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Thread: Ciao, Zags - Europe Here We Come

  1. #1
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    Default Ciao, Zags - Europe Here We Come

    From the Spokesman Review:

    Ciao, Zags: Gonzaga women’s basketball set to embark on 12-day European tour
    Fri., Aug. 9, 2019, 6:30 p.m.

    By Jim Allen
    jima@spokesman.com
    (509) 459-5437

    Katie Campbell can’t wait to taste the gelato. Kayleigh Truong is looking forward to some team bonding. Jill Townsend just wants to soak in the history.

    “The experience of a lifetime,” the Gonzaga women are calling their 12-day trip to Europe that will also make some history: This is the first time any GU team is taking advantage of an NCAA rule that permits foreign trips every four years.

    The Zags will fly to Barcelona on Saturday; they’ll return on Aug. 22.

    “I’ve actually been asking for this for a long time,” said coach Lisa Fortier, who added that her old boss, Kelly Graves, had sent her as a representative every year to plead with the school for an overseas trip.

    Fortier is grateful for the opportunity.

    “It takes a lot of planning and a lot of money, and we have people who are interested in helping us go on this tour,” Fortier said.

    When it comes to basketball, the biggest benefit isn’t the three games on the trip. Based on other schools’ experience, opponents can range from wretched to ridiculously good.
    The Zags are hoping for a happy medium, but that’s out of their control. The big bonus is the practices – 10 of them – that lead up to the trip.

    “It really is a big advantage to get that early experience,” said Fortier, who figures the Zags will be that much ahead when fall practice arrives.
    “They we can work on other things, so this gives us a jump start,” Fortier said.

    The timing couldn’t be better. Of the 13 players eligible to see action this year, six (Townsend, Campbell, Jessie Loera, Melody Kempton and Jenn and LeeAnne Wirth) have a wealth of college experience.

    The other seven, who have almost none, are junior returnees Louise Forsyth (6.8 minutes per game last year) and Gillian Barfield (1.4 mpg), redshirt freshmen freshman Kylee Griffen, transfer Anamaria Virjoghe and true freshmen Eliza Hollingsworth and Kayleigh and Kaylynne Truong.

    “We’re kind of veteran,” Fortier said, “We’re not real young, but we have people in new roles, so it’s a real good basketball year for us to do something like this.”

    Translation: Besides the sightseeing, Fortier and her staff will be looking for someone to make an early impression.

    That could be the Truong sisters, who figure to get decent minutes as presumptive starters Campbell and Loera go into their senior year at point guard and shooting guard, respectively.

    “There’s a lot of new faces,” Fortier said. “They’re talented and they’re fitting in well. Overall, I think we have a high ceiling with this group.”

    Speaking of high ceilings, the Zags will spend much of the time sightseeing. The Sistine Chapel is on the itinerary, along with the Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum and St. Peter’s Basilica.

    “I can’t wait to see the Colosseum,” Townsend said. “I’m really excited for the history part of it; also Florence.”

    That’s where GU has sponsored a study abroad program since 1963, but it’s typically been out of reach for student-athletes and their busy schedules.

    “We have so many friends who are nonathletes who get to go, so we’re excited to take advantage of this – without having to do academics,” Campbell said.

    Campbell will make the trip without her daughter Ava – “we’ll be doing a lot of FaceTime, I guess,” she said.

    “But I can’t wait for the food – gelato and pizza, eating the food that Italy is known for,” Campbell said.
    Article Link: https://www.spokesman.com/stories/20...et-to-embark-/

    You can keep up with the Lady Zags on their European Adventure on the Lady Zag twitter page and their blog page.

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

    Lady Zag Blog Page: https://spark.adobe.com/page/OGyQBD6mdwvRn/

    Have a great trip ladies,

    ZagDad

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    This is so cool that they get this opportunity. Student athletes work so hard, fun chance for them.

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    Lady Zags are in Barcelona.

    Check out their blog for pictures and dialog. Latest info is at the bottom of the blog page.

    Lady Zag Blog Page: https://spark.adobe.com/page/OGyQBD6mdwvRn/

    ZagDad

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    From CLF's twitter page:

    "It is hot in Barcelona, & 3 am both me & 2 of the kids are wide awake trying to pretend we’re not. Yesterday was an exciting day with our team & family. So glad we we’re here! Looking forward to seeing some more of the city and playing a game today! #EuroZags2k19"
    9-10 hours of flight time, pick up 9 hours in time difference combined with hot and humid weather will make tomorrow (today's) game very difficult.

    Go Zags,

    ZagDad

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    Comments from the posts above:

    Thanks for the links, ZD.

    But, from one of the links, there is a picture of the team with a player count of 13. I assume that means that Cierra could not accompany the team. Makes me sad.

    I see that rather than the initially stated 3 games, there will be four games. I hope that the Box Scores and team member stats will be made public. How else am I going to compare my projected minutes per player to the actual minutes per player.

    Go Lady Zags!

    .

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    In looking at the group picture (red shirts and blue yoga pants) Anna is the player not pictured (I believe). Cierra is bottom row, far left I believe.

    In looking at the picture in front of the cathedral, I also do not see Anna.

    Even if injured, you would think Anna would have wanted travel with the team.

    No bad thoughts, breathe deep.

    Hopefully, Anna went back home first and is meeting the team in Barcelona.

    On CLF's 3 AM post on her twitter page, it looks like Anna is in one of the pictures.

    ZagDad

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    I, too, noticed that Anna was not in the photos. I hope all is well. Anxious to hear how the game goes and who gets minutes.

    Thanks for the updates!

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    Anna was already in Europe and will meet up with the team..

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    Lady Zags win game 1 71-60.

    Anna did join up with the ladies and played in the game.

    According to coach Clinesmith the team pushed the tempo, played hard but would have liked to see fewer turnovers. She said the newcomers played very well. Hard to read the numbers when you stop the video so hard to see everybody's number. Highlights show KG getting a steal, outrunning everyone and taking it full court for a layup. KG also had a rebound and put back. The Truongs had several assists, a steal and on another occasion took it to the hoop off the dribble. Wirths look good from distance and on the boards. JL took it to the hoop, and bombed away when left open. KC looks ready for another season, hitting long range.

    Highlights are posted on the Lady Zag twitter page - Link: https://twitter.com/ZagWBB

    No other stats have been posted yet.

    ZagDad

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    Thanks ZD84.
    This post is for March Madness seeding purposes only.

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    If you check out the GU blog, they have now posted the game video and a few pictures.

    JT definitely got in some minutes today. Anna was powering through a double team and foul. Cierra appears to be bring the ball up the court.

    Their is a really neat combined photo with both teams after having exchanged jerseys.

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

    Scroll to the bottom for the latest additions. Remember Barcelona and Italy are 9 hours ahead of us.

    ZagDad

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    Now with the big video on the blog, I can actually make out the player's numbers when you slow the video down.

    Assuming the jump ball in the video was the start of the game, the starters were, as expected, JW, LW, KC, LF and I assume JL but she was out of frame.

    Earlier I missed out on MK who was pounding the boards and put back at least a couple of shots.

    Kayleigh Truong, K#11 was the Truong twin shown in the highlights.

    While most of the girls had some moments in the highlights, MK, KG and K#11 were prominently featured with several appearances in the highlight reel.

    One down ladies, three to go.

    Zag Up,

    ZagDad

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    Onward to Rome.

    The ladies took the short 2 hour flight from Barcelona to Rome and spent the day sightseeing some of the major non-Vatican City tourist attractions including Piazza Navonna, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps.

    Head over to the Lady Zag Europe Blog for video of today's festivities as well as some pretty neat pictures.

    Lady Zag Europe Blog Link: https://spark.adobe.com/page/OGyQBD6mdwvRn/

    An interesting note, CLF said she visited Italy when she was 23 and this is her first trip back since then. I guess that the Lady Zags have not recruited in Italy very much in recent years.

    It is really too bad that some of the new Italian laws are so anti-tourist that one's experiences in these fabulous cities can be greatly affected.

    ZagDad

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    Game Two is in the books.

    Lady Zags win 69-34.

    First video is up on the GU Wbb Twitter page. Link:https://twitter.com/ZagWBB

    I will wait until the larger video is posted on the blog for a more detailed analysis.

    Really liking our point guards this year as JL, CW and K11 all took it to the hoop, shot the 3's and stop and popped. MK was a monster on both sides of the ball. She is much more assertive on the offensive side of the ball. Anna showed some physicality in the key going to the hoop through contact.

    Great game ladies.

    ZagDad

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    Thanks for keeping us up to date and posting the links, ZagDad!

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    CLF and the Lady Zags ran into Rem Bakamus, former Zag Mbb player, at the Vatican today.

    Picture is posted at CLF's twitter page.

    Link: https://twitter.com/FortZagWBB

    ZagDad

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    How cool is that!
    This post is for March Madness seeding purposes only.

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    Thanks ZD...
    From the pictures and video it appears we have a team... really impressed how the team is coming together.
    The way the coaches are talking, they seem to be pleased with how well they are playing together. This trip is going to be a big plus for this year... and it appears we are going to have a bench.

    A great group to represent GU...

    Go Zags!!

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    Now that the Game 2 highlights have been posted in larger format on the Lady Zag Europe blog, there are some additions to the above game review comments.

    Very nice uniform, consistent effort throughout the game. No bad quarters and no really outstanding quarters. After the first quarter, the score was 17-8, at halftime the score was 32-16 and a final score of 69-34. Great defense, holding the opponents to 34 points with only some of your defenses installed was great effort. Two games and the offense has scored 71 and 69 points. Things are working well on that side of the ball as well.

    As far as the backcourt goes, as noted above, all of the guards/wings apparently played well with lots of assists and relatively uniform scoring by lots of team members. Both of the Truong twins were shown handling the ball, K#11 took it to the hoop off a dribble. LF played the inside-out game with JW and hit the long range jumper and she also had a couple of assists. JL took it to the hoop and had several assists. KC had some assists, while CW drove by her opponent and hit the stop and pop. KG had an assist and hit a layup off an inbounds play from JL. No idea on the quality of the opponent, but I am beginning to feel a little better about our guard situation.

    MK has been very aggressive on both sides of the ball in both games, she is going to be a handful for opponents this year. AV showed some aggressiveness taking it to the hoop around, through and over her opponent. Both Wirths hit outside shots and took it to the hoop through contract. We are looking good in the key.

    I also noticed that JT got some more minutes in this game as well.

    The video is posted both on the Lady Zag Europe Blog and the Lady Zag twitter page. The Europe Blog has a number of additional pictures of the game.

    For their last day in Rome, the Lady Zags visited Vatican City, the Vatican Museums, St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. If you have not visited these sites yet, take a look at the pictures and the video to see these wonderous sites. They are simply amazing and even more so in real life. Once again, both the twitter page and blog have the video but there are a lot more pictures of the day's activities on the blog page.

    Lady Zag Europe Blog Link: https://spark.adobe.com/page/OGyQBD6mdwvRn/

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

    After the game, the lady zags boarded the train to Florence. CLF had these comments on Florence.

    "We made it to Florence! Bullet train ride, the David, old friends, new friends, and beautiful sunset. Can’t wait for tomorrow!! Bike tour of a little town nearby, a likely trip to gelato and hopefully a W!"

    CLF posted a few pictures in Florence.

    CLF Twitter Page Link: https://twitter.com/FortZagWBB

    Game three (3) is tomorrow.

    Go Zags

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    While the coaches took a cooking class in the hills of Tuscany, the team, in their own words:

    "We arrived safely in Florence this morning, explored the markets and saw Michelangelo’s David ����#�� Later, we explored the town while our coaches took a cooking class in the hills of Tuscany �� Perfecto!"

    Check out the Lady Zag Facebook page for pictures of today's adventures in Florence.

    Lady Zag Wbb Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/ZagWBB/phot...type=3&theater

    ZagDad

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    Been a busy couple of days for our Lady Zags in Florence.

    Traveled by high speed train from Rome to Florence. Viewing the Italian countryside at 155 mph brought the ladies to Florence in an hour and 20 minutes. The bus carrying the luggage took almost 4 hours to make the same trip.

    After visiting the marketplace and eating lunch, the ladies went on a walking tour of Florence.

    "Our guide Sylvia took us on a walking tour of the city. We walked across Ponche Vecchio (the only bridge not destroyed during WWII), continued through the Piazza della Signoria, gawked at the Piazza del Duomo and Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and walked through the Accademia Gallery, home to the famous David by Michelangelo.

    Once we finished our tour of the Accademia Gallery, the team was free to shop, eat and sight see on their own. The coaching staff, meanwhile, decided to take a cooking class in the hills of Tuscany. It was quite the adventure! We learned to mix flour and egg to create the base of our pasta; then, when it was starting to get tough, we started to knead the dough. After letting it set for about an hour, we flattened it and created our masterpieces!"

    On our second day in Florence, we took an hour bus ride to the small town of Lucca where we toured the area by bike! (ZagDad - IMO probably not the best decision to spend a day riding bikes just before play a game - just saying).

    "The tour began on top of an ancient wall that was created to create the ancient town of Lucca. We rode along the wall for about 1.5 miles, while our tour guide pointed out different landmarks and fun facts along the way. It was definitely a leisurely ride -- no Tour de France wannabes here! But it was the perfect way to explore this little town."

    After the bike ride it was onto Game 3 of the Lady Zag European tour.

    According to CCF, the Lady Zags started out the first quarter kind of sluggish (maybe the bike ride??), but really picked up the pace late in the 2nd and 3rd quarters. According to CCF, the transition game was the best it has been on this trip. As expected, the energy level really picked up off of the defensive pressure. CCF specifically called out K-14 and K-11, and JL, for ramping up the energy level and the speed of transition then added in KC, and CW. Great job Truong twins. JT is shown handling the ball and hitting a turn-around jumper from the free-throw line. JT is also shown playing some stout deny defense on a taller player.

    Guards looked good today hitting from outside and inside and dissing to the bigs. LF and CW again showed their aggressiveness by taking to the hoop through traffic. In today's highlight videos showcased AV, EW, and the Wirth twins banging inside and finishing.

    GB makes her first appearance in the highlight pictures. EH makes her first appearance in the highlight pictures as well as the highlight video. EH gets the ball at the foul line, fights through a double team and takes it to the hoop. Way to go EH.

    In one of the neatest highlight videos so far, KC is bringing the ball up the sideline unguarded. The Italian coach is imploring his team to pick up the ball. K-11 is ahead of the play and sets up on the wing. As the Italian team picks up KC, she passes the ball to a wide open K-11 on the wing. The Italian coach is again gesturing for his team to cover K-11. When nobody moves out to pick up K-11, she gets this sly smile on her face and promptly hits the open 3. Very cool, but the looks on the Italian coach and K-11's face are priceless.

    Lady Zags win 64-43

    Venice waits in the wings.

    Way to go Ladies.

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

    Scroll to the bottom for the latest updates (pictures and videos) of the team's activities in Florence and Lucca as well as Game 3.

    ZagDad

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    Last day in Florence.

    Day started with the Lady Zags doing some community service. The team and coaching staff broke into three (3) groups. One group spent some time in a halfway house playing with the kids and sharing a meal. The Zags brought a miniature, kids, basketball hoop for the kids and spent some time setting up the hoop and playing with the kids. Group 2 visited a retirement community run by nums. Group 3 went to work in a soup kitchen serving a meal to the less fortunate and cleaning up after.

    A big shout-out to Gonzaga in Florence for setting up today's opportunities for community service.

    The team ended the evening by playing their final game in Europe.

    A couple of interesting items of interest.

    - Todays opponent, Slammers Select, appears to be from Germany as the US and German flags are shown during the National Anthem.

    - In the four games we had three different plays jump the initial tip; JW twice, MK once and AV once.

    - Today's opponent appears to have been the most physical and athletic team we faced. The highlights show that we had considerably fewer open shots. The Slammers had a large women in the post forcing the team to work to establish position.

    - According to Shannon Donegan (Dir. of Basketball Ops) today was very physical and the girls did not handle it very well in the first half. The team picked up the tempo, the energy and the physicality in the 2nd half to pull away. Shannon gave shout-outs to the bigs for running the court, the guards on the wing and the point guards who got them the ball.

    Only half the highlights and pictures from tonight's game, so only half the review.

    Oh, Lady Zags win 78-49, to go 4-0 in their European experience.

    See the videos and pictures from today's community service and tonight's game. The videos are the same in the blog, Wbb twitter and CLF twitter page, but their are some different pictures in each location that might be of some interest. Find them here:

    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

    It is onward to Venice. Try not to get fined or kicked out of Venice by violating their anti-tourist (my choice of words) regulations that just went into effect,

    ZagDad

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    While we have no idea on the quality of competition the lady zags faced in Europe, we can make some very preliminary notes on how this team looks.

    1. My understanding is that because of the European tour, the Lady Zags were granted 10 additional practices to prepare for the tour. While Anna was in Europe, the majority of the team was able to participate in these additional practices which will be of great benefit to the lady zags, particularly when trying to integrate the Truong twins, CW, KG, AV and EH into the team.

    2. The additional ten practices and four (4) games, against teams not named Gonzaga, should provide a head start over most of our competition. With our shortage of experienced guards, we need to bring the newbies up to D-1 speed as quickly as possible. Stanford and the Thanksgiving tournament come early in the season.

    3. Despite playing lots of players, playing numerous line-ups, and playing people (Anna) who had not practiced with the team this August, the team was surprisingly consistent in the offensive outputs and with the notable exception of the first game, very consistent with their defense in the four games.

    Game #1 71-60 (w)
    Game #2 69-34 (w)
    Game #3 64-43 (w)
    Game #4 78-49 (w)

    4-Game Average 70.5-46.5 (w)

    4. From the sounds of it, the coach's are trying to push the transition game and get the bigs to run. It will be interesting to see if this year's team will push the transition faster than CLF's previous teams.

    5. JT looks to be on the mend and should be ready for the big games early in the season. Good news for the Lady Zags and Zag Fans.

    6. I am excited to see what MK and KG have in store for us. MK looks like she has brought her defensive physicality to the offensive side of the ball. KG has had to sit out the entire year waiting for her chance to play. She looks like a very strong addition to the wing and trouble for our opponents.

    7. We have no idea on the quality of the competition, but K11 and K14 did not look out of place. They ran the offense, made the passes, took the open shot and drove to the hoop. It looks like we got a couple of good ones with the Truong twins and we will need them when we play BYU. Feeling a little better about things with the backcourt.

    8. CW won't play this year, but she appears to be very sure of herself, running the offense, shooting the outside jumper and taking to the hoop. She will bring needed senior leadership to the guard position next year.

    9. All of the bigs look willing to take it to the hoop, thru traffic. Whether it be JW, LW, MK, AV or EH, looks like we have a strong group of competitors that is not afraid of contact. Mix in JT and KG and the Lady Zag front line looks like it could be very physical.

    10. According to the coach's this team looked to make the extra pass, found the open shooter, and ran the fast break, and was willing to share the ball. All good things so early in the season with so many new players.

    Great, now what are we going to do for the next eight weeks waiting for fanfest?

    Is it October yet?

    ZagDad

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    I’m with you ZD...

    As a team, this trip appears to be a winner. The amount of smiles is hard to miss. Doing things together off the court is a real plus for the vets and newbies.

    A couple of adds... I noticed by the after game pictures of the last game that JT and MK were not suited up. Understandable for JT but hope nothing serious for MK.

    Also saw a picture of the 6 forwards and the talent... what an option to run big or small. The 3 and 4 spots could be used for various lineups.

    Last... like ZD I was concerned with a bench of untested D1 players. Not so much now... I think the talent level that the coaching staff has brought together is at the next level and will fill in very nicely in the rotation.

    This trip and all the pictures sent back home has been great... it’s nice to see what great student athletes we have and how they represented GU to the world...

    Well done...

    Go Zags!!

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    I noticed by the after game pictures of the last game that JT and MK were not suited up. Understandable for JT but hope nothing serious for MK.
    Good Catch, I missed that.

    I don't think there is anything too serious. In the community service pictures taken earlier in the day, JT is seen in several pictures serving food and washing dishes while MK is seen at the retirement facility. In none of the community service pictures did you see any wraps, bandages, braces, etc. on either young lady. In the team group photo, MK is seen squatting down in the group picture and JT is seen standing up but again, neither young lady had any wraps, bandages, braces, etc. in that picture.

    I think we're good.

    ZagDad

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