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Thread: End of 1st Half of Conference Play - What Have We Learned

  1. #1
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    Default End of 1st Half of Conference Play - What Have We Learned

    Now that the first half of the conference season is over what have we learned and what do we want to see in the 2nd half of the conference season? Keep in mind the top two teams in the WCC get a bye into the semifinals and teams #3 & #4 get a bye into the quarter finals. The bottom four (4) teams play the first day in the "play-in" games. Teams really want to avoid the bottom four spots and really want to get one of the first four (4) spots to get one of the byes.

    Next week, BYU will be under the gun. Portland has a chance to beat BYU and get even the cougars in the standings and if the Lady Zags hold serve, the Pilots could be alone in 2nd place. USD gets a chance to beat Portland and move in front of the Pilots in the standings. The lady zags get an opportunity to put one or more games between them and 2nd and 3rd place.

    - The Lady Zags are still on the top of the heap with BYU where they usually are, right behind Gonzaga. Our other nemesis (SMC) has fallen on hard times and are 5 games out of first place.
    - Third and Fourth place teams are very surprisingly Portland and San Diego. Much will be determined next week when BYU and USD come visiting GU and Portland.
    - Pacific is only one game back of Portland and USD and is hoping for a chance to move up and given next week's match-ups may get that chance.

    While Gonzaga Wbb is off to their best start in the history of the program, they have the team's longest win streak ever (18 games current, record = 23 games) within their sights. It is interesting to go back and look at some of the statistics the team has put together so far this season:

    + Record, 20-1 overall and 9-0 in the WCC with the only loss in OT to Stanford on the farm. Enough said.
    + Gonzaga currently has the nation’s longest win streak at 18 games.
    + We will see what Mon/Tues/ brings, but the lady zags are currently ranked #13/#11 which is just behind their program best of #12/#11 which was achieved last year.
    + Smothering Defense. The lady zags are only giving up an average of 52 ppg, which is sixth (6th) in the nation in scoring defense.
    + More Defense. Interesting, in that only three (3) teams have managed scored more than 60 ppg on the lady zags; Stanford in OT, Dayton and Pacific.
    + Outstanding Offense. The lady zags are averaging 70.5 ppg but they have only failed to score 60 ppg on two (2) occasions; the first games against BYU and USD.
    + Gonzaga is winning their games by an average of 18.5 ppg.
    + The assists keep coming. Jessie Loera currently ranks 12th nationally in assists with 103 on the season and 30th nationally in assists per game with 5.2.
    + The days of being near the bottom of the D-1 list in 3 point shooting are far behind us. The lady zags are averaging 6.3 made 3s per game while shooting (after today) 40.5% from 3.
    + At 39.4 percent shooting (now shooting 40.5%) from long range, Gonzaga ranks fifth in the nation. Four players shoot over 40 percent from long range, led by Katie Campbell at 44.2 percent, while six total Zags shoot at least 33.0 percent from beyond-the-arc.

    The 2019/2020 lady zags began the year having to replace three (3) starters. These three (3) starters (Stockton, Smith & "Z") accounted for 45% of the points, 39.9% of the minutes, 36.3% of the rebounds, 49.2% of the assists and 42.0% of the steals. At this time last year, the lady zags were 20-2 having lost to ND (by double digits on a neutral court) and BYU (in Provo) while this year's edition of the lady zags is 20-1 having only lost to Stanford on the farm in overtime. So how have the 2019/2020 Lady Zags done it? The answer is by committee. Nobody was going to replace "Z's" 15.0 ppg but every returning player on the team has raised their scoring average between 1+ to 3.5 ppg. Similarly every returning player has increased their rebounding numbers per game. Assists, LS ended the season with 127 assists, Jessie already has 108 assists this year after today's game. Nobody demonstrates this better than our favorite last person off the bench Gillian Barfield. GB has played more minutes (33 vs 26), scored more points (9 vs 2) and more rebounds (9 vs 4) than she had all of last year.

    Even with the injuries to KG (season ending) and EH (maybe redshirting), the newbies, have really stepped it up. The Truong twins have really picked up the speed of the game and have become a valuable asset to the team. At the start of the season, many of us thought our guard play would be the weakness of this team. With the development of the Truongs, we have a backcourt to be feared. While AV has not had quite the impact the Truongs have had, she plays a little over 8 minutes a game, changes any shot taken in the key and provides a great rebounding percentage per minute played. When she learns to quit bringing the ball down before shooting and works on her footwork, she will be a big asset moving forward. With AV in the game (like MK), it allows the Wirths to move to the #4 spot where they typically have the height advantage and can generate some serious offense.

    The national pundits have picked up on the Lady Zag wagon earlier this year than last. The opportunity to host the first two (2) rounds of the NCAA tournament is on their plate. If they can run the regular season in the WCC, the lady zags will likely host no matter what happens in the tournament.

    Great job ladies. Halfway through. Ten (10) more games to win.

    Zag On Wbb,

    ZagDad

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    I still think we have to win out......


    " With AV in the game (like MK), it allows the Wirths to move to the #4 spot where they typically have the height advantage and can generate some serious offense."


    this a luxury that has been sorely needed since shelby left and Emma W was sidelined...Ana might not be the 2nd coming of Breanna Stewart, but she'll have her moments....

    its still a long season a head.....we have 5 more away games, including the last 3 games away at the end of the season.....the good bye to the seniors will be early...Feb 15....

    a most enjoyable season so far.....CLF seems to be handling everything well.....I like the minutes that the bench is getting....this really seems to be a cohesive team.....

    ONWARD!

  3. #3
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    Team, team, team. That's what I notice most. We have skilled players, but team ball is this team's calling card. Another thing I've noticed this year that is different from past years: the guards don't dribble in too deep and get stuck. The ball is moving. I'm really enjoying this season. I have confidence that the ladies can keep it up on the road at the end of conference play. Go Zags!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZagDad84 View Post
    Now that the first half of the conference season is over what have we learned and what do we want to see in the 2nd half of the conference season? Keep in mind the top two teams in the WCC get a bye into the semifinals and teams #3 & #4 get a bye into the quarter finals. The bottom four (4) teams play the first day in the "play-in" games. Teams really want to avoid the bottom four spots and really want to get one of the first four (4) spots to get one of the byes.

    Next week, BYU will be under the gun. Portland has a chance to beat BYU and get even the cougars in the standings and if the Lady Zags hold serve, the Pilots could be alone in 2nd place. USD gets a chance to beat Portland and move in front of the Pilots in the standings. The lady zags get an opportunity to put one or more games between them and 2nd and 3rd place.

    - The Lady Zags are still on the top of the heap with BYU where they usually are, right behind Gonzaga. Our other nemesis (SMC) has fallen on hard times and are 5 games out of first place.
    - Third and Fourth place teams are very surprisingly Portland and San Diego. Much will be determined next week when BYU and USD come visiting GU and Portland.
    - Pacific is only one game back of Portland and USD and is hoping for a chance to move up and given next week's match-ups may get that chance.

    While Gonzaga Wbb is off to their best start in the history of the program, they have the team's longest win streak ever (18 games current, record = 23 games) within their sights. It is interesting to go back and look at some of the statistics the team has put together so far this season:

    + Record, 20-1 overall and 9-0 in the WCC with the only loss in OT to Stanford on the farm. Enough said.
    + Gonzaga currently has the nation’s longest win streak at 18 games.
    + We will see what Mon/Tues/ brings, but the lady zags are currently ranked #13/#11 which is just behind their program best of #12/#11 which was achieved last year.
    + Smothering Defense. The lady zags are only giving up an average of 52 ppg, which is sixth (6th) in the nation in scoring defense.
    + More Defense. Interesting, in that only three (3) teams have managed scored more than 60 ppg on the lady zags; Stanford in OT, Dayton and Pacific.
    + Outstanding Offense. The lady zags are averaging 70.5 ppg but they have only failed to score 60 ppg on two (2) occasions; the first games against BYU and USD.
    + Gonzaga is winning their games by an average of 18.5 ppg.
    + The assists keep coming. Jessie Loera currently ranks 12th nationally in assists with 103 on the season and 30th nationally in assists per game with 5.2.
    + The days of being near the bottom of the D-1 list in 3 point shooting are far behind us. The lady zags are averaging 6.3 made 3s per game while shooting (after today) 40.5% from 3.
    + At 39.4 percent shooting (now shooting 40.5%) from long range, Gonzaga ranks fifth in the nation. Four players shoot over 40 percent from long range, led by Katie Campbell at 44.2 percent, while six total Zags shoot at least 33.0 percent from beyond-the-arc.

    The 2019/2020 lady zags began the year having to replace three (3) starters. These three (3) starters (Stockton, Smith & "Z") accounted for 45% of the points, 39.9% of the minutes, 36.3% of the rebounds, 49.2% of the assists and 42.0% of the steals. At this time last year, the lady zags were 20-2 having lost to ND (by double digits on a neutral court) and BYU (in Provo) while this year's edition of the lady zags is 20-1 having only lost to Stanford on the farm in overtime. So how have the 2019/2020 Lady Zags done it? The answer is by committee. Nobody was going to replace "Z's" 15.0 ppg but every returning player on the team has raised their scoring average between 1+ to 3.5 ppg. Similarly every returning player has increased their rebounding numbers per game. Assists, LS ended the season with 127 assists, Jessie already has 108 assists this year after today's game. Nobody demonstrates this better than our favorite last person off the bench Gillian Barfield. GB has played more minutes (33 vs 26), scored more points (9 vs 2) and more rebounds (9 vs 4) than she had all of last year.

    Even with the injuries to KG (season ending) and EH (maybe redshirting), the newbies, have really stepped it up. The Truong twins have really picked up the speed of the game and have become a valuable asset to the team. At the start of the season, many of us thought our guard play would be the weakness of this team. With the development of the Truongs, we have a backcourt to be feared. While AV has not had quite the impact the Truongs have had, she plays a little over 8 minutes a game, changes any shot taken in the key and provides a great rebounding percentage per minute played. When she learns to quit bringing the ball down before shooting and works on her footwork, she will be a big asset moving forward. With AV in the game (like MK), it allows the Wirths to move to the #4 spot where they typically have the height advantage and can generate some serious offense.

    The national pundits have picked up on the Lady Zag wagon earlier this year than last. The opportunity to host the first two (2) rounds of the NCAA tournament is on their plate. If they can run the regular season in the WCC, the lady zags will likely host no matter what happens in the tournament.

    Great job ladies. Halfway through. Ten (10) more games to win.

    Zag On Wbb,

    ZagDad
    That’s a great mid-season recap. Thank you.
    MCMM 2020: Who Wants Some Cheese?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    544

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    Thoughts on the first and second half...

    The thing I see in this team, is much the same as Zaglaw. TEAM TEAM TEAM.

    Again... the starting five are the best in the league and the first half showed it and it will continue.

    As for the bench... sorry but they are not there yet. But I think they will. And they need to. Yes they are contributing and filling in but I got spoiled by last years bench and we need the same. Coach Craig said the other night that we need them to come in and play hard... that there is a point where a player’s performance will drop when they become exhausted. The number of minutes a player puts in during a game needs to be controlled and limited if they are to perform at their best.
    That’s why good bench players are so important and why the GU Women’s program is what it is year in and year out.

    I look at a strong second half but not an easy one. Grinders...

    Go Zags!!
    Last edited by SkipZag; 01-26-2020 at 09:52 AM.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2010
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    last years bench are starters this year.....Jill T and Jess and JW or LW....

    ..we have been down 2 starters for a couple of games....Mel has taken up the slack...

    .in reality, LF did not get great minutes last year and this year is the first time she might get 10/15 minutes or more....learning curve..

    .Ana red-shirted so this is ALL new to her in actual Zag game speed, and Lynn T has played this year, but not nearly as many minutes as her sister Kale...

    ...seems Mel played minutes last year but the last two games she has started and done well....and Gillian comes off the bench just like that and gets a rebound and scores....

    so I am not unhappy at all by our bench....they contribute.....infact, I would say that its pleasantly surprising that the Troungs have done as well as they have, and LF and Ana have had important minutes and what can you not like about Mel...

    the key is to substitute carefully....you need key starters in there with 1 or 2 bench players....

    its all good and going to get better....

    I am trusting the process....

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