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Lady Zags 2022-2023 Playing Forward Positives, Wonderings, Aspirations, Observations

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  • Appreciate the clarification GeeGAW. Too lazy to look it up myself. Apparently most teams, if there ever was one, haven't gotten the memo.


    • Some thoughts about yesterday's win at St. Mary's.

      First and foremost, it was a win, on the road, against a team that has twice in the last 5 years, given the Lady Zags their only loss in the WCC conference season. The ladies played much better today, particularly defensively, then they did against Pacific. Congratulations for a job well done.

      When evaluating this game you have to remember that the St. Mary's was without their head coach (Paul Thomas) who has been suspended indefinitely for an undisclosed issue and also without all-WCC forward, 6'3" Ali Bamberger. So when I see people writing that the GU frontcourt is back after this game, I have to think, was it better play by the Lady Zag frontcourt or the absence of Ali Bamberger which contributed to the better play of the GU bigs? Probably a little of both, but I will reserve judgement until the ladies play better in the next few games.

      Just about everything about this game was average. Gonzaga scored a little more than average and held St. Mary's to a little less than the average GU opponent. The Zags shot a little better overall than average but shot a little worse from long range than average but were right on their average for the free throws. Rebounds, rebounding margin, assists, turnovers were all right in the average area. Big call-out for the six (yes 6) blocks by the ladies yesterday. Great Job.

      Stat wise, the only real complaint was that the Lady Zags let St. Mary's shoot almost 54% overall in the first quarter with a lot of lay-ups. The Zags tightened up their defense for the rest of the game, never letting St. Mary's shoot better than 38% in any other quarter. The other stat which was somewhat unusual was that CLF and her staff did not prepare for the team to take away Taycee Wedin. I realize they probably game planned around taking Ali Bamberger away (St. Mary's leading scorer and rebounder) but when Ali was not able to play, I would have thought CLF would have made some halftime adjustments to take away Wedin as Wedin was St. Mary's only other double-digit scorer coming into the game. Wedin went off on the Zags scoring 23 points on 9-19 shooting. Thankfully she was only 2-10 from long-range, but this means she went 7-9 from inside the arc. Not very good defense on the one, known scoring threat playing for St. Mary's. Coach, that one is on you.

      I did see a couple of areas that could use some work before next week's game.

      First, while 13 turnovers are not bad (not great, but not bad), the fact that nine (9) of those turnovers were steals by St. Mary's is unacceptable. The ladies have to hang onto the ball tighter, control their dribble better, Bigs can't bring the ball down to their waist and they need to look out for one another on the court. Those 9 steals probably led to point difference of at least 8-10 points (either points lost by GU or points scored by St. Mary's). In a game like we had with Pacific, these types of turnovers could very easily lead to the loss of a game.

      The second issue is why the team is insistent about passing the ball into the GU big, when the said big is double or triple teamed? What exactly do you expect the big to do with the ball when they are double, or triple teamed? The only thing worse than the team members (and that is all of them) forcing a pass under the basket, is the big forcing a shot up against the double or triple team. Did I mention St. Mary's had 5 blocks to go along with their 9 steals? If the big is double or triple teamed, one or two GU players are open. If the big gets the ball and is double or triple teamed, there is one or two players wide open on the perimeter, throw it back out. I have seen some of the ugliest shots I have ever seen in the past couple of games by the GU bigs trying to force it up against a lot of opposition. If you are not trying to foul somebody out, get the ball out, anybody has a better shot than you.

      Minor issues, but something to work on.

      A successful (barely against Pacific) roadtrip with two "W's" and now home to the kennel for the next couple of games against the bottom teams in the league. Fix the errors next week as the Zags travel down to the bay area for USF (always trouble on the hill) and Santa Clara before coming home for the rematch with Portland.



      • Just got done listening to the Lisa Fortier radio show at Northern Quest. One of the questions by the audience was how are Kayleigh, Maud, and Bree doing really. CLF answer Bree is doing by far the best, and of course playing in practices, but thinks she will Red Shirt Bree this year. Kayleigh may be out of her boot soon (sounds like her Basketball court time at Gonzaga is over), Maud is doing some kind of therapy. Lisa then reiterated that Bree is way more far along than the other two players. So my opinion is if Kaylynne stays healthy, then Bree will be Redshirted. Yvonne and Brynna were at epic with CLF for the radio show. Was nice to listen to the players on the radio show.


        • Click on this link: for some photos of the women practicing. Click on the arrows and you will note a couple photos of Bree practicing with her knee brace. She's got an encouraging smile regardless of her status for the remainder of the season.


          • Originally posted by Section 116 View Post
            Click on this link: for some photos of the women practicing. Click on the arrows and you will note a couple photos of Bree practicing with her knee brace. She's got an encouraging smile regardless of her status for the remainder of the season.
            Thx for the pics Z-Section! Wow? Is it the camera angle or what? Esther doesn't have those kind of hops, does she?


            • Originally posted by upan8th View Post

              Thx for the pics Z-Section! Wow? Is it the camera angle or what? Esther doesn't have those kind of hops, does she?
              Being 6'2 with long arms gets you most of the way there.



              • On this topic, why, listed at 6' 1" and 6 feet respectively, have Hall of Famer John Stockton and current Net's guard Paddy Mills never been recorded dunking in a game? Esther looks to be 1 to 2" below the rim in the photo. Does that mean her running vertical is within a few inches of the guys mentioned? If so, it's impressive, since both Stockton and Mills (with measured 6' wingspans) have both been measured having over 34" running verticals.

                And why, while I'm at it, aren't Eliza and Maud more effective at put-backs under the rim in traffic at 6' 3" than Yvonne is a 6' 1"? The answer is that Eliza and Maud's arms aren't extended to the top or their reach when they release the ball. Vonnie's long arms usually are. Don't know why the caching staff can't seem to correct this deficiency.


                • Zags win 66-55 over LMU.

                  Bad news Eliza went down in 1st quarter banged her head and did not return to the bench in the game. So another player down if she goes the same rout as Maud who knows? This year it seems when players go down they don't come back.

                  Zags played by far the worst team in the league and were behind almost the entire first half. Third quarter we could not pull away. Giana who played the last minute and half, missed a wide open layup with no player even close to her. So Giana is strictly for the practice squad, she is not a replacement player. Don't get me wrong she is a great soccer player, and we appreciate her helping out in practice.

                  Esther was a starter after Eliza went out which opens a whole new can of worms she cannot make free throws. So opposing players could foul her all day long and not have to worry about her on the free throw line. Also Esther can only make layups, brings no jump shots. So essentially the Zags are down to 8 players now. Come beginning Feb. it will have been 11 months since Bree's injury. Think CLF hand might be forced now. Before when we played with 7 players we were playing terrible team Queens I believe non conference. The WCC is much more competitive and play much more tougher. If we go into a game with 8 players, we are going to start seeing our hands tied. The teams are going to drive to the basket every time to get us in foul trouble.

                  Another problem Eliza was a good 3 point shooter and had a jump shot. If you watched todays game, you will see our offense is now limited Esther, Calli are taking no jump shots, Also Calli fouls a lot. Payton and McKayla make quite a few bad fouls. McKayla fouled out today.

                  If we need another 3 point shooter to replace Eliza that would be Bree. Our season has a potential to go South in a hurry. Lucky we have one of the toughest players Yvonne she got her eye poked in later part of 1st quarter. She had to go the locker room, if she does not come back in 2nd quarter, we would have lost to LMU the worst team in the league. Whats are motto next player up. Well if Eliza is out or if another player goes out its time to call up your reserve strength and that would be Bree.

                  Bree is getting use to playing with a brace, and has been practicing 5 on 5 for a while now. I have confidence in Bree ability and shooting if we need her, she has the talent. Oh and she is also a good free throw shooter. Its alway good to have five good free throw shooters on the court come crunch time.

                  Note next opponent is Pepperdine who beat LMU by 20 points on 21 Jan. 2023. Oh by the way Portland and BYU won tonight.
                  Last edited by ZAGS ATTACK BASKET; Yesterday, 06:07 PM.


                  • - i agree ZAB that esther is one dimensional. the only shot she has is under the basket on an offensive rebound or a nice pass to that same spot. she does have some length and disrupts some shots near the basket. but wow, the worst free throw shooting form ever.

                    - i would not count on bree this year, given so late in the year. and be careful for what you wish for............that is i know last year was bree's freshman year and there is an adjustment from high school to college, but the numbers are the numbers, and last year she had the worst shooting percentage and worst 3 point shooting percentage on the team, plus the highest turnover rate. in a word her freshman year was bad. but i'm pulling for her big time, just saying there is little to support an expectation that she is the cure to what ails the team right now.


                    • Wow! Lots of negative conclusions from a relatively small sample. For what it's worth, on the post-game radio show, Jordan said Gianna makes every layup in practice. First opportunity in a game can be intimidating. And actually, there were 2 LMU players very close to her.

                      So, what I saw - LMU came with a plan to make it physical and ugly and they did. Zags did not respond well and our perimeter shooting was off (free throws too). Then Eliza went down and we got a bit rattled. But, as the team has all year, they responded and started fighting back hard. And they found a way to win. Good coaching adjustments at half time in my opinion.

                      And kudos to the crowd for really getting going.


                      • I only saw part of the match, but obviously the short bench was even shorter with Eliza out.

                        Yvonne and Kaylynne kept the ship steady, Brynna and Mckayla had an off nights shooting (by their standards) but still contributed defensively.

                        Calli and Esther played over 27 minutes each (Destiny with 18) and had decent games in support.

                        If we take away the 7-0 run by LMU in the last 1 1/2 minutes and Bryanna and McKayla had one extra 3 pointer we win by 20.....

                        Yes, Esther is still growing into her role, but I saw some decent defense from her on several occasions and she is only going to improve..

                        The Zags will only be stronger in future games with how the bench stepped up today.
                        Last edited by OZZY; 01-26-2023, 11:06 PM.


                        • Jeez ZAB. you sure you don't double as Eeyore (as in Winnie the Pooh) or PigPen (as in Charlie Brown) in your spare time? Your game analysis was dark even by your standards.

                          So, Gianna misses her first lay-up attempt and you relegate her to practice squad, tough crowd. What about all the lay-ups that Yvonne, Eliza, Kaylynne, McKayla and Brynna have missed this year, are you going to hold them to same standard?

                          Yes, yesterday was a very ugly, and inconsistent game. Just when Gonzaga looked like they were going to stretch out a lead LMU would hit a 3. The Lions shot 43% (3-7) in the 2nd quarter and 60% (3-5) in the 3rd quarter from long range. Hard to pull away when the opposition is hitting 3's at this rate.

                          Despite the looks of the game, we held LMU to fewer points than our average opponent despite LMU shooting way over their season average from long range. If Gonzaga had not quit playing defense at the end of the game when they allowed LMU to score 11 points in the last 2:43, LMU would not even hit 50 points despite their high level of 3-point shooting. While the Zags did not hit their scoring average score this can be entirely attributed to our much lower 3-point and free throw shooting percentages. If we hit our average 3-point shooting average and free throw shooting average, we score 11+ more points for a total of 77 points.

                          The first 4:30 of the 4th quarter (11 points) was some of the best offense I have seen from the Zags this year and the first 6:30 of the 4th quarter was probably the best Lady Zag defense I have seen all year (gave up only 2 points).

                          ZAB, you spend a lot of time complaining about all the offensive failings of our reserve players. You do realize that yesterday's offensive issues were almost entirely associated with Brynna Maxwell (3-9, 1-5) and McKayla Williams (2-10, 1-5) who are starters while the players you complain about went 3-4 (Stokes) plus 6 rebounds and 2 assists, 2-3 (Little) plus 4 rebounds and 3-6 (Burton) plus 2 rebounds.

                          Finally, I have great hopes for Bree as well, but nothing I have seen on the court or in her stats indicates that she would be or could be the answer for the Lady Zags this year. GonzGAW said it best in his post:

                          there is an adjustment from high school to college, but the numbers are the numbers, and last year she had the worst shooting percentage and worst 3 point shooting percentage on the team, plus the highest turnover rate. in a word her freshman year was bad.
                          Bree only shot 28% overall and only 27.3% from long range last year to go along with her turnovers, hardly the numbers of somebody that is going significantly improve the current crop of Lady Zags. Her free throw shooting is the only area where she would be a significantly improvement to some of our current players.

                          Why you think Bree could be the answer to our shortage of point guards is beyond me. Last year, Bree was lucky to get the ball up the court without turning it over let alone be able to run the offense. I am sure with more court time, Bree will round into that 5-star player we recruited, but it is not likely this year.

                          Pepperdine beat LMU by 20 points last week. Lady Zags are not going to have the luxury of playing half a game on Saturday.

                          Last edited by ZagDad84; 01-27-2023, 07:02 PM.


                          • Different feel to the game last night… the start wasn’t this years norm. But the finish was.

                            Love the fight in this team… and how the bench has stepped up.


                            Go Zags!!


                            • Zags victorious 67-49

                              Brynna had our only 3 pointer in the first half, Zags trailed 24-28 at halftime against Pepperdine. The Zags offense awoke in the 3rd quarter for 26 points. Brynna and Kaylynne started to light up the 3 pointers. We had one 3 pointer in 1st half. Had nine made 3 pointers with roughly 5 minutes left in game. Zags made about 5-6 more attempts from long range but just could not make ten. Then Brynna made what the fans in the Kennel thought was a 3 pointer and the crowd went crazy, but then 2 points went up on the scoreboard because she got the ball just before the line and I think actually attempted to scoot back a little, and with her fast release it was a blur. Hey but thanks for trying Brynna and she made 6 of her first 7 attempts. Brynna finished with 26 points, 6 rebounds, at least 2 steals, 6-9 three pointers. Kaylynne dished out 9 assists in addition to 16 points and three 3 pointers., Yvonne finished with 13 points and 8 rebounds, Calli played 30 minutes and had 9 rebounds, got to the free throw line 8 times.

                              Let me say this was the most physical game I saw this year, it was brutal. Yvonne was taking a lot of punishment and was complaining to her bigs coach Craig Fortier. Esther and Yvonne both fouled out of the game in the 4th quarter, but by that time we had the game in hand.

                              We only suited up 9 players and that included Giana. When 2 fouled out we were essentially down to 6 players. Destiny was gassed and wanted to come out but their was no replacements and CLF purposely kept her back to her when the Zags were shooting free throws. Destiny was standing around half court just gulping for air like she could not catch her breath. Eliza was not in the Kennel tonight very bad sign, for next weeks availability.

                              Esther started the game. Both Esther, Calli, Destiny gave a 110%. Calli kept pulling her shirt up trying for air conditioning, she and Destiny both were totally gassed. Esther has an unbelievable motor and endurance she never gets tired, she is our energizer bunny.

                              Ok briefly our injured players. Kayleigh is still in a boot but she was looking good today no limping and when other players were doing stretches she was actually taking a few shots with Bree. The athletic trainer always seems to take Bree aside for some reason, and Kayleigh had to stop shooting somewhat because she cannot chase after the rebounds with a boot on. This happens every home game the athletic trainer does not want Bree shooting the ball, guess CLF is taking some heat for not letting her play, and athletic trainer does not want the fans see her lighting up the hoop.

                              I loved all our ladies heart today. Having said that we were playing against one of the last place teams in the WCC and were behind by like 10 points in the 1st quarter and behind the entire 1st half. Note Maud never shoots baskets or takes part in any basketball activity don't think we will see her back this year. If Eliza can't play next week its big trouble if we don't bring back Bree.

                              Kaylynne had a little foul trouble early that was scary also. Would like to give applause to Payton she was the only one kidding today in warmups keeping it light, her personality is just a joy to watch. All the Zag players enjoy interacting with her because she is such a motivator off the court. Payton we need your motivation now more than ever thanks for being you and a joy to be around. Your smile is infectious, you go girl.

                              Tough week on the road for the Zags next week. We need either Eliza or Bree back or its going to be a very long week. Good news Pacific upset BYU today.

                              Portland beat LMU 58-39 tonight.
                              Last edited by ZAGS ATTACK BASKET; Today, 12:36 PM.


                              • So impressed with the resilience of this team. I can’t think of another team that has had to play as short handed for as long as they have, and they meet the challenge every time. Especially impressed with the growth we’ve seen in Esther and Calli. Hope our injured players are able to make a return soon. Go Zags!