PDA

View Full Version : Sooners shoot 65% in the 2nd half



CDC84
12-20-2007, 08:24 PM
Worst defensive performance of the year by far in the 2nd half after what may have been the best defensive performance of the year in the 1st half.

Go figure.

I felt a key play in this game was at the 11:41 mark in the 2nd half when GU was up 46-41. Out of that time out, Few set up a beautiful play that gave Josh a wide open look near the hoop. He missed a wide open layup. If Heytvelt had been fully healthy and trusting his foot, that baby would've resulted in an earth shattering slam dunk. GU would've been up 7, but more importantly, that dunk might have energized GU on both ends and silenced the crowd. It was an opportunity missed. I felt bad for JH.

The lack of any legit offensive post presence stung Gonzaga in this game. The Zags only shot 6 free throws compared to OU's 20. Pargo was the only guy getting anything near the rim.

Personally, I felt Matt shouldn't have played in that game. Too risky. I admire his courage, but he was just hobbling out there. I felt this was the kind of game where GU could've survived without him. They can't survive without him against Tennessee.

As others have pointed out, I would've given Foster some minutes in the 2nd half. Just to give OU's bigs a different look.

I also would have called a time out when there was 10 seconds left in the game and set up a play to get Pendo, Downs or Gray an open look at a three. OU just knew Pargo was going to take that last 3 pointer, and they were defensively prepared for it. Moreover, Jeremy airballed his previous 3 pointer....I think his gas tank kind of ran out after his heroic performance to bring GU back into the game.

The 8 day break will help Gonzaga with some of these injuries, and it will allow Heytvelt and Gray to work on repetitions and conditioning. I just wish this team could play Utah and maybe a team like Idaho State before taking on Tennessee and UGA. The team is having to make so many adjustments with the new players and such that they could really use a couple of easier opponents at K2 to get it together....but that's the way it is.

P.S. = As the Zags incorporate Heytvelt into the mix, and the rotation gets larger, I feel the staff really needs to make a concerted effort to get Steven Gray heavily into the offensive flow. It's become even more important now with Daye having hit the proverbial freshman brick wall. Gray has a maturity about his game and a lethal shot that has to be taken advantage of.

theothegreat21
12-20-2007, 08:33 PM
The defense was really hurt by that injury to Micah and Matt being so hobbled. The zone was so effective when we had LG and Micah in there because of the length that we could put on the wings. Many of those open 3's that they hit in the 2nd half occurred because Matt wasn't as quick as normal, and Steven doesn't have the length of LG or Micah to contest many shots.

The biggest challenge for this team will be how they incorporate Josh and Steven in the rotation. I for one believe that Josh will take away lots of minutes from Sacre. I think Kuso will benefit from being strictly a player who dunks and plays hard defense and never a primary option. In those two regards he is better then Sacre and will help the team, as Josh will be the primary option as a big man

Im very interested to see what Few does with Gray. I think that he can get around 15 minutes a game by giving Pargo and Bouldin breaks, and this will be important, because I think that Pargo played the entire game today. In the WCC when we play on Saturday and Monday we will need to be able to rest Pargo and still succeed. I dont think that Gray should limit LG's minutes, as we need that intense defensive stopper. I also think that the return of both will move Pendo to more of a 3 instead of a 4, and maybe Gray when Bouldin and LG or Micah are in, can give Pendo a breather

drnoe
12-20-2007, 08:51 PM
I feel the staff really needs to make a concerted effort to get Steven Gray heavily into the offensive flow. It's become even more important now with Daye having hit the proverbial freshman brick wall. Gray has a maturity about his game and a lethal shot that has to be taken advantage of.

Man, you said it. I'm sold on Gray...he is the best shooter on the team. He must become an integral cog on this team. This team needs time to sort things out, and to become healthy. As I said before, we're not going to see anything close to last year's Virginia and Georgia games...no blow-out losses.

CDC84
12-20-2007, 08:56 PM
I felt bad for Pendo. This was one game where his 6-6 frame wasn't going to cut it against either Griffin or Longar. It kind of reminded me of last March when Pendo was trying to guard DJ White. Too much muscle and size.

You make an excellent point theothegreat about Matt and Downs not being out there and how that effected the zone. There was such a night and day difference between the zones in each half.

Another thing is that Matt's condition prevented Gonzaga from using him in the low post for offense. That also cut down on their chances to get to the line, put more foul pressure on OU's bigs, etc.

How the staff works out the rotation is going to be interesting. I know they probably want to have some consistency, but at the same time, I think they need to have the flexibility to alter it according to the opponent. It maybe more beneficial to play this guy more or this guy less depending on the type of opponent they're facing. Same thing when it comes to player positioning.

BTW....I feel Daye is going to break out of this funk. He may not play like he did in his first three games the rest of this season, but he can get out of this funk. I know others feel that he'll never do so until he gains 20 pounds or what not, but he's not the only freshman in America that needs to gain weight. He's hit the freshman brick wall, and that syndrome goes beyond the weight room. I also feel the staff need to make offensive adjustments to counteract what defenses are doing to him, and they aren't doing it - probably because they have their hands full dealing with other things. Again, back to my post earlier about setting up plays for him where he catches and shoots in the lane.

MickMick
12-20-2007, 08:59 PM
Coach Few is going to have to make some hard decisions about his rotation. Some players are going to take a cut in minutes.

I believe in simplicity. Master a few things instead of being just good at many things. Tough to do with so many players. Much easier to get 8-9 players to learn the nuances of playing together instead of 10-12. I believe the offense will not work at a high level until this happens.

The playing time decisions are going to be a very tough call for coach Few.

theothegreat21
12-20-2007, 09:13 PM
As CDC has mentioned, I think the issue with Austin right now is where he is getting his shots from. Today many of his shots were on dribble drives, or tough pull ups at the top of the key. Against either zone of man defense Austin should settle in right at the free throw line. Here, he can nail that medium range jump shot or look to get a high-low game or kick out pass going. Austin is one of our best passers, and he is most deadly if he is positioned where he can shoot the medium range jumper or get a high-low game going with Josh now that he is back. I think Austin will benefit a lot from the return of Josh

I know this will not be a popular thing to say, but I believe today is a game where Pendo should have had limited minutes. There was not matchup on the court defensively where Pendo could be successful. He also was a liability rebounding in the zone. With his size being an issue and Matt being hobbled, I would have loved to have seen a lineup consisting of Pargo, LG, Micah, Josh, and Kuso. I think that this lineup would have been so long and disruptive with the zone, and allowed Kuso to be a 5th option with other scorers around him.

drnoe
12-20-2007, 09:15 PM
The playing time decisions are going to be a very tough call for coach Few.

I don't remember who also said it several months ago, but you are very correct. This prediction is coming to fruition. I really believe we're going to be very pleased going into March Madness. All the kinks will be worked out...hopefully, everybody will be healthy. In the meantime, the coaching staff will have to work out a game plan to deal with Tennessee's version of Big Baby, Brian Williams. This is going to be a very interesting game.

gamagin
12-20-2007, 09:20 PM
as long as this transition team keeps on growing & learning. I thought it could have gone either way against OK. But this wasn't a bad loss. It was a battle of wills and we need to work on our toughness.

And I gotta say, just like I did with WSU, there were alot of obstacles in front of our guys -- not excuses -- that they needed to overcome besides getting the critical shots to drop.

I was thrilled with Pargo's leadership and drive and general leadership & shot selection. I thought Kuso was the hammer I hoped he would be. He got little help, relatively speaking.

I would have liked to see gray, daye & Micah more involved, but it doesn't mean they couldn't be at some point, or weren't during this game. They just need to fill all of the minutes proteting each other. It's a cohesion thing.

I couldn't believe Matt was even in there, but he was, and that says something. I wish he'd have had a better game and he well could have. It's a matter of managing his and our team's expectations in such cases.

finally I thought Josh had a great night, given he is just a week or so short of being out of the action, on the bench or in rehab damn near an entire year. He did great. I just hope the action didn't exacerbate his fracture in any way. He, like the team, seemed to be just getting their sea legs.

So what would you rather have, a vic tonight, or growth, development, adjustments, and growing strength and good health when it matters, in the very near future ?

the polls are a guesstimate. the playoffs are for real. So whether they drop off the fictional top rated list or not, they are in the hunt. the end is manageable and the players are competitive, well respected, and improving game to game.

I think it was evident and will remain so between the athletes and the coaches.

They are nowhere near their peak. And that means they are and will remain dangerous and that this particular game in no way will lead to any team or school writing them off or refusing to respect their game.

It's just too early to think they have peaked. Or matured.

they haven't. And I, for one, am glad they are still transitioning.

The Zags need continued good health and cohesion accompanied by a growth in the competitive spirit more than they need a win for our or even their edification.

For with growth and development of this very talented group, victories will follow. Hopefully when they really count, when one and one means one and then another one, deep into the NCAA's, healthy and aware and in synch -- all at the same time -- when it really counts.

drnoe
12-20-2007, 09:42 PM
They are nowhere near their peak. And that means they are and will remain dangerous and that this particular game in no way will lead to any team or school writing them off or refusing to respect their game.

It's just too early to think they have peaked. Or matured.

they haven't. And I, for one, am glad they are still transitioning.



Well stated. The Zags are still climbing that peak, but no team is going to blow them out like last year. Let's hope the transition period will be short.

Fantastic7
12-20-2007, 10:24 PM
CDC84.....spot on (for the most part). That missed shot by Josh was, in my mind, the key. On a good leg that is not a shot but a stuff...and off to the races (win) we go. That is the exact play I was trying to highlight with my daughter in regards to a turning point.....totally agree with that point.

JLGutrocks
12-20-2007, 10:52 PM
As others have pointed out, I would've given Foster some minutes in the 2nd half. Just to give OU's bigs a different look.

Will can and will be the turning-point in a game (shoulda been tonight). I wish I didn't doubt coach but I feel Will would have made a difference. The counter-argument on the offensive end? gimme a break. we didn't get a performance on the "O" end anyone can tell me was stellar frontcourt.

bigblahla
12-21-2007, 04:34 AM
Shoulda, Coulda ,Woulda, Didn't?

The Dreaded flex offense is what I'm dreading and I find it offensive, pun intended.

Run set plays that free spot up mid-range jumpers for Gray and Downs and we win this game.

6 fouls shots, you've got to be kidding.

As CDC said bad D in 2nd half but the game was also lost on the boards and at the foul line.

I would have rather seen Gray get most of Matt's minutes as his injury definitely slowed him down and his strength in posting up was negated.

To many missed opportunities to pass to open Zags, to much hesitation in pulling the trigger on open shots. Confidence lads, confidence.

This loss has nothing to do with March but it has everything to do with the backbone of this team. How they respond over the next three games will be the indicator to the rest of this season.

Ouch, this felt like a tournament loss to me.

Let's get the Vols!

Go!! Zags!!!

tyra
12-21-2007, 06:10 AM
I'm beginning to think it's about the bigs. Last night their Bigs (Griffin, Longar) outscored ours (Josh, Kuso, Sacre) 31 to 11. Granted, not as bad as WSU's 23 to 1 blowout but still. Also, thier Bigs got 12 shots from the chairty stripe, ours got 1. And their Bigs outrebounded us 18 to 8. I know some people will want to add Pendo to this math who played the 4 but it doesn't help that much frankly. We're getting beat by what we cannot do in the paint. I think that will change as Josh gets truly back.

RenoZag
12-21-2007, 07:10 AM
We're getting beat by what we cannot do in the paint.


Agreed.

TexasZagFan
12-21-2007, 07:13 AM
I'm beginning to think it's about the bigs. Last night their Bigs (Griffin, Longar) outscored ours (Josh, Kuso, Sacre) 31 to 11. Granted, not as bad as WSU's 23 to 1 blowout but still. Also, thier Bigs got 12 shots from the chairty stripe, ours got 1. And their Bigs outrebounded us 18 to 8. I know some people will want to add Pendo to this math who played the 4 but it doesn't help that much frankly. We're getting beat by what we cannot do in the paint. I think that will change as Josh gets truly back.

IIRC, Josh averaged over 7 boards a game last year. Kuso showed some chippiness last night. Alas, I don't see much more upside for Kuso as opposed to Sacre.

We were completely dominated in the paint last night, and this is not the kind of rebounding team that we've come to expect.

I'm not very good at predictions, but I do see the 80 minutes at the 4 & 5 spread out in this fashion as the season progresses, assuming we stay healthy:

Josh - 30
Sacre - 20
Pendo - 10 (w/an additional 10 at the 3)
Kuso - 15
Foster - 5

Minutes are going to be tough to divvy up when Matt and Josh are 100%:

Pargo - 35
Bouldin - 35
Josh - 30
Micah - 30 (25?)
Pendo - 25

By that estimation, that leaves a grand total of 45-50 minutes to be spread amongst Daye, Gray, Sacre, Kuso, Gurganious, etc.

Zag4Hire
12-21-2007, 08:00 AM
Worst defensive performance of the year by far

Really? I didn't think so. The Texas Tech and WKU games were not defensive masterpieces with the Texas Tech game being the worst Zag game I have EVER seen, not just this season.

The zone killed OU and forced them to shoot outside in the first half. When they went back to it late in the 2nd half, the OU gunners starting hitting the 3's so Few switched. By the time the switch was made, the OU team was brimming with confidence.

I tend to watch Big 12 games and I never thought much of Longar until last year. He was like the college version of DeSagnia Diop. That one free throw that missed the rim was the Longar I knew of. He absolutely played out of his mind last night.

CDC84
12-21-2007, 09:59 AM
Really? I didn't think so. The Texas Tech and WKU games were not defensive masterpieces with the Texas Tech game being the worst Zag game I have EVER seen, not just this season.

Yes, I do think so...and by a WIDE margin. Just look at the stats.

The Zags held WKU to 45% shooting in the 1st half, and 42% shooting in the 2nd half. They also made defensive stops in that game when they had to.

While the Texas Tech game was not a defensive masterpiece, the Red Raiders still only managed to shoot 51.7% in the 1st half at best.

Allowing any team to shoot 65% from the floor in one half constitutes defensive failure of the highest level. And it didn't matter whether the Zags went zone or man - the defense got shredded either way. And what makes that 65% figure all the more alarming is that they Zags held OU to 26% shooting in the 1st half. I didn't expect for that defense to continue into the 2nd half, but I also didn't expect to see OU shoot 39% better from the field.

Texas Zag
12-21-2007, 10:29 AM
It seems that everyone feels Heitvelt is going to come back to basketball shape and save this team. I just don't see that happening and you are naive if you do.

For starters...Josh hasn't played competative basketball in over a year. He looked way out of shape in yesterday's game and rightfully so. That can be fixed, but it will take a lot of time and playing a light WCC schedule isn't a path to basketball greatness. Second, when he was scoring last season he had Ravio dishing the rock to him in the post. Don't under-estimate the power of an inside-outside threat. Who is going to fill that role on this team? If you don't then be ready to face some good zone defense double teams. Finally, when he was at his peak he never dominated games. Lets not exagerate how good he was. He was the leading scorer on a team that just lost Adam Morrison who accounted for 50% of the teams points most games. Those lost points had to come from somewhere. I'd trade Josh's best day for Dan Dickau's, Blake Stepp's, or Adam Morrison average day.

Gonzaga is trying to make a run without a valid NBA player for the first time in over 8 years. FACT!!!

Zag4Hire
12-21-2007, 10:31 AM
Yes, I do think so...and by a WIDE margin. Just look at the stats.

The Zags held WKU to 45% shooting in the 1st half, and 42% shooting in the 2nd half. They also made defensive stops in that game when they had to.

While the Texas Tech game was not a defensive masterpiece, the Red Raiders still only managed to shoot 51.7% in the 1st half at best.

Allowing any team to shoot 65% from the floor in one half constitutes defensive failure of the highest level. And it didn't matter whether the Zags went zone or man - the defense got shredded either way. And what makes that 65% figure all the more alarming is that they Zags held OU to 26% shooting in the 1st half. I didn't expect for that defense to continue into the 2nd half, but I also didn't expect to see OU shoot 39% better from the field.

I don't know. Longar making a bank shot on a turnaround shot and a jumper at the top of the key, Griffin with some crazy shots, and all of the sudden Oklahoma was hitting 3's. They also made them bring the shot clock down to under 10 seconds quite a few times. I can't argue the 65% but I would just say that OU absolutely had it. I honestly think if OU didn't hit one of those 3's down the stretch, the Zags would have wrapped it up and this wouldn't be an issue or it would be turned into "OU shot 65% and we still won!". The fact is OU was hitting their shots but I don't blame the defense, I thought they were very sound.

Zag4Hire
12-21-2007, 10:34 AM
It seems that everyone feels Heitvelt is going to come back to basketball shape and save this team. I just don't see that happening and you are naive if you do.

A further question off of that: Do you think Heytvelt coming back may throw a wrench into the whole rotation? Do you think him coming back may hinder the team by maybe forcing the ball to too many people as it is, ie Daye, Downs, Bouldin, Pargo, and now Heytvelt?

Texas Zag
12-21-2007, 12:08 PM
A further question off of that: Do you think Heytvelt coming back may throw a wrench into the whole rotation? Do you think him coming back may hinder the team by maybe forcing the ball to too many people as it is, ie Daye, Downs, Bouldin, Pargo, and now Heytvelt?

I don't see it ruining the rotation. I do think there are potential issues with team chemistry. Early in the season I read on ESPN that most of the players didn't want Josh back and didn't invite him to any pick-up games ect. I think that stuff could still linger, but Few is a good coach and should be able to manage it all.

brasszag
12-21-2007, 12:14 PM
:link: to the ESPN thing please.

All I ever saw is that he's worked his butt off to get accepted back onto the team and that last year is bygones for all the team at this point.

It looks like they all get along on the court and the sideline to me...

Texas Zag
12-21-2007, 12:26 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/columns/story?columnist=katz_andy&id=3077211

Bouldin's comments specifically.

TexasZagFan
12-21-2007, 12:36 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/columns/story?columnist=katz_andy&id=3077211

Bouldin's comments specifically.

Just want to reemphasize that the article's two months old. From what I've seen, team chemistry is significantly better than what we saw last year.

I know it was just one game, but I was watching the bench closely during last night's game. In the second half, we moved down to the lower level, and had an excellent view of the court and bench. The coaching staff is working their butts off to rapidly develop the three freshman.

TexasZagFan
12-21-2007, 01:19 PM
He played on 15 minutes, and there was no way he was going to be 100% up to speed after coming back at about the earliest expected time. By mid January, we'll have a much better idea as to what this team has.

The Memphis game on 1/26 will speak volumes about this team.

Robzagnut
12-21-2007, 02:20 PM
I didn't mind the 65%, but everytime they did miss it seemed like Griffin was there for the offensive board. I was impressed with that young man.

surfmonkey89
12-21-2007, 02:45 PM
I think the big problem in the second half was that Kuso got a couple quick ones early, plus was getting beat up pretty good down there. Once that happened OU really focused on pounding it down low; rebounding on both ends of the floor killed us. At one point we tried to respond by changing the D but that kid with the headband hit a coupla threes and snuffed out that strategy.

FWIW, I don't think people are going to get what they're expecting from Josh's return. It's great to get an experience big man back, but thus far at least Josh hasn't proven that he wants to make his name by getting dirty down low.

Josh (and Daye for that matter) much prefer to be outside the lane on offense if given the choice. If that continues we're left to relying on a rotation of Kuso, Sacre and Foster at center, and forcing Josh to play there say only 33% of the time. That might not be an offensive juggernaut, but when you have so much firepower at the other positions I think you can compensate for it, and the prospect of having one of those guys AND Josh AND Daye AND Downs on D makes me feel all warm inside.