Gonzaga Post-Mortem

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Gonzaga Post-Mortem

Post by Stonehouse on Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:03 am

What a mix of emotions. On one hand, I'm disappointed with what happened in the second half and I'm especially ticked that the final score doesn't represent how close the game was. On the other hand, I'm incredibly proud of how the Pilots played tonight.

We scored 78 points on an incredibly good defensive team. A team that coming into the game was #1 in the country in 2pt FG% allowed. No team has scored more points against them in regulation all year. (UConn did score 88, but 14 of them came in OT.) Think about that for a second... UConn, Tennessee, Arizona, Oklahoma State, Maryland, Utah... none scored more against the Zags than the Pilots did. If nothing else, that is really something we can hang our hat on. Much, much props to the coaching staff and the players for executing the offense so well. Even when we struggled to get good looks in the second half, our outside shooting kept us in it.

And really... what a first half! One of the most entertaining, fun, and exciting halves of basketball I've seen in a long time. Both teams played really well and it was just so great to see that happening in the Chiles Center and on national TV.

Gotta give it up to Gonzaga... they were terrific. The way they played I don't think there are many teams in the country that could have beaten them. Remember... this team was ranked in the Top 5 at one point this season and they seem to be coming back into that form. I think we acquitted ourselves as well as we could, minus that ugly stretch to start the second half were we had all those turnovers. They shot well, their defense was really tough (especially second half), they were making their freethrows... tough to beat a team that is bigger and more talented when they have all that going for them. Every time we hit a big shot, they always were able to answer.

But even despite all that... here's my coulda/shoulda/woulda for the game. We cut it to six with like four minutes to go, Heytvelt missed a shot, and we had two guys there for the board. We could have had the ball to cut it to three or four, but instead the shot hung on the rim FOREVER and Daye was able to get up after our guys went back down and get an easy putback. OUCH. I really would have loved to see what would have happened had we pulled down that board.

Nik was awesome in the first half, disappeared in the second. Robin was tough all night, especially on the boards. Luke played well and could have had an awesome game had he knocked down some of those free throw line jumpers. TJ was our savior in the second half... man I love that guy. Gonzaga was clearly keyed in on Jared, but he still was able to knock down a couple shots. Ethan played OK too. The bench didn't have a chance to do much at all... I felt bad for BJ - he almost finished two oops that would have been sweeeeeet.

So yeah... mixed feelings. I'm not going to say it's a moral victory, because damn it... the way we played in the first half we could have beaten those suckers. Plain and simple, we're just not on Gonzaga's level yet. But are we a darn good basketball team? Yes we are... can't wait to see what the rest of the WCC slate has in store for us, and I am VERY excited about the WCC tournament. We definitely haven't heard the last from our Pilots.

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Re: Gonzaga Post-Mortem

Post by PilotNut on Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:14 am

A great summary, Stonehouse.

I meant to add this before: Congrats to Purple Pride and the students for bringing their "A" game tonight... the students were tremendous. well done... i hope you can keep that up for the LMU & Pepp games!

Lets not forget that we are indeed still a very good basketball team, with some great things ahead of us for the rest of this year... The #2 seed is certainly within possibility, and really, that would just be HUGE this year.

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Re: Gonzaga Post-Mortem

Post by Geezaldinho on Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:27 am

I kept thinking that if we play that way against any other team in the conference - including Saint Mary's, that they just wouldn't have an answer for us.

Before this three game stand I was hoping to win one, maybe luck out against a second to preserve our hopes for a winning season and maybe a top four. I think we can start thinking about nailing down second in the conference.

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Re: Gonzaga Post-Mortem

Post by Stonehouse on Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:32 am

Purplegeezer wrote:I think we can start thinking about nailing down second in the conference.

Absolutely. Seriously... why shouldn't 12-2 be our goal? San Diego is tailspinning at this point. Santa Clara will be really tough and so will SMC, but shoot... no reason we can't win out. Seriously.

Now I realize 10-4 is a lot more realistic, but I'm talking goals here. Our goal should be to win out, and the way we've been playing, I could definitely see that happen if we can keep it up.

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Re: Gonzaga Post-Mortem

Post by PilotNut on Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:49 am

Aim high: 12-2, #2 seed, double bye in the tourney. I agree, that if we keep playing the way we are now, I dont know who beats us... but SCU and SMC on the road will both be tough.

Win out. Lets get started! Twisted Evil

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Re: Gonzaga Post-Mortem

Post by mattywizz on Fri Feb 06, 2009 4:43 am

First off, it was fun to watch a game against the Zags where I thought we truly had a chance to win. Although I missed the first six minutes (stupid St. Johns and Seton Hall) that first half was awesome. As big as Nik was in the first half, I almost thought Sikma was the first half MVP, he was scoring, rebounding and playing tough D. I haven't even looked at the boxscore yet, but it seemed like both teams shot well, there weren't too many turnovers (except for that one stretch) and not a lot of fouls. It was a well played game, and it was awesome to see that from the Pilots. It was certainly better quality than the Big East game that immediately preceded it.
That stretch in the second half was brutal, an 8-0 run by the Zags and 5 TO by the Pilots. It seemed for a few minuted after that the body language changed. The game hovered around the 8-12 point difference. The Pilots did a good job getting it down to 6, led by TJ, and I really didn't feel it was over till about 2 minutes left, the Pilots threw up some desperation shots, and Gonzaga kept scoring.
Overall though, I am very proud of the team. Of course I would have preferred a win. But it is time to get back to work and take care of California.

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Re: Gonzaga Post-Mortem

Post by Rochin54 on Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:39 am

Stoney - I just got done talking with a co-worker about the game and pegged the exact same sequence at the 4 minute mark as a crucial point. We had battled back and played a great defenseve sequence there. I think kramer or someone kind of blocked.altered Heytvelt's shot, and that ball just hung there, and all our guys got kind of dragged under the bucket by their momentum, and Daye with that little tip! Arrrgh!! That possession was huge.

I saw good things out of our players AND our coaches. We do need to turn our attention to USF and SMC now. Let's put the hurt on USF at their place, and then get down to business at SMC.

Lotta thoughts in my head right now. Maybe I'll try and get them down.

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Re: Gonzaga Post-Mortem

Post by aleppiek on Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:17 am

Obviously the Zags shot lights out from 3 and from the FT line... that being said when we were able to force them to drive we got next to zero help defense. I thought that was a huge factor. And obviously that is a symptom of having to honor every single matchup. I was really impressed with the play of the Pilots on the offensive end, this team is not far from being able to knock the zags off that high horse.

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Re: Gonzaga Post-Mortem

Post by PilotDrummer on Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:32 am

It's already been said, but if we hadn't committed the silly turnovers in the second half and let them get up by 6, then 8, then 12, we would have made it a much closer game. We're not pushovers and the Zags did have to work the play us. Especially in the first half.

I failed to break a string on the gong last night. Very disappointing.

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Re: Gonzaga Post-Mortem

Post by DaTruRochin on Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:35 am

Agreed with sentiments above... It seemed like in the second half the Pilots had a tendency to be a bit too tenetive to take shots in the paint, thus opting for tough interior passes. A couple times I felt Luke and others had good opportunities to go up for shots and create contact and didn't... It sure would have been nice to get heyetvelt out sooner and get Daye in trouble (although his length is tough to get around, if only his effort matched the effort he put into attitude and whining.... NOT a "tough" player by Bilas standards) when those guys were out it forced the 2 & 3 to collapse on the interior cutter/post man helping on defense and gave our sharpshooters a lot of open looks in the first half while their good big men were out of the game in the first half. That just didn't happen in the second half because their bigs didn't have to go to the bench or play tenative defense.

All in all I thought they played great, and only 1 TO in the first half against a well coached defensive team?? I'll take it. Also it was nice having a PG out there that was pretty equal to Pargo, forced him into tough shots... Even if the announcer did compare Pargo to by my count Tim Hardaway, Steve Francis and I think Steve Nash at one point to my disgust (Haha my mid-game text message to 54 was a little more vulgar than that...)

That said the team, for the first time in a long time, looked like they belonged on the same court. Bravo Pilots, bravo!

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Re: Gonzaga Post-Mortem

Post by EngineerZag on Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:37 am

Great game, guys. I was pretty scared in the first half. I was glad to see the Zags step up the defensive intensity in the second half and confuse the Pilots on offense.

UP doesn't lose anybody this year, right? No seniors. That means an even better team unit next year! It's really cool to be observing the rise of the UP program. I hope that next year we have 3 or 4 very competitive teams in the WCC (GU, SMC, UP, USD) who can all legitimately vie for NCAA bids.

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Re: Gonzaga Post-Mortem

Post by Rochin54 on Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:50 am

Thanks egrzag. I think the Pilots earned some respect last night, at least to WCC and west coast fans. Unfortunatly, the highlights on ESPN showed only zag highlights (not a single UP highlight), and didn't really talk too much about how great of a game it was. Hmmph.

I also thought that Gonzaga is looking better. They seem to have im[roved their team game a bunch. Honestly, they have so much talent, but something just isn't there with them sometimes.

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Re: Gonzaga Post-Mortem

Post by DaTruRochin on Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:56 am

Rochin54 wrote:
I also thought that Gonzaga is looking better. They seem to have im[roved their team game a bunch. Honestly, they have so much talent, but something just isn't there with them sometimes.

Agreed... The biggest problem this version of the Zags have is the space between the ears on their individual players. Most games they are the better team on the court based on talent, but lapses of mental focus are definitely their achilles heel. They have the potential to be great as long as they all play on the same page, but unfortunately it seems like half the time some of the team is reading Time magazine, while the other is reading Slam.... Not exactly the greatest chemistry

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Re: Gonzaga Post-Mortem

Post by MesaPilot1 on Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:30 am

Yeah Zag fan,

No reloading next year,Ravio won't have to carry the team on his back next year. We wont need that as TJ becomes more comfortable in D-1 competion. Sikma doesn't Spend 3 month's out with a bad knee. Kramer improves his offense. Big "Soft Hand's John cast's his 7'1" shadow on the Chile's Center. Robin won't be counted on for all the offensive move's for Post men.Ethan improves. Stohl, well Jarred won't be guarded so close so he can get his shot off or pass to open man for dunk or layup if covered. BJ will grow to 6'9" like his dad and will improve his high jumping to 7'7" Shocked .Jasonn will improve his game to the level of his musical skills. Eric will improve. Nem will take off his "fly" clothes to shoot lights out. Ito take's shooting lesson's from Stohl,and enters the UP BB captain's HOF later becoming coach of the Portland Trailblazer's.


Some dreams, Some truth's,it only get's better with Rev's recruiting skill's and Pilot exposure the next two years.


MesaPilotMonster1 aka MesaPilot1


P.S. Next year you might be scared the whole game. When Josh,Pargo,Daye,Downs,Brown are gone.If Gray isn't playing well then Bouldin will find out what it's like to "carry the team" on his back on the team aaallllll season with their average to above average replacements.Sacre's 3 pt average just won't do it.

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Re: Gonzaga Post-Mortem

Post by EngineerZag on Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:42 am

Rochin54 wrote:I also thought that Gonzaga is looking better. They seem to have im[roved their team game a bunch. Honestly, they have so much talent, but something just isn't there with them sometimes.

I totally agree. It is very frustrating to watch sometimes. If we could develop a consistent team chemistry I honestly think we could be FF4 bound or beyond. The second half last night was the first half of basketball in a while that has gotten me really pumped up about this team. Now if we can only beat Memphis on Saturday...

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Re: Gonzaga Post-Mortem

Post by EngineerZag on Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:46 am

MesaPilot1 wrote:P.S. Next year you might be scared the whole game. When Josh,Pargo,Daye,Downs,Brown are gone.If Gray isn't playing well then Bouldin will find out what it's like to "carry the team" on his back on the team aaallllll season with their average to above average replacements.Sacre's 3 pt average just won't do it.

Indications at this point are that Daye is coming back next year. I don't think he's NBA ready, do you? His dad doesn't seem to think so either. We'll see what happens. If he does come back I think we still have a pretty darn good team next year.

Sacre has a 3 pt average because he's never been asked to score. While he's not a great offensive player, he's not bad either. I bet he'll do pretty well next year at the 5. More importantly, we'll finally have a consistent true 5 as opposed to Mr. I'mAGuardInABigMan'sBody Heytfelt. Smile I like Josh and he does done much better lately at filling his role on the team but there has been a lot of frustration over the last few years at his refusal to be the big man the team needs.

We also have two big men coming in who may contribute right away. Redshirt freshman Andy Poling and true freshman Sam Dower (very similar to Ronny Turiaf in style of play).

At any rate I hope that this season is the start of a nice rivalry between our two teams.

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Re: Gonzaga Post-Mortem

Post by MesaPilot1 on Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:05 am

Here's hopin Daye stay's. Could you imagine how good that would be for WCC Publicity. I like it when all college player's stay more than 2 yr's unless they have talent like Kobe or Lebron or family financial problems. I watched HS footage of Sacre 3 yr's ago he was amazing.But haven't seen the natural transition to D-1 that other good player's have had.(Injury's happen,player's need to still progress,look at Daye). I wish your team good luck against Memphis,and hope Dicky V will be talking about Austin Daye instead of his usual east coast bias. If I here him talk about Tyrke Evans one more time in the promo's Im gonna Pull Hair .

I'm super impressed with ThunderRidge HS (CO) Matt Bouldin. After last season I thought he peaked as a freshman. I'm wrong.I really wish all the player's on your team would carry themselves with his class and character he's showed me.But I understand their college kid's and at that age most college players show their immaturity


We shall meet again,(hopefully Mon.at WCC Tourney). Please go pound the GAAEELLS!!! out of St. Mary's in Moraga.


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Last edited by MesaPilot1 on Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:14 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Gonzaga Post-Mortem

Post by EngineerZag on Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:08 am

Haha, Dickie Vs east coast bias is causing him to not even make the trip.

Bob Knight will be here though. Smile

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Re: Gonzaga Post-Mortem

Post by DaTruRochin on Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:11 am

MesaPilot1 wrote:super impressed with ThunderRidge HS (CO) Matt Bouldin. After last season I thought he peaked as a freshman. I'm wrong.I really wish all the player's on your team would carry themselves with his class and character he's showed me.

I second that... My feelings for all things Zag aside, I really like the kid's game and demeanor. He is definitely the rock in that starting rotation, and the least inclined to the mental lapses you see in Pargo Daye and Heyetvelt. More of the pre-stache "classic Zag" type player that made the program what it is.

And is Dickie V not being there really a bad thing??

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Re: Gonzaga Post-Mortem

Post by EngineerZag on Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:19 am

Actually no, I'm not too worried that he isn't coming, just thought it was funny.

I agree about Matt, first class guy. I'm proud of him in a way that I couldn't be of some of our former players like Morrison.

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Re: Gonzaga Post-Mortem

Post by MesaPilot1 on Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:55 am

EZ, thank's for coming aboard cyclops . Nut, and Stoney will give you your welcoming gift.If those Two and the Geezer give you their blessing your allright in my book.

Sorry guy's about my groveling, but it's always nice to get another opinion. I still dislike Morrison,Pargo, and crybaby Down's with a passion. That goofy grin on Stephen Gray's face need's to be taken off his face soon.

Welcome from the guy who came close to be censored on this board.(not something I'm real proud of,but need to bring up). The folks here are civil,and don't get into major [url=mailto://b@tch fights]b@tch fights[/url] here IMO. UNLESS MESA'S THE INSTIGATOR AND HAS TO EAT CROW LATER Rolling Eyes

I sure hope that doesn't change with the Pilot Men's BB improvement. Huh Sci Fi,Rob's Jacket,PilotNut? The best mod's in the WCC.


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Re: Gonzaga Post-Mortem

Post by PilotNut on Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:28 am

If Engineer Zag sends me a case of Drop Top Amber, and sends Geezer a case of Pliney, then he will be welcomed with open arms... Very Happy

Naw, he seems to be a good guy... I like having fans from other schools post on here as long as they are civil. It's good to have outside viewpoints.

(IMO, just like any other program, 99% of Zag fans are respectful, sensible and realistic.)

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Re: Gonzaga Post-Mortem

Post by Rob's Jacket on Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:44 am

PilotNut wrote:(IMO, just like any other program, 99% of Zag fans are respectful, sensible and realistic.)

I'd say anywhere from 80-90%.

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Re: Gonzaga Post-Mortem

Post by EngineerZag on Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:52 am

Lol thanks for the ... ahem ... overwhelming welcome. Smile I think it's fun to banter a little bit with fans from other boards as long as it doesn't get out of hand or personal.

I agree that Downs (and Daye!) should not complain as much as they do to the refs. But it's not like they're the only ones out there that do that.

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Re: Gonzaga Post-Mortem

Post by Stonehouse on Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:54 am

Ha ha, yeah 80-90% sounds about right. Wink

But really we can't complain too much - as much as I HATE the fact that so many Zag fans show up to the Chiles Center, you really do have to admire how well they travel and how well they support the team. Of course, the only reason why there are so many Zag fans in Portland is because they couldn't wait to get out of Spokane and move to a decent city. Smile

The mindless knucklehead fans who only started rooting for them when "The Stache" was there? They're just like stupid Red Sox fans wearing green or pink hats. They are super annoying, but if you can look past them you can see the old-school fans who have been there a long time.

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