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View Full Version : A few final thoughts for the evening....



CDC84
11-13-2007, 10:24 PM
Sacre has got some mighty quick feet when guarding out on the perimeter for a 7 footer. There was a play late in the 2nd half where his ball pressure induced a Vandal guard into a walking violation. As athletic as Josh is, I don't think even he could've done that. Robert is so physically gifted for his size...he just needs skills work and lots of it.

LG has a chance to be the best perimeter defender this program has had since Quentin Hall, and he can surpass Quentin because of his long arms and superior physical tools. I guarantee you that when Thanksgiving week rolls around and the staff is presenting their game plan for Western Kentucky, Few will be issuing a challenge to LG to put the clamps on Courtney Lee.

Speaking of defense, Micah Downs proved tonight that he can play some D as well. RayG clearly has been working with him to get his footwork and positioning better when it comes to handling dribble penetration. In the Montana game, his body was far more erect compared to tonight when he got down in that LG like stance. That was probably the hardest I've Downs play since he's been a Zag.....he was making a big impact on the game even without scoring.

It was great to see Theo Davis in action after what has seemed like 50 years! Naturally, his first bucket very much showed what he will bring to this team. Theo is a terrific offensive rebounder. That was the big thing that appealed to Coach Lloyd and the rest of the staff when they scouted him. I expect to see him get more minutes against UC-Riverside....I think the staff were reluctant to use him too much because he's been away from practice for quite a bit and he's still trying to build up stamina. GU is going to need him in Alaska.

Last but not least, this is what Few had to say about the defense in the 2nd half (from the AP article):

But Gonzaga (2-0) played what coach Mark Few called its best defense in his tenure in the second half, holding the Vandals to 13 points on the way to an 80-43 victory on Tuesday.

"I've been here 19 years," Few said. "That's the best we've ever had."

mendiant
11-13-2007, 10:33 PM
Just watched Coach Fews' comments on the evening.

He echoed my feelings at the half...

The guys came off of a Sunday route a little too cocky. They did not respect their opponent in the first half, got their butts chewed at the half by the coaches and came out with a new attitude.

The second half was vastly improved...eventually.

Young team, new season.

I LOVE it.

Go RED!

love,
mendiant

FuManShoes
11-13-2007, 11:33 PM
He was gushing with praise after Sunday's game, which in my experience is very un-Few-like. The team played well, but still, you just don't hear Few say that his team played great, especially not after the first game.

Tonight, the team came out playing cocky and sloppy and let a lesser opponent hand around for much too long.

Obviously some paint was peeled from the locker room at halftime and the team responded with an incredible defensive effort.

Now, I'm not one for conspiracy theories, but could it be that a bit of this was planned? Few tested his young team's reaction to praise, and was none-too pleased with the result. Could it also be that he has done some hard thinking after some Tourney flameouts and has bought in to the idea that defense will put this team over the top? It does seem to be the driver. This team isn't shooting well from the perimeter, but great defense means it doesn't have to - yet. Can only imagine if the Zags can maintain this defensive intensity and then add some misisng pieces in Josh and Steven. I just hope the D really is this good and it's not simply a matter of out-manned opponents making the Zags look good.

CDC84
11-14-2007, 07:46 AM
Few mentioned in his postgame interview that he felt the team didn't handle the "success" of the Montana game too well.

I am worried a bit about the offense. I know the shooting percentages and the point totals have been excellent, but to be honest, the points are mainly coming off of turnovers and Daye hitting everything in sight.....not from superb halfcourt offense. I expect as the competition gets tougher that we are going to see defenses try to be physical with Austin.

I think the offense can get better, but to be honest, I just don't think it's going to kick into high gear until GU gets Josh and Steven back. You just can't take away two of the better offensive players in the program and expect the halfcourt offense to be excellent. For now, GU just needs to keep defending and rebounding like they are, stop fouling so much, cut down on the turnovers and do a better job of converting their free throws.

cggonzaga
11-14-2007, 07:58 AM
Agreed CDC about the offense. Two things will help that though. 1) Make your free throws. We left at least another 10 points out there. 2) Micah needs to start scoring. I think he's played great games so far this season but we really need his scoring especially from the perimeter. He can really open a defense up and he's quick enough to score off the bounce after they come out on him.

The halfcourt offense may never be what we've seen in the past. This team can score outside of the offense much better than previous teams and fastbreak points are piling up already. I love how this team gets out and runs.

AnonyMoose
11-14-2007, 08:07 AM
He is WAYHAYHAY more chillaxed than years back. I remember him treating Ammo's constant poor shot decisions (that he made) as careless and gave him a chewing via interviews. But this year, he loves this team, he knows that his team won't be a shadow of its former self if one guy falls. It is kinda funny and makes me more of a fan of this system.

lothar98zag
11-14-2007, 08:29 AM
Few mentioned in his postgame interview that he felt the team didn't handle the "success" of the Montana game too well.

I am worried a bit about the offense. I know the shooting percentages and the point totals have been excellent, but to be honest, the points are mainly coming off of turnovers and Daye hitting everything in sight.....not from superb halfcourt offense. I expect as the competition gets tougher that we are going to see defenses try to be physical with Austin.

I think the offense can get better, but to be honest, I just don't think it's going to kick into high gear until GU gets Josh and Steven back. You just can't take away two of the better offensive players in the program and expect the halfcourt offense to be excellent. For now, GU just needs to keep defending and rebounding like they are, stop fouling so much, cut down on the turnovers and do a better job of converting their free throws.


Stop reading my mind! :p

gamagin
11-14-2007, 09:43 AM
shooting, especially from the perimeter and that bothers me.

I trust that pendo, pargo, Matt and Micah can make more than they miss on the perimeter.

So if it's open, take the shot. With Kuso underneath, it would be an even higher percentage.

But each mentioned above passed up open looks and that, to me, is problemattical. It means they are trying to work it in and it also means the defenders can risk leaving them open and back into the middle and steal efforts to go underneath.

It needs to swing both ways, imo, and if the outside guy is open, take the shot. keep the other guys honest.

having good shooters, as we do, and encouraging them to shoot, is another matter. This team is among the least selfish I have ever seen anywhere.

And that is great. But good shooters shouldn't pass up the shots they've been practicing, in their positions on the court, imo. they should take them.

sittingon50
11-14-2007, 11:38 AM
Just my opinion, but I think you're seeing a very vanilla offensive game plan at the moment. 2 guys out & new guys working into the system. There are many times that Micah & others could have let it fly (which he did last year). Instead they run the offense & swing the ball. And I really think (though not with as much comfort) that Pargo is exploring the bounds of safe/unsafe passing.

Anyway, patience, young Jedi's. By March this is going to be a really deep, really experienced, really good team.

BobZag
11-14-2007, 12:21 PM
Few has been known to not show his full hand early. ;)

Akzag
11-14-2007, 12:23 PM
We're Doomed!

Nevtelen
11-14-2007, 12:24 PM
Our schedule is looking pretty smart about now - weaker teams for warm-ups (I hesitate to call Montana a cupcake) with practice time in between, then lots of practice time in early Jan when Josh and Gray will hopefully be getting back into the rotation before the WCC. At least one tough game after that along with lots of "learning-curve" games in the WCC and some probably tough tests vs St Mary's. I do wish we could play WSU and Tenn in Feb, but oh well.

erminazag
11-14-2007, 12:28 PM
Few has also stated that he was building the offense a certain way given the players he had and when Heytvelt and Gray went down he had to adjust.

I am sure that Few is changing the focus of the offense as we speak and it takes time for the team to adjust.

I would like to see some set plays for Micah on the perimeter. Once he starts hitting from the outside, it would help open the lanes up for slashers like Pargo, LG and Daye.

former1dog
11-14-2007, 12:35 PM
I would like to see some set plays for Micah on the perimeter. Once he starts hitting from the outside, it would help open the lanes up for slashers like Pargo, LG and Daye.

Bingo! Helloooo, baseline screens.

MickMick
11-14-2007, 01:08 PM
Seems they have been working Matt into the game plan. His size/strength advantage on smaller guards is a clear advantage and coach is taking advantage of it. I am seeing Matt drive to the basket often and he is scoring at a respectable pace.

Section 116
11-14-2007, 02:32 PM
Regarding cggonzaga and needing at least 10 more points at the free throw line. On the post game radio show last evening Coach Rice said it always the goal to achieve one third of the team total from the charity stripe. All those misses, however, make the phrase charity stripe a bit of a misnomer!

UberZagFan
11-14-2007, 03:55 PM
Uber predictions:

Gray will see very little minutes this year.

When JH returns, expect to see Pendo coming off the bench in the 6th man role--which is still his best role.

Daye & LG will fill out the guard/wing rotation.

Two of the following combo will fill out the front court rotation: Theo, Sacre and/or Brown.

Even that rotation is 10 deep. Much deeper than any rotation Few has consistently used in the recent past.

applezag
11-14-2007, 06:48 PM
Several thoughts...

I was really impressed with Downs vs. Idaho as well. His effort on defense was tremendous and he is letting the game come to him. If he buys into guarding people like that and a couple others do as well, this might be a very different GU team than we have grown used to (and tired of) watching on that end of the court. I also think Downs is playing extremely selflessly on offense. On a team with so much skill and firepower, it is essential that some guys sacrifice a little for the good of the team. Downs could be a featured guy on many teams in the country, but it seems that he understands that it helps his team the most if he is patient and looks for his teammates.

Uber, I don't quite agree with the rotation you foresee (though I can understand how you arrived at it, and, hey, you may be right). I think the three posts you mentioned (Theo, Sacre, and Ira) will be the odd men out in the rotation. I think the post rotation will be between Kuso, Josh, and Pendo. Gray will see a lot of minutes on the perimeter. Remember, he was p8pushing Bouldin for his starting job when he got hurt. I think with him added on the perimeter we will see Pargo get a little bit more of a breather and possibly even more agressive play on the perimeter from our guards on d because they have more fouls to play with. I'm not sure if the staff thought LG would be so effective at this point and saw him in the thick of things, but he sure gives an added weapon out there. It will be interesting to see if he can disrupt against top-notch guards the way he has against the ones he's seen so far.

The really nice thing about this year is even beyond these guys there are more who can contribute.

CDC84
11-14-2007, 06:53 PM
Gray will see very little minutes this year.

If this happens, it will be because his hand has not healed, which isn't a good thing. I don't think Few is exaggerating when he says that Gray was his 6th man and he was seriously considering starting him. Also, he's the best outside shooter in the program, and this team has not shown it can knock down 3 point shots yet. He's also the only true guard off the bench, and he's technically the 3rd PG in the rotation. Daye/LG/Downs/Brown are not combo guards...they're wing players.

It's hard for any of us to really project what Theo is or isn't going to do this season. The kid needs minutes on the floor....desperately.

zag67
11-14-2007, 07:33 PM
First on Sittingon50's comments about Micah. I think that many of the players (including Micah) feel that they could have shot the open 3, but with as many new players it is more important to run the offense. Because right now our 1/2 court offense is very sluggish. There are too many players playing by the number, rather than recognizing what the defense is giving us. As we go along, hopefully you will see Micah, Matt, Pendo and the others taking what is open.

I also agree with CDC on Theo. The jury is still out on how much we will see him and at what point in the rotation. If he is as good as we hope, I can see him, Sacre and Kuso using most of the 5 minutes, leaving Josh to float high (which he seems to like to do). Then there will be other teams where you see Josh, Austin, Micah, Matt, and Jeremy, with Pendo, Ira and LG bringing their intensity to the game.

Now how is Coach going to keep them happy? I think the team has to run and attack at all times. Keep bringing them at them. Wave after wave of fresh legs. Do not let the other team rest, because I do not think many teams have as deep a team as we have right now. Many of them may have better players for the top 5, but as you go down to our 10th, 11th, and 12th players attacking them (with fresh legs) as they get tired, maybe we can beat them. I do not see many teams have players that can run full out for 40 minutes.

I think that Coach can build teams that are better at rebounding, shooting 3s, slashing to the basket, defense, blocking shots, and ?????. But the key is that when they do that, with these atheletes they all can still do the rest of the game good enough to not hurt the team in the other areas.

Lastly, I also agree on Steven about depending on how his hand heals. Also after it does heal, does it impact his shooting? I hope to see him come back and shoot the way he did in high school.

Zag79
11-14-2007, 08:07 PM
Gray was his 6th man and he was seriously considering starting him
who does he replace? not pargo, thats for damn sure. bouldin? is gray good enough to take the role from matt? i wouldnt think so for a second. im not seeing where, how or why gray starts. any help?

roxdoc
11-14-2007, 08:11 PM
Potentially a better "3" shooter?

Zag79
11-14-2007, 08:21 PM
bouldin does too much stuff to yank him for a frosh. (at least IMO without seeing Gray in real time action) And the 1, 2 and 3 spots on our team are locked down by pgo, matt and micah if you ask me.

applezag
11-14-2007, 08:51 PM
bouldin does too much stuff to yank him for a frosh. (at least IMO without seeing Gray in real time action) And the 1, 2 and 3 spots on our team are locked down by pgo, matt and micah if you ask me.

I agree with this observation, but if Few really meant that Gray had almost broken into the starting lineup, I would think it had to be Bouldin. Regardless, Gray has been very impressive and will likely have an important role when he returns. I could definitely see Pargo resting a bit more as well as Bouldin, Downs, and LG to make room. It's hard to know how seriously Few meant what he was saying, or if he was just trying to make a point about how well Gray had been playing.

zag70
11-14-2007, 09:55 PM
You got to be kidding. All we had to see were 6 tos with our ambitious pg pargo against a 3rd rate team on Tuesday night. Was pargo playing the point the second half? Don't kill the messenger...i luv Pargo but he still has to learn control.

Nevtelen
11-14-2007, 10:04 PM
Pargo decidedly looked like crap through a lot of the Idaho game, no question there. But he is also, without question, the heart and soul, the engine, the straw that stirs the drink, the 4-wheel drive... whatever you want to call it - Pargo is an integral part of the team. He'll have better games than that. No way is Few thinking about benching his starting PG (except in the first half vs Idaho).

Zag79
11-17-2007, 02:26 PM
ok again zag70, look at the stats. pargo 6 tos, bouldin 4. BUT pargo played 12 more minutes AND handles the rock way more. seems to me matt would be TO per minutes worse than pargo. clue me in?