Tonight the Zags are taking on the Toreros at home. This is not a clash of titans but is an important opportunity for Gonzaga to get its swag back after being thumped by St. Mary's. For the past couple games, the Zags have been terribly inconsistent if not downright lethargic. Based on team stats the Zags should have this game as they have the absolute advantage in rebounding, scoring and shooting percentage not to mention talent. Most likely tonight will not present a problem for the Zags, but sleepy play could give USD the opportunity to make this a game.
As far as USD strategy goes, they have the numbers to spread out fouls on the big men to slow the game down. Unlike years past, USD has more people with size to help them match up against the zags. USD should target Harris as he is not even an average free throw shooter. Having him miss at the line will frustrate him, but unfortunately for USD, it will not slow him down on the boards. We can expect to see the Toreros playing Sacre hard but not looking to foul him as allowing him to get to the line allows him to build confidence and become more a force on the court. If the bigs are hitting and playing solid defense, then it will be a long night for USD. As for guard play there is nothing really to write home about other than the Toreros are led by a freshman guard in scoring. The Zags will have to focus on guarding the three as the Torero offensive strategy will most likely involve pick and rolls and inside out play to make space for the three.
Individually some Zag players are finding a bit of a rhythm. Sacre had a better game against USF by limiting his fouls but is still lacking the energy level he had at the beginning of the season. Pangos is going to be heavily pressured for the rest of the season, and this should provide more experience for the young PG. If he can't handle the pressure expect to see Stockton while Pangos calms down on the bench. It would be nice if Pangos could find his shot from the 3, but one thing at a time. Bell did not have the greatest of games against USF and seem frustrated which may have been in part because fouls and a below average shooting night. He will be looking to limit his fouls and creating a shot. Dower struggled last game- turnovers. We should see a bit more of him this game to help keep Sacre fresh. At the three spot do not be surprised if Edi comes of the bench quickly as this is an opportunity for the coaching staff to help him develop on both sides of the court.
It may be a quieter game tonight, but the Zags will need it to focus before heading off on a three away game trip which includes BYU.
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