In the final tuneup before a very appealing stretch of six games, Gonzaga cruised to a 78-58 victory over Western Michigan. It certainly wasn't a perfect performance from the Zags, but the team did a good job of putting away an inferior opponent when it had the chance.
This game was never really in question, as Gonzaga used its size and athleticism advantage to dominate nearly every facet of the matchup. Marquise Carter dished out a team-high four assists, while the team dished out 18 overall. Gonzaga committed only nine turnovers in the game, and forced the Broncos to turn the ball over 20 times. The Zags hit over 50% of their shots, while Western Michigan converted only 41.7% of its attempts. If you look at pretty much any statistical category, it was a clear advantage for Gonzaga. Here are some of the things I liked, and also didn't like, from the game:
Like: The play of the frontcourt rotation was excellent today. Robert Sacre showed some moves in the post that I didn't think he had and really put together one of the best offensive displays of his career. Although he struggled with foul trouble, Elias Harris was reliable as always and actually shot the ball very well from the perimeter. Perhaps most importantly, Sam Dower showed how important he can be off the bench, scoring 15 points and grabbing six boards.
Dislike: It's really important that Marquise Carter discovers the confidence that made him so vital last season. I never like to see a guard pass up an open look, and Carter was guilty of turning away numerous open looks from the perimeter. Carter is at his best when he is able to keep the defense honest from the perimeter, because it allows him to attack the rim off the dribble. The senior combo guard is capable of being a vital player for this team, and for Gonzaga to reach its full potential, he needs to be a reliable offensive threat while the freshman continue to develop.