about Tillie. In reply to a comment there she said:

"likeable"? Um....doesn't she mean likely?

thespywhozaggedme
01-31-2019, 07:14 AM
I can see that. I think Krispert is a pistol off the bench. Also with all things being equal Tillie has limited time to get recognized to move to the next level. Offensive rebounds.

Quick question, you always add an "r" to Corey's last name. Is that a nickname that you've given him? Just curious 'cause I notice that you always do it.

Reborn
01-31-2019, 07:49 AM
The team is definitely better on D with Tillie in the game instead of Petrusev. And the team will be better on D with Rui playing the wing instead of Kispert. I am looking forward to seeing Tillie start and moving Rui to the wing. Not playing a game on Saturday helped Few and the assistants develop some plays for Rui when he's playing at the wing. One thing I have noticed when Tillie is playing at the high post is that he is really good at passing down into the low post. When Rui is at the high post he's going to be looking to score. Rui has been almost unstoppable when he played the high post, and it will be interesting to see if he is equally unstoppable at the wing. I think Rui has been improving defensively each game. IMO I believe he's ready to defend the player who's playing the wing. This could also be a team that could play zone.

The Zags have 12 or 13 games left before the NCAA Tournament in March. I think this gives the team plenty of time to adjust to what could be the new starting lineup. The Zags will also be playing the toughest teams in the conference which will help prepare them for the national tournament. Accept for the game against San Francisco the conference games have been pretty boring and one sided. That should change. I know that BYU just beat St Mary's and San Diego just beat USF so the two games this weekend should be pretty good. I'm looking forward to them.

Go Zags!!!

willandi
01-31-2019, 08:09 AM
It will be interesting to see the starting lineup tonight, to see if Tillie starts over Kispert.

I am in the camp that having the three most productive bigs start put a defensive nightmare on opponents, but the gamble is that the Zags lose a big off the bench. I expect to see Kispert start, but would not be too surprised if Tillie starts soon.

raise the zag
01-31-2019, 08:18 AM
I anticipated Tillie to return to starting lineup yet highly doubt at this point in the season.

Coach Few has played Tillie, Rui, & Clarke together for past couple games in spot minutes. Quite frankly, he didn't seem comfortable with it all, and subbed asap both games.

It is our most talented lineup but not most effective, at least offensively. Tillie seems fine, passing along the hi post, looking to spread floor, yet when he rotates inside, Rui and/or Clarke look lost -- the only times they seem lost on offense all season. Spacing gets weird and off balance.

Maybe they are still getting comfortable yet with Kispert staying wide right or left, and only going inside to crash the boards, our spacing is more fluid and open.

The lineup simply hasn't worked well...yet.

Our defense is likely better, yet hasn't been noticeable vs WCC teams. Kispert is consistently exposed, even picked on, vs Top-25 teams, yet seems ok in Conference play. Still gets lost often, but that is a wart we and the coaching staff are ok with as his hustle, determination, and toughness makes up for it....most of the time.

I honestly do not think Coach Few changes the lineup the rest of the season. He also seems to love playing Geno and Tillie together in spurts, both create havoc on defense, esp Geno, and Tillie just superb when he's locked in.

Oddly enough, I like Tillie, Clarke, and Petrusev playing together on offense, it works well. Rebounding, size, spacing, etc. Its been a better lineup since Tillie's return; however, can't really take Rui off the floor. I'm just saying when Tillie is playing. Then again, its not as good on defense with Petrusev. Give and take.

I digress. Point is, I have a feeling the starting lineup remains the same til our last game this season, and Kispert has been on fire lately. Although he gives up 1 for 1 on defense.

Zagceo
01-31-2019, 08:25 AM
Tillie needs to play 25 to 30 minutes with starters come tourney time. He will be our best disrupter...a big that passes well and shoots three well.

I predict Tillie has a breakout game sooner rather than later.

gueastcoast
01-31-2019, 08:48 AM
I have no inside information but I do wonder if we worry way more about chemistry than the kids do. Few recruits high-character athletes who want to win and who I assume trust him completely to make decisions in furtherance of that goal.

zagamatic
01-31-2019, 09:09 AM
If anyone takes the starting position away from Kispert, it would be Geno in my opinion, not Tillie. As much as I love Rui, I just don't see him being effective at the 3 for long stretches

IowaSERE
01-31-2019, 09:09 AM
I'd like to see Rui at PF and Clark at C just like we have now, but have Tillie play the SF and be a sniper on the outside, keep the spacing, play inside out, attach the boards, and then he matches up with the PF on def.

stretch
01-31-2019, 09:11 AM
If the team is better with Tillie coming off the bench then that's the direction it should go. Rui was often the best Zag last season as a sixth man and Few can still give Killian starter type minutes in a reserve role.

Larryzag
01-31-2019, 09:28 AM
The last couple games I've noticed Kispert being a lot more aggressive. He's playing much better defense and he's driving more to the basket. Whether the coaches have had words with him or he saw Tillie waiting to take over his starting role, I like what I have seen lately. His three point shooting alone isn't good enough to keep him on the floor but if he keeps playing like he has then I think Tillie comes off the bench the rest of the season and post season.

tinfoilzag
01-31-2019, 10:16 AM
If anyone takes the starting position away from Kispert, it would be Geno in my opinion, not Tillie. As much as I love Rui, I just don't see him being effective at the 3 for long stretches

This is the correct answer. I think the lineup that will be on the floor the most come tourney time will be Josh, Geno, Zach, Rui, and BC. This is the most defense we can have on the floor without sacrificing too much on the offensive side.

Tillie is a foul magnet. Kispert and Petrusev aren't much better so having more than 1 of these 3 players on the floor together is a problem.

Jeremy is a solid sub but has a lower offensive ceiling.

All that said, it's a fantastic bench.

TacomaZAG
01-31-2019, 11:01 AM
Too late in season to change what is working and risk potential upset of the apple cart

Hoop - Never too late in the season to keep improving. Luckily, the WCC season provides ample opportunity to experiment with different line-ups and personnel groups. As we all know, it's all about March (and April) for the ZAGS, and has been for going on 20 years.

This is a great thread, good points on both sides. I am least enamored of the 3-guard lineup, comfortable with the current starting 5, and intrigued with the possibilities of the Rui/BC/Tillie/Josh/Zach grouping. Ultimately, it's a good problem to have...............

I am confident Coach will pull the right strings, at the right times.

Enjoy the ride.

Go ZAGS

Markburn1
01-31-2019, 11:12 AM
I have no inside information but I do wonder if we worry way more about chemistry than the kids do. Few recruits high-character athletes who want to win and who I assume trust him completely to make decisions in furtherance of that goal.

I don't think so, east. In fact, I would lean the other way. These kids are ultra competitive at this level and they are 18-22 year olds. I agree that they are high character, but mess with playing time, rotations, prestige of being a starter, etc. and it has the potential of putting mentos in a coke bottle. Few is the best judge of whose ego needs to be stroked and also of the upside even if he does ruffle some feathers. Will be interesting to see.

Hoopaholic
01-31-2019, 11:20 AM
I don't think so, east. In fact, I would lean the other way. These kids are ultra competitive at this level and they are 18-22 year olds. I agree that they are high character, but mess with playing time, rotations, prestige of being a starter, etc. and it has the potential of putting mentos in a coke bottle. Few is the best judge of whose ego needs to be stroked and also of the upside even if he does ruffle some feathers. Will be interesting to see.

forgot girlfriends or maybe that is too PC?
roles and expectations and then sudden change to that is difficult and requires adjustment period and end of year is not good time to start that IMO

chemistry (of which you so elegantly described some of the factors that create chemistry) is a real issue that has to be balanced and I agree that Coach Few is the best judge of chemistry for success

CDC84
01-31-2019, 12:02 PM
My instinct is keep things the same as well, but the thing I don't understand is this. If Kispert is by far and away the worst defender in the rotation (not just a subjective view, but according to metrics - at least amongst the perimeters), how would having Tillie/Rui/Clarke out there make the defense a total disaster?? Do you really think they would allow 95 points per game?? I understand the defensive concerns, but Kispert isn't Erroll Knight. He's a guy that GU is often covering for.

On the other hand, Tillie has had a career long problem with picking up cheap fouls. ESPECIALLY the stupid reach in fouls from behind. This is not some new thing that has been happening due to him adjusting to game speed and building up stamina. It's been a huge issue his entire GU career. It's probably one of the reasons why Fewie seems so inclined to bring him off the pine. Beyond the offensive spark and different look he brings to the offense.

My main concern wouldn't be defense. It would be doing anything to mess up this offense. It's on a record pace. Right now, last year's Nova team and 2015 Wisconsin are the only teams with a higher offensive efficiency rating. GU is at 126.6 and rising. Do you really want to mess with that?

One thing is for sure.....if Kendra is correct, I don't think we will see Tillie/Rui/Clarke starting without extensive experimentation with the lineup before it actually becomes a starting lineup.

Vanzagger
01-31-2019, 01:07 PM
Pick 5 names out of a hat

Hoopaholic
01-31-2019, 01:24 PM
My instinct is keep things the same as well, but the thing I don't understand is this. If Kispert is by far and away the worst defender in the rotation (not just a subjective view, but according to metrics - at least amongst the perimeters), how would having Tillie/Rui/Clarke out there make the defense a total disaster?? Do you really think they would allow 95 points per game?? I understand the defensive concerns, but Kispert isn't Erroll Knight. He's a guy that GU is often covering for.

On the other hand, Tillie has had a career long problem with picking up cheap fouls. ESPECIALLY the stupid reach in fouls from behind. This is not some new thing that has been happening due to him adjusting to game speed and building up stamina. It's been a huge issue his entire GU career. It's probably one of the reasons why Fewie seems so inclined to bring him off the pine. Beyond the offensive spark and different look he brings to the offense.

My main concern wouldn't be defense. It would be doing anything to mess up this offense. It's on a record pace. Right now, last year's Nova team and 2015 Wisconsin are the only teams with a higher offensive efficiency rating. GU is at 126.6 and rising. Do you really want to mess with that?

One thing is for sure.....if Kendra is correct, I don't think we will see Tillie/Rui/Clarke starting without extensive experimentation with the lineup before it actually becomes a starting lineup.

what metrics say he is the worst defender?

maynard g krebs
01-31-2019, 02:29 PM
Rui at the 3 now imo isn't significantly different from playing Harris there, and we know how that played out. He does his best work posting up or midrange. Tillie is more of a 3 than Rui, if anything. I don't think we ever see a steady diet of KT, Clarke, Rui on the floor together; small doses as a changeup.

With Kispert in the starting lineup, the offense is #1 in the country by a very wide margin. A lot of what he does doesn't appear in the box score, but he contributes to spreading the floor both with the threat of his shot, and just making the right pass, on time, keeping the ball moving so somebody else gets an easy shot maybe two passes later. And that's enough to overcome whatever defensive deficiencies he has, which imo have been blown just a bit out of proportion on this board. There are good reasons Few made him a day one starter as a true frosh, ahead of Norvell, who had a redshirt year. If he was that incompetent on defense, Tony Bennett wouldn't have recruited him.

Agree that changing the starting lineup 2/3 of the way through the season would have potential for disaster. Fine if Kispert's minutes drop w/ Crandall and Tillie back though.

MDABE80
01-31-2019, 02:45 PM
There will be substantial buzz about Killian before the Dance is done. I feel that Killian was known pretty well by NBA scouts. He'll just have to show that he's back and that shouldn't take too long. I also feel that Killian will be a starter soon. Maybe not against BYU this evening. More likely @ home against San Diego on Saturday.
If he shows up and doesn't miss games...............could be. Right now though, he's not doing much to merit a high draft pick. .

webspinnre
01-31-2019, 04:09 PM
what metrics say he is the worst defender?

His defensive rating as listed on both basketball-reference and FOX sports has him as the worst regular player on defense. 9th out of the 9 players who average 10 or more minutes per game. The troubling part is that he's also 7th out of 9 in offensive rating. feel free to take the statistics with a grain of salt, but if the stats match the subjective view, it's probably worth considering if there's something going on.

thespywhozaggedme
01-31-2019, 09:55 PM
I don't think they played 1 minute together tonight. I guess it wasn't as "likeable" as she thought.

Zagceo
01-31-2019, 10:02 PM
I don't think they played 1 minute together tonight. I guess it wasn't as "likeable" as she thought.

post game interview on ESPN Few said Tillie is work in progress

maynard g krebs
02-01-2019, 12:58 PM
His defensive rating as listed on both basketball-reference and FOX sports has him as the worst regular player on defense. 9th out of the 9 players who average 10 or more minutes per game. The troubling part is that he's also 7th out of 9 in offensive rating. feel free to take the statistics with a grain of salt, but if the stats match the subjective view, it's probably worth considering if there's something going on.

I'll take that offensive rating with about a ten pound bag of salt. And those stats might not match YOUR subjective view, which is not necessarily THE subjective view. Mine differs.

Team offensive rating on Kenpom is now over 127 with Kispert playing most of the minutes, 4+ pts ahead of second. Within 0.7 of Villanova's O rating last year.


CK does a lot offensively that doesn't appear on the stat sheet, or the above wouldn't be happening. Sometimes just having a feel for when/where to move creates an opening for someone else to get an easy hoop, and that doesn't appear in the stat sheet. If there was a stat for offensive IQ, I'd say he'd be second on the team behind Perkins. That's why he was a day 1 starter as a true frosh imo.

zagfan1
02-01-2019, 01:32 PM
It will be interesting to see how the lineup evolves. Right now I am happy for CK and the confidence has has shooting the ball. However, I do know he plays better against the WCC teams and that may not equal the best solution come tournament time. Tillie doesn’t look like he did during the WCC tournament last year. Hopefully he can get there. I am very pumped about GC and what he has done since returning from injury. I am going to continue to go with my gut instinct that Geno replaces CK as the starter at some point. If it means our offensive efficiency rating drops to 2 or even to 4 so be it. Gonzaga’s goal is to win the championship. Whatever serves that potential outcome best has my vote!

Hoopaholic
02-01-2019, 01:53 PM
I'll take that offensive rating with about a ten pound bag of salt. And those stats might not match YOUR subjective view, which is not necessarily THE subjective view. Mine differs.

Team offensive rating on Kenpom is now over 127 with Kispert playing most of the minutes, 4+ pts ahead of second. Within 0.7 of Villanova's O rating last year.


CK does a lot offensively that doesn't appear on the stat sheet, or the above wouldn't be happening. Sometimes just having a feel for when/where to move creates an opening for someone else to get an easy hoop, and that doesn't appear in the stat sheet. If there was a stat for offensive IQ, I'd say he'd be second on the team behind Perkins. That's why he was a day 1 starter as a true frosh imo.

our view aligns on this issue he does so much more that does not show up on stat sheets but is evident as it pertains to flow and consistency on both ends of court.

maynard g krebs
02-01-2019, 01:55 PM
It will be interesting to see how the lineup evolves. Right now I am happy for CK and the confidence has has shooting the ball. However, I do know he plays better against the WCC teams and that may not equal the best solution come tournament time.

Since you referenced shooting the ball, last 5 games v power conf teams (Duke, Creighton, UW, Tennessee, UNC) CK shot 16/33 overall (48+%), 9/21 on 3's (43%) and 4/4 ft's for a true shooting % of 64%. So how do you "know" he plays better v WCC?

Zagceo
02-01-2019, 02:01 PM
Since you referenced shooting the ball, last 5 games v power conf teams (Duke, Creighton, UW, Tennessee, UNC) CK shot 16/33 overall (48+%), 9/21 on 3's (43%) and 4/4 ft's for a true shooting % of 64%. So how do you "know" he plays better v WCC?

last 5 games vs WCC 20-37 50+%

GonzagasaurusFlex
02-01-2019, 02:03 PM
Since you referenced shooting the ball, last 5 games v power conf teams (Duke, Creighton, UW, Tennessee, UNC) CK shot 16/33 overall (48+%), 9/21 on 3's (43%) and 4/4 ft's for a true shooting % of 64%. So how do you "know" he plays better v WCC?

Thanks Maynard. I’m officially hoping Few keeps starting lineup as is because Zags are finding their Flow, esp CK. Tillie and Crandall are savvy vets, as their games round into form they will get ample minutes and be impact players. Hope Zags keep Jeremy Jones engaged. He may well be needed at a crucial time so gotta keep getting him minutes.

scrooner
02-01-2019, 02:28 PM
For CK, it's crazy how different he shoots the 3 while stationary vs when he's moving. I wish I could see that stats on that, but it seems like if he dribbles before he shoots it's just meh, and if he catches and shoots while not moving laterally, he's amazing.

zagfan1
02-02-2019, 11:37 AM
Since you referenced shooting the ball, last 5 games v power conf teams (Duke, Creighton, UW, Tennessee, UNC) CK shot 16/33 overall (48+%), 9/21 on 3's (43%) and 4/4 ft's for a true shooting % of 64%. So how do you "know" he plays better v WCC?

Sorry for the delay in response. Looking at the key non conference games (Duke, Tenn, and UNC) CK was taking about 6 shot attempts per game and averaging 53% shooting. I am excluding Arizona, Illinois, Creighton, and UW because those teams weren’t good defensively or Gonzaga’s was not as characteristically good as they should be. Fast forward to WCC play and looking specifically LMU, Portland, SCU, and BYU games CK was averaging 8/9 shot attempts per game and averaging 56% shooting. I excluded the USF and Pacific games due to uncharacteristic shooting by CK.

webspinnre
02-02-2019, 01:25 PM
Sorry for the delay in response. Looking at the key non conference games (Duke, Tenn, and UNC) CK was taking about 6 shot attempts per game and averaging 53% shooting. I am excluding Arizona, Illinois, Creighton, and UW because those teams weren’t good defensively or Gonzaga’s was not as characteristically good as they should be. Fast forward to WCC play and looking specifically LMU, Portland, SCU, and BYU games CK was averaging 8/9 shot attempts per game and averaging 56% shooting. I excluded the USF and Pacific games due to uncharacteristic shooting by CK.

You can't really arbitrarily exclude games when you're doing statistics.

zagfan1
02-02-2019, 05:46 PM
You can't really arbitrarily exclude games when you're doing statistics.

You make think it is arbitrary. However, I dont think that. The fact is the only games that count are Duke, UNC, and Tennessee. All three teams will be a 1,2 or 3 seed.

GeorgiaZagFan
02-02-2019, 09:14 PM
However, I do know he plays better against the WCC teams and that may not equal the best solution come tournament time.

kind of a silly statement....I would believe that almost EVERY Zag player plays better against the weaker competition of the WCC! Playing against the likes of Duke, Tennessee, UNC and other big 5 conference teams is a bit different. Kispert is just fine and is an integral part of this team moving forward...

maynard g krebs
02-03-2019, 04:09 PM
You make think it is arbitrary. However, I dont think that. The fact is the only games that count are Duke, UNC, and Tennessee. All three teams will be a 1,2 or 3 seed.

If you don't think UW is good defensively, I don't know what to say.