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Thread: WBB Travels to Hawaii for the Rainbow Wahine Showdown

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by upan8th View Post
    So, last year at approximately the same time as today, GU was 5-2 & ranked 23d in the Coaches' poll. This week the team is 6-1 and got enough "others receiving" votes, to put them in the top 30. The stats ZD cites for the two team are strikingly similar. The main difference is that last year's squad was perceived to have more talent & more upside. And they did, but this 2021-22 group understands that, without the Wirth's & Jill T, they need to compete harder to get the same results. Would any of them, for example, start at BYU? But, so far, so good. I've always been drawn to scrappy, underrated, overachievers & these young women certainly seem to fit that mold.
    I think your right up, it is a matter of perception that is due to a couple of issues. As far as mid-major schools go, it is almost unheard of for a school to have two players with the height, skill and athletic ability of the Wirth twins. The team lost almost half of its scoring and rebounding due to graduation and lost all of its senior leadership. So it is natural to expect the writers would anticipate some fall-off from last year.

    Secondly, last year the Lady Zags played a national championship contender and two (2) long-standing, high quality mid-majors who made the NCAA tournament in the Thanksgiving tournament. This we played the defending national champion and in the Thanksgiving tournament a P-5 team predicted to finish near the bottom of the Pac-12 and two middling mid-majors. This year our record is better than last year, but our quality of competition is somewhat less than last year. The good news is that the quality of competition picks up for the last 5 games of the OOC and if BYU stays ranked, gives us at least two more chances to beat a ranked team, which we did not have last year. We have the chance to improve our ranking over our ranking last year, but it means we have to win the games we are supposed to win and do no worse than a split with BYU. It is up to the ladies to determine their fate.

    Skip, I think most of the Lady Zag teams are over achievers. Why? How many players does GU have in the WNBA (one, Sloot). CLF takes a bunch of very good recruits and molds them into a "Team" more so than a bunch of talented individuals. The phrase "the team is better than the sum of its parts" definitely applies to Gonzaga Wbb and has for a long time. It says a lot not only about Coach Fortier but also to the players who are willing to give up "stardom" for the good of the "team".

    Last year, the team was definitely JT's and JW's team, even LW (for the most part) deferred to JT and JW and stayed in the background. Almost every game, the player of the game could have been JW or JT with LW occasionally stepping in. This year, I don't get the feeling that anybody has "taken charge" of this year's Lady Zag team. I think four of the five starters this year could have been the player of the game in one or more games along with K-14. That's five different players in 7 games. I think this year's team has more capable and dynamic players coming off the bench than last year's team with K-14, YE, EH and BS being the most notable components.

    If CW gets her shooting percentage up to where it was at Vanderbilt and if Abby plays like she did at Loyola-Chicago and in Hawaii this last week, this year's team will be tough to beat. Keep in mind that in her first 3 years at Loyola Chicago Abby had way more points, rebounds and blocks than JT, LW and JW had in their first 3 years and not too far off the stats JT, JW and LW accumulated in 4 years. With starters K-11, CW and AO along with K-14 off the bench able to hit the 3 at a reasonable rate, it may be tough to consistently play zone against the Zags giving AV, MK, YE and others the opportunity to dominate in the paint.

    This team has lots of potential, it is up to the young women to bring it in every game.

    Go Zags,

    ZagDad

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZagDad84 View Post
    I think your right up, it is a matter of perception that is due to a couple of issues. As far as mid-major schools go, it is almost unheard of for a school to have two players with the height, skill and athletic ability of the Wirth twins. The team lost almost half of its scoring and rebounding due to graduation and lost all of its senior leadership. So it is natural to expect the writers would anticipate some fall-off from last year.

    Secondly, last year the Lady Zags played a national championship contender and two (2) long-standing, high quality mid-majors who made the NCAA tournament in the Thanksgiving tournament. This we played the defending national champion and in the Thanksgiving tournament a P-5 team predicted to finish near the bottom of the Pac-12 and two middling mid-majors. This year our record is better than last year, but our quality of competition is somewhat less than last year. The good news is that the quality of competition picks up for the last 5 games of the OOC and if BYU stays ranked, gives us at least two more chances to beat a ranked team, which we did not have last year. We have the chance to improve our ranking over our ranking last year, but it means we have to win the games we are supposed to win and do no worse than a split with BYU. It is up to the ladies to determine their fate.

    Skip, I think most of the Lady Zag teams are over achievers. Why? How many players does GU have in the WNBA (one, Sloot). CLF takes a bunch of very good recruits and molds them into a "Team" more so than a bunch of talented individuals. The phrase "the team is better than the sum of its parts" definitely applies to Gonzaga Wbb and has for a long time. It says a lot not only about Coach Fortier but also to the players who are willing to give up "stardom" for the good of the "team".

    Last year, the team was definitely JT's and JW's team, even LW (for the most part) deferred to JT and JW and stayed in the background. Almost every game, the player of the game could have been JW or JT with LW occasionally stepping in. This year, I don't get the feeling that anybody has "taken charge" of this year's Lady Zag team. I think four of the five starters this year could have been the player of the game in one or more games along with K-14. That's five different players in 7 games. I think this year's team has more capable and dynamic players coming off the bench than last year's team with K-14, YE, EH and BS being the most notable components.

    If CW gets her shooting percentage up to where it was at Vanderbilt and if Abby plays like she did at Loyola-Chicago and in Hawaii this last week, this year's team will be tough to beat. Keep in mind that in her first 3 years at Loyola Chicago Abby had way more points, rebounds and blocks than JT, LW and JW had in their first 3 years and not too far off the stats JT, JW and LW accumulated in 4 years. With starters K-11, CW and AO along with K-14 off the bench able to hit the 3 at a reasonable rate, it may be tough to consistently play zone against the Zags giving AV, MK, YE and others the opportunity to dominate in the paint.

    This team has lots of potential, it is up to the young women to bring it in every game.

    Go Zags,

    ZagDad
    Nice write up... so far I'm very pleasantly surprised especially with AV... she looks like a basketball player, her feel for the game is improved... she is serviceable at the 5 now... she can only get better...

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

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigblahla View Post
    . so far I'm very pleasantly surprised especially with AV... she looks like a basketball player, her feel for the game is improved... she is serviceable at the 5 now... she can only get better..
    This year's team is averaging almost a block a game more than last year's team with the twin towers (Wirths). If you have watched AV this year, when she is not blocking shots, she is affecting the shots of the opposition. Watching an opposition guard drive the lane and put the ball off the glass, 3' above the rim trying to avoid AV's reach is entertainment in itself. You do not have to have the "stats" to have a significant impact of the game.

    As the saying goes, you can't teach 6'5".

    Good for AV, hope she continues her improvement.

    ZagDad

  4. #54
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    BYU starters vs GU:

    Guard: Harding > Troung
    Guard: Gonzales > Walker/Troung
    Forward/guard: Albiero pickem O'Conner
    Forward: Graham > Kempton
    Forward/Center: Guston >Viroge,

    Ejim, Hollingsworth, & Salenbien can't crack GU's starting lineup, so I'm not even considering them as starting candidates vs BYU. As Skip says, though, at this point it's just speculation and will be until the teams faceoff & the tip goes up.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by upan8th View Post
    BYU starters vs GU:

    Guard: Harding > Troung
    Guard: Gonzales > Walker/Troung
    Forward/guard: Albiero pickem O'Conner
    Forward: Graham > Kempton
    Forward/Center: Guston >Viroge,
    Only complaint is Albiero is not a guard/forward, she is a #1 or #2 guard with Paisley as the #3. Graham is considered a guard/forward and plays the #4 with Gustin as the #5. I don't see Abby guarding Albiero. in any case, Truong and Walker will guard Gonzales and Albiero with Abby on Harding.

    I still would take either Truong, CW or Abby over Albiero. Graham has it all over MK on the outside, however, MK has it all over Graham on the inside. I would call that a push depending on if the game is played from the outside or from the inside.

    ZagDad

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