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Thread: Toughness of Our Program

  1. #1

    Default Toughness of Our Program

    At what point do we start to question the toughness of our program? Toughness in terms of being able to hang with an athletic, tough nosed, physical team that plays as hard or harder.

    WV 2018 (matthews last second winner)
    Tennessee 2018
    Florida state 2018
    Texas tech 2019
    Baylor 2021
    Duke 2021
    Alabama 2021

    All teams that were talented, but not as talented as GU, but more importantly in my eyes, were tough, played physical and roughed the zags up a bit. That was 6 losses off the top of my head I could remember. I’m sure there are more.

    Allow the zags to run their offense and its often Beethoven on the piano. Pure beauty. Push them around a little bit and problems seem to arise.

    Clearly there’s a certain type of team that gives us challenges. Is it a lack of toughness? Lack of motivation to get psyched up before games against these teams? The lack of physical strength that we have compared to these teams? Mental toughness? The type of athletes we are recruiting? Or just coincidence all these types teams have beat us?

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    Count me as one who agrees with you

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    Toughness maybe but it's more complicated from my view. First as much as I like Timme he doesn't play as big as he is. For a 6'10 big man he isn't getting the rebounds one might expect and regularly is beat at the rim too often. The numbers tell a different story, we should have won this game. Our percentage was better shooting, the rebounds were about equal, turnovers were the same and incredibly somehow our 3 pt shooting percentage was higher. They shot 34 three's to our 23 however and Shackleford had a Steph Curry night. They outhustled us down the floor, played mean defense and we were awful from the stripe. They showcased more talent, speed and quicker hands last night. It was clear they wanted it more. None are toughness issues but rather talent and drive issues IMO.
    One of the greatest stories in basketball history...Gonzaga!

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    the 3 pt % we had that was mentioned was buoyed considerably by making a number of them in the last couple of minutes when the game was over, compared to the dearth of 3 pt makes during the first 17 minutes of the game when pressure was on. Chucking 3's in the last minute pads the stats sheet but does not reflect how seldom we could make them when the game was close. The only way to get tougher is to play these kind of games which expose our weaknesses, but then learn and adjust.
    Every coach that plays us this season will be calling coach-friends on how to play us, and studying how Duke, Alabama and Tarelton played us. This is the way to become tough by learning from how we respond to those types of defenses. These defenses are taking away many of the passing lanes we enjoyed in the first several games of the season, by anticipating them.

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    Coach Gentry should know a little about “tough defenses” from his time working with Brad Underwood.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Birddog View Post
    Coach Gentry should know a little about “tough defenses” from his time working with Brad Underwood.
    Which silent one is he?

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    IMO, last night was about being smart more than being tough. Lots of poor shot selection, missed rotations, and ill-timed turnovers. Not mutually exclusive, of course, but across most sports playing smart is even more essential to winning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zagfan24 View Post
    IMO, last night was about being smart more than being tough. Lots of poor shot selection, missed rotations, and ill-timed turnovers. Not mutually exclusive, of course, but across most sports playing smart is even more essential to winning.
    Bingo!
    One of the greatest stories in basketball history...Gonzaga!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by zagfan24 View Post
    IMO, last night was about being smart more than being tough. Lots of poor shot selection, missed rotations, and ill-timed turnovers. Not mutually exclusive, of course, but across most sports playing smart is even more essential to winning.
    Sometimes goes hand in hand. If a team can’t handle on ball pressure or an opponent that Jams cutters, picks up high on defense, etc., than the turnovers will result.

    Seems too coincidental the type of team we continue to lose to.year in and year out, fews teams have trouble handling athletic opponents who get up in your face and defend hard

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrizZAG View Post
    Toughness maybe but it's more complicated from my view. First as much as I like Timme he doesn't play as big as he is. For a 6'10 big man he isn't getting the rebounds one might expect and regularly is beat at the rim too often. The numbers tell a different story, we should have won this game. Our percentage was better shooting, the rebounds were about equal, turnovers were the same and incredibly somehow our 3 pt shooting percentage was higher. They shot 34 three's to our 23 however and Shackleford had a Steph Curry night. They outhustled us down the floor, played mean defense and we were awful from the stripe. They showcased more talent, speed and quicker hands last night. It was clear they wanted it more. None are toughness issues but rather talent and drive issues IMO.
    You hit the nail on the head, they could foul us at will because we couldn’t make free throws. Talent and drive were both AWOL last night.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zagsfanforlife View Post
    At what point do we start to question the toughness of our program? Toughness in terms of being able to hang with an athletic, tough nosed, physical team that plays as hard or harder.

    WV 2018 (matthews last second winner)
    Tennessee 2018
    Florida state 2018
    Texas tech 2019
    Baylor 2021
    Duke 2021
    Alabama 2021

    All teams that were talented, but not as talented as GU, but more importantly in my eyes, were tough, played physical and roughed the zags up a bit. That was 6 losses off the top of my head I could remember. I’m sure there are more.

    Allow the zags to run their offense and its often Beethoven on the piano. Pure beauty. Push them around a little bit and problems seem to arise.

    Clearly there’s a certain type of team that gives us challenges. Is it a lack of toughness? Lack of motivation to get psyched up before games against these teams? The lack of physical strength that we have compared to these teams? Mental toughness? The type of athletes we are recruiting? Or just coincidence all these types teams have beat us?
    Interested to hear what your solution to this question when calling out the stones of the coaching staff and the players. I am pretty green to this stuff…

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by kyle dixon View Post
    Interested to hear what your solution to this question when calling out the stones of the coaching staff and the players. I am pretty green to this stuff…
    Someone is defensive. That’s expected when you question someone’s toughness… however it’s hard to debate the type of teams and styles of play we struggle with. TarLeton was the same way. Muck it up, be physical, out strength the zags, out hustle.. and they at 1-6 almost beat this squad .

    Without knowing the perfect answer why we struggle with these types of teams, tough to know a solution . However, I coached collegiately and hs a few years, so my best guess as far as solutions:

    -need a defensive minded coach that harps on in your face, on ball defense day in and day out. Head on a swivel, over communicative defense where you are 1 body, not 5 individuals. Tommy did add to this part which might be missing. The more you practice against it daily in practice, the easier it is during the games.

    -overall strength of the players— I was at that baylor and Florida state game. When both teams came on the floor I knew we were in trouble. Their bigs were taller than ours, their bigs were much stronger than ours, their guards looked like college football players and we looked like pop Warner kids. This is enhanced through 1) recruiting different types of athletes, whose body composition has either the room to significantly bulk up or is already mostly there. The Suggs types. The issue is that most of the time the kids with these bodies don’t play as well as Suggs so you have to develop their skills while developing their bodies.

    -this group of kids in both the Duke and Alabama games that I was at came out of the locker room in the second half like they were defeated already. Heads down, slow out of the locker room… I want to see the kids running out, fired up, ready to go. You would think if Few is laying into them like some think during half times, they would be a little more amped.

    -recruit more east coast kids? Pargo, Suggs, norvell, Chet, probably a ton more I am Missing.. all had some dawg in them. Zach was a chucker who never saw a shot he didn’t like, but none of this kids lacked swag or toughness.

    Overall it’s often about the kids you recruit, the way you coach, condition and motivate them, and certainly the way strength training develops their bodies to handle contact, intense ball pressure, physicality when driving through the lanes… all issues we are struggling with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zagsfanforlife View Post
    Someone is defensive. That’s expected when you question someone’s toughness… however it’s hard to debate the type of teams and styles of play we struggle with. TarLeton was the same way. Muck it up, be physical, out strength the zags, out hustle.. and they at 1-6 almost beat this squad .

    Without knowing the perfect answer why we struggle with these types of teams, tough to know a solution . However, I coached collegiately and hs a few years, so my best guess as far as solutions:

    -need a defensive minded coach that harps on in your face, on ball defense day in and day out. Head on a swivel, over communicative defense where you are 1 body, not 5 individuals. Tommy did add to this part which might be missing. The more you practice against it daily in practice, the easier it is during the games.

    -overall strength of the players— I was at that baylor and Florida state game. When both teams came on the floor I knew we were in trouble. Their bigs were taller than ours, their bigs were much stronger than ours, their guards looked like college football players and we looked like pop Warner kids. This is enhanced through 1) recruiting different types of athletes, whose body composition has either the room to significantly bulk up or is already mostly there. The Suggs types. The issue is that most of the time the kids with these bodies don’t play as well as Suggs so you have to develop their skills while developing their bodies.

    -this group of kids in both the Duke and Alabama games that I was at came out of the locker room in the second half like they were defeated already. Heads down, slow out of the locker room… I want to see the kids running out, fired up, ready to go. You would think if Few is laying into them like some think during half times, they would be a little more amped.

    -recruit more east coast kids? Pargo, Suggs, norvell, Chet, probably a ton more I am Missing.. all had some dawg in them. Zach was a chucker who never saw a shot he didn’t like, but none of this kids lacked swag or toughness.

    Overall it’s often about the kids you recruit, the way you coach, condition and motivate them, and certainly the way strength training develops their bodies to handle contact, intense ball pressure, physicality when driving through the lanes… all issues we are struggling with.
    I think this post is spot on. I am in agreement with you

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzdelmar View Post
    Which silent one is he?
    Ha!

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    We did recruit Banchero though and I think he is tough. He just picked Duke.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zagfan1 View Post
    We did recruit Banchero though and I think he is tough. He just picked Duke.
    Don’t remind me :tears:

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    We're missing a guy like Sabonis, Karnowski. But more than that we have built this program alot on flow and creativity, skill, not so much toughness. We were outclassed by Baylor, Duke, Alabama, Tarleton St. When we get punched in the mouth and rattled the plan falters. It scares me a bit with this team, you can see it on there faces. Timme and Chet are getting pushed around, our guards are getting pushed around. I want to see more Hickman and Sallis, it's clear we need some more options. Few needs to open things up.

    Suggs went right for you, Pargo the same. I did like Norvell, he wasn't afraid to attack. There is a difference with the mentality with some of these players. Pargo, and Norvell both Chicago kids...tough tough mindset.
    America's Team!

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    Quote Originally Posted by HenneZag View Post
    We're missing a guy like Sabonis, Karnowski. But more than that we have built this program alot on flow and creativity, skill, not so much toughness. We were outclassed by Baylor, Duke, Alabama, Tarleton St. When we get punched in the mouth and rattled the plan falters. It scares me a bit with this team, you can see it on there faces. Timme and Chet are getting pushed around, our guards are getting pushed around. I want to see more Hickman and Sallis, it's clear we need some more options. Few needs to open things up.

    Suggs went right for you, Pargo the same. I did like Norvell, he wasn't afraid to attack. There is a difference with the mentality with some of these players. Pargo, and Norvell both Chicago kids...tough tough mindset.
    I agree. However Few is stubborn and may not do what it takes to get that lineup playing regularly in the game.

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    I was going to start a similar thread, but this one will do just fine. My question is, were our expectations too high when we started the season? In our 7 wins, we must have "out-toughed" the other team, but in these two losses we got clobbered.
    WE ZIGGED, WE ZAGGED, AND WE STILL ENDED UP AT THE KENNEL !

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    Quote Originally Posted by zagsfanforlife View Post
    Someone is defensive. That’s expected when you question someone’s toughness… however it’s hard to debate the type of teams and styles of play we struggle with. TarLeton was the same way. Muck it up, be physical, out strength the zags, out hustle.. and they at 1-6 almost beat this squad .

    Without knowing the perfect answer why we struggle with these types of teams, tough to know a solution . However, I coached collegiately and hs a few years, so my best guess as far as solutions:

    -need a defensive minded coach that harps on in your face, on ball defense day in and day out. Head on a swivel, over communicative defense where you are 1 body, not 5 individuals. Tommy did add to this part which might be missing. The more you practice against it daily in practice, the easier it is during the games.

    -overall strength of the players— I was at that baylor and Florida state game. When both teams came on the floor I knew we were in trouble. Their bigs were taller than ours, their bigs were much stronger than ours, their guards looked like college football players and we looked like pop Warner kids. This is enhanced through 1) recruiting different types of athletes, whose body composition has either the room to significantly bulk up or is already mostly there. The Suggs types. The issue is that most of the time the kids with these bodies don’t play as well as Suggs so you have to develop their skills while developing their bodies.

    -this group of kids in both the Duke and Alabama games that I was at came out of the locker room in the second half like they were defeated already. Heads down, slow out of the locker room… I want to see the kids running out, fired up, ready to go. You would think if Few is laying into them like some think during half times, they would be a little more amped.

    -recruit more east coast kids? Pargo, Suggs, norvell, Chet, probably a ton more I am Missing.. all had some dawg in them. Zach was a chucker who never saw a shot he didn’t like, but none of this kids lacked swag or toughness.

    Overall it’s often about the kids you recruit, the way you coach, condition and motivate them, and certainly the way strength training develops their bodies to handle contact, intense ball pressure, physicality when driving through the lanes… all issues we are struggling with.
    I wonder if the emphasis now is conditioning rather than strength. Be able to outrun your opponent for 40 min and hopefully run them out of gas. They bulked up Heytvelt in order to make him something that he wasn’t. If you’re only going to play 7 guys and your offense is up-tempo, you had better be in good shape. Banchero couldn’t keep up and he was much more rested than our guys.

    I don’t know the answer but we have historically struggled with physical teams. The officiating style in the WCC isn’t going to help either. With 3 WCC refs, Alabama would have been playing Walk-ons for the last 10 minutes.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by spike_jr View Post
    I wonder if the emphasis now is conditioning rather than strength. Be able to outrun your opponent for 40 min and hopefully run them out of gas. They bulked up Heytvelt in order to make him something that he wasn’t. If you’re only going to play 7 guys and your offense is up-tempo, you had better be in good shape. Banchero couldn’t keep up and he was much more rested than our guys.

    I don’t know the answer but we have historically struggled with physical teams. The officiating style in the WCC isn’t going to help either. With 3 WCC refs, Alabama would have been playing Walk-ons for the last 10 minutes.
    Very good point on wcc refs too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zagfan1 View Post
    We did recruit Banchero though and I think he is tough. He just picked Duke.
    There are more than 5 hundred thousand reasons why Paulo Banchero chose Duke.

    “To be continued …”. Fr Tony Lehman, SJ
    ——-
    Some cherry picked stats

    Most NCAA TOURNAMENT wins since 2015
    Gonzaga 20, Nova 17, UNC 16, Duke 15, Kentucky 13, Michigan 13, Virginia 11, Baylor 9
    -----
    Most FINAL FOUR wins since 2017
    UNC 2, Nova 2, Virginia 2, Baylor 2, Gonzaga 2, Michigan 1, TexasTech 1, Kentucky 0, Duke 0, Kansas 0

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    Quote Originally Posted by SorenTodd45 View Post
    My question is, were our expectations too high when we started the season?
    My expectations for the coaching staff were too high, yes. I thought the Baylor game was the final straw, and we would finally see something of a physical defense from GU on the perimeter this year. Losing Harris is probably part of the issue, but I think most of defensive look is as designed.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoZags View Post
    There are more than 5 hundred thousand reasons why Paulo Banchero chose Duke.
    Haha these are the scoops I like

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    Quote Originally Posted by zagsfanforlife View Post
    Haha these are the scoops I like
    If true, totally legit under NIL, vs the Chipmunk in Tucson.

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