It is my belief that we get too bogged down with the "chess pieces" and maybe it would be more interesting to talk about the "chess strategy". When I watch a game, I do not ever worry about Coach Few's substitution patterns. Frankly, I think this is one of his strengths as a coach. One of the consequences of his "liberal" use of the bench is that he gets athletic recruits to come to Gonzaga. Many of our recruits are not ready to see action on a college basketball floor, much less for a top 10-15 program. I grew up 10 miles from DeMatha HS. Morgan Wooten's starting five graduated groomed to step up instantly and contribute to Div I programs. I'm weary of reading in the blogs about how much playing time Grant Gibbs is getting. I want Gonzaga to be in the hunt for a national championship. I contend enthusiastically that Mark Few is searching for the right formula to get Gonzaga to that promised land. What do you guys think that formula should be?
I challenge you fellow bloggers to watch the ESPN video, called "Black Magic". Within the story, John McLendon is highlighted. His lineage was as an assistant at Kansas with Naismith. He pioneered a fast break/pressing style of basketball which caught the basketball world by storm. The reason I mention that is that I believe for Gonzaga to "reach the next level", it needs to hone and polish a unique style, which the top competition finds uncomfortable. I would argue that under the circumstances, Mark Few cannot recruit better than he is now. It's spectacular. I would argue that he cannot schedule better than he is now. It's fantastic.
Not being an insider, but just an observer, I think Mark Few is trying to do just that. Offensively, he tries to play at an extremely fast pace, borderline frantic. Sometimes it deviates into helter/skelter. When we lost to UNC last year, we realized, oops, they play faster than us. Ballgame. One thing that is missing is the defense. Do we have the quickness to press? One thing about pressing, it gets people in the game. Arop, Kong, Gibbs. Athletes. What seems more effective in the half court, zone, man, match up zone, mixing them up? What do you guys think? I think that if a mid-major is going to win an NCAA basketball championship, they are going to have to play the game differently. (there's more than one way to skin a cat.)