For the second straight year Gonzaga has been embarrassed while the whole world was watching. Last year it was against Memphis when College Gameday was in Spokane and this year it is against Duke at Madison Square Garden.
I'm going to try and be brief but we'll see if that works.
A 35 point loss is obviously painful enough, but when you think back on how Gonzaga looked today, it's easy to think that Duke could have beaten us by 60 points. Let's start with the players on the court. Matt Bouldin and Steven Gray were awful. They combined to shoot 4-15 and 0-7 from three. I get that Matt was coming off a concussion but I look at this two ways. 1) He was playing will the effects of his concussion and hurt the team or 2) He was healthy and just played awful. Either way, it was terrible. He missed layups, made bad passes, and refused to assert himself. It looked like one of his classic Memphis games. As for Gray, I really have nothing else to say. He had a two minute stint in the second half where he actually looked good and worked hard. For the rest of the game, he was lazy, sloppy, and just off. These two "leaders" failed to show up.
Robert Sacre was Gonzaga's leading scorer with a whopping nine points. Awesome. Shooting a blistering 2-12, Rob failed to convert some easy chances early in the game and that basically send his afternoon into a tailspin. Elias Harris might have frustrated me just as much as anyone else today. For as calm, cool, and collected as he looks, if Elias doesn't get things going his way early, he is going to hurt this team. He got some questionable fouls called on him early and missed some shots and then proceeded to commit six turnovers. Many of us thought Elias and Rob would have great games today and Mark Few definitely set them up to get going early but they failed to connect.
continue reading after the jump...
Speaking of Mark Few. I thought the rotation was horrible. Mangisto Arop had an excellent first half where he played great defense, hit the glass, and did a lot of nice things and didn't see the court again until five minutes left in the game. Meanwhile, Jon Scheyer was torching Gonzaga. Think we could have used Manny's length against him? Secondly, we all know that Bol Kong is instant offense. We also all know that Kelly Olynyk is not. After a horrible first half, Kelly played a good number of second half minutes and did nothing good. He is playing out of position at the four and I thought it would have been better if we stretched Duke out to the perimeter and let Kong get some clean looks and maybe we could get a run started.
I understand that Mark Few wants to keep Matt and Steven in there because they are "bound to get hot" but I'm starting to think that some things need to get blown up. First off, I would bench Steven Gray. He's done nothing recently to warrant a starting spot. I don't know if the answer is Manny or someone else but for a team that is horrible rebounding the ball, getting Manny in there would really set a tone because he just works hard and is so long and lanky. Secondly, you have to shorten the rotation. There were so many lineup variations out there early on in the game that no one could get in a flow. I get that Kelly works hard and G.J. has great speed but they should play about two-four minutes a game. Bol Kong needs to be first or second off the bench. If you keep starting Gray, Manny needs more time. Then I would probably add Grant and a sprinkling of Will and call the rotation good.
There's some stuff I missed but I just want to open it up to some thoughts. As you can probably tell, this is a rare feeling at Gonzaga. Embarrassment is not something we are used to in Spokane but I feel the best way to deal with it is to shake things up.
Let's hear what you have to say.