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Thread: (1) Zags vs.(3) Red Raiders — Head to Head (Elite 8 Edition)

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    Default (1) Zags vs.(3) Red Raiders — Head to Head (Elite 8 Edition)

    Next up comes another team that the Zags have a tournament history with — Texas Tech (29-6). The Zags haven't played the Raiders since 2007.

    TTU is #5 in Pomeroy's rankings, which is the highest ranking for any of the three-seeds. I believe they were around #9 pre-tourney. They're ranked #1 in AdjDE and #31 in AdjOE. Currently, Gonzaga is ranked #1 offensively and #12 defensively. They play quite a bit slower pace (#235) than GU (#65), but not Virginia/Michigan slow.

    I did a little happy dance last night when I looked at the Four Factors To Winning Basketball (Effective FG%, Offensive Rebound%, Turnover%, and FTA/FGA), because the Zags dominate in all four categories. Those categories are all pace-free statistics.

    I wouldn't put much stock in the Avg. Score Margin, rebounds/game, etc. TTU is deceptively better than their per game numbers show, because of the slower pace they play, and because they're just freakingly good defensively. They have a higher rate of both steals and blocks than GU, and worryingly, their opponents average almost 40% of their shots from three (and only make 29% of them), and when their opponents do shoot the two, they make them only 42% of the time. That's REALLY good shooting defense.

    But if the #1 offense in the country (by a large margin) can't beat this defense, then perhaps no one can. The good thing is that TTU is significantly offensively challenged compared to the Zags, whose defense is #6 nationally in the last 10 games. So, assuming these teams play to their averages, the Zags should win on overall offensive dominance paired with somewhat equivalent defenses.

    Then again, it's the Tournament, so everyone will be playing for their lives.


    Basic Stats / Four Factors




    Efficiency Stats:




    This graphic was shown last night on CBS:




    GO ZAGS!!!


    source: TeamRankings.com
    Last edited by caduceus; 03-29-2019 at 10:18 PM.

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    What a thoughtful, fun post! Thanks, Caduceus!

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    Great stuff as always, Caduceus. Thank you.
    So many brackets, so little time.

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    Also, throughout most of the season, TTU was awful on offense. Some radio talk show hosts (not saying they are brilliant) were comparing them to the Dick Bennett coached Wisconsin teams. Unreal on D., but almost unwatchable on offense. Somewhere Beard turned that around, and I still do not fully understood how. It's not just Culver, or the mediocrity of the Big 12 this year which finally allowed KU to finally lose the league regular season crown.

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    I have to admit the TTU stats are a bit disconcerting. Not because they on face scare me, but because I can't figure out how a team with such crappy comparative offensive numbers have won so many games (and with a harder overall schedule — although their OOC schedule is by far the worst of the remaining teams [#309!]). I get it that their defense is stellar, but I've rarely seen a Four Factors discrepancy so wide vs. many of the P5 teams we played this year. CDC, your point about how bad their offense was early on is maybe a clue??? That would skew their averages downward compared to what they are today, particularly against a cupcake OOC slate.

    (Compared to Gonzaga) TTU doesn't rebound well. They don't shoot that well. They turn over the ball. They don't have a great assist rate. They don't get to the foul line a lot. WHAT's THE SECRET SAUCE?!?! Their defensive numbers are outstanding, but they're not that far off from where GU is defensively, particularly in the latter half of the season.

    I always get really nervous about teams that have unorthodox statistical numbers. I feel like there's something MISSING that I'm not seeing. Unfortunately, I haven't watched enough of TTU this year to pinpoint what the MISSING thing is. It's kinda like those games where you see the Zags are killing the other team in FG%, rebounds, steals, and a bunch of other categories...but they're LOSING. It's infuriating sometimes. Gonna spend some time watching the Michigan/TTU game.

    All I can say when I see these things is, "Danger, Will Robinson!"

    I'm confident that Few has watched a lot of tape and has a great game plan. And he's gotten so much better at competing against alternative/junk/tricky/unique play styles in recent years. I just get rattled when I see such nice numbers for the Zags against a paradoxical team like this.

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    Thanks a lot. Go Zags. Duke is due to go down. Too many really close games.

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    Okay, I've watched the first half of the Michigan/TTU game. I know it's not representative of their whole season, but HELL. Michigan was beyond horrible, but TTU was just about the most bumbling offensive team I've seen all season.

    We walk away with this. I just can't see how that team can beat us. Low IQ, poor shooting, defense marginal compared to what the Zags play on offense.

    I'm looking forward to this game.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but JESUS. I think I'm not.

    Announcer: "Each team is shooting 27 percent." "Each basket is a CELEBRATION!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by caduceus View Post
    Okay, I've watched the first half of the Michigan/TTU game. I know it's not representative of their whole season, but HELL. Michigan was beyond horrible, but TTU was just about the most bumbling offensive team I've seen all season.

    We walk away with this. I just can't see how that team can beat us. Low IQ, poor shooting, defense marginal compared to what the Zags play on offense.

    I'm looking forward to this game.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but JESUS. I think I'm not.
    agree....Unless Tech comes out and pulls Auburn 3 fest I don’t see it stopping ZAGA train.

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    The second half simply demonstrated Michigan's failure. Any DII team could have won against that. I don't have a crystal ball. But if that's what TTU brings, we're in the Final Four. I know anything can happen, but I honestly think we're the better team.

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    Quote Originally Posted by caduceus View Post
    The second half simply demonstrated Michigan's failure. Any DII team could have won against that. I don't have a crystal ball. But if that's what TTU brings, we're in the Final Four. I know anything can happen, but I honestly think we're the better team.
    1/19 from 3 and the single made 3 was when the game was already over - Michigan was bad, maybe partly due to TT's defense but they also missed multiple wide open threes. TT took care of the ball for the most part but I agree, GU just has to play a normal game. They have to play good but I don't see them requiring a stellar performance. Perkins and Z.N. just have to take care of the ball and limit turnovers. Play D like they have all year and move the ball on offense. I heard G. Parrish on the podcast say GU might have the hardest path to a final 4 but I don't know, Michigan St. or Auburn or Purdue? Purdue is hot, Auburn could be the most dangerous team right now (although a man down might change that) and Michigan St? I think I'd take Texas Tech.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jayray View Post
    1/19 from 3 and the single made 3 was when the game was already over - Michigan was bad, maybe partly due to TT's defense but they also missed multiple wide open threes. TT took care of the ball for the most part but I agree, GU just has to play a normal game. They have to play good but I don't see them requiring a stellar performance. Perkins and Z.N. just have to take care of the ball and limit turnovers. Play D like they have all year and move the ball on offense. I heard G. Parrish on the podcast say GU might have the hardest path to a final 4 but I don't know, Michigan St. or Auburn or Purdue? Purdue is hot, Auburn could be the most dangerous team right now (although a man down might change that) and Michigan St? I think I'd take Texas Tech.
    Well said. I think you're right. TTU might be Jekyll & Hyde, but if their last game is any indication, I see a blowout.

  12. #12

    Default Reffing question on the TTU/MI game....

    Quote Originally Posted by caduceus View Post
    Well said. I think you're right. TTU might be Jekyll & Hyde, but if their last game is any indication, I see a blowout.
    Cad...how was the MI game called? Did foul trouble have any positive influence to the TTU win? Any idea how their bench performs? I totally missed that game.
    montanazag88
    P....A....TIENCE!

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    Quote Originally Posted by caduceus View Post
    I have to admit the TTU stats are a bit disconcerting. Not because they on face scare me, but because I can't figure out how a team with such crappy comparative offensive numbers have won so many games (and with a harder overall schedule — although their OOC schedule is by far the worst of the remaining teams [#309!]). I get it that their defense is stellar, but I've rarely seen a Four Factors discrepancy so wide vs. many of the P5 teams we played this year. CDC, your point about how bad their offense was early on is maybe a clue??? That would skew their averages downward compared to what they are today, particularly against a cupcake OOC slate.

    (Compared to Gonzaga) TTU doesn't rebound well. They don't shoot that well. They turn over the ball. They don't have a great assist rate. They don't get to the foul line a lot. WHAT's THE SECRET SAUCE?!?! Their defensive numbers are outstanding, but they're not that far off from where GU is defensively, particularly in the latter half of the season.

    I always get really nervous about teams that have unorthodox statistical numbers. I feel like there's something MISSING that I'm not seeing. Unfortunately, I haven't watched enough of TTU this year to pinpoint what the MISSING thing is. It's kinda like those games where you see the Zags are killing the other team in FG%, rebounds, steals, and a bunch of other categories...but they're LOSING. It's infuriating sometimes. Gonna spend some time watching the Michigan/TTU game.

    All I can say when I see these things is, "Danger, Will Robinson!"

    I'm confident that Few has watched a lot of tape and has a great game plan. And he's gotten so much better at competing against alternative/junk/tricky/unique play styles in recent years. I just get rattled when I see such nice numbers for the Zags against a paradoxical team like this.
    Great post and insight. A valid question which CDC has hinted at as well. How in the world does Texas Tech do it?

    Two words: Jarrett Culver.

    Every single time Texas Tech goes dry on offense, or they aren't playing well in a particular area: passing, rebounding, shooting, scoring, etc.

    He shows up and does it.

    In their close games (not many), he has often been the leading scorer, rebounder, & assist guy.

    He can play and defend 4 positions, which he often does.

    Culver is their 'secret sauce', and single handedly skews the stats to winning games for them.

    For instance, the moment Michigan caught a little momentum, here comes Culver with 2 consecutive dunks and an And 1 acrobatic layup.

    A plug n play guy who is a Top 5 pick in NBA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by caduceus View Post
    Okay, I've watched the first half of the Michigan/TTU game. I know it's not representative of their whole season, but HELL. Michigan was beyond horrible, but TTU was just about the most bumbling offensive team I've seen all season.

    We walk away with this. I just can't see how that team can beat us. Low IQ, poor shooting, defense marginal compared to what the Zags play on offense.

    I'm looking forward to this game.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but JESUS. I think I'm not.

    Announcer: "Each team is shooting 27 percent." "Each basket is a CELEBRATION!"
    An entirely different Tech offense showed up in 2nd half.

    But I still agree with you. It's certainly not pretty basketball.

    I created a thread on this topic, yet Tech runs shot clock on offense. They burn it down, and make their opponemy defend until they crack, or find a crack. If that isn't working, they just bull rush Culver to the hoop. Or launch a 3 with Morretti or Mooney (both excellent shooters).

    They play pack in zone and man defense.

    Remind me a ton of St Marys minus the ball screen action. Same mindset, style, pace on offense....and a tough defense to crack when they pack it in with better and longer athletes.

    Historically, if the past is any indication, we have struggled vs these types of teams.

    Hope we stay focused, fast, fresh today. It's going to be infuriating watching this game, for us and general public.

    Complete opposite of Auburn, UNC, Duke, etc

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    Now I'm getting pumped up! Thanks Cad.
    Quote Originally Posted by Coach Few
    We are not here as a #%$&%&! Courtesy!!!

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    Good game plan (whatever that is) intensity, grit, drive, “attitude” and we win!

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    Quote Originally Posted by caduceus View Post
    Okay, I've watched the first half of the Michigan/TTU game. I know it's not representative of their whole season, but HELL. Michigan was beyond horrible, but TTU was just about the most bumbling offensive team I've seen all season.

    We walk away with this. I just can't see how that team can beat us. Low IQ, poor shooting, defense marginal compared to what the Zags play on offense.

    I'm looking forward to this game.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but JESUS. I think I'm not.

    Announcer: "Each team is shooting 27 percent." "Each basket is a CELEBRATION!"
    Different team second half. We wear you down. It amazes me still that people look at N. Kentucky, Buffalo, and Michigan and just say they all had off shooting nights. Never has anything to do with our #1 ranked defense. Keep up with the overconfidence, and disrespect. Enjoy the game and best of luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TTU2013 View Post
    Different team second half. We wear you down. It amazes me still that people look at N. Kentucky, Buffalo, and Michigan and just say they all had off shooting nights. Never has anything to do with our #1 ranked defense. Keep up with the overconfidence, and disrespect. Enjoy the game and best of luck.
    I for one don't think its coincidence but I would also argue that Michigan has never been a good offense either. I was very impressed how easily you guys dismantled Buffalo though.
    Although they don't have the frontcourt that we have which I am hoping makes a difference.

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    The stats someone posted the other day about Tech being a great second half team (I believe it was LTownZag) unlike FSU was a great analysis. The Zags will certainly benefit from a halftime lead in this one if they can go get it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Coach Few
    We are not here as a #%$&%&! Courtesy!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TTU2013 View Post
    Different team second half. We wear you down. It amazes me still that people look at N. Kentucky, Buffalo, and Michigan and just say they all had off shooting nights. Never has anything to do with our #1 ranked defense. Keep up with the overconfidence, and disrespect. Enjoy the game and best of luck.
    How, or by what mechanism, is Texas Tech able to wear their opponents out in the second half without get equally worn out themselves? IE what gives them a relative advantage in second half play vs 1st half?

    Thanks for coming to the GU forum.

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    Thanks cad.
    This post is for March Madness seeding purposes only.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TTU2013 View Post
    Different team second half. We wear you down. It amazes me still that people look at N. Kentucky, Buffalo, and Michigan and just say they all had off shooting nights. Never has anything to do with our #1 ranked defense. Keep up with the overconfidence, and disrespect. Enjoy the game and best of luck.
    You’re right, all Zag fans please change your pick to TTU.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MJ777 View Post
    You’re right, all Zag fans please change your pick to TTU.

    I didnt mean just physically. Tech's motto is 4:1. Four parts mental to one part physical. We are just relentless. Great game by y'all. Always root for the Zags unless its Tech.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TTU2013 View Post
    I didnt mean just physically. Tech's motto is 4:1. Four parts mental to one part physical. We are just relentless. Great game by y'all. Always root for the Zags unless its Tech.
    Best D I’ve seen since the 85 Bears. Good luck getting as many no calls against Duke If they can get by MSU. But I’ll be rooting for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TTU2013 View Post
    I didnt mean just physically. Tech's motto is 4:1. Four parts mental to one part physical. We are just relentless. Great game by y'all. Always root for the Zags unless its Tech.
    Be ready to play 5 against 8. A lot of money and ratings are riding on a Duke/Zion championship game.

    That noncall with 55 seconds was huge, though not the reason why the Zags lost.

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