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Thread: Great article in The Athletic today about the team

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    Default Great article in The Athletic today about the team

    A bunch of writers for The Athletic are doing a series called State of the Hoops program and today is Gonzaga's turn. Interesting look at the team.

    https://theathletic.com/1142564/

    Some of them are well-regarded freshmen and therefore utterly new to everything. In sum, there’s enough dewiness with enough players that the coaching staff drilled down on the simplest of things during the summer, from how the team runs its secondary break to how the big men move in the half-court offense and so on. No assumptions. No detail left unexplained. The Zags were so basic. “I ran most all of the practices this summer,” coach Mark Few says. “Just so they understood what was important and what we’re focused on. There was much more teaching. The crew we just got done with, we could literally draw up two plays in walk-through the day of the game and execute them pretty darn well in the game. That’s probably not going to happen for us in November this year. It’s also good. It’s kind of fun — when you find yourself explaining why we do certain things at Gonzaga, it’s good. It reinforces what we do.”
    “When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.”

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    This quote from Coach Lloyd sounds like he is paraphrasing this board:

    “We love all the guys individually,” Lloyd says. “There are a lot of unknowns at this point. Joel hasn’t played much but obviously played really well for the French national team. He’s really worked hard the last couple years to become an effective practice player who just had veterans in front of him. Is he ready for that moment? Ryan and Admon are both coming off serious injuries. How are they going to respond to that, recovering on top of learning a new system? It’s a lot. We don’t really have any hard thoughts. We’re going to start pushing these guys and read and react as we go.”

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    Apparently, Ryan Woolridge still not fully cleared to play. Bummer.

    But soon.

    Coach Lloyd excited:

    He’s got great speed and good athleticism for that position,” Lloyd says. “He seems like he’s been pretty well-coached so far, and he’s able to make decisions. That’s what we know. We love him as a kid. We’re kind of anxious to roll up our sleeves and get him out on the court and start working together.”

    Joel and his obvious potential. Clearly people/media/fans took notice of his performance in FIBA, some say he looked like the best prospect on the floor of any team.

    Here is Coach Lloyd's take, in addition to the above:

    Not necessarily Joel’s fault, but he came too young,” Lloyd says. “He was physically underdeveloped. We were all surprised, including him, how far he had to go. That being said, the kid worked his butt off and had an awesome attitude every step of the way. I saw it this summer for France. I know what that looked like. But obviously we don’t play completely like France, so how does that look in a Gonzaga uniform? I’m waiting like you are to see how that plays out.”

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    Drew Timme, as many predicted is already a team favorite:

    “Drew is a dog,” Gilder says. “He is a dog, and he’s going to let you know he’s a dog. And that’s what I like about him. He’s a bully down there. He’s coming with that body.”

    “He can really handle the ball,” Lloyd says. “He’s skilled and can make decisions and make plays” —

    “Drew’s got swag and confidence and personality, and that’s important,” Lloyd says. “He’s got great size. Sneaky athlete. He’s crafty. It all starts with his personality. He’s a fun guy to be around. Kind of a magnetic personality. It’s fun to go to work with him every day.”
    The board said he will be an instant leader and presence on and off the court. Big personality and big person by all accounts.

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    It's nice that what we are seeing and talking about isn't too far off from what the coaches are saying (at least publically). I guess we aren't a bunch of idiots, after all

    This thread has gotten me more excited about the coming year than anything else so far. Football season has kicked off, which is awesome because it means college basketball is right around the corner...

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    Speaking of young bigs, Ballo has yet to arrive on campus. Missed team activities prior to school year. Pavel has arrived.

    Here are the coaches' brief take on them:

    “We don’t have a ton of experience with them, so you have to see where they’re at,” Lloyd says. “Sometimes it takes these international guys a little bit more (time), especially the really young ones. We don’t have any crazy expectations for any of them.”

    “Just the normal logistics with those kids from overseas sometimes,” Few says. “It’s getting all their transcripts in order and travel in order and all that. Hopefully, that’ll get done shortly.”

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    For Tillie's sake and Gonzaga's sake, hope he stays healthy.

    A significant portion of this HUGE article is regarding Tillie, so here is a snippet.

    He’s done got me hooked,” Gilder says of Tillie. “I’m loving his energy.”

    If everyone loves his production with equal ferocity, Gonzaga should be in a good place. For that to occur, Tillie’s health can’t be an issue, and by all accounts, it hasn’t been. Kispert has seen Tillie hit a pick-and-pop 3 on one practice possession and catch a lob for a dunk on the next. During an open gym run before some Gonzaga basketball campers, Gilder watched as Tillie caught the ball on the wing, took two dribbles and rose up for a monster flush with complete fluidity. “I was like, Oh my,” Gilder says.

    Asked simply how the 6-10 Tillie looks, Lloyd’s report was similarly pithy.

    “I mean, awesome,” he says.

    He is a terrific shooter from well beyond the 3-point line,” Few says. “He has an elite-level feel for the game, especially at the position he plays. It’s off the charts. The offense rolls a lot smoother with Killian out there. I’ve always called him our problem solver.”
    He is back in peak shape again. Last year he basically sat for 8 wks then spent the next 8 wks getting in shape again while playing in games. Tough to do, doesnt happen overnight.

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    Someone who knows for sure correct me, but I'm thinking the new players can officially start practices right about now. Is that correct? Don't they have to wait for school to begin for official practices to start?

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    Nice opening paragraph:

    Gonzaga doesn’t regularly do new. People come and go, but they generally stay long enough to create a season-to-season connective tissue that is more like semiconductor cable sheathed in lead. It’s not baked into the program’s essence to all but pass out Hello My Name Is stickers on the first day of team workouts. And yet here everyone was this summer, a basketball variety pack, an assortment of familiar and vaguely familiar and entirely unfamiliar parts tasked with looking like an extremely good and cohesive group in a pretty condensed amount of time, with a schedule that implies a very ominous or else if that isn’t the case come November.
    I was excited for Tillie's return as much for his talents as for his leadership. There aren't that many players to pass on the Zag legacy and show what being Zag material is all about. This is Tillie and Kispert's team this year-- and even Ayayi (who I predict will be our glue guy this year) should help contribute to the team culture.

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    Coach Few summed it up best for this young team:

    “Everybody always talks about getting better week by week by week,” Few says. “This is one of the years we truly will get better week by week by week. There is definitely going to be a learning curve. I don’t think we’re going to take off and be the most efficient team offensively and defensively in America after Week 1 or 2. And two of last three years we’ve been pretty darn close to that. So there’s a high standard. With that, I gotta be#more patient, the staff has to be more patient and fans have to be a little more patient. The players have to have a sense of urgency, but they’ve got to be patient too. It’s not just going to magically happen.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by raise the zag View Post
    Coach Few summed it up best for this young team:
    fans have to be a little more patient.
    "And Morrison? He did what All-Americans do. He shot daggers in the daylight and stole a win." - Steve Kelley (Seattle Times)

    "Gonzaga is a special place, with special people!" - Dan Dickau #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Radbooks View Post
    A bunch of writers for The Athletic are doing a series called State of the Hoops program and today is Gonzaga's turn. Interesting look at the team.

    https://theathletic.com/1142564/
    "Some of them are well-regarded freshmen and therefore utterly new to everything. In sum, there’s enough dewiness with enough players that the coaching staff drilled down on the simplest of things during the summer, from how the team runs its secondary break to how the big men move in the half-court offense and so on. No assumptions. No detail left unexplained. The Zags were so basic. “I ran most all of the practices this summer,” coach Mark Few says. “Just so they understood what was important and what we’re focused on. There was much more teaching. The crew we just got done with, we could literally draw up two plays in walk-through the day of the game and execute them pretty darn well in the game. That’s probably not going to happen for us in November this year. It’s also good. It’s kind of fun — when you find yourself explaining why we do certain things at Gonzaga, it’s good. It reinforces what we do.”

    Quote Originally Posted by amaronizag View Post
    Someone who knows for sure correct me, but I'm thinking the new players can officially start practices right about now. Is that correct? Don't they have to wait for school to begin for official practices to start?
    It was My understanding that the coaching staff can NOT supervise summer workouts and practices prior to the day when the NCAA has said it is allowed.

    Can someone with actual knowledge of the rules comment to this point?...Please?
    Hoping you have a sense of humor too!

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    It's going to be an exciting year, no doubt. If all the pieces come together. Excited about Tillie and his return, hopefully injury free and of course, Timme.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LongIslandZagFan View Post
    LOL So true.

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    Exciting year for sure. My biggest question is the readiness and ability of the backcourt. Gilder will be fine - perhaps more than fine. I do not currently have that same level of confidence in anyone else.

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    I am excited and apprehensive at the same time. This is one of the few times I feel like going into the season that it could just about a million different ways. The talent is definitely there... how quickly will it coalesce is the $1,000,000 question.
    "And Morrison? He did what All-Americans do. He shot daggers in the daylight and stole a win." - Steve Kelley (Seattle Times)

    "Gonzaga is a special place, with special people!" - Dan Dickau #21

    Foo me once shame on you, Foo me twice shame on me.

    2012 Foostrodamus - Foothsayer of Death

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    It’ll be Few’s biggest challenge to date LIZ.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LongIslandZagFan View Post
    I am excited and apprehensive at the same time. This is one of the few times I feel like going into the season that it could just about a million different ways. The talent is definitely there... how quickly will it coalesce is the $1,000,000 question.
    Precisely. High ceiling, but also more potential for a low floor if things go poorly.
    I will thank God for the day and the moment I have. - Jimmy V

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    Quote Originally Posted by MDABE80 View Post
    It’ll be Few’s biggest challenge to date LIZ.
    I agree.

    He seems to know that, too, hence the comment about being more hands on through the summer.

    I don't know the rule but he wouldn't possibly risk anything after having seen it impact SMC, and it just isn't his way. Whatever he did more "hands on" I am sure it is by the book.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
    Mark Twain.

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    Beautifully written article. That guy is good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by amaronizag View Post
    Someone who knows for sure correct me, but I'm thinking the new players can officially start practices right about now. Is that correct? Don't they have to wait for school to begin for official practices to start?
    I believe they have to wait until 6 weeks before their first game (see article below);
    https://www.espn.com/mens-college-ba...start-practice

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    This is certainly a thread I've been waiting for. The best information about the team so far this summer, and it comes from our coaches. I am very inspired by what has been written about the team. Really cool stuff. Especially what was said about Tillie. This is a side of him I have not been aware of. I loved what Mark Few said about him. Also loves what Gilder said about Timme, and also what Lloyd said about him. I'm so anxious to see him in a game. I think these guys are going to have a great season. What Lloyd said about Woolridge was also inspiring. Before now I had concerns about him which honestly came because no one on here has seen him play live on campus. Obviously Tommy Lloyd has, and he's excited; so, so am I.

    Maybe now some of you will understand that this IS a young team. Take the coaches word for it. Not mine. And maybe now you'll understand why there are some easier games at the beginning of the year. It looks like PATIENCE is going to be the key word for this team. I know how to do that. I've had lots of experience in that area.
    Go Zags!!! The Best Is Yet To Come!!!

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    One thing, I think it is going to be a challenge for other teams to learn much from watching tape on the Zags for a while LOL...
    To Fish & Game: Keep streams stocked well for Mr. Few!

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