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Thread: Is Gonzaga tough?

  1. #26
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    Oof, I forgot how bad that Texas Tech game was, and watched some of our offensive possessions. Rui & Brandon were getting hammered everytime they touched the ball. This play was shown in slow motion to determine the out of bounds possession - no foul was called on this play.


  2. #27
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    Smart > Tough.

    Everyone loves to talk about toughness, and I think this GU bunch is plenty tough both physically and mentally. But across the sports landscape the teams that win consistently do so not because they beat up on other teams but because they play with intelligence and efficiency.

    If toughness is about style of play rather than individual or team attributes, then yes you can argue a team needs to be able to win a game in multiple styles of play and officiating styles. This group is able to do that as is evidenced by beating WVU, UVA, Kansas, and Iowa...all of whom played different styles. I think the decision to bring Watson off the bench has been a help in this regard as well. I think Ballo has a lot of potential, but he clearly isn't ready to contribute at a high level this year. Bringing Watson off the bench allows for the Zags to play with the same style and have another "big" to come in when Timme needs a break.

  3. #28
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    If I had to guess I would say the lack of a rim protector is the one thing a casual observer could say this team lacks in the "toughness" department. In that regard I actually agree we don't have an intimidator like Clarke or Collins in the paint this year.

    But on the flip, we have guards who on-ball defend and switch-defend collectively better than any group we've had. The lack of rim protection/intimidation/toughness under the tin isn't holding this team back. Quite the opposite. Our D can stretch to any distance. But optics = perception = reality.
    Quote Originally Posted by Coach Few
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  4. #29
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    I honestly agree that it is a lazy approach right up there with the "athletic" or lack thereof that people used to say about the Zags. It is a crutch for those who don't like the Zags and find their perceptions based on lack of knowledge challenged or proven wrong. I do think they are a bit lacking in toughness... but make up for it with superior basketball IQ and pace of play. Toughness works if you can force a team to constantly play in a half-court game. Zags many times rebound on the defensive end and score within 5-7 seconds. Tough to be "tough" when most of your players are chasing the Zags up the court.
    "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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  5. #30
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    An entitled Duke fan who endured a sub .500 season before losing Jalen Johnson and finally winning a few, and whose team lost in stunning fashion the last time the Zags played Duke on the biggest non-post-season stage, is bound to come up with subjective platitudes as to why a mid-major doesn't belong at the top.
    Quote Originally Posted by Reborn View Post
    Go Zags!!!

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by zagdontzig View Post
    An entitled Duke fan who endured a sub .500 season before losing Jalen Johnson and finally winning a few, and whose team lost in stunning fashion the last time the Zags played Duke on the biggest non-post-season stage, is bound to come up with subjective platitudes as to why a mid-major doesn't belong at the top.
    Well said.
    It also is a prelude to missing the post season.
    It's not funny.

  7. #32
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    West Virginia is about as tough as they come. Suggs went down with about seven minutes left in the first half and we looked shell shocked for a while.

    That was our closest game and GU pulled it out.

  8. #33
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    There’s tough and there’s the times when the refs let way too much contact go. To an extent, there’s only so much one can do with the latter. The big thing is that they don’t look to the refs to bail them out, or are slow getting back on defense because they’re talking to the refs and stuff like that. This team was tough enough to beat some traditionally tough—minded teams already this year. Pacific and BYU also play physically every year.

    I watched TT and Ok St last night and that was a very physical game at times. Neither one of those teams is good enough offensively to keep up with the Zags, but I suppose that they could rough the Zags up enough to keep the game close, but I think they would need favorable interpretations of the rules by the refs to make that happen. I’m trying to avoid being too much of a homer here, but they rely on stopping one-on-one play and probably don’t have an answer for the off-ball movement of this team.

  9. #34
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    I don’t know whether we are tough or not.

    I do know we are 22-0 and by far the highest-rated team in America per Kenpom in terms of efficiency.

    So if we aren’t tough, I’m ok being this kind of “not-tough.” I’ll let the schools looking up at us with their losses and their inefficiencies soothe themselves by embracing their “toughness.”

    Meanwhile, the zags haven’t lost in a year. Tough or not.......

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by 229SintoZag View Post
    I don’t know whether we are tough or not.

    I do know we are 22-0 and by far the highest-rated team in America per Kenpom in terms of efficiency.

    So if we aren’t tough, I’m ok being this kind of “not-tough.” I’ll let the schools looking up at us with their losses and their inefficiencies soothe themselves by embracing their “toughness.”

    Meanwhile, the zags haven’t lost in a year. Tough or not.......
    I like this answer.

  11. #36
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    The “tough” thing gets used again and again by others who don’t understand how hard it is to play GU. Somebody already mentioned the Seton Hall folks from 2016. I also especially recall a #6 seed St Johns talking about Big East tough before getting mauled by the #11 Seed Zags. Don’t forget about “Zip em up” Xavier who was going to give us a lesson on toughness and got embarrassed. In 2017, it was WV, Xavier and S Carolina who were tougher than us. In 2018 it was Ohio State who was Big10 tough until we beat ‘em twice.
    This year....

    Zags are tough to defend. Zags are tough to keep from scoring in the paint. Zags are tough to score on. Zags are tough to pressure and intimidate. The Zags depth and fitness are tough on you as the game goes on.

    So yeah...I would say the Zags qualify as tough.

    ZZ

  12. #37
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    Maybe it’s a different type of toughness. We run! The passing short longer is the best I’ve seen for a college team. It could be that the will to win is our form of toughness this year. I believe this team is far different from the usual co celts of being tough as with a pair of bruisers who dominate the offensive and defensive boards.
    We don’t have that but we do have some amazing kids who run, block out etc. and yet I do not remember this team losing the boards. It’s just a great team. Maybe toughness, in our case, is just in a different form this year.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by rennis View Post
    If I had to guess I would say the lack of a rim protector is the one thing a casual observer could say this team lacks in the "toughness" department. In that regard I actually agree we don't have an intimidator like Clarke or Collins in the paint this year.

    But on the flip, we have guards who on-ball defend and switch-defend collectively better than any group we've had. The lack of rim protection/intimidation/toughness under the tin isn't holding this team back. Quite the opposite. Our D can stretch to any distance. But optics = perception = reality.
    I agree Rennis regarding the "lack" of a rim protector and how that might relate to "toughness". But, as you also say, the guys and their style of play has evolved with the CBB game in general into more of a 3-point shooting, transition, skill heavy game, so "lack" of a rim protector is less important than it would have been even 3 years ago. The game has changed, as has the way most teams win games. Now it's more by the 3-point shot and in transition. The number of teams who like to play in the 40' and 50's is almost non-existent in today's game, regardless of how the games are officiated. Even WVU has drastically changed their style over the past few years.

    I also really hate the terms "tough" and "physical". Why don't people have the honesty to really say what they mean............"unskilled", instead of using these pseudonyms. In basketball there are three types of players:

    1 - Athletic
    2 - Skilled
    3 - Both 1 & 2.

    "Tough" and "Physical" are terms used to describe type 1. The ZAGS this year and in recent years are a great blend of types 2 & 3. I'll take that every day and twice on Sundays.

    Go ZAGS

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