View Full Version : ZAGS Identity - 2007

12-30-2007, 09:27 AM
After coming home from the game yesterday I got more and more frustrated about the Tennessee game, with the crazy substitutions and lack of offensive execution. My biggest frustration is what I consider a lack of identity for this years team, compounded by injury and the typical tough OOC schedule. For many years the ZAGS have been known as a very good, point guard led offensive team (point guard U), with suspect defense (that 2-3 zone). This year, we seem to be concentrating more on defense, and for the most part are doing a good job, but it has come at the expense of the offensive flow and efficiency. My identity question is this: Are we an offensive or defensive minded team?? In my opinion you have to emphasize one and do the best you can with the other, based on the personnel you have and their strengths. You can't be both, and right now we are neither. To me, this starts to explain the seemingly crazy substitutions. If we are a defensive team, fine, then Downs needs more than 12 minutes, LG more than 9, Bouldin fewer than 37, and Pargo fewer than 33. Plus we need to play games in the 50's and 60's, like WSU and Butler. If we are an offensive team, fine again, but then Daye needs more than 19 minutes and Gray more than 26, and we then need to look to play games in the 70's and 80's. Poor Pendo gets caught in the lurch in either case.

The coaching staff needs to make the identity decision, and quickly, as right now we seem to be a ship without a rudder, on both ends of the floor. Coach was quoted in today's paper as saying "Just like Oklahoma, our defense kind of let us down in the second half." I would agree with him, but would comment that it is very difficult to be a good defensive team when your two best defenders were on the bench for the vast majority of the second half (see Downs and LG minutes, above).

I have every confidence that the staff will get it figured out (it's growing pains for them too), for me it's just tough to wait while we seemingly paint ourselves into a corner regarding the dance (got to either beat Memphis and get to the WCC tourney finals or win the WCC tourney to get in, IMHO).

GO ZAGS............

12-30-2007, 09:57 AM
I think with Few at the helm Gonzaga will always be an offensive-minded team that plays as good as it can on defense. I understand your frustration. Both ends have had major letdowns. I really believe the lack of unity you are seeing is due to very few practices together. Here we are trying to beat one of the best squads in the nation while breaking in a guy who hasn't played in ten months, and a frosh who was playing in his second D1 game ever.

With Josh inside commanding double-teams, the Zags' guards and wings should flourish. Josh can take his big man defender away from the basket as well, providing open lanes inside for penetration. And in pick-up games before Josh's foot problems, I watched Josh practice taking his defender off the dribble again and again.

Defensively, I'm not sure. Perhaps RayG's defense is difficult and takes longer for the guys to learn. I don't know.

But I'd say this team will be a multi-faceted offensive team. GU has drivers, shooters, mid-rangers, and an inside force now.

By Memphis...

12-30-2007, 10:22 AM
I agree with your analysis, I can't imagine a ZAG team with Few at the helm not emphasizing offense, it's just the current mix and the reality that we are running out of time to establish a tournament resume that has me concerned. The WCC is not a sure thing this year (I still think we win the conference, but winning the tourney is not a given), and without the "signature win" (Memphis is our last opportunity) we have to win the WCC tourney to get in.

I agree that the rest of the season rotation will be solidified shortly, I just hope it has not come too late, as we have been spoiled in ZAGdom for a long time and tend to consider an annual date in the dance our birthright.



12-30-2007, 01:47 PM
Here are the problems that I see with the defense. #1 is Pendograft. He is a defensive liability, and his stupid fouls definls definately hurt the team. And I mean stupid. He has a long history of making them, and they hurt the team. Secondly, he is too small to guard a big powerful forward as in the kid at Oklahoma, and too slow to guard a fast guy like Prince. He is also too slow to defend the corners when we're in a zone. The team yesterday was obviously better on defense with Daye playing, who made two steals in the last minute.......

The second liability on man to man defense is Bouldin. He is definately too slow to guard wings as quick as Tennessee has. And Coaching. Yesterday we were doubling down to double team their big, who was doing nothing against us, and left their wings wide open for 3's. This was definately a team we DID NOT have to double down low on. Gonzaga is not all that great on defense as has been shown in the last two games.

IMO, if FEW were interested in defense, he'd be playing LG a lot more against teams like Tennessee. I have not seen any game,or any stretch of a game yet, that when LG is in we do not do well. Sure, he is not a score but he can attack the basket real well, and he can rebound. As Bob says, Few will always vote for offense against defense, and that's why Pendo plays. Pendo did not have a good game yesterday. It was him who gave them the rebound after the missed freethrow that absolutely killed us. He DID NOT block out. And he was the one that got the foul when he tried to get the charge. He was just a little too slow getting to the spot. I know that my thoughts on this will not be accepted, but it's how I feel. Pendograft is not a starter on most of the teams that we are trying to get to. He's a super sub. I hope that this team has the ability to see this.

Next. Is Robert Sacre. He played pathetically on defense yesterday. When he was in the game (for one stretch in the first half and the beginning of the second, Tennessee went a +14 points.) He looked like he really didn't know what he was doing. Again. If Few liked defense than he'd be playing Foster or Kuso over Sacre. Sacre starting the 2nd half was a huge error by the coach of the Zags. And he's been making a lot of them that's for sure. As much as anyone, Few needs to do a gut check. He has killed this team in every loss with his crazy substitution. He kills every momentum drive that we make with idiotic substituions.

12-30-2007, 02:21 PM
Nothing wrong with your post, Reborn. I agree with most of it, especially leaving shooters open from 3 while obsessing over average inside guys. I've never understood this. Few has some evaluating and decisions to make.

This team's identity will either emerge a month from now (around Memphis) and if not by then, maybe never. We'll see.

12-30-2007, 02:43 PM
Go back to the first three games of the season and notice the difference in the defensive intensity and effort. Especially from the perimeter. The guards were out there attacking ballhandlers and letting Kuso, Daye and other GU shotblockers swat anything that got past them. They were creating turnovers all over the place.

It's not the same anymore. You don't see the extended defense, you see more zone, and you don't see the tenacity. The defense sags back, and lets the perimeter shooters get open looks.

I realize that Idaho isn't Oklahoma and Montana isn't Tennessee, but just go back to those game tapes and notice the difference. If Gonzaga had played defense with that kind of intensity, they may have vics over Oklahoma and Tennessee.

12-30-2007, 02:54 PM
Wow! Reborn's ticked. Makes sense, though.

12-30-2007, 04:06 PM
I guess only the players can answer this. Are they being told one thing by Few and another by RayG, creating tentativeness and inhibited game day appearances? Something is amiss here.