I noticed a couple of things about tonight’s game against UP that I thought warranted some discussion.
1st - What happened to Sacre tonight? While he made some free throws on fouls in the paint, clearly he wasn't getting the looks he has in past games. This may have been understandable in the 1st half when GU was shooting the 3 well, but during their early second half drought it felt like too many forced shots were being thrown up (especially beyond the arc). Coming into this contest, the discussion was all about how our bigs would be superior to Portland’s (Because our outside shooting certainly isn't), but I didn't see that tonight (Outrebounded 29-24). This leads into my second point.
2nd - Do you think Gonzaga feels more dependent on Gray when he is playing extended minutes? Why not hammer the ball into the paint when the shots aren't falling? (Like GU did in their win over Baylor and in their wins since) Sacre(2 shots), Harris(7), and Dower(2) combined for 11 shots while Gray took 16. Granted, Gray came up with some big plays to shift momentum back to GU when things weren't looking good, but maybe he shoulders too much of the load.
Clearly the Zags have a different look when Gray decides to take over a game; I'm just not sure if he needs to be that player anymore. Whatever the case, tonight’s win feels good, and it was a great way to start off conference play.