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Thread: What Did You Learn/Like About FanFest 2020

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2014

    Default What Did You Learn/Like About FanFest 2020

    After FanFest 2020 concludes what did you learn or like about this year's team?

    According to announcer Heister, Abby O'Conner will redshirt this year and will not be available to play during the regular season for the Lady Zags. The good news is that she will bring some very needed senior experience to next year's team.

    What Say You,


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    TriCities, WA and CDA, ID


    I thought the vignettes with the players were interesting. There was certainly some mid-season moves by some of the players, and some impressive 3-point shooting. Interesting to watch the sister on sister play the the Wirths and Truongs. A number of the younger players were scrappy, particularly Lily Scanlon. Without trying to sound too much of a critic, one of the commentators needs to find a difference phrase other than “speak to ....”. First time, ok - 10th time not so much. Overall, the women are going to have a very exciting and dynamic team. I think they have the potential for a deep run in the NCAA tournament.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2014


    Here is a link to a photo gallery from FanFest from the Spokesman-Review:

    Gallery Link:


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2014


    From the Spokesman-Review:

    Gonzaga women have plenty to celebrate during fanless FanFest event
    UPDATED: Tue., Nov. 10, 2020
    By Jim Allen
    (509) 459-5437

    Considering the circumstances, the basketball season couldn’t have had a better start for the Gonzaga women.

    The Zags’ annual FanFest went on as scheduled Tuesday night at the Kennel, with no fans and not much fanfare.

    But there was basketball, which was the whole point.

    For the players, just getting on the court meant a lot, even for only a pair of 8-minute “halves” in front of two dozen mask-wearing onlookers.

    It meant that nothing has changed, that the Zags would pick up where they left off last March. That Jill Townsend won’t hesitate to drive the baseline, that Jenn and LeeAnne Wirth will crash the boards and that no one is afraid to put up a 3.

    Nineteen of them went up Tuesday night; only six found the net, but that was beside the point.

    “It’s just nice to have some normalcy back in our lives,” senior guard Cierra Walker said. “We’ve been looking forward to this for a while now.

    “Regardless of having fans, we came in ready to play.”

    No one appeared readier that sophomore guard Kayleigh Truong, who played all 16 minutes and scored 10 points to lead the White team to a 27-24 win over the Blues.

    “We’re just trying to look at the positive side,” Truong said.

    That was especially easy on Tuesday, a remarkable day for the program. It began with the release of the first Associated Press preseason poll, which had GU at No. 21 for the best starting position in program history

    Two hours later, in another program first, senior Townsend became the first GU woman to be named to a national watch list – in this case the Ann Meyers Drysdale list for best shooting guard in the nation.

    The news wasn’t entirely good. Two players – junior post Anamaria Virjoghe and sophomore guard Kylee Griffen – were unavailable due to COVID-19 protocols.

    The school offered no other details, leaving it unclear whether their absence was the result of positive COVID tests or close contact.

    For GU head coach Lisa Fortier and her staff, COVID presents another unwelcome variable to what should be a promising season.

    “This year, we’ve talked about depth a lot,” Fortier said. “The depth we have on this team is going to be important.”

    That depth showed on the stat sheet. Sophomore forward Eliza Hollingsworth had two points and as many boards, Walker had five points and Kaylynne Truong added a game-high five assists.

    The other disappointment came in the form of the long-awaited nonconference schedule. Announced during halftime of Tuesday’s schedule, it shows just one home game, Dec. 13 against Montana.

    Of course, in the face of rising COVID rates in Spokane and the rest of the region, it remains to be seen whether any fans will be in attendance this year.

    Fortier hopes that won’t be the case.

    “The best part about GU is our fans,” said Fortier, who noted that for some teams, an empty gym is nothing out of the ordinary.

    “The fan support is what sets us apart,” Fortier said.
    Article Link:


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007


    I enjoyed the opportunity to "get to know" the new Zags and to see the veterans. I think its hard to draw too many conclusions from a intrateam scrimmage, but I liked what I saw. Melody's new shooting movement looked much smoother than last year. The Wirths battling each others was fun and showed some physicality. As already mentioned, the Truongs going against each other was also interesting. Jill looked like Jill - intense and ready to lead the team. I liked the confidence and mature play I saw from Ciera. And I can't wait to see Abby next year. The new Zags all looked dialed in and perhaps a little less thin than our freshmen usually look? Hard to tell on TV.

    I agree that "speak to" got old in the questioning, but infinitely better than Erin Andrews go to "put into words." (That's what you do when you talk, Erin.)

    While I wish I could be in my seat at the Kennel for games this season, I'm looking forward to watching the Lady Zags via stream or TV. I remember when we had to listen to them on the radio when they were on the road - not too long ago.

    Go Zags!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2015


    FanFest... great way to get things started.

    Introducing the players was a fun start.

    For the team... Seniors started where they left off. CW was a quiet positive. AO appears to be a great add. LP still needs to find more to her offense than the 3... missed three badly.
    For the Juniors, MK working with her shot was spot on for the off season. Foul shots looked good... and to understand that she needs to shoot from the elbow with confidants is part of the GU offense.
    Sophomores. The Troungs will be a big part of the team. Smooth and smart... and will only get better with time.
    Freshman. Another great class. A lot of talent and with a great coaching staff and the help of the senior leadership will step in when needed.

    Hope for best for these great student athletes... lets make sure they know we the Zag Nation are still here for them.

    Go Zags!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2014


    10 Observations about yesterday's fanfest from The Slipper Still Fits:

    10 Observations: Women’s FanFest
    Our first look at this year’s team
    By Steven Karr
    Nov 11, 2020, 9:01am PST

    The Gonzaga women took the court Tuesday night in their Numerica FanFest event. In a cruel twist, there were no fans in attendance due to Covid-19 restrictions. The group split into two teams of seven and played an exciting 16-minute scrimmage that came down the final shot. The white team overcame a seven-point deficit and beat the blue team, 27-24, after the blue squad missed multiple game-tying threes in the final seconds. Here are some notable observations from the event:

    1. The graduation of your two starting guards would normally be a huge concern for any program. Not for Gonzaga. The Truong twins are going to be superstars by the end of their careers in Spokane. For now, they enter their sophomore seasons looking to replace Jessie Loera and Katie Campbell, and they’re off to a good start. Each twin led the attack for their respective teams. Kaylynne led all players with five assists and Kayleigh led all scorers with 10 points. They are both incredibly patient and remarkably mature for being second-year players. Jenn Wirth said she’s most excited by their improvement and is looking for them to step into leadership roles. It would not be shocking if both were in the starting lineup for the season opener.

    2. Reigning WCC Player of the Year Jill Townsend is going to be one of the best players on the entire West Coast this season. As usual, she stuffed the stat sheet with five points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals. She seems to have added an even deadlier mid-range game, making her impossible to guard as she can score at all three levels.

    3. The Wirth twins look poised for huge senior seasons. Jenn Wirth has extended her range to the three-point line, making her a pick-and-pop threat that can open up the paint for the other post player she’s playing with. Jenn led the blue team with eight points and four rebounds. LeeAnne led all players with six rebounds and was a game-high +11 while on the court. She’s not the scorer her sister is, but she’s a fierce rebounder and a better defender. The two sisters complement each other quite well.

    4. Melody Kempton overhauled her shot in the offseason. As mentioned in her player preview, she led the team in free throw attempts a season ago, but had the worst free throw percentage of any player with more than 15 attempts. Her overhaul is off to a good start as she went 4-for-4 from the line.

    5. Cierra Walker might start at the shooting guard spot and with good reason. Her first shot of the game was a knockdown jumper from distance, and she followed it up with a mid-range jumper off a screen later in the quarter. Unfortunately, she also led all players in turnovers with three, but there’s no question she can score the ball and will take over Campbell’s role as the lefty sharpshooter.

    6. All three true freshman played decent minutes. The highest ranked recruit, McKayla Williams, showed off some of her athleticism and vision. She found Jenn Wirth on a beautiful pick-and-roll late in the game. Yvonne Ejim did not attempt a shot, but grabbed a couple rebounds in her 10 minutes. She’s got good size, but is stuck behind several talented upperclassmen. Lily Scanlon is a scrappy guard who can be a solid role player down the road. She scored four points and was all over the court. It’s hard to find minutes for any of the three on paper, but there are minutes to be had at the back-up wing spot.

    7. One of the reasons for that is that Louise Forsyth is not guaranteed anything. She has struggled through injuries and inconsistency her whole career, and she didn’t look great on Tuesday. She went 0-for-3 from deep and two of those weren’t close. The senior from Canada is looking to end her career on a high note after a rocky first three seasons, but there are players behind her looking to steal a spot in the rotation.

    8. Freshman Eliza Hollingsworth redshirted last season. She has the look of someone who can develop behind the Wirths for one more season and then take over a rotation spot next year. She has great size and has a knack for rebounding. Abby O’Connor is this year’s redshirt. The transfer from Loyola Chicago is going to be a big factor in 2021-22. She drained a three and a pull-up jumper and could very easily take over the starting wing spot after Townsend graduates.

    9. Ana Virjoghe and Kylee Griffen were not in attendance due to Covid-19 protocols, but there was no word on whether they contracted the virus or were just a close contact. Virjoghe, a true center in every sense, is looking to increase her offensive output this season. Griffen is coming off two season-ending injuries and has yet to play a minute for the Bulldogs.

    10. The feel of the building with no fans was certainly interesting. The benches were spread out into two rows with socially distant chairs. Behind the benches, the seats were covered in large Gonzaga tarps. The student section had homemade signs in every other seat, which is a cool touch. The broadcasters and arena staff had plexiglass between them at the table. Lisa Fortier’s squad will only play in this home environment one time prior to the start of WCC play. The women’s full non-conference schedule was announced during the game. They play top-ranked South Carolina as part of a multi-team event. They follow that up with two road games at South Dakota State and Wyoming before hosting Montana. They finish their slate with games in Las Vegas against Eastern Michigan and North Alabama.
    Article Link:


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2014


    As far as Fanfest goes, we all understand that with all players knowing the plays defense should dominate with not a lot of open shots:

    The Good:
    1. CLFs kids doing the player introductions as very cute.
    2. The backstories on some of the players provided a little info so you got to know them a little better.
    3. The expected stars played like stars they are; JT, Wirths and Truongs all looked ready to go.
    4. MK re-worked her shot and it looked good. She went 4-4 from the free throw line.
    5. Nice to see EH finally get on the court.
    3. The freshman, plus CW, AO, and EH all showed some flashes of good play.
    4. I liked the Blue team stiffening their defense to permit the blue team to make a game of it.
    5. Really liked the look of AO. Next year it looks like we will be in good hands.

    The HUh:
    1. I was surprised that CW & LS did not play more point. K-11 and K-14 seemed to handle most of the point duties and they did a very good job of it.

    The Bad:
    1. The big news, was the announcement that AV and KG were sitting out Fanfest due to Covid-19 restrictions. I did see them on the far end of the court during some of the interviews, so they were not quarantining. Hope everybody passes Covid protocols and stays safe.
    2. Where were the individual competitions (i.e. 3-point shooting contest)?
    3. Too many turnovers. Many of the turnovers were not because of the defense but bad passes.
    4. Poor 3-point shooting by the team (6-19) with LF going 0-3. Need to do much better than that ladies.
    5. Heister as the announcer. Sure makes you miss Steve.


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