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ZagNative
01-04-2008, 08:29 PM
Spokesman-Review Gonzaga Blog (http://www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/sportslink/archive/?postID=6808)


By Jim Meehan
Staff writer

The calendar says Gonzaga is closing in on the midpoint of the season and its West Coast Conference opener is just a week away. The reality is the Bulldogs’ roster in its current form is roughly three weeks old and the team is a work in progress.

Head coach Mark Few continues to experiment with rotations and defining players’ roles. He got a later start than most of his counterparts because Gonzaga was without Josh Heytvelt and Steven Gray for most of November and December.

That’s why Few’s goals are simple when Gonzaga faces Georgia tonight at 5 in the Ronald McDonald House Charities Classic at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.

“We have to continue to try to get better and try to get a little more dialed in to what our roles are and how we need to play, especially on the offensive end,” Few said.

Heytvelt’s production and minutes have increased in his three games since returning from a stress fracture. That’s meant reduced playing time for freshman Robert Sacre, who started the last two games but averaged only 6 minutes, and senior Abdullahi Kuso, whose playing time has dropped from 15.8 minutes pre-Oklahoma to 9.3 over the last three games.

“Josh is somebody who can catch and score and do some things around the basket,” Few said. “I think it helps our fast break a lot, we’ve always played that way, for our guards to throw ahead and trust a little bit more. And I think (opponents) will have to play us straight-up a little more. That said, Josh has to help us on the defensive end like Kuso and some of the others have.”

....

“We haven’t quite got into the rhythm that we need, like we have in the past,” senior forward David Pendergraft said. “I don’t think (scoring) should be a problem with this team because we have a lot of talent. We just need to take smarter shots, slow down and cut down on the turnovers.”

Few said Gonzaga needs more time to mesh.

“We haven’t had all of our guys together for more than probably seven days or so,” Few said. “To think we’re going to be clicking on all cylinders is silly. We need to get our roles defined and play to our strengths. When we do that, we’re pretty successful.”

...

“People saw what Tennessee was like and how physical Oklahoma was,” Few said. “I think that’s what this game is going to come down to. We can’t let them out-tough us.”
....
Posted by Jim
at 6:04 PM on 4 Jan

More here (http://www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/sportslink/archive/?postID=6808).

BobZag
01-05-2008, 08:36 AM
Zags are still a work in progress, still behind the curve, but from what I've been hearing, Few has found it and the team is seeing it.

Thanks for your contributions, ZN. :)

spudzag
01-05-2008, 08:41 AM
The guys will find their way this afternoon and redeem last years disappointing loss.

ZagNative
01-05-2008, 09:01 AM
That story is nothing more than what BZ has been telling us. Can't wait to see the team that takes the floor today!

The last time the Georgia Bulldogs visited Spokane, the ESPN.com (http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/recap?gameId=233332250) post-game story said :

Georgia Coach Dennis Felton was impressed with Turiaf and the Gonzaga system.

"He's obviously one of the best post products in the country," Felton said. "I have so much respect and admiration for how they teach the game at Gonzaga."

Reborn
01-05-2008, 09:10 AM
Thanks for all your posts, ZN. Enjoyed the reading. Good pre-game stuff.

Nevtelen
01-05-2008, 10:00 AM
I am a little worried that the team has to develop so quickly - not that I don't think they can do it, but can they do it in time? I'm quite heartened to hear BZ's comments and Meehan's post. I do think Few and Co do a great job of installing a complicated offense quickly - which is why the Zags have often peaked around late Nov. This year, that ability to (fairly) quickly install an offense will be really necessary as the Zags have to hit their stride in the next month.

As for Georgia, one thing I don't think they'll do it out-tough the team. Whatever else may be said about this team so far this season, Mick hit it on the head - they have never ever quit even a little. And they are tough as nails. If they can just start executing on offense a little better...

Nice posts ZN.