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Thread: Ciao, Zags - Europe Here We Come

  1. #26
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    The ladies boarded a bus in Florence for the 4-hour ride to Venice. Once in Venice, they visited St. Mark's Basilica and St. Mark's Square and took a motorboat ride along some of the canals.

    Hopefully they will get to see the Hall of Doges, Bridge of Sighs, Rialto Bridge, Farmer's Market and maybe get a chance to see a Venetian Glass Blowing Factory, etc.

    They have posted pictures and video of their first day in Venice. As is typical, there are some different pictures posted on the blog and CLF's twitter page.

    Wbb European Blog Link: https://spark.adobe.com/page/OGyQBD6mdwvRn/

    Lady Zag twitter page: https://twitter.com/ZagWBB

    CLF twitter page: https://twitter.com/FortZagWBB

    ZagDad

  2. #27
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    I have asked this question several times on the MBB and have never received an answer or at least one that I remember BUT why haven't the men taken this type of trip...I always thought it would be good for team chemistry and player growth...

  3. #28
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    I can't answer for the men, however according to Wbb head coach Lisa Fortier (CLF);

    Former head coach Kelly Graves sent CLF (when she was a Wbb assistant coach) to speak directly with the athletic department for permission to make this kind of trip. Coach Graves sent her every year to the athletic department, and every year the answer was the same, no.

    When CLF became the Wbb head coach, she continued going to the athletic department every year asking to take a exhibition tour and like under Coach Graves, every year the answer was no, until this year.

    It is my understanding that this year everything lined up and combined with some donations, the athletic department permitted the Wbb to take the European trip this year.

    According to the NCAA, a team can make this kind of trip only once every four years.

    ZagDad

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bogozags View Post
    I have asked this question several times on the MBB and have never received an answer or at least one that I remember BUT why haven't the men taken this type of trip...I always thought it would be good for team chemistry and player growth...
    Speaking off the top of my head, but NOT from inside info:
    1. We always enjoy having several MBB players from other countries, and some of them have been recruited with express promises made by the GU staff to their coaches back home to the effect that the players would be free to rep their country by playing on their national teams during the summer (I believe I've read that the Bonus and Rui came with those express assurances). As a result, the attendance would be spotty and chemistry building might suffer.
    2. The GU Summer Boys BB Camps are important to not only GU as an entire university, but also for planting early seeds for recruiting, and for providing summer jobs and activities for the players during the summer. Any overseas trip would have to avoid conflicting with the camps, as giving up the camps for a year would not palatable.
    3. A lot of the players enroll in summer school to either lighten their load during the season, or to accelerate their progress towards graduation. Undertaking the international junket while trying to take and keep up on summer school class requirements is at best a problem, and possibly a deal breaker, depending upon the requirements of the classes.
    4. Another benefit for players remaining on campus during the summer is be able to spend extra hours in the training room on strength, conditioning, and all that stuff. For some incoming freshmen, this is a big hurdle to get over. Not so easy to do if you are on the road.
    SLOZag
    "Kids come here to better their own lives, not ours. If you take a player’s failures as a personal affront…. check yourself." - Chick-Stratino'sUrDaddy

  5. #30
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    Thanks for the reply SLOZag.

    Let me offer you a different opinion for your consideration.

    We always enjoy having several MBB players from other countries, and some of them have been recruited with express promises made by the GU staff to their coaches back home to the effect that the players would be free to rep their country by playing on their national teams during the summer (I believe I've read that the Bonus and Rui came with those express assurances). As a result, the attendance would be spotty and chemistry building might suffer.
    Great comment. While the Lady Zags have the occasional European or Australian recruit, they have no where near the number of foreign born players as the Mbb team. Currently the Lady Zags have one (1) Romanian, one (1) Canadian and one (1) Australian team member. Our Romanian player did not participate in the ten (10) pre-trip, team practices as she was already in Europe, but she met the team in Spain and played in each of the four exhibition games. Everybody else participated in the pre-trip practices and played in each of the four (4) games including our redshirt who will not be eligible to play after the exhibition games until next year. By the looks of it, the Mbb team has numerous players playing for their individual national teams, so this is likely a major issue for the Mbb team.

    The GU Summer Boys BB Camps are important to not only GU as an entire university, but also for planting early seeds for recruiting, and for providing summer jobs and activities for the players during the summer. Any overseas trip would have to avoid conflicting with the camps, as giving up the camps for a year would not palatable.
    The Lady Zags also have summer camps. To be of much value, any trip would have to occur in mid-August, long after the camps have taken place but before school starts for the semester.

    A lot of the players enroll in summer school to either lighten their load during the season, or to accelerate their progress towards graduation. Undertaking the international junket while trying to take and keep up on summer school class requirements is at best a problem, and possibly a deal breaker, depending upon the requirements of the classes.
    Again, this also applies to many of the student athletes on the Lady Zag team. This year GU offered three (3) six week summer sessions with the first session starting May 20th and the third session ending August 9th. Once again, the Lady Zag trip occurred after the last session of summer school ended and they will return before the start of the fall semester.

    Another benefit for players remaining on campus during the summer is be able to spend extra hours in the training room on strength, conditioning, and all that stuff. For some incoming freshmen, this is a big hurdle to get over. Not so easy to do if you are on the road.
    True, but the trip only covers 12 days in mid-August, not a lot of time to take away from the training room. What you do get by going on a European/Asian trip is the NCAA permits you an additional 10 pre-trip, team practices and you get 3-4 extra exhibition games instead of the usual 1 or 2. The additional 10 team practices and 3-4 extra exhibition games could outweigh the loss of time in the training room as long as nobody gets hurt.

    Just my thoughts,

    ZagDad

  6. #31
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    This trip has been full of pluses for the players and team... they talk of memories and experiences. The games have almost been secondary to everything else. It’s the off court time that helps bond the players and coaches... staff.

    The only negative might be the family time... I think August is chance to go home and get a little mom and dad time.

    Last... the trip also has to give the staff a chance to see players from other teams...

    Go Zags!!

  7. #32
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    - appreciate the updates, especially the links to the team members video journals, that was great.

    - reports from coaches and video's are that we might have a team that is really going to push the ball up the floor, fast breaks and first good opportunity to score in transition.

    - I'd love to see that, I loved the way the team played back when Courtney was at the helm, dishing off to kayla and katelin. of course I know Courtney had once in a generation skills. but anyway I like transition scoring basketball.

  8. #33
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    Great comment Skip:

    ... the trip also has to give the staff a chance to see players from other teams...
    While the Mbb team and particularly Tommy Lloyd seem to have a network of connections, friendships, etc. that covers much of Western and Eastern Europe to get the heads-up on up and coming junior players, based on their recruiting, it is very evident that the Lady Zags do not seem to have a similar setup in Europe.

    Getting a chance to meet the coaching staffs of four(4) different club teams may help the Lady Zags get a start on establishing some contacts for future recruiting.

    It looks like the trip provided some great team bonding opportunities both on and off the court, some opportunities to play against players not playing for Gonzaga, an opportunity to experience some very distinct cultures and a chance to see some of the greatest cities that helped establish the beginning of Western civilization.

    Since it appears we got home with few if any injuries to the players, the trip was a win-win for all. Let's hope that the funding can be found so that the ladies can make a similar trip every 4-5 years, so all of the Lady Zags get a chance to experience this type of opportunity.

    Is it October yet??

    ZagDad

  9. #34
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    From the Spokesman-Review

    Gonzaga women’s basketball returns from European trip, with plenty of memories on, off the court
    UPDATED: Wed., Aug. 28, 2019, 6:44 p.m.
    By Jim Allen
    jima@spokesman.com
    (509) 459-5437

    This was never about basketball, though that was fun, too.

    The Gonzaga women are back from Europe, jet-lagged but joyful after 12 days of cooking pasta, riding bicycles atop medieval walls and standing in the Colosseum.

    “That was one of the favorites for the players,” head coach Lisa Fortier said of one of Rome’s biggest attractions, where gladiators often fought to the death in front of thousands.

    The Zags played for smaller stakes and smaller crowds, but got a thumbs-up from Fortier in all four games against professional teams in Spain and Italy. Only one game, the opener in Barcelona, was close. GU prevailed 71-60 despite jet lag and the wide international lane that led to numerous 3-second violations.

    “That was an adjustment,” Fortier said Monday, three days after players, coaches and family returned to Spokane.

    On top of that, the Zags often felt rushed by the 24-second shot clock, which resets to only 14 seconds following an offensive rebound.

    “There were a lot of turnovers,” Fortier said.

    The games in Italy went as smoothly as a Venetian gondola, as GU won by 35, 29 and 39 points. Not surprisingly, everyone played.

    Jill Townsend, coming off a serious leg injury in March, got plenty of minutes. So did the Truong twins, Kayleigh and Kaylynne, who also had a chance to play at the same time as twins Jenn and LeeAnne Wirth.

    “I can’t even recall the fifth player on the court; I think they just wanted to stay out of the picture,” Fortier said.

    Overall, Fortier said she was pleased with the team’s play: “I think we have some good players, and they played with real good energy.”

    They should be even better thanks to the additional practices, before and during the trip.

    “They all got to play, and we got some time to work on some things for the season,” said Fortier, who added that the staff hasn’t settled on a starting lineup or rotation.

    They have plenty of time. Classes begin Tuesday, and the nonconference schedule is expected to be released this week.

    Fall practice opens at the beginning of October, with the annual Numerica FanFest set for Oct. 12 at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

    That will come soon enough. But when asked about their favorite experiences in Europe, “no one mentioned basketball,” said Fortier, who like the other coaches brought her family along.

    They did talk about the time spent together in the Sistine Chapel, the canals of Venice and the countryside of Tuscany.

    “It was great to see every one walking around, out of their comfort zone,” said Fortier, noting that no one in the group speaks Spanish or Italian.

    “And the places we saw, the cathedrals, the Colosseum, it was wonderful,” Fortier said.
    Article Link: https://www.spokesman.com/stories/20...m-european-tr/

    While the NCAA is not going to change the width of the key or the original length of time on the shot clock (30 seconds), the NCAA did accept that the shot clock will only get reset to 20 seconds (not 30 seconds like last year) after an offensive rebound or when the defensive team commits a foul or intentionally kicks or punches the ball. However, this reset will only happen if the clock is below 20 seconds at the time of the infraction; if the clock is still above 20 seconds, it will not be altered.

    Having already played with a shorter shot clock (24 seconds) and a reset to only 14 seconds after a rebound in Europe, our girls are already ahead of the game.

    ZagDad

  10. #35
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    Too put a wrap on this thread, there is a video blog posted on the Lady Zag twitter page with highlights of the entire tour and with each of the Lady Zags telling what was the favorite part of the trip.

    Lady Zag Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/ZagWBB

    ZagDad

  11. #36
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    Summary of the European trip from the Gonzaga Bulletin:

    Women's basketball: Gonzaga reaping benefits of foreign tour
    Connor Gilbert
    Sep 2, 2019

    The jet lag is just now wearing off, but the memories are still fresh from Gonzaga women’s basketball’s foreign tour through Europe.

    After nearly two weeks traveling through Spain and Italy from Aug. 10-22, including four games against local teams, the Zags were ready to go home to begin school.

    They stayed in Rome, Barcelona, Spain, Venice, Italy, and Florence, Italy, with day excursions to Lucca, Italy, and the Vatican City, all while consuming enough Italian and Spanish cuisine to last a long while.

    “I did get a little bit tired of pizza and pasta,” head coach Lisa Fortier said.

    This trip was years in the making, with origins dating back to before former head coach Kelly Graves left the program in 2014. Graves used to send Fortier, then one of his assistants, as a representative to argue for the trip with university officials.

    “From our perspective, this was the year we wanted to do it,” Fortier said. “We wanted to give them an opportunity to experience it basketball-wise, but it was also important for us for just a life experience.”

    It’s nearly impossible for basketball players to study abroad, as they often must practice year-round. This trip is the first of its kind for the program and one that is only allowed once every four years by the NCAA. It gave Fortier’s team a chance to get a taste of what nearly half of GU students experience when they study abroad.

    While in Florence, the team toured GU’s study abroad campus and volunteered for multiple organizations affiliated with Gonzaga in Florence (GIF).

    “It’s like a once in a lifetime thing to get that trip and have so much of it paid for, and just to have such a cool group of girls,” junior LeeAnne Wirth said. “I feel really lucky to have been here, especially on the first time that we went.”

    But of course, it couldn’t be all fun and games. With one game each against local teams in Barcelona and Rome and two games in Florence, much of this trip was about improving the team as well. The level of competition was dubious, as the Bulldogs drubbed every opponent in their path by double digits. Most of the teams were hastily assembled squads of local professional players who hadn’t practiced much together, if at all.

    “I wish the competition was a little bit better,” Fortier said. “But I still thought we got what we wanted to get out of it, basketball-wise.”

    Chief among the benefits of these games included giving a crucial five-player junior class more reps in real game action. Juniors LeeAnne and Jenn Wirth, Louise Forsyth, Gillian Barfield and Jill Townsend all look to have key or expanded roles this season after the departures of seniors Laura Stockton, Chandler Smith and Zykera Rice last spring.

    “Developing our junior class is important to us,” Fortier said. “That’s a big class that’s taking on a new role. We wanted to give them an opportunity to get some experience in that role, basketball-wise.”

    A variety of new faces also joined the team on the tour, including freshman twins Kayleigh and Kaylynne Truong of Houston and Eliza Hollingsworth of Melbourne, Australia. Redshirt sophomore Anamaria Virjoghe and redshirt freshman Kylee Griffen were also saw their first action in a GU jersey. With these new players in the fold, this was an excellent opportunity for the entire team to come together this early in the season and jell both on and off the court.

    “It’s two weeks in a foreign country together,” Townsend said. “You have to work together and be around each other pretty much all day.”

    Townsend is still working her way back from a leg injury she suffered in last season’s West Coast Conference tournament, but played limited minutes in the four exhibitions.

    “Obviously, I wish I could play the whole time, but getting to go in, even a little bit like I did, was super rewarding,” she said. “Now, I’ve just got to wait until November.”

    Extra practices were also an important way to build chemistry and get a head start on the season. Per NCAA rules, the Zags were allowed 10 additional practices preceding their tour, a significant increase from the four hours a week teams are typically afforded during the summer.

    “The team practices are a great chance for us,” Fortier said. “We put in some things that we’re considering running offensively or defensively next year but that we’re not 100% sure about. So we got a chance to try those out in live play.”

    Fortier said that in the future, the prospect of having a recurring foreign tour could strengthen her recruiting efforts. If the women’s basketball team can continue embarking on a foreign tour once every four years, almost every player who goes through the program will be part of it at least once. That experience could be a huge draw for future athletes, especially at a school known for its study abroad offerings.

    All things considered, even the long flights and jet lag, Fortier considered this trip a success.

    “I think it exceeded all expectations I had,” she said. “And I knew it was going to be great.”
    Article Link: https://www.gonzagabulletin.com/spor...68cec641d.html

    ZagDad

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