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Thread: Gonzaga WBB's Loera Reflects on Senior Season Cut Short Due to COVID-19

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    Default Gonzaga WBB's Loera Reflects on Senior Season Cut Short Due to COVID-19

    From the Krem 2 Sports Desk:

    Gonzaga WBB's Loera reflects on senior season cut short due to COVID-19

    "We can't control what happened, and that's the hardest part," she said about her playing days at Gonzaga coming to an end after the NCAA Tournament was canceled.

    Author: Karthik Venkataraman
    Published: 5:50 PM PDT March 28, 2020
    Updated: 5:50 PM PDT March 28, 2020

    SPOKANE, Wash. — When Gonzaga senior guard Jessie Loera got the news the NCAA Tournament was canceled, she was hard pressed to believe it. Like many, she thought the tournament would be postponed, but just like that, her playing days at Gonzaga came to an end.

    She finished top five in assists in program history and cherished all the memories of what she called the best four years of her life.

    "I knew right off the bat it was the perfect fit," the former Moses Lake High School standout said. "Obviously I'm not far from home, but this place made me feel like I was at home. We have so many memories, we accomplished so much and it's an experience I will never forget."

    Loera saw playing time from her freshman year to her senior year. Four seasons, four conference regular season championships at Gonzaga. The success was perennial, and what it led to was Jessie Loera's favorite part.

    "It was the tournaments for sure winning the West Coast Conference (tournaments), playing in the first and second round of the NCAA Tournament," Loera said. "You work so hard through season and then and now you're playing at these tournaments competing for something more."

    That's what makes losing a senior season's postseason run a tough pill to swallow.

    "We can't control what happened, and that's the hardest part," she said.

    It was a season where the team reached its highest Associated Press Poll ranking ever. It was also likely the team was possibly going to host games in the NCAA Tournament.

    Despite a sudden ending, Loera has had time to reflect on her four years at Gonzaga. The camaraderie of a community and team is something she'll cherish for the rest of her life. She had one final thank you to Zag Nation.

    "It meant a lot and we appreciate it so much," she said. "We are thankful and you made the opportunity and experience here at Gonzaga more than it was."

    Loera said if the NCAA does allow seniors in winter sports to return one more season she absolutely would, That decision will come on March 30.
    Article Link with accompanying video interview: https://www.krem.com/article/sports/...2-465a6e64b4e4

    Thank you Jessie, you are the perfect example of what it means to be a "Zag". Hopefully we will see you on the Kennel floor one more time.

    ZagDad
    Last edited by ZagDad84; 03-29-2020 at 05:57 PM. Reason: To add article link

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    these years have gone by far too quick....loved Jessie from the start....

    I would love to have one more yr for the seniors....but I don't know how to do that with 15 players.....

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    I feel so bad for this team and these seniors. They were going to make some waves in the tourney I liked them to make Sweet 16, maybe Elite 8 depending on the matchups. Thanks for all the hustle and memories, Jessie.

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    okay I'll just say this....when this team was clicking, with Katie in there, I thought they were the best TEAM that I have seen at gonzaga( realizing I watched only from CV's last yr on) in that they were so in sync.....they knew where other players were.. they made up for each others faults......I think this team would have gone far into the tournament...not to diss the Truongs because I think they are fabulous, but they're new to the team, and I think we still suffered a bit with the new rotation....thus you have that Portland game....

    how do people place the Lady Zags the last few yrs?...compared to the Courtney/Bowman years?.....I've been watching the reruns of older games....IMO I think the teams the last few yrs compare favorably.....the WCC is much stronger and more competitive now....more physical....I remember the old Zags running up the score and thoroughly beating every other WCC team.....how they would do now, I don't know....

    they highlighted Heather B last night.....Jill B would have broken all the records if she stayed....IMO it was a pretty silly and foolish move but what do I know....she seems happy...

    Jessie shined from minute one....so did Katie....

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    Hard to compare teams from year to year. Vandersloot was a once in a program type player that willed her team to the elite 8. It seemed to me this year the WCC was much weaker than in years past. I think the Zags had a great chance to get to second weekend where they would have ran in to the Ducks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sylean View Post
    how do people place the Lady Zags the last few yrs?...compared to the Courtney/Bowman years?.....I've been watching the reruns of older games....IMO I think the teams the last few yrs compare favorably.....the WCC is much stronger and more competitive now....more physical....I remember the old Zags running up the score and thoroughly beating every other WCC team.....how they would do now, I don't know....

    they highlighted Heather B last night.....Jill B would have broken all the records if she stayed.......
    Good question Sylean, maybe one deserving of its own topic.

    While you can usually compare teams from year to year, when you try to compare teams which played many years apart, Kyle is right, it is very difficult to compare them. As noted above, the Wbb game, not just the WCC, is much better today, then it was 10 years ago. Players of today frequently have better facilities, better nutrition, better training/recuperative activities, play against, generally speaking, better teams including HS and club teams. Players are coming into college, much better prepared than they were 10 years ago.

    If the comparison is how the best teams of the KG era succeeded against teams of that era and how the recent Lady Zag teams competed against their competitors, the result is not even close. Both teams were extremely successful at winning conference titles, but the CV lead KG teams also won the WCC titles and the recent CLF teams have not been near as successful in the conference tournaments. in the NCAA tournament, the CV lead Lady Zag teams went to the NCAA all four years, lost in the first round once, twice went to the sweet 16 and once to the elite eight. CLF's teams have not been anywhere as successful in the post season. Based simply on how each team did against competition from their own era, KG's teams had, by far, much more post season success during the CV years than CLF has experienced so far.

    As far as how the WNBA viewed the players on each team, KG, during the CV years, had CV, Kayla Standish, Vivian Frieson, Katelon Redmon, & Heather Bowman (all on the same team) drafted into the WNBA. That is pretty impressive when 5 players on a single team are drafted into the WNBA. In the CLF years, only ZR and JB have been drafted into the WNBA. In all fairness to this year's Lady Zag team, I doubt that any of the players this year's team will get drafted. Check mark goes to the KG teams.

    The interesting comparison is if you played the best CV-lead KG team against this year's Lady Zag team how what would the result be.

    If you put a KG starting line-up of Vandersloot, Bowman, Frieson, Shives and Redmon (she did not start but played more minutes than the starter) against a CLF team of JL, KC, JT, LW and JW. I think CV is better than JL but KC probably was better overall than Shives. Bowman's against JW would be great but Bowman's numbers are just so good over the years on both sides of the ball I think I would give her the edge over JW. I think LW would prevail over Frieson simply based on her height advantage. The wing spot is very difficult as JT is so physical and shoots lights out from 3, but Redmon has the height advantage and very long arms. I will call it a tie, but it could go either way as long as JT could stay on the court.

    There is no doubt which team had the better offense. The 2009/2010 KG Zag team only scored under 70 points 3 times during the year and scored as much as 107 points in a single game. Stanford and Baylor were the only teams to beat the Zags when the Zags scored at least 70 points (in regulation). If the KG Zags shot their average or better, and scored anywhere near their yearly scoring average, they would win the game. This year's Lady Zag team, playing for CLF, simply does not have the offense to stay with them. On the other hand, this year's CLF Zag team had the 3rd best scoring defense in the nation. When the 2009/2010 KG Zag team scored less 60 points, they got slaughtered (By 18 to Xavier and 21 to Baylor). If the CLF Zag team could keep the KG Zag team under 60, the odds of victory fall in their favor.

    In a single game playoff, IMO the game could go either way depending on whether the KG run and gun could play the game at their speed or could the CLF Zag team shut down the run and gun. In a 5-game or 7-game series, I think the CLF team would be more likely to be able to exert their defensive pressure more often than the KG Zag team could shoot lights out. IMO the CLF team would be more likely to win a multiple game series.

    But it would be a very fun series of games to watch, wouldn't it.

    ZagDad

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZagDad84 View Post
    Good question Sylean, maybe one deserving of its own topic.

    While you can usually compare teams from year to year, when you try to compare teams which played many years apart, Kyle is right, it is very difficult to compare them. As noted above, the Wbb game, not just the WCC, is much better today, then it was 10 years ago. Players of today frequently have better facilities, better nutrition, better training/recuperative activities, play against, generally speaking, better teams including HS and club teams. Players are coming into college, much better prepared than they were 10 years ago.

    If the comparison is how the best teams of the KG era succeeded against teams of that era and how the recent Lady Zag teams competed against their competitors, the result is not even close. Both teams were extremely successful at winning conference titles, but the CV lead KG teams also won the WCC titles and the recent CLF teams have not been near as successful in the conference tournaments. in the NCAA tournament, the CV lead Lady Zag teams went to the NCAA all four years, lost in the first round once, twice went to the sweet 16 and once to the elite eight. CLF's teams have not been anywhere as successful in the post season. Based simply on how each team did against competition from their own era, KG's teams had, by far, much more post season success during the CV years than CLF has experienced so far.

    As far as how the WNBA viewed the players on each team, KG, during the CV years, had CV, Kayla Standish, Vivian Frieson, Katelon Redmon, & Heather Bowman (all on the same team) drafted into the WNBA. That is pretty impressive when 5 players on a single team are drafted into the WNBA. In the CLF years, only ZR and JB have been drafted into the WNBA. In all fairness to this year's Lady Zag team, I doubt that any of the players this year's team will get drafted. Check mark goes to the KG teams.

    The interesting comparison is if you played the best CV-lead KG team against this year's Lady Zag team how what would the result be.

    If you put a KG starting line-up of Vandersloot, Bowman, Frieson, Shives and Redmon (she did not start but played more minutes than the starter) against a CLF team of JL, KC, JT, LW and JW. I think CV is better than JL but KC probably was better overall than Shives. Bowman's against JW would be great but Bowman's numbers are just so good over the years on both sides of the ball I think I would give her the edge over JW. I think LW would prevail over Frieson simply based on her height advantage. The wing spot is very difficult as JT is so physical and shoots lights out from 3, but Redmon has the height advantage and very long arms. I will call it a tie, but it could go either way as long as JT could stay on the court.

    There is no doubt which team had the better offense. The 2009/2010 KG Zag team only scored under 70 points 3 times during the year and scored as much as 107 points in a single game. Stanford and Baylor were the only teams to beat the Zags when the Zags scored at least 70 points (in regulation). If the KG Zags shot their average or better, and scored anywhere near their yearly scoring average, they would win the game. This year's Lady Zag team, playing for CLF, simply does not have the offense to stay with them. On the other hand, this year's CLF Zag team had the 3rd best scoring defense in the nation. When the 2009/2010 KG Zag team scored less 60 points, they got slaughtered (By 18 to Xavier and 21 to Baylor). If the CLF Zag team could keep the KG Zag team under 60, the odds of victory fall in their favor.

    In a single game playoff, IMO the game could go either way depending on whether the KG run and gun could play the game at their speed or could the CLF Zag team shut down the run and gun. In a 5-game or 7-game series, I think the CLF team would be more likely to be able to exert their defensive pressure more often than the KG Zag team could shoot lights out. IMO the CLF team would be more likely to win a multiple game series.

    But it would be a very fun series of games to watch, wouldn't it.

    ZagDad
    Guess you don't remember Viv the way I do...was season ticket holder never missed a game... IMO LW not physical or fast enough, Viv would keep her off the boards and foul her out......as I wrote in the other thread only Townie physical enough to hang with Sloot's team... doubt this years squad could take one game...

    just my opinion

    Go!! Zags!!!
    "Learn from the past, Plan for the future, Live in the Now!"

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