View Full Version : Will will be just fine.

11-12-2007, 10:51 AM
While I know they were meant only as constructive criticism, several fans have been rather hard on young Foster. Believe it or not being a "BIG" is not an easy thing.
From ones introduction to the sport a big kid usually is behind the curve in coordination, speed, and aggressiveness. With age, practice, and dedication, which lead to confidence & ability there comes a point when everything comes together and from then on its ability, desire, and opportunity that define hs/her success. If Will listens to the Coaches, plays within himself, and does the things they ask, he will help the team in many ways this season. I have a feeling that Will Foster will make a name for himself at GU, and not just as a good player, but also as a good teammate.

11-12-2007, 12:40 PM
I will be first to admit that I have been critical of what I have seen out of Will. However, I don't think I have been overly harsh on him whatsoever. He is now well entrenched in the Gonzaga system and I am wondering how much time this 'project' has left. From summer posts and good reports I thought I would see Will bigger and at least somewhat improved.

From his perfromance in the first few outings, I just have not seen any imporvement from last year that tells me he will perfrom well here. People have pointed out that when he leaves Gonzaga he will be one of the best centers in the nation. I don't understand what has been seen that suggests this. For this to happen he needs to utilize his body and added weight more. He is still getting pushed around way way too much...against Montana. He is getting turned around down low and is very slow in his side to side movement in the paint.

My main point is this. With Poling, Sacre, and Davis and probably Heytvelt for another year because of the injury, where is Will going to get his minutes? I expect Sacre and Davis to make huge strides here and just don't see him happening. I know he his a fan favorite and is extraordinarily tall, but improvement is not there.

11-12-2007, 12:47 PM
Davis is a 4, not a 5 and probably won't be taking minutes there unless necessary b/c of injury etc. Poling might redshirt because of his strength. Josh very well might not be around - I think it's still quite a good chance he'll leave for the league after this year. Sacre will be good, I'm sure, but he'll need a back-up. There are a lot of scenarios, but I think Will will get his time in about all of them.

He does need to work on some things, no doubt, but I think he'll work hard and be okay. He just didn't get any passes that were reasonably catchable on offense yesterday. He had some issues on D, too, but really altered some shots and caused misses even if he didn't get blocks. His footwork was what I saw that needed the most improvement, but so does Sacre's. He'll be fine.

11-12-2007, 12:48 PM
As another poster who has been rather harsh on Will...i agree with everything BroncoZag had to say. I am always curious when I read posts where people say that there will be large contributions coming from Will in the future. I have seen nothing in any games or scrimmages that suggest anything of the sort. I understand that you cant touch height, but I dont see any basketball IQ from Will. He gets caught out of position on defense and has hands that make me believe any pass to him will be dropped.
Next season it seems the main bigs will be Heytvlet, Davis, and Sacre, and maybe Ira in a Pendo like role guarding some bigger players. Then in 09 we add brock to this group and lose heytvelt, and we will also have had a year for Poling to add some strength to his frame. Who do you see Will playing ahead of in this group?
I hope I am wrong and he becomes a dominant or even competent big man for this program because that would be great, but I have seen nothing from him that makes me believe this will happen.

11-12-2007, 12:54 PM
I know Theo is a natural four man but their are lineups that I saw last night where Austin was guarding Montana's center. With Mark's lineups I just lump all the big men together because our depth can make us so versatile. Sacre definitley needs to improve but he already seems to be more advanced and his strength is already there.

I hope he does prove me wrong, all I would like to see is improvement, and thus I have seen none.

11-12-2007, 01:00 PM
I agree that Foster will be facing tough competition for playing time. Those in the "know" have said on this board that a quality big is the coaches #1 target for 2009. Without improvement in several aspects of his game Will may be lost in the pool of talent now on the team.

11-12-2007, 01:47 PM
Is it just me, or does Will seem a bit lethargic vs. last year?

11-12-2007, 05:08 PM
i love will

11-12-2007, 06:49 PM
I watched the game for a fourth time. This time specifically tracking Foster to see how he did, and specifically to see if I missed these horrible hands, poor coordination, and low basketball IQ that he apparently exhibited.

Will enters the game after Kuso tramples a Montana guard giving him three free throw shots with 7:45 to go. Montana has 14 points after the freethrow attempts.

On offense, with 7:27 to go Foster creates a good seal when the ball is thrown to the opposite corner where Bouldin attempts a three. Foster also maintains inside position but the rebound goes long and is recovered by Pargo. Pargo then zips the ball to Pendo who makes the reverse layin. Foster has inside position if Pendo misses the shot.

6:53 on defense, Foster stands in the middle of the key in perfect help position. When the shot goes up, he quickly turns and finds his man and blocks him out.

6:29 on defense, player leaves feet to challenge pump fake by Montana guard who waits till defender goes by and then begins shooting motion. Will turns and blocks out. Mont guard enters ball to Will's man on the block. Will turns around quick enough to challenge the shot (having maintained inside position). The rushed shot doesn't get close to going in.

6:18 on offense, Pargo's pass over a defender fronting Foster while #2 (guard) is helping backside is too much for Will to handle. He gets a hand on it despite the double team but can't pull it in. (I suppose the inability to pull in this pass may be evidence to some of poor hands?)

5:55 on offense, Foster hustles down after Pendo steal and screens the high man on the 2-3 zone. The result is a reverse pass to wide open Daye who nails a three pointer. Smart play by Foster.

5:35 on defense, Foster in good defensive position at high post. Montana shoots. Foster finds his man, blocks out, and then goes and gets the rebound. Three Montana guys swipe at ball but he keeps it high and keeps his cool until he hits Daye with an outlet pass. Daye dribbles up to freethrow line and hits a jumper.

5:07 on defense, Pendo and Daye mess up on an off-ball pick. Both go with the man going high and nobody stays with big who steps to the block. Foster is in perfect help defense position and is keeping tabs on both his man and the ball. When the pass is entered into the wide open man on the post he challenges the layin but doesn't get the block. What looked like a sure basket ends up a miss but now Foster's original man crashes the boards and gets the put back dunk. Idiot announcer says, "Bad decision by Foster to go for the blocked shot..." However, if Foster doesn't go for the blocked shot the guy makes an uncontested layin, so he might as well challenge it and hope someone (like Daye who stands and watches instead of crashing the boards) helps him out and covers his man. It always sucks to have your man get a dunk but the mistake was either Pendo's or Daye's when they failed to switch properly.

4:30 on defense, switch puts him on a perimeter player. He backs off and when the guard picks up his dribble closes out and challenges the three point attempt. Result, missed three and fast break for Zags (Bouldin fails to finish though).

4:15 Daye decides to guard #44 (Will's man) instead of #34 (the guy he has been guarding since Pendo sat down). Since #34 is standing alone on the block Montana enters the pass to him. Will helps out quickly and challenges the lay-in. Strait misses the easy shot and Will blocks out and gets the rebound. Daye's freshman mistake doesn't burn us because of Will's great defensive play.

3:30 For some unknown reason Daye gets stuck low side on block as #34 posts up. Will helps out when the ball is entered to the post. #34 passes from low block to #44 at high post. Foster closes out but DOESN'T raise his hand to challenge the shot. Why? Maybe he was tired, or lazy. I don't know. This is his worst play of the game.

3:15 On offense, Daye attempts high post to low post pass but Strait gets around Foster's seal and deflects the ball out of bounds. Foster needs to be a little stronger on with the seal, but the pass was through traffic and difficult. Plus, I think Will is tiring out as he is taken out of the game on the dead ball.

Score? Gonzaga 36, Montana 18. Montana scored two buckets the entire time Will was in the game.

Will cames back in with 1:40 to go in the second half and the game out of reach. With 1:09 to go he has good position on a rebound attempt and should have pulled it in but doesn't. Ref calls a foul on Montana and Will goes to the freethrow line. In the last two possessions by Montana Will is in good defensive and rebounding position.

Having watched the game again, this time focusing on Will, I am even more convinced that he helped our defense (especially a few frosh mistakes by Daye), played smart, and except for failing to pull in a very difficult to catch entry pass while being double-teamed showed no sign of poor hands.

I agree that it'd be nice if he would have redshirted. I don't think he ever plays ahead of Heytvelt. However, I think he is better than Poling (at least the few games I've scouted) and could be the back-up big the next couple of years as Sacre and Davis start. Although he didn't play a lot of minutes I would grade Foster's game out real well (especially considering he is a 7-footer who kept up with a team that was running in transition a lot during those possessions).

11-12-2007, 07:08 PM
Excellent analysis Mgadfly. You are clearly a GU fan with a "high basketball IQ."

The criticism of Will's game (because of a few missed poorly executed passes) ticked me off also but I'm too lazy to breakdown a game tape like you did.

There is much more to B'Ball than pts. We have plenty of scorers. With a little time on the court and some confidence, Will could be a force on defense and rebounding.

11-12-2007, 07:13 PM
Thanks MGADFLY, that is a great sequence for the time that Will was in the game. I think like the rest, he will also improve with time on the court. Since this was his first game and since he was planning on redshirting, I also think he did very good. I do remember the pass, and I do not consider that miss because of bad hands.

11-12-2007, 07:38 PM
Interesting analysis. I was at the game and haven't been able to rewatch it. However, what my point has been throughout this Will discussion is that I have seen no marginal improvement from his freshman to his sophomore year.

I feel that Will, although he pulled down a couple boards and evidently saved Austin on a few occasions has made no great strides. Points may not be a factor because we have lots of scoring but he really gives me a total Ben Wallace feel on offense, minus the raw strength and physicality. Last year he did the same types of things. He pulled down rebounds from time to time, put his hands up to affect shots and that is about it. I really tried to focus on him throughout the duration because I was excited to see his improvement. I must have seen something else because I saw him get pushed around and just be rather uninspired to put it bluntly.

Yes, he did notice the open man on a mix up with Austin and react accordingly but I don't know if it justifies a great defensive play. My true hope is that an analysis of Will in the future has more offensive focal points than defensive. That is the improvement I think should be shown, he proved last year that he could mess up shots just by his sheer size.

I just don't know if I honestly want him backing up Kuso and Rob this year or for that matter Rob next year. I think that with all of our outside scoring ability, we need a true center who can bang around, something I don't see out of Will.

11-12-2007, 08:02 PM
I just don't know if I honestly want him backing up Kuso and Rob this year or for that matter Rob next year. I think that with all of our outside scoring ability, we need a true center who can bang around, something I don't see out of Will.

Too early for this type of talk. These are February opinions in a November thread.
Will may or may not materialize (this year!) but it is too early to make speculation about his role for the remainder of this year, and even into next. He learned that he would not be redshirting, the day before the game (if not gameday). He will have many more opportunities to impress....slow down.

11-12-2007, 08:16 PM
Like, Mgadfly, I rewatched the first half of the game and paid particular attention to Will when he was in.

I'll retract my earlier statement regard lethargy and Will. He definitely showed plenty of energy on the floor, except maybe he did tire a bit towards the end of minutes in the first half.

I thought he definitely contributed on the defensive end of the floor and can definitely have an impact for Gonzaga this season on that end of the floor. Honestly, any offense that he contributes will be a bonus.

zag zealot
11-12-2007, 09:07 PM
thank you mgadfly. I watched the game multiple times and was impressed with will's play.

11-12-2007, 10:39 PM
Mgad........eeeeeegads! You're hired! That's a lot of work you put in. Coaches do that! Amazing work.......well done. Will's a big target and he needs better eye -hand work. Those passes he lost were similar to the ones JP used to have trouble with. As Will develops, he'll find the handle. Again, well done.