Slow Turning

Like the song says, you can learn to live with love or without it

Follow up thoughts on Gonzaga

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Some thoughts on Gonzaga after seeing a few games

Overall, Gonzaga has shown that they can play with any team.  The problem is that they don’t have a good flow or rhythm to their game.  It seems as though their greatest strength is piecing together individual performances to come out with a win.  This may be due to the fact that there are so many young players, but I hope they find more consistent chemistry.                                

The thing that really gets me is the free throw shooting.  The team average is 68.9%, the lowest average for Gonzaga based on stats from ESPN that go back to the 2002-2003 season.  Bouldin leads the team with 86% FT shooting, followed by Gray with 79.2% and Harris at 75%.  I would like to see Goodson improve his FT average to be in the same realm of Great & Harris.  If he can get it to over 70%, I pledge to accept that as improvement and not complain.

Battle in Seattle

I am excited every year to see the Zags play in Seattle.  Some years are more exciting than others, and this year’s match up definitely left people less than enthusiastic, as evidenced by all the empty seats.  Drawing Davidson on a down year is tough, but I didn’t mind the match up.  Davidson is a recognizable name and a team I would choose to watch even if they weren’t playing Gonzaga.

I actually won tickets to this game but was apprehensive about the seat location.  (I already had a ticket for a pretty good seat.)  However, after all the drama leading up to me actually picking up the tickets, I found out that I had won “VIP” seats on the floor directly in front of the Gonzaga band.  I wasn’t sure about sitting that close to the band but I ended up really enjoying the situation.  In addition to playing music that included Michael Jackson and Bon Jovi, I was also treated to the Kennel Club’s commentary of the game and watched the guys in front of me as they logged onto their computers to watch the Heisman ceremony, look up the Sports Guy’s twitter page, their Facebook page, and read up on news headlines from seattlepi.com. 

After finding my very special seats, I scanned the players warming up and located Bouldin on the bench in a pink shirt, khakis, and what appeared to be boat shoes.  Boat shoes aside (I really hope I’m wrong about that), this was an extremely disappointing sight.  Bouldin has been one of my favorites from the moment I saw him in a Gonzaga uniform and I had been looking forward to seeing him one last time in Seattle.  (For the record, I don’t think he should’ve played at the expense of his health, especially since I heard this wasn’t his first concussion.) 

What stood out the most to me about this game was the number of fouls called.  I’m not sure how many were actually called but the game felt choppy and was hard to get into.  Oddly enough, however, my favorite part of the game was Gray and Gibbs arguing a call with the ref.  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it happen before, but both were so adamant in their objection to the call that the ref took a time out to review the play.  His conclusion was that he made the right call, but I’m inclined to side with Gray & Gibbs.  I can’t recall seeing players argue to that extent over a single call.

Looking forward, I think it’ll be interesting to see how my Zags do at Madison Square Garden against Duke.  If Bouldin’s better I think he should play, but I may be the only person who thinks that one game isn’t worth it if he’s not 100%.  (Ok 90% since I’m not sure any athlete ever plays at 100%.)  After the Ronny Turiaf scare, I have faith that the Gonzaga staff will make the right decision.

As the season progresses, I’m really interested in seeing more of GJ Vilarino.  He was in for a bit during the game in Seattle and I was impressed.  I’m not sure he did anything spectacular but I liked him arguing a non-call with the ref.  If his name was Matt Bouldin, I’m sure he would’ve gotten the call but he still needs to earn it.  I also really like Grant Gibbs.  He seems really confident on the court and arguing with the ref put him over-the-top for me.  I’m not sure how he’ll factor into games this year, but I think he’ll have some spotlight moments that get people talking.

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Written by rachel

December 14, 2009 at 8:52 pm

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