There is much to be discussed about this game so I don't want to wait to hear some thoughts from you all. Gonzaga lost Wake Forest 77-75 in gut-wrenching, at times embarrassing and just all in all miserable fashion. Here are a few things that stood out for me and are things to take from this game.
-- First, the elephant in the room: Elias Harris made a freshman, bonehead play and did not look like the man he has been in the first part of the season. Chas McFarland gave him a mini-shot to the chin and Elias reacted with a forearm shiver. As we all know, the second guy always gets caught. Chas made a similar play against Kelly Olynyk and got called for it. I understand E's frustration but you can't really classify it as anything but dumb.
-- Wake's two freshmen C.J. Harris and Ari Stewart combined for more points than Matt Bouldin and Steven Gray, 36-34. Gray didn't get on the board until 10:50 in the second half and was outplayed by Mangisto Arop. Manny showed hustle and grit while Steven disappeared until the end...and then missed two of three free throws in the clutch.
-- 21-34 from the free throw line at home.
-- Bol Kong was great on offense and brought Gonzaga back to life. Say what you want about defensive issues, Gonzaga is ran out of the gym with Bol. He was 4-5 from the floor (4-4 from three) and finished with 12 points. He also had a beautiful dish to Matt. His Sudanese teammate Mangisto Arop also showed why he needs more minutes. Manny played his ass off and finished with nine points and nine rebounds.
-- The start of the second half lost the game for Gonzaga. The Zags trailed by one at halftime and let the lead get up to eight by the 15 minute mark of the second half. I expected Matt and Steven to come out in half two and set up the game to be played through them but neither did and the Zags faltered early and lost late.
-- Gonzaga was outrebounded by Wake all day long and it just appeared that they wanted it more. This is the second time this week an opponent came into the Kennel and wanted it more than Gonzaga. Against WSU, they were able to pull out the win, tonight they were not so fortunate.
-- Dino Gaudio is an outstanding coach. From their play out of the time out where Ish Smith connected with Al-Farouq-Aminu on the alley-oop to when they fouled Matt Bouldin when they were down three with time running out. Gaudio make the calls in the clutch and showed what it means it be a great in-game coach. I'm not taking any shot at Mark Few but that was an impressive display by Dino.
-- Piggybacking on the coaching, it appears that the word is out on Demetri Goodson and Rob Sacre. Meech is being defended so that he is allowed to shoot and Rob is being doubled and pressured like crazy. Neither has responded well yet as Meech took some horrible three point attempts in this game early and also let his frustration get the best of him late. I'm VERY concerned about these two and whether they have what it takes to adjust and flourish.
I promise to put up a more detailed and hopefully more positive post later. For now, there's some good football on and as far as I know, the sun will come up tomorrow!
What say you?