Perimeter Defense was off and on last night, but it really didn’t matter. It was a Zag world and we were all fortunate to be witnesses to it last night. For levity’s sake, I charted the nine Pangos death balls to see what happened, and for comedy’s sake: Pangos Death Balls is the name of my Ronny James Dio tribute band.
Death Ball 1: Lapse by Reggie. Left Pangos at the top of the key to attempt double teaming/stripping Sacre but the pass was skipped to Pangos who let it fly
Death Ball 2: Another lapse by Reggie. He let Pangos float to about 9 o’clock and got caught between Pangos and Carter. Rather than make a decision to take one of them, he jumped straight in the air to attempt intercepting a pass he had no shot at, and Pangos had 6 points
Death Ball 3: Reggie gave him about 3 feet of room and dared him to shoot. This may have been Reggie’s best defense to date.
Death Ball 4: Fluke long rebound, half our team was back in transition.
Death Ball 5: Capers now guarding Pangos. Gonzaga rotated WSU’s defense perfectly to the right corner and the Cougs attempted a trap, forcing Capers to choose between Dower under the basket or Pangos at the top of the key. Deadly Snake in one door and man-eating Tiger in the other. Great offensive set.
Death Ball 6: Another fluke long rebound
Death Ball 7: Carter penetrated forcing Capers (in the corner guarding Pangos) to sag to the block stopping the ball. Simple kick-out to the corner and we’re three points poorer again.
Death Ball 8: Out of Bounds Play specifically run for Pangos, who ran through three screens and nailed another one at the top of the key, leaving Lacy about 2 screens short.
Death Ball 9: Indefensible defense by Faisal, sagging all the way to the elbow, leaving Pangos nothing but real estate.
So he torched it when we let him and torched it when we didn’t let him. The kid didn’t take a bad shot the whole night. Probably could’ve had 3 or 4 more threes, but couldn’t knock down EVERY wide open shot…
While there were several lapses from Reggie, he did a lot of what he was supposed to do on the other side of the ball: Penetrate and find a teammate with an easy look. If those easy looks had been converted, Reggie would’ve had around 12 assists last night. But alas, WSU misses more bunnies than your Oregon Trail hunter who eventually died of cholera. The shots were there; the points were not, if you catch my drift.
That’s not to say the offense went without its problems. Faze2012 has pretty much all the same features last year’s model had: pushing an early offense that isn’t there, committing to a dribble when there is an assist to be had, and letting the other team know that as soon as Faze’s head goes down, he’s shooting the ball whether you put five guys on him or not. Coach Bone’s commitment to Aden in the first half was certainly puzzling (Aden played the first THIRTEEN minutes and was the last starter to hit the bench), and it will be interesting to watch whether or not his leash becomes shorter as the preseason progresses.
Other quick hits from my notes:
- Motum and Simon’s repoire is noticeable. I’ve been tentative about Simon getting minutes this year, but they executed a few high-low looks that the defense had trouble with. Hopefully that continues.
- Faisel Aden with 23+ seconds on the shot clock: 1 for 6. With fewer than 23 seconds: 4 for 6.
- Shelton played limited minutes because he didn’t move without the ball. He spent the majority of his possessions clogging the lane by (ineffectively) posting up. Aron Baynes can do that. Shelton cannot.
- WSU allowed 12 points off 5 field goals on out of bounds plays.
- DiIorio: 5 fouls in 6 minutes. Sounds about right.
- Doris Burke lost me when explaining the value of redshirting in basketball.
- Wazz-who is an incredibly delicious pun and Gonzaga fans should be commended for thinking of it.
Plus/Minus for last night (An explanation for the Roland Rating can be found here)