November 26, 2013

Dayton loss. Depth issue or Out-coached?

Plain and simple, Archie Miller out-coached Mark Few last night.

You might think it was an issue caused by the lack of our front court depth, and although that certainly hurt us on the defensive boards, some of our best defense played last night was when we played 5 guards towards the end of the game.  They were able to pick up on all of the ball screens and motions that Dayton was setting and get some huge stops that lets us climb back into the game.

Our problem? Mark Few simply didn't rotate enough players into a game where the refs were calling the most ridiculous fouls, both ways.  Gonzaga only accumulated three more fouls than Dayton, and many of these were called in the last few minutes when trying to stop the clock.  Archie Miller made the right decision by bringing six players off the bench.  Playing 11 players to Gonzaga's 8 allowed his team to spread out the fouls the refs were undoubtedly going to call on both teams, and prevent his starters from fouling out down the stretch.  Gonzaga, on the other hand, had to play down the stretch without three starters in Dower, Karnowksi, and Pangos. 

I'm not sure why Few didn't substitute Luke Meikle in to at least absorb some of our foul trouble.  He is 6'8, and although inexperienced and not ready to play in a close game against a quality team such as Dayton, he should have been used.  We already burned his option to redshirt and we don't have any bigs in our recruiting class next year.  At least give the guy some minutes for his 5 extra fouls to give, and who knows, maybe he would surprise us.  Also, giving him some early season experience could help us later this season if we run into a similar situation, which we will if we only play two bigs. I'm sure Dayton didn't put much prep into scouting him either.

I'm am now very excited and somewhat anxious to get Angel Nunez back once he is finished with sitting out ten games due to transfer from Louisville.  At 6'8 and highly recruited out of high school, he will definitely become our X factor in games like last night. 

I always believe good teams need to lose to get better, so hopefully this will help Gonzaga mature early on.  I am pretty bummed that we now won't have a chance to play top 25 opponents Baylor or Syracuse in the Maui Invitational as we won't see many ranked opponents this year. Hopefully, losing in the first round of this tournament will motivate the Zags to go further come March.  

Lets get over the loss, try to enjoy the rest of the tourny, and GO ZAGS!

7 comments:

Eric said...

Once it became obviously how well Dayton was scoring in the second half Few should have kept Dranginis and Coleman in the game a lot more for perimeter defense. Don't know why he didn't.

quidveritas said...

Failure to adjust to the way the game was being called. I put this one on the players. Karno and Dower committed some really foolish fouls -- considering how the game was being called.

If Drano makes that last shot, we are into overtime and . . . who knows what would have happened.

Few didn't pick up the fouls. Few didn't miss that last shot.

Dayton played well. Give em credit.

quidveritas said...

I put this loss squarely on the players. Karno and Dower knew we were short and committed silly, unnecessary fouls. Few didn't commit the fouls.

Likewise if Drano hits that last shot, we are into overtime and who knows what from there. Few didn't miss the shot.

Dayton played well. Give em credit.

I don't know why folks are so enamored with Coleman. The guy has black hole tendencies and no -- I mean zero -- outside shooting abilities. He's a bigger version of Meech in some respects. Colman can be effective given certain match-ups. Starting him allows the other team to better game plan for him and yes . . . ball hogs do not fare well in D1 play.

Matt said...

I agree that Few does not bare too much of the blame but I do think he could have gotten Meikle in there to see if he could have fared better. That is hindsight though and really means nothing, he could have been eaten alive just the same.

GU just did not shoot the ball well, had silly fouls and allowed 18 offensive rebounds. Tough to win when you do that. Even still, Draino just about hit that shot to give them a shot at OT and winning.

As far as Coleman, he can get to the rim almost at will. Gu already has guards that can shoot...and it is about matchups just like any other player. Take Stockton for example...he has gotten better but is still just too small and makes really dumb plays when the intensity of the game goes up. I have no idea why ppl are enamoured with him....

In the end, Nunez and Coleman will give GU better length and athleticism, coupled with great all around Guards in Pangos, Bell and Draino, come dancing time, the backcourt "Should" be able to take over games and at the least carry this team. IMO.

Osco said...

Now the Nunez is eligible, it will be interesting to see how these two transfers are willing and able to fit into the Gonzaga system.
I think of the last transfer that brought length and athleticism - Guy Landry-Edi - and it didn't work out great for him.
Watched an interview with coach Few the other night. When asked about Nunez's role, his response sounded much like what I heard last year regarding Mike Hart (major paraphrase on my part): we have enough scorers, we are looking for defense and rebounds. That is how he will earn minutes.

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wesolint said...

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