Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Sunday, October 24, 2021
Saturday, October 23, 2021
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
September 30, 2021
This was the first official practice of the 2021-2022 Gaucho Hoops Men's Basketball season.
Gaucho Hoops ("GH"): Let's start with the new players, do you have any comments on what they bring, because we kinda know what the returnees bring.
Joe Pasternack ("JP"): Yes, we're excited. Ajay Mitchell, is a freshman from Belgium. He is an unbelievable decision-maker. He can score the ball, he's a tough kid and he played at the highest levels in Belgium. We're excited about him this year.
Cole Anderson is the third best shooter in the state of California which says it all. He is a prolific 3 point shooter But he can do more, he can drive the ball and I'm excited about his development.
Ariel Bland is a young man that has tremendous potential. He's athletic. He can drive the ball He's a face up 4, and we're excited about his development. Obviously, we've only had him for 8 weeks.
Calvin Wishart was not with us in games last year He practiced last year and got hurt and had hip surgery So he was out. He didn't practice with us until January. We were really excited about him until that point. He's a really tough guy. He really reminds me of a kid I coached at Arizona: TJ McConnell. Just a tough, hard nosed competitor. He can shoot the ball; he shot 38% from the 3 at Georgia Southern. He's battle tested. He started for a team that won over 20 games at Georgia Southern so we're excited about him.
GH: He's good to go even if he had surgery?
JP: Yeah, this was last year in January, his hip surgery. Nope he's fine. He's full strength ahead, he's practiced every single day. He 's a really, really competitive, tough guard who I think is going to be really good for us.
Zach Harvey is a young man from Cincinnati. Zach played in the AAC conference. He's a physical wing guard that we're really excited have. In some really big games, he hit some tremendous shots and scored against some great competition, and I think Zach's going to get better and better.
GH: He's a sophomore?
JP : Yes.
GH: And redshirts, you don't decided that yet, right?
JP: No we don't decide those until November.
GH: How about some of the returning players? We lost some great players in Jaquori and Devearl. Let's start with Amadou.
JP: Amadou, this is a really big year for him. The stakes are high. We see him having a really great year, playing at the 4 and 5 this year for us. And we see him at the 4 with Robinson at the 5, moving him around a bit.
GH: He's playing the 4, so is he working on his 3 point shot?
GH: For the next level.
JP: Well, for the team. We're not worried about the next level yet. We want to develop him so he can be the best player for his future.
GH: Speaking of, what about Miles?
JP: Miles, he's worked hard. He didn't have a spring, summer and fall last year to develop. We've had him for spring and summer this year. Last hear he didn't have that. He's bigger and working on improving his rebounding. He really wants to rebound better.
GH: He looks bulkier.
JP: Yeah he's a lot stronger.
GH: And of course there's Robinson.
JP: Robinson, he's such an amazing young man. He's getting his graduate degree this year. What he does for this team is immeasurable, the rebounds and assists. He's the culture of our team, every single day in practice. He's the rock of our team, the leader of our team. I'm excited about him having a great senior year.
GH: When you say culture, what do you mean?
JP: What we're about as an organization. Being accountable, doing the right thing on and off the court.
Jakov has done a great job of improving and getting better He had a great practice two days ago and he's getting better every day. Some of those bigs at Gonzaga, after their third, fourth, fifth years, they keep improving and then they take off.
GH: I'm assuming Sanni is going to start?
JP: I don't know. I don't have a starting lineup yet. Today is day 1. Let's see what happens. We have 7 perimeter players, and they're fighting for minutes every single day. We keep stats every single day and let's see how it goes. Ajare last year was our 6th man of the year in our conference. He did a great job and got hurt in the conference tournament. In the NCAA tournament, he was still hurt, and we were in the dance, and he still played so that tells you how tough he is. And that's sort of how basketball goes, but Ajare has worked really, really hard and it's a big year for him.
GH: What about Sekou?
JP: Sekou Toure had a torn shoulder in the spring and had surgery He's still not cleared. We hope to have him cleared later this month, and actually have contact. He has a lot of experience and he's had four years in the system. Usually older guys in our system do better. We're really excited about Sekou.
GH: And JPL?
JP: Josh is as good of an athlete as I've ever coached--at Arizona, Cal or Indiana. I've never seen a faster north/south runner, a more explosive jumper, combined with more lateral quickness than Josh. I think Josh is going to have a huge year for us. He has an unbelievable motor, plays really hard, and can change the game with his energy.
Back to Zach, he has a lot of talent. Today he got some offensive rebounds. He scores in the paint, he's a physical wing, he's proven he can shoot the 3--he shot almost 40% from 3 last year for Cincinnati.
Stick around and you can get a tour of the two practice floors.
GH: Any last comments?
JP: We need to sell the Thunderdome out. Gonzaga sells out their home games--it doesn't matter who they play. We want to have a huge home court advantage. Tickets are selling fast. We need the community and the students to come out and support the team. Paul Orfalea, the Kinkos founder, is sponsoring a contest for students to see who can sell the most season tickets. We're also working with our sponsors in Isla Vista.
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
These are contemporaneous observations I texted to Gaucho fans during their first official preseason practice on September 30, 2021.
Zach Harvey has a knee brace. Looks fine.
Calvin Wishart looks fully recovered from hip injury.
Harvey looks like a bigger Jaquori McLaughlin. He's built like a linebacker--very athletic.
JPL is fast and springy.
Ajay Mitchell is bigger and stronger than Ajare Sanni. Sanni still has that sweep jumper.
Mitchell looks like a Gonzaga-type wing (Jalen Suggs? Doesn't have the jumper yet). He's a point guard? Wow. He's also very attentive on defense. He's a pass-first pg.
Early practice focus is clearly on defense.
David Pickles is bigger and more athletic than his older brother.
The walkons are athletic. Crazy.
Sekou Toure is practicing, although he is sitting out some drills.
JPL is having fun! He's more vocal.
Comparisons to Destin Barnes and Zach Harvey are unwarranted. Harvey is more talented offensively and athletic.
JPL is learning the 2 position as well.
We're missing a lot of free throws on the first break. Better on later breaks.
I love how the staff coaches up the walkons just as hard as the starters. No one gets the superstar treatment.
In 2 on 2 drills, Wishart is on JPL. They're going hard at each other.
Drills are mostly for defense. Makes sense--first practice.
Sanni is not doing full half court defensive drills?
Walkon Henry Hartwell just scored on a Miles Norris/JPL double team. lol
Drill: before 10 seconds on shot clock, no switch on defense. At 10 seconds, switch.
Norris looks bigger. Working on improved rebounding.
JPL with a steal. Wishart on floor with a steal.
Hartwell looks like a tough and skilled walkon.
Ariel Bland is athletic, but freshman-tentative.
Redshirt decisions made in November.
Robinson Idehen is very vocal. Just got a steal.
Mitchell pays attention to coaching instructions. He's very defense-oriented. Wow.
Cole Anderson drives into middle of lane, pulls up for 10 footer. Bucket. Twice.
There is very little drop off from starters and 2nd team of Mitchell, Harvey and Anderson. Athletically, no drop off at all, with the exception of JPL, who's athleticism is off the charts. Coach Pasternack says JPL is the most athletic player he's ever coached, including at Cal and Arizona.
Jay Nagle looks more confident. Cans the baseline 3! Nagle gets two offensive rebounds in a row.
Mitchell goes into the sidelines with a save. You're going to love Mitchell.
If we lose 4 games I'd be surprised. Damn. Can't believe I said that.
Looked at a couple unnamed boosters. We just nodded at each other. We're good. At least we should be as the season progresses. The talent is there.
Washington State, St. Mary's, UCI. Who else? This team is different.
Some of our walkons start on Bob's teams.
We have high major depth.
Jakov Kukic takes baseline and scores on Idehen.
Harvey takes baseline. Finishes.
We have more talent than last year, in my opinion.
Mitchell has game. Needs to finish and shot is not stable yet.
JPL can turn a corner even when covered. He's leans in to create a driving lane.
JPL is abusing defenders and talking smack. Coach sidelines him. lol
Wishart hits top of the key 3.
3 on 3 drills. Some major battles.
Players get along with each other and even team managers. Good chemistry.
Harvey strong arms against double team, including Idehen. And 1.
JPL scores the other way. In 8 seconds.
Sanni gets bloody nose from an inadvertent elbow. Stuffs in bandage. Back at it. lol
Harvey with offensive rebound. Finishes.
JPL finds Robinson. Turns it over.
JPL turnover. Bland steals. Tomahawk dunk. Wow. Bland is third string and he just did that.
Harvey is warming up.
Sanni to Idehen. Finish.
Phoenix fast break drill. Harvey finishes. Harvey will be fine.
Amadou Sow is more vocal on defense.
Harvey assists. Kukic finishes--against 1st team.
JPL is fastest running lines. Norris is 2nd fastest. He's 6'10". lol
Harvey will be in the rotation.
Sow playing some at the 4. Adding perimeter shot. He will play with Idehen and Kukic at the 5 sometimes.
Anderson is not just a 3 point shooter. He has a midrange jumper too.
I enjoy watching this. D'Antonio offense?
Anderson cans 17 footer. lol
Catch and shoot drill.
Toure back in.
Chicago 4 man drill.
Coach Pasternack is not yelling as much on screw ups.
Thumb up Magic.
I've never seen this pace before. Ever.
Sow And 1 over Kukic.
Norris in the right lane take. Just like against Creighton.
Wishart cans corner 3 with feed from Sanni.
Mitchell with steal and left hand layup.
The second team is winning this pseudo scrimmage. lol
Norris with the fade away jumper. Count it.
No full court pressure. Pick up at halfcourt.
Wow. Mitchell dumps to Kukic finish. Against first team.
Sow to Robinson high-low. Mitchell blocks attempted dunk! Foul, but damn.
Hartwell is decent.
Sow pushes. Then receives in paint. Cans midrange jumper in the lane.
Sow turnover. 2nd team is good.
Talking to University of North Texas coach. Says Joe is a good guy and nice to let him watch. He's from the Baylor coaching tree. Says they are good also, and central Texas teams won't play them. He says UCSB looks really good. lol Pace is at a different level he says.
Coach Pimm is there also.
Kukic is playing the 5.
Second unit includes Kukic, Bland and Idehen sometimes. Every player has to defend multiple positions.
Now working full court press. Hmmm...one of the coaches says it's just for show. lol Goal is to trap on inbound baseline.
Our 4 man is at point on the full court trap. Looks like a 1-2-2, even tho there are man defense principles. Norris at the point will be a problem for opponents.