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Thread: What Did We Learn from this Weekend

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    Default What Did We Learn from this Weekend

    Hey Team:

    Now that we have had our first two (2) games (back-to-back no less) against relatively minor competition (essentially Big Sky equivalents) what did you learn about our Lady Zags from this weekend's games.

    ZagDad

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    Grace Collett is a player....IMO a future force in the paint....Chandler Smith is the best point guard on the TEAM...almost Sloot like vision and a very precise passer....can score and plays good "D".....Zykera Rice is serious about her game....another future force.....Kiara Kudron is a heck of an athlete....Stach has gotten better....her game is more cerebral....nobody better than Barta....Elle is the cherry on top....Williams and Loera both pleasant surprises....Templeton is a weapon....the game must be inherent in Stockton blood....adding a healthy Wolfram makes Las Zagas a deep TEAM to reckon with...

    Just my opinion..

    Go!! Las Zagas!!!
    Last edited by bigblahla; 11-14-2016 at 07:28 AM.

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    After watching other "contenders" in the WCC, it's apparent the league title is theirs to lose. Would be surprised and disappointed if they don't hang w/Stanford this week. They have the elements: Shooters, post players, defensive stoppers, deep bench, and most importantly, a new attribute, "athletes." A potentially historic Zag team.

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    If you are looking for what the definition of "team" looks like... I believe we saw it today. As much as I enjoyed the game, I really liked watching the bench. The interaction between the players and the players and coaches was great. The coaches spent time talking to the players after their time on the court. There was a lot of conversation between players and coaches.

    As for Wolf. A little scare the last time she was on the court. She pulled herself out after she twisted her knee. A little while later she said she was okay... but it scared her and her team mates were quick at comforting her. Lisa came down and talked with her... I hope they keep taking it slow and steady. She is such a great person and you can see how badly she wants to help her team out. Slow and steady... you'll get there.

    This is probably the stongest GU women's BB team I've seen. We have talked about a strong bench... 61 points. A defense that has not been challenged.. but it looks like it has the potential to be a shut down. And so far, the team chemistry seem great.

    Last... I wish we would have played a better team before Stanford. Confidence Ladies... look to the sky. You can!!

    Go Zags!!

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    " a new attribute, "athletes." " ....I have to say honestly I don't think KG would have ever gone for a Zykera...Zykera is an athlete...in every single way....and it shows...scrambling for balls...rebounding...she has a neat little short shot and she can lay it in..I think she could do a dunk if she wanted, per reports.....

    HOW did we get her?...just how......amazing insight on this girl from the coaches because she is the real deal....and she is funny as hell....did you see her at the tail end of the first half where they were scrambling for the ball and she got it and LITERALLY just sat on it.....lol.....

    I LOVE the recruiting thus far....they've done a wonderful job in finding talent...

    Chandler is fantastic....she only played 13 minutes or so and I feel she needs to be on the floor a lot more....she was DIRECTING with her hands....now that's confidence...that's poise...

    every single one of these girls played well....every single one....what can you say about Kiara?....this might be her crowning year....silent, deadly rebounder and she is scoring more....

    I love these girls.....I'm a big Jill booster....and now Mak....so happy for her....can't say enough about Elle....all the kids played well...Grace I already love too....

    they played fast, they made passes, the are LOOKING for one another, and not one selfish player. and we have a bunch of girls who are not afraid to take a shot......have we missed that...

    the only negative I would say is that I wish we could get the ball inside a little more....when Emma is back strong, I think that will change for the good...

    I notice that WSU played Loyola Marymount and St. Mary's this weekend and they beat them pretty handily....so among all the testing of our team, one will be playing against them...but at least its at our place.

    all in all, good coaching job this weekend

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    Great start to the season. Although the opponents were not the strongest I think the girls showed they are ready to go. We won't be able to complain about the lack of shooting this year. Alot of weapons.

    Zykeras game has really developed. She was not heavily recruited and really needed to work on her game but I think the coaching staff saw a amazing athlete and both parties have put in the time so she can be successful. I know LF was dissapointed when Chandler chose Nebraska out of high school. What a blessing now that she transfered. She is going to have a great career here.

    The girls kept their focus alot better today even though it was a blowout. The coaches also kept coaching with LF even calling a time out in the 3rd period after back to back turnovers. That shows me they are all working hard.

    Friday will be a good test on the road at Stanford. Could this be the year we finally knock them off?

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    Quote Originally Posted by upan8th View Post
    After watching other "contenders" in the WCC, it's apparent the league title is theirs to lose. Would be surprised and disappointed if they don't hang w/Stanford this week. They have the elements: Shooters, post players, defensive stoppers, deep bench, and most importantly, a new attribute, "athletes." A potentially historic Zag team.
    Not so sure we can draw this conclusion yet.

    Of the four (4) teams that finished above us last year, BYU and USF are 1-0 and Santa Clara is 2-0 having beat competition I would consider similar to the foes that GU faced this weekend. Although it is fair to note that most of their victories games were in the 10-20 point range and not the blow-outs that GU administered. St. Marys is 0-2 but lost a close game to California (less than 10 pts) at home and lost to WSU in Pullman due to the cougars getting 28 points off of turnovers. So St. Marys has two loses but to much better competition than the rest of the top tier WCC faced this week.

    After this upcoming week we may have some more data to discuss. The Lady Zags play Stanford, SC plays the University of California, BYU travels to Georgia and hosts Oklahoma, USF hosts Seattle University and then travels to Pullman to face the Cougars and St. Marys travels to Boston to face Boston College. This will provide a little more information for us to speculate about.

    ZagDad

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    skip, I think they played California in an unofficial scrimmage a couple of weeks ago.....I don't know how they did....if any "insiders" have something to share, I'd love to hear it.....

    but I do agree with you....I wish the WSU game was earlier....and the EWU....

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    Quote Originally Posted by sylean View Post
    I notice that WSU played Loyola Marymount and St. Mary's this weekend and they beat them pretty handily....so among all the testing of our team, one will be playing against them...but at least its at our place.
    I think the Cougs are playing USF as well. Are they honorary members of the WCC this year?

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    First, I have been really hard on Zhane and her one trick pony (shooting 3's). This weekend she not only shot well, but she showed a complete game, rebounding, feeding assists, steals, and playing reasonable defense. She did well, congratulations Zhane.

    Well, leave it to me to bring some clouds and showers to all of the sunshine posted above. You really can't make a solid analysis on two games, good or bad but we will take the information presented and change our analysis based on the increasing level of data.

    First, short of everybody playing and the 12 scholarship players scoring, I found little good about the game with Nicholls State. We played a short, over matched team that traveled across the country to play their first game. Thank goodness for the 22-0 start and 27-4 first quarter lead, because short of the 3-4 minute close of the 2nd quarter, Nicholls State essentially played us square, 29-29 in the second half. We had 22 turnovers. Nicholls State turned up the heat and our team buckled. Nicholls State wanted it more and worked harder than GU for 2-1/2 quarters. Congratulations, to Nicholls State for not quitting, when it would have been so easy to do so. Let's not forget the Flagrant #1 on Jill and the Tech on "Z" both were in retaliation. Can't have this ladies, you are better than this. Let's see, only playing half a game and committing excessive turnovers, how many times did this happen last year. Not good at all. Not much to be proud of.

    Every thing the team did wrong with Nicholls State was essentially corrected for the "Eaters". We started a little slower but kept the pedal to the medal and short of the 2-1/2-3 minutes coming out of half time, we played consistent the entire game with a very high level of intensity. This team could be scary good, as long as it keeps it head in the game. Only question, Hey coach, with a 60+ point lead why did the walk-on not get on the court? You played her against Nicholls State? Grace, keep those elbows down, had you hit one of those "eaters" it would have been a flagrant #2.

    Starters played well the entire game and I don't want to short their contributions but I want to spend the time on the bench. Zhane, as well as she played, she is not a point guard. Keep working on the complete game. Jessie L shot well and ran the offense fine but had some trouble with the hand checking of the eaters. She will learn. "Z" I call her Ms Attitude or Ms Enforcer. She is Shaq with a bigger, more athletic body. Great game and continued improvement. Mak, welcome back, you look great on Sunday. Chandler played several positions, all of them well and showed range from lay-ups to 3s with equal skill. Grace is probably our best post passer. While Kiara and Jill tend the force the ball to the post (read turnovers) Grace is very skilled and knowledgeable on getting the ball to the inside correctly. Emma, you looked much better Sunday than Saturday. Take small steps. We need you in January, take it slow and steady.

    Despite some very different skill sets, I have seen very little drop off between the bench and the starters. The different skill sets will allow us to fine tune the line-up to the opposition. We are deep and talented, it is the mental aspect which may likely determine how good we can be.

    Also, LF tried playing Georgia and Laura at the same time last year to get another ball handler on the court and it just did not work, no matter who played point and who played #2, I am not sure about Laura and Jessie but with Elle back and now Chandler, we can have plenty of ball handlers to avoid even the most ambitious press.

    We have the talent, if we stay focused to go far. Hopefully, the turnovers and lack of intensity shown at Nicholls State was a first game issue and not a sign of things to come. The girls have the stamina and skill to put together a full 40 minutes. Let's hope they stay focused for the entire game.

    Let's get started at Stanford.

    Good Luck Ladies.

    ZagDad

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    Zhane does just great...perhaps you forget her rolling on the floor last year several times to go get loose balls....she's not a pg, who said she was...she's a small shooting guard, about the size of Bri January IIRC.. (and Jackie Stiles, the all time record holder in points in the NCAA)..I think she does fine..I love when she's in...she's fast, quick, and when we get down to really speeding up our offense we'll be glad she's there darting down the court...


    hey we've got a variety of players and each one adds something different to the mix...that's why LF plays them all....and good for her....

    the same coach that recruited JB, chandler, Zee,LS, Mak, and all the new ones coming in is the same coach that recruited ZT....LF knows what she is doing, and I trust her, because her guesses on players have been very very solid.

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    I believe that the most of the starters played very well, the rest were in ah.
    GU won the scrimmage by 7, last year they lost to the same team.
    I think that the Stanford game will really show who can play at a higher level, the last two games were good confidence builders for players on the bubble.
    Tons of potential on the bench, really thought they would redshirt grace.

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    Well if the first 2 games didn't really reveal much about the team, the next 3 will. Stanford, Michigan and Florida St. That's a tough stretch. I don't really know about Michigan, but the other 2 will be good tests.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seacatfan View Post
    Well if the first 2 games didn't really reveal much about the team, the next 3 will. Stanford, Michigan and Florida St. That's a tough stretch. I don't really know about Michigan, but the other 2 will be good tests.
    Agreed... not much can be gleaned from a couple of games against lesser competition and you cant blame coaches for wanting to get out in good fashion. I am optimistic but I will reserve my comments...good, bad and level... for after Stanford when the gals face an uptick in athleticism. Athleticism hurt us last year. We may be better this year but we have started the year in very predictable ways as far as starters go.

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    I wouldn't worry about the starting lineup just yet....seems we'll have a lot of substitutions...you can't' keep some of these gals on the bench because they're too good....

    I do hope Emma gets back...someone said she had some swelling on her knee however at the tail end of the last game she looked relaxed and happy....so who doesn't among us have a little swelling on their knee?...lol..

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    Quote Originally Posted by sylean View Post
    I wouldn't worry about the starting lineup just yet....seems we'll have a lot of substitutions...you can't' keep some of these gals on the bench because they're too good...
    Starting is largely symbolic to the fans, but to "some" players in can be a significant issue. So "who" is starting can certainly negatively or positively impact the team. It is not a big deal now, but it could become an issue later in the season.

    At least for the first two games Sylean is correct. Exempting Corryn Douglas (the walk-on), Against Nicholls State Emma W. had 8 minutes and everybody else had ten (10) minutes or more and nobody had more than 21 minutes. Against UC Irvine all 12 players played with Emma W. only playing 5 minutes and Grace playing nine (9) everybody else played 13 minutes or more with nobody playing more than 23 minutes.

    However, the playing times for the first two games do not necessarily reflect who was playing the best in that game. Mak who was lights out in game 2 only played 2 more minutes than she did in game #1 when she could not find the basket. Zhane was brilliant in game #1 actually played 4 minutes more in game 2 where she was average. Chandler who was fantastic in game 2 actually played eight (8) minutes less than in game one. The list goes on. This was the same issue we noted last year that the coaches did not appear to reward the players playing the best with more playing time. It is easy to have everybody play when the games are easy and at the beginning of the season the coaches are playing with different line-ups to see how the girls play as a team. As has been noted above, don't draw too many conclusions for a couple of blow-out wins at the beginning of the season.

    The questions is what will happen when the games get difficult. This year, are the coaches willing to give the girls who are playing the best more playing time?

    Time will tell starting with this week.

    ZagDad

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    while its true we've seen blowouts these past three games, its also true that the team played poorly here and there...they came out lackadaisical in the second half against Nichols state...

    however, I have seen good passing....I have seen cooperation and teamwork...and I have seen some crisp shooting...and I've seen a good attitude...I love their intensity....this started to show in the hard fought scrimmage...take no prisoners...

    I HOPE the coaches play the best players and/or the players executing the best.......I think the current coaches reward hard work in the gym, as I recall LF saying LAST year that ES came in as being in the best shape at the start of the season...(KG did this too....he would always talk about who improved and worked hard over the summer)..I also think the coaches reward seniority. But I'm not a coach so I have no idea if this is typical of coaches, I suspect it is though....

    I was just thinking about this last night....do coaches in general think their purpose is to help young people in athletic endeavors( educate, train, strengthen, good sportsman ship, stamina) to excel in that OR do they think their ultimate purpose is to win....or are they not mutually exclusive?

    what do you guys think?....educate and improve as goals or to win outright?

    my personal opinion is that once you get up into college where people are paying money to see good games that your focus should be on winning. Winning of course, will entail trying to improve the players abilities......last year, the team could have done better...but I don't know if that was the focus last year...I wasn't always sure that winning was the goal....

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    Sylean, regarding your statement about people paying money to see good games and your focus should be on winning. I dare say every team at every level in any sport has a focus on winning. That is, after all, the purpose of the contest. Also I cannot recall the number of games, both professional and collegiate where I have paid money, good money to see games that turned out not to be good games. In fact the recent wins over Nicholls St and Cal Irvine were not really "good" games by my definition. They were both blowouts, although I always prefer to be on the winning side in those contests!

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    [QUOTE=sylean;1247837]

    I was just thinking about this last night....do coaches in general think their purpose is to help young people in athletic endeavors( educate, train, strengthen, good sportsman ship, stamina) to excel in that OR do they think their ultimate purpose is to win....or are they not mutually exclusive?



    No question the focus is on winning. Our academic successes are a tribute to our kids and, in a lesser way, the coaches who recruited students who can play. We can say it all we want and our coaches can say it all of the time but my guess is our program squeezes every bit of basketball they can out of the girls from games to travel to practice, to film, to weights, to public appearances and on and on and on and it is no less anywhere bb is a focus like it is with the Zags. The school supports all of the kids and maybe even more if they are athletes but I have no doubt Elle's degree in nursing is a testament to her own dedication and commitment, not our coaches providing her with extra study time. This being said, I certainly do not mean to be critical of our coaches for this as it is simply reality in the Zag world.

    The good part is the coaches who teach all of the other stuff you mentioned should be inherently successful as it should make for a desired landing spot for great student athletes.

    Bottom line is...if you dont win, you may not coach for long. And at Gonzaga, if you dont win, your next job will not be as good as your current one... and I will guarantee that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sylean View Post
    ..so who doesn't among us have a little swelling on their knee?...lol..
    Yes I have swelling on my knee...but technically... is it really my knee if I have only had it three years?

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    I watched the Stanford/Texas game and we can beat Stanford, although I wish Brittany McPhee had a little loyalty and came to GU.

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    thx for the update....for future reference, are those type scrimmages open to the public? and also, are practices open to the public or not?...

    pleased that they beat Cal....I'm crossing my fingers that we're over the hump and onto a new long winning season....

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    lol.....my knees are in the grey area....not enough cartilage lost but enough arthritis to make them ache.....so I just put up with them until such time comes where I can turn them in for a new pair....

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    Quote Originally Posted by sylean View Post

    I was just thinking about this last night....do coaches in general think their purpose is to help young people in athletic endeavors( educate, train, strengthen, good sportsman ship, stamina) to excel in that OR do they think their ultimate purpose is to win....or are they not mutually exclusive?

    what do you guys think?....educate and improve as goals or to win outright? ..
    After Middle School were everybody gets to play, if the coach wants to keep their job, of course they have to win. Obviously, your other factors figure greatly into that winning goal. The stronger, physically fit, knowledgeable a player is the more likely they will benefit the team. That is why all top tier schools have a separate strength and conditioning coach, and a nutritionist in addition to head coach and assistant coaches. You remember the transformation of Kelly Olynik during his red shirt year. That alone is the reason several transfer students have come to Spokane.

    Obviously a student has to stay academically eligible if they want to play. If they don't play they don't win. Since the market for women's basketball players, even including overseas opportunities is small potatoes compared to the men, there are almost no one and doners and the vast majority of women play for 4 years and get their degree. They big dollars are hard to come by in woman's basketball, thus they need something to fall back on.

    I do not know the current GU president's position, but when Father Spitzer (I believe) was the president, he requested Dan Fitzgerald's resignation because of a relatively minor NCAA infraction that the vast majority of schools would have overlooked. No tolerance at all for the coaches to break the rules.

    Thankfully, the coaches in the most of the sports at GU recruit, athletic kids that are academically smart, will graduate, many with graduate degrees and contribute significant amount of time to local charities to become very well-rounded, educated young individuals.

    In other words, they become a "Zag".


    ZagDad

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    I look at the starting lineup and fully agree with who LF has starting. And how they are playing... I don't see a change in the future. So far they seem to be playing well together. I also don't see the bench having a problem with it. As most have said, the tests are coming.

    As for the student athletes... I have heard the recruits talk academics as one of the reasons they chose GU. Bright kids... bright futures,

    Go Zags !!

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