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IMADEYOUREADTHIS
02-05-2019, 08:55 AM
Good column today by Mr. Cameron (https://www.cdapress.com/zag_basketball/20190205/tougher_defense_critical_for_gonzaga). I found this part especially interesting:


“That’s really the thing for Gonzaga,” Pomeroy said in an interview with the Athletic. “In order to win the national title, you need to have really good offense and really good defense in the NCAA tournament — and if they are the 50th-best defense, you can probably turn it on.

“But if you are the 30th-best defense, the 20th-best defense, then you know. Their upsides are really, really good.”

MontanaCoyote
02-05-2019, 03:41 PM
Good column today by Mr. Cameron (https://www.cdapress.com/zag_basketball/20190205/tougher_defense_critical_for_gonzaga). I found this part especially interesting:

The defense will have to be there to go deep, but sounds like Pomeroy thinks the Zags can gear it up when they need to. We shall see.
What I’m thinking, right or wrong, is that the “soft” (relatively speaking) underbelly of the Zags MIGHT be that they can be thrown off stride and off their game by a really tough, pesky, tense, in your face/grill pressure defense. They just don’t like all those mosquitoes pestering them and having to fight their way through them to run their stuff.

Overcoming that against WCC competition is one thing. Against dance competition might well be another.

Just thinking aloud.

ZigZagger
02-05-2019, 04:01 PM
The defense has certainly improved of late but it is hard to know by how much. So I did a fairly crude approximation:

According to Kenpom, Gonzaga's defensive efficiency was 96.6 on 1/5 (after 15 games).
Gonzaga is currently at 94.7 after 23 games. To drop reduce the rating by almost 2 points in 8 games means that over that span we had to average a 91.4 efficiency rating.

A 91.4 efficiency rating would put us at #15 in today's ranking.

I realize that this is a flawed method given the volatility of the metric overall, but it does help me 'ballpark' how well the team has played of late.

OntZags
02-05-2019, 04:51 PM
The defense has certainly improved of late but it is hard to know by how much. So I did a fairly crude approximation:

According to Kenpom, Gonzaga's defensive efficiency was 96.6 on 1/5 (after 15 games).
Gonzaga is currently at 94.7 after 23 games. To drop reduce the rating by almost 2 points in 8 games means that over that span we had to average a 91.4 efficiency rating.

A 91.4 efficiency rating would put us at #15 in today's ranking.

I realize that this is a flawed method given the volatility of the metric overall, but it does help me 'ballpark' how well the team has played of late.

If you go by Barttorvik (who uses a modified version of Kenpom's old algorithm), Gonzaga has been the 3rd best team defensively nationally in the past 10 games. The improvement has been substantial since that UNC game and especially augmented with the return of Tillie/Crandall.

I am really not concerned with the defense at all. This group has the potential to be pretty damn comparable defensively to the 2017 team with a better offense to boot.

HRZag
02-05-2019, 06:21 PM
It was a nice article, but an entire article about Zag defense and he didn't even mention Geno Crandall. I think his addition to the backcourt is a big addition for our defense, because he is a great defender and he gives Perk and Zach some rest so they can go hard and not worry about fouls.

Same thing for Tillie, not only does he add a big athletic rim protector, but he gives our guys time to recover and can absorb some fouls. Really helps the depth.

CDC84
02-06-2019, 10:12 AM
Same thing for Tillie, not only does he add a big athletic rim protector, but he gives our guys time to recover and can absorb some fouls. Really helps the depth.

I think it continues to be really important that Few gives Petrusev minutes. I realize he is stuck behind Rui, Clarke and Tillie, but based on what I saw at Santa Clara, he is still really sharp from playing against all those BCS bigs and top 15 teams. One of Petrusev's best games of the year was vs. Duke. The kid can play. Having a four man big man rotation is such a massive advantage, both in terms of absorbing fouls and guys being able to exert more effort on defense. I am not a big fan of GU's zone defense this year. I would rather have Filip out there and continue to play man to man if GU's frontcourt guys get in serious foul trouble. I want Petrusev to remain sharp. There is going to be a game in the NCAA's where he will be needed.

HRZag
02-06-2019, 10:46 AM
CDC, I agree, Petrusev should be getting some minutes. He gets caught on defense, but so has Tillie lately.

MontanaCoyote
02-06-2019, 11:12 AM
I think it continues to be really important that Few gives Petrusev minutes. I realize he is stuck behind Rui, Clarke and Tillie, but based on what I saw at Santa Clara, he is still really sharp from playing against all those BCS bigs and top 15 teams. One of Petrusev's best games of the year was vs. Duke. The kid can play. Having a four man big man rotation is such a massive advantage, both in terms of absorbing fouls and guys being able to exert more effort on defense. I am not a big fan of GU's zone defense this year. I would rather have Filip out there and continue to play man to man if GU's frontcourt guys get in serious foul trouble. I want Petrusev to remain sharp. There is going to be a game in the NCAA's where he will be needed.

I agree, and would say possibly even more than needed, a difference maker, the difference in going even a game or two deeper at the dance. Base this, as posted before, on what FLA ST was able to do against us last year. Bringing guys in off the bench that contributed quality minutes, specially on D and the boards*. Their ability to do that beat us IMHO.
Granted, we only have one Petrol, but still, at the margin, one Petrol could be just enough to make the difference.
Needs playing time to be ready for that role. Time will tell.

* Seem to remember that FLA ST got even better when these guys came in. Quality depth!

ZagsGoZags
02-06-2019, 05:08 PM
Good column today by Mr. Cameron (https://www.cdapress.com/zag_basketball/20190205/tougher_defense_critical_for_gonzaga). I found this part especially interesting:

This is what Abe would say. The steady drumbeat on the crucial nature of having an elite defense.

TravelinZag
02-07-2019, 12:55 PM
Zags have a few games they will win overwhelmingly. If fouls committed are not included in defensive stats, perhaps Zags should consider committing a couple more in these games. Usually would not condone, much less advocate this, but stats are just an absurd game that will affect seeding. So giving up some extra free throws might be effective, even if sleazy. Game the system. Just saying.