Plain and simple, Archie Miller out-coached Mark Few last night.
You might think it was an issue caused by the lack of our front court depth, and although that certainly hurt us on the defensive boards, some of our best defense played last night was when we played 5 guards towards the end of the game. They were able to pick up on all of the ball screens and motions that Dayton was setting and get some huge stops that lets us climb back into the game.
Our problem? Mark Few simply didn't rotate enough players into a game where the refs were calling the most ridiculous fouls, both ways. Gonzaga only accumulated three more fouls than Dayton, and many of these were called in the last few minutes when trying to stop the clock. Archie Miller made the right decision by bringing six players off the bench. Playing 11 players to Gonzaga's 8 allowed his team to spread out the fouls the refs were undoubtedly going to call on both teams, and prevent his starters from fouling out down the stretch. Gonzaga, on the other hand, had to play down the stretch without three starters in Dower, Karnowksi, and Pangos.
I'm not sure why Few didn't substitute Luke Meikle in to at least absorb some of our foul trouble. He is 6'8, and although inexperienced and not ready to play in a close game against a quality team such as Dayton, he should have been used. We already burned his option to redshirt and we don't have any bigs in our recruiting class next year. At least give the guy some minutes for his 5 extra fouls to give, and who knows, maybe he would surprise us. Also, giving him some early season experience could help us later this season if we run into a similar situation, which we will if we only play two bigs. I'm sure Dayton didn't put much prep into scouting him either.
I'm am now very excited and somewhat anxious to get Angel Nunez back once he is finished with sitting out ten games due to transfer from Louisville. At 6'8 and highly recruited out of high school, he will definitely become our X factor in games like last night.
I always believe good teams need to lose to get better, so hopefully this will help Gonzaga mature early on. I am pretty bummed that we now won't have a chance to play top 25 opponents Baylor or Syracuse in the Maui Invitational as we won't see many ranked opponents this year. Hopefully, losing in the first round of this tournament will motivate the Zags to go further come March.
Lets get over the loss, try to enjoy the rest of the tourny, and GO ZAGS!
November 19, 2013
November 17, 2013
It is official! The Gonzaga basketball is in full swing as the Bulldogs welcome the Oakland Golden Griz to the McCarthey Athletic Center today at 5pm PST. This will be the third of a four game homestand for the Bulldogs to open their 2013-14 season. The first two games gave us some valuable insight into how the Zags will go about their business in an effort to build upon last seasons success as well as replace the scoring, rebounding and over all hustle lost with the departure of Olynyk, Harris and Hart. Granted, it is a small sample size but it appears that GU will need to and has turned to their backcourt players to carry the scoring load as well as dictate the tempo of the game. As we saw in the most previous game vs Colorado ST, if you are going to pinch down or duck under screens to pack the middle, the experienced guards will make you pay by taking and hitting open jumpers from beyond the arc. In addition, when the Zags come down with the rebound you better get back on defense as these same guards are looking to push the ball in transition and to get out in the open court to create scoring opportunities. Gonzaga has done well in sharing the ball, spreading the floor and taking advantage of scoring opportunities thus far. Look for this to continue against a game, but overmatched opponent in the Golden Grizzlies.
November 9, 2013
1. Dower has Decided to Rebound
Coming into the season one of the major question marks of the 14 ranked Bulldogs is how were they going to replace the 18.6 rpg that they lost in Elias Harris, Kelly Olynyk, and Mike Hart (the top three rebounders in 2012-2013). Dower came into this game with a career high of only 10 and was averaging only 2.7rpg. Tonight he attacked the rim hard and seemed focused on securing the ball.
Let's be very clear about this, no major opinions should be taken from this game. No one will be freaking out about the sky falling because Starks went off for over 30, and no one will be arguing that GU needs to be ranked higher because it beat Bryant University. With that disclaimer out there, let's have some fun and dig into this game to see what we did learn about the 2013-2014 Zag team.
November 8, 2013
Recently, I had a chance to listen to an interview with Mark Few regarding the upcoming season. The questions was put to him: "Who steps up this year, who will be the leader for this team? " To this, the coach replied that while the leadership of Kelly,Harris and Hart will all be missed, he feels the team still has leaders and will do so by committee. In keeping with this assertion as well as staying in line with, what I see to be the very accurate insight of the Head coach, I give you my version of a this years season preview.
Normally, I would post a write up telling you a bit about the next GU opponent. In this case, it is the first opponent of the season, the Bryant Bulldogs. Admittedly, I know next to nothing about them but did find a full write up on them via their Official website. The article is very well written and extremely informative and much more detailed than what you would get from this Gonzaga Bulldog fan! :)
The article provides a quick overview of their success last year, as well as a breakdown of both their backcourt and frontcourt players. If you want a great overview of what to expect, give this article a look, it's an excellent read!
Bulldogs Reloaded and Ready for 2013-14
Posted by Matt at 9:16 AM
November 1, 2013
With the losses of two NBA caliber players and energy guy Mike Hart, it is only natural that Gonzaga finds players to fill the void left on the court. While most of the gap will be filled by Dower and Karnowski, along with the increased focus on GU's excellent back court play, there will be a significant amount of minutes and impact that will need to come from new players if the Zags are going to continue to dominate the WCC.
While Gonzaga doesn't have a high impact freshman like Wiggins, it does have some new faces who will make significant contributions to the team this year.