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View Full Version : Playing better, now for the test



BobZag
02-11-2008, 06:50 PM
Wins by 42 and 33, I'll take 'em. Leon Rice said we still have a lot of improving to do, which bodes well for March. Most teams have hit the ceiling.

Love how Pargo is playing. Few thinks he's playing as good as anyone in the country.

Matt seemed to break out.

The guys look happy together, good chemistry. The team is playing hard from start to finish. Josh was winded early, asked to be taken out to catch his breath, then went in and battled. Man, he is really trying hard to satisfy some on this board, really trying hard. Keep trying, Joshua. The team seems to be clicking more and more.

Now they must become Road Warriors. Win three on the road, then come on home.

A good game, a good weekend.

GreenStreetElite
02-11-2008, 06:52 PM
Totally agree Bob, I like the fact that we are playing well and still have plenty to improve on. Three big wins on the road and its really go time.

Nevtelen
02-11-2008, 06:56 PM
For me at least, this game showed that it's still physical problems with Josh, not mental at all. He really went out and gave a tremendous effort out there despite clear limitations. I hope this game made him feel a little more hopeful about his own game - he accomplished some things even through his struggles.

Reborn
02-11-2008, 07:02 PM
Hey BZ. Josh got 17 minutes tonight. I think his most this year, and that's really a plus for everyone. The team reallys seems to be getting behind him, and especially Pendo. I thought Josh looked his best this year, but you are right....it took him a little while to get going. I think Pendo helps him a lot. I thought Pendo was perhaps the MVP tonight. I love the way he runs the offense, and is especially good at getting the ball to Josh in the right place...and that makes all the difference in the world. Josh gave me a lot of hope tonight. He really did. I felt something different about him. I was actually praying for him tonight. Kind of wierd hugh? Oh well. That's the Catholic in me. But since it worked I'm going to keep it up. I really feel so many people pulling for Josh right now. And somehow all that love and support is going to bring him through this I think.

Zags struggled for awhile with poor shot selection early on after building a lead. Few straighted it out at halftime. I'm sure we scored close to 50 pts the second half. The offense is really coming along nicely. And the defense is just steller. It really is. Zags look almost as good as anyone right now on defense. But we still have quite a ways to go on offnese. When the offense struggles, we have Pargo. It was great to see him take over the game in the second half. And that play they ran right before halftime where Jeremy drove and hit Pendo at the top of the key. Pendo nailed it. Pendo, after all, just may be the guy who takes that last shot.

Pendo is really stepping up. He totallly outplayed Austin tonight. Pendo is going to someone special as we head down the homestretch. Just watch. I'm beginning to feel that Josh is too. I just feel it. The fire is going to erupt any time now. And it's going to be at the exact right time.

Nice to see Matt have a very good game again. We need those 3's. Gray has just got to find his groove. And he will.

BobZag
02-11-2008, 07:12 PM
Agree, Reborn.

Josh is fine physically. I watched him badly mis-time a skying jump for a rebound. Just out of synch. Could've easily had 15 pts. He's trying as hard as anyone I've seen to get back to form. Baby steps. He's getting there. All we fans can ask for is effort, and he's giving us that.

Important thing is: the team is rallying. And improving.

Bocco
02-11-2008, 07:14 PM
I saw Josh asking to come out too, and agree that he is still dealing with physical problems. Here's hoping that he will be over them as we hit post season.

As BZ said you just have to love how Pargo is playing right now. The 21 assists by the team on 30 made shots is another nice plus from tonight.

Also liked the final play of the first half. Both Micah and Matt were in the corners with Pargo out top, when Jeremy drove the lane four LMU player collapsed on him and Pendo slipped out to the top of the key. A nice pass back by Jeremy and Pendo drained it.

zagco
02-11-2008, 07:14 PM
Zagco has thought that Pargo has played extremely well for the last few games. He agrees with Few--he could be playing as well as anyone else in the country right now.

Zagco remains perplexed about Downs. He thought Downs was a shooter, a silky smoothe shooter that would be popping shots from halfcourt. What happened? It would sure be nice to have an assassin like that hanging around, playing possum.

Birddog
02-11-2008, 07:17 PM
I thought Josh moved a step closer tonight. He made two really tough contested shots under the basket, and I was impressed with how he stuck with the shots and they fell. He just appeared to me to be playing a little tougher. Good sign.

Birddog

thickman1
02-11-2008, 07:19 PM
Zagco remains perplexed about Downs. He thought Downs was a shooter, a silky smoothe shooter that would be popping shots from halfcourt. What happened? It would sure be nice to have an assassin like that hanging around, playing possum.

Don't worry about Micah. What's nice to see is that he seems to be more comfortable taking the jump shots again. For awhile it appeared all he wanted to do was drive to the lane and sometimes that worked out but more often than not it ended up being a deadend.

mendiant
02-11-2008, 07:21 PM
I was noticing Josh's face....

Ok let me sum up (I watched from home for this game...let my sis and bro in law take my seats)...so I could see the faces on the tv.

Josh's face is sincere and manly.

(OK that is total crap to all you GUYS on the board...But I watch with a womans' perspective.....I watch relationships and attititudes as much as I watch the play.)

We are seeing the emergence of Josh the Man...

Who is so much more than josh the highly recruited whatever...

His sacrifice of center postion to Sacre speaks so highly of his maturity as a ZAG.

My heart is breaking with joy for this guy...

He has gone beyond that hot stare down after a serious block, and onto an elder statesman in Zag lore imo.

And, crap, if Austin keeps smiling like that rather than arguing after a call...I may have to like him too...He may want to transfer after this year...

love,
mendiant

Reborn
02-11-2008, 07:33 PM
That is one heck of a funny post Mendiant. I haven't had a good laugh on this board for awhile. Thank you. Especially for that, "Josh's face is sincere and manly. (OK that is total crap to all you GUYS on the board...But I watch with a womans' perspective.....I watch relationships and attititudes as much as I watch the play.)":D :D :)

It's been awhile since I've seen your wonderful humor, and yes that "woman's perspective." Great to see you're back. I think this year has been a little hard on us all, but the bottom line is that WE ARE ZAGS, and we DO NOT SURRENDER. I think we're all back.

CDC84
02-11-2008, 07:36 PM
Heytvelt busted his tail on transition defense in this game. It was good to see. I also like how the Zags got him some good shots near the rim.

Pargo with 6 steals and 6 assists.

Interesting to see Few well after the game spending some quality time with Rodney Tention on the court. Maybe it's just me because I have always liked him even going back to his days as an assistant at Arizona, but I am still convinced he is a good coach stuck in a bad situation. This is a rebuilding project. I really hope that LMU is patient with him. Orlando Johnson is going to be a nice player for them as he matures, and they have a really nice wing in Wendell Wright coming in next season that comes from a great high school program in the L.A. area...Mayfair in Lakewood.

mendiant
02-11-2008, 07:40 PM
Josh is seriosly Zagging Up...

no joke in that...

Spitzer ROCKS!!!!

MickMick
02-11-2008, 07:53 PM
They are playing better. The Pepperdine game was not a good test because the Waves don't play defense. The Lions are a closer test of what the Zags would deal with in post season...and I liked what I saw (eventually).

At first the collapsing zone had the Zags perplexed. They were "settling" for three point shots (often challenged) and missing. LMU was hanging in there. Then the Zags started feeding inside. First to Kuso. Then backdoor plays, lobs to Pargo (of all people), and even Josh started asking for the ball inside. That is when the margin grew wider and wider.

Another point about the game. Very good defense. What did the Zags defense create?....20+ turnovers? As good of a defensive effort as I have seen all year from this team. Remember the first game when Counts lit us up? A mere shadow of game 1. I also liked the attempts at full court pressure. Coach is getting live practice in for situational play...the kind of plays you might need in post season.

Nicely done Zags!

CDC84
02-11-2008, 08:00 PM
26 Zag points off of turnovers tonight.

Zags got outrebounded though....but they really hit the boards well in that final run that put LMU away.

roxdoc
02-11-2008, 08:01 PM
I don't know about the rest of you but I am really liking the rotation scheme we have used in the last few games. Starting Sacre or Kuso, and then having Daye, Downs and Josh come in off the bench fairly soon. Talk about a bench trifecta!

BroncoZAG615
02-11-2008, 08:01 PM
Pendo is really stepping up. He totallly outplayed Austin tonight. Pendo is going to someone special as we head down the homestretch. Just watch. I'm beginning to feel that Josh is too. I just feel it. The fire is going to erupt any time now. And it's going to be at the exact right time.




Pendo's play was very consistent with what we have seen David do all year. He will undoubtedly be a solid rock for this team to rely on to hit shots when he gets open and give the effort.

I'm still under the school of thought that we are gonna need Austin and the rest of the freshmen to key the late run. Austin has been totally lights out in the WCC and has outplayed David in the long term. His ability to create his own shot is what sets him apart as a premiere player. We are really going to need that. Especially when it comes to the road games we have in the future and the battle with SMC, where Austin was superb.

I would also love Steven to get off his mini-slump. We need these young Zags to go far IMO.

Zag4Hire
02-11-2008, 08:04 PM
Zagco remains perplexed about Downs. He thought Downs was a shooter, a silky smoothe shooter that would be popping shots from halfcourt. What happened? It would sure be nice to have an assassin like that hanging around, playing possum.

Apparently he has been freshing up on his dunking skills. The kid has been watching some AND 1 episodes apparently. That dunk was very dope.

theothegreat21
02-11-2008, 08:34 PM
Hey BZ. Josh got 17 minutes tonight. I think his most this year, and that's really a plus for everyone. The team reallys seems to be getting behind him, and especially Pendo. I thought Josh looked his best this year, but you are right....it took him a little while to get going. I think Pendo helps him a lot. I thought Pendo was perhaps the MVP tonight. I love the way he runs the offense, and is especially good at getting the ball to Josh in the right place...and that makes all the difference in the world. Josh gave me a lot of hope tonight. He really did. I felt something different about him. I was actually praying for him tonight. Kind of wierd hugh? Oh well. That's the Catholic in me. But since it worked I'm going to keep it up. I really feel so many people pulling for Josh right now. And somehow all that love and support is going to bring him through this I think.

Zags struggled for awhile with poor shot selection early on after building a lead. Few straighted it out at halftime. I'm sure we scored close to 50 pts the second half. The offense is really coming along nicely. And the defense is just steller. It really is. Zags look almost as good as anyone right now on defense. But we still have quite a ways to go on offnese. When the offense struggles, we have Pargo. It was great to see him take over the game in the second half. And that play they ran right before halftime where Jeremy drove and hit Pendo at the top of the key. Pendo nailed it. Pendo, after all, just may be the guy who takes that last shot.

Pendo is really stepping up. He totallly outplayed Austin tonight. Pendo is going to someone special as we head down the homestretch. Just watch. I'm beginning to feel that Josh is too. I just feel it. The fire is going to erupt any time now. And it's going to be at the exact right time.

Nice to see Matt have a very good game again. We need those 3's. Gray has just got to find his groove. And he will.

Interesting points Reborn but I think you are slighly overreacting and falling in love with Pendo. Granted Pendo did his job today and hit his open shots, and that helps the team a lot. But in no way would I say that Pendo presents Josh with the best looks, as a matter of fact Pendo's biggest flaw game after game is his inability to get the ball into the open post player.

Im also nowhere near ready to announce Pendo as the player to take the final key shots in the game. Pendo will be a solid role player for this team on the way to the Tournament, but the key to this team making it really deep is the continued development and success of Austin. Pendo is the kind of player who will help us in a big game, while Austin is the kind of player that wins you the big game.

This was a very encouraging game tonight, and I continue to believe that in certain game situations, LG will have a big impact for this team. In fact, I think Few should give LG some minutes just to annoy and frustrate Johnson all over the court

drnoe
02-12-2008, 06:58 AM
Good comments from all. Here's my 2 cents. Pargo is starting to play like a Final 4 PG. I really like how he stays in control and makes good decisions. Daye and Gray are becoming polished gems before our eyes. Daye seems to have a knack for coming up with timely rebounds and blocks, not to mention his penchant for scoring points when really needed...like he did in high school, he's practically a point-a-minute scorer. Gray, while not yet a scoring machine, also has a knack for rebounding and making good decisions. Gray has deserved every single one of his starts and all the minutes that he has accumulated. Both Daye and Gray deserve to be on the floor at crunch time. I really was encouraged by Josh last night, for the first time this season. Kuso continues to shine and plays with a lot of desire. Some cynics out there may say the Zags are only getting healthy playing the dregs of the WCC. Well, bottom line, the Zags are blowing out the dregs, as well they should...in other words, I don't see any games on the horizon like last year's road loss to LMU (when a healthy Josh was still in the lineup). I'm really going to be impressed if the Zags end up blowing out USD on the road.

gamagin
02-12-2008, 08:23 AM
more each game. Come crunch time, only they understand and have seen and felt and smelled, the intensity the freshman can only imagine at this point, at the dance.

That means, further, to me, that it will be Pargo, Pendo, Matt, Josh and Micah, if the stars aline properly and the creek don't rise.

Right on time and on schedule.

Gray and Austin, kuso et al will be role players. Invaluable, incredibly important and much needed. Maybe even winding up as the person getting the last shot. and making it. I sure hope so. And it could be any of those mentioned.

But when the game is on the line, when it all comes crashing down with but a moment to make something happen, I want those who have beaten their way down that path many times to lead the way.

"If" they can get close, or stay close enough, the likes of Austin, Steven and Abdulliya can and will bring their best games, too, and follow the lead.

Sticking them out front, putting all that pressure to create something they've never even seen, well, that is too much to expect, imo. But having them follow the vet leads and then sending them in to do their things at the appropriate times, I believe, could make a big difference going forward as far as we can imagine.

Reborn
02-12-2008, 09:38 AM
First, I know some of you have been Pendo backers all season, but I have not been one of them. At times I thought he was not playing up to the quality of play that we need from a senior. Few, even in recent games, has put David on the bench at the end of the games. But last night, to me, was much different. First Daye did not have his A game for sure. Maybe even not his B. But David had his A game, imo. That's what's nice about this team. We have a lot of talent, and when one guy is not producing (for whatever reason) someone else will. That's what I like most about this team. I think the most consistent player right now is Pargo. Night in and night out he is playing great. I think Kuso is doing so as well. I'd say Austin has been a close 3rd, but not last night. And the rest: Pendo, Downs, Matt, Steven, Josh have all been very inconsistent. As I said, I hope this changes for the next ten games. WE NEED MORE CONSISTENCY.

former1dog
02-12-2008, 10:51 AM
WE NEED MORE CONSISTENCY.

So, what you're saying is that the Zags are just like my golf game? ;)

Reborn
02-12-2008, 11:14 AM
Great paraphrase, Former1: :) Did you say you were a GU grad?:D

chirguy
02-12-2008, 11:36 AM
For me I'd like to see Josh get 15 touches a game. Last night he touched the ball seven times and got 11 points. Double his touches and he will blossom.

ZagFanatic
02-12-2008, 02:59 PM
I for one want Micah to keep slashing to the hole. We need that added dimension to the offensive set to keep the defense honest. Now, I agree that he needs to get better at passing it back out if he gets stuck, vs. putting up an awkward shot, but lately he's been drawing fouls on some of those drives and it shows an aggressive attitude. It also will create spacing for him if the defender gets beat to the rack a couple times in a row, and begins to sag off in anticipation of the drive.

UberZagFan
02-12-2008, 03:50 PM
For me I'd like to see Josh get 15 touches a game. Last night he touched the ball seven times and got 11 points. Double his touches and he will blossom.

Yes, Uber kept thinking that when Josh was in there in the first half he was not getting enough touches...sometimes 3-4 possessions would go by w/o even a look his way.

And as for Josh's minutes: 17 minutes is his third lowest of the year and 5 below his average....yes, it's more than the 12 against Pepp but less than the previous 11 games.

theothegreat21
02-12-2008, 03:59 PM
I agree that the most important thing is to get Josh touches. This is beneficial not only for him to score, but he is so talented that the defense has to collapse on him sometimes which will free-up many of our solid 3 point shooters on the outside.

I know its frustrating to watch, but Josh really is the key to this team being a first weekend and out vs. Final 4 contender. He can change the game so much on the offensive and defensive end, and gives this team a post player who can create his own baskets not only in the post but also out the the free-throw line.

MickMick
02-12-2008, 04:21 PM
Zags will likely play SCU two more times this season. (#1 vs #4 seed in conference tourney). After SCU's Bryant shook his confidence, Josh dissappeared two nights later against SMC. I am looking at Josh's upcoming matchups against Bryant with great interest. They will go a long way towards indicating if Josh is regaining his form or not.


I have had this video of Josh in my sig for a quite awhile now. I am and have always been a big Josh fan. It pained me to watch him play that way against SMC.