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View Full Version : Will the Zags Face a Different Toreros Team Monday? SignonSanDiego.Com Thinks So ...



ZagNative
02-17-2008, 07:54 AM
Very good article, I thought.
Gonzaga will encounter a far different USD team (http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/sullivan/20080217-9999-1s17sullivan.html)
UNION-TRIBUNE
February 17, 2008
....

Gonzaga is going to be facing a resilient, relentless and growing Toreros threat tomorrow night.

Since they left Spokane on the short end of an 80-70 decision last month, USD has played seven games and won them all. During this span, the Toreros' shooting has sharpened, their defense has tightened, their freshmen have developed and their balance has become better.

Though Brandon Johnson thought his team succumbed to some lax moments last night, these are not the same Toreros who spotted the Zags a 15-0 lead on Jan. 19. Whether USD has improved enough to win the West Coast Conference title has yet to be determined, but the change in this team has been striking. As a metamorphosis, it's reminiscent of Kafka's cockroach, only in reverse.

Through the Gonzaga game, the Toreros were shooting .432 from the field. In the seven games since, they have shot .488.

USD opponents were shooting .449 after the first 19 games of the season, but only .409 in the seven games since.

As a statistical composite, that's practically a 10-percent swing. Which probably explains how a team that stumbled to an 8-11 start is now streaking at 15-11.

Rob Jones said last night that the Toreros were “a completely different team” than when they left Gonzaga, and that he could feel the difference in practice before it started to surface in games.

“We just got in practice, made some goals, figured out what we wanted to do,” Brandon Johnson said. “Right now, we're coming together as a team, learning a new system and we're just clicking.”

Floor burns tell you that whatever Grier is selling, his players have bought.

RenoZag
02-17-2008, 08:02 AM
I'm really looking forward to the game; it will tell us a lot about both squads.

MickMick
02-17-2008, 08:12 AM
The Toreros are doing what all coaches wish for.....improve. They have really come together for coach Grier. A very dangerous team to host the WCC tournament. Zags need to win the conference outright so that SMC and USD can slug it out in the WCC tournament. I would not be surprized if the Toreros beat SMC in that scenario.

zagsdan86
02-17-2008, 08:17 AM
The Zags may be facing a different Torero team, but USD will also be facing a different Zag team. The game in January was only the fourth or fifth with all the guys back from injuries; they're playing much more cohesively now.

ZaggyStardust
02-17-2008, 08:43 AM
The Zags may be facing a different Torero team, but USD will also be facing a different Zag team. The game in January was only the fourth or fifth with all the guys back from injuries; they're playing much more cohesively now.


I couldn't agree more!

treehorn
02-17-2008, 09:45 AM
"Whether USD has improved enough to win the West Coast Conference title has yet to be determined, but the change in this team has been striking. As a metamorphosis, it's reminiscent of Kafka's cockroach, only in reverse."

I don't think sportswriter Sullivan's metaphor works:


"One morning, as Bill Grier was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that in bed he had been changed from a monstrous verminous bug into a basketball coach."

The Metamorphosis. (http://www.mala.bc.ca/~Johnstoi/stories/kafka-E.htm) Someone needs to tell him: There's no Kafka in basketball.
.

ZagNative
02-17-2008, 10:03 AM
I don't think sportswriter Sullivan's metaphor works:
...
The Metamorphosis. (http://www.mala.bc.ca/~Johnstoi/stories/kafka-E.htm) Someone needs to tell him: There's no Kafka in basketball.
.
That Kafka reference was inserted only as Treehorn bait. Too funny! :lmao:

gamagin
02-17-2008, 10:31 AM
<< The Zags may be facing a different Torero team, but USD will also be facing a different Zag team. >>

Agreed.

We're back to the old bkb connundrum: who wants it more ?

Who can mix and match the best and fill those 40 minutes with better decisions, more hustle and commitment, teamwork and execution ?

I know we have better talent. But this is college. It doesn't matter as much. We seem to bring out the best in our opponents. It's always a different game against us. More personal.

We're facing some kids who have worked as hard as any to make a run at the WCC. This is their chance.

We're facing a well respected coach who has patiently, loyally and successfully toiled in our fields for many years, building our program, and now is quickly building his own.

There isn't a player on either side of this game who isn't intimately familiar with Grier, his expectations and hopes and dreams by now.

Except perhaps our freshmen, who can feel the electricity but who can also forget about the implications and get down to business and stay there.

Our vets need to grow a chip for this one, too, just to let their coach know he left the better program and won't be encouraged to expect more than respect from any Zag -- after the game and after the Zag victory.

I hope Josh remembers the last game. The way Grier chewed him out from the bench for swinging his elbows when those refs couldn't seem to find their whistles while he was getting mugged. He berated JH.

I hope the vets think, too, for purposes of this game, that Grier, by nature, has to teach his kids to exploit the Zag weaknesses as he sees them, and thereby is probably talking about them all this week, and how they can be beaten.

I hope all the Zags, and Few, turn this one into the grist for the Zag mill Monday night and that when it's over, we wil not only win, but decisively, with authority, talent and cohesion that just keeps getting better game after game.

No matter who we're playing.

That is the signal and kind of game I not only am hoping to see, but what I expect to see for the rest of this season and on into the NCAA's.

Go Zags !

RenoZag
02-17-2008, 10:35 AM
:000tens:

Nice post, gamagin.

gamagin
02-18-2008, 09:11 AM
tns.

I'm looking forward to a chess match between these two systems & coaches.

and a lot of intensity, too, plus efforts to exploit each other's knowledge & matchups, judging from the way Few & Grier stood and barked instructions the entire game in the K 2.