Week In Review
It was a mixed bag this past week for Gonzaga as they played 15-20 minutes of very solid basketball but that was sandwiches in between periods of inconsistency. With that said, the Zags did go 2-0 on the week including a win over a solid West Virginia ball club in their home gym. Mark Few's club faced a double-digit deficit in the second half in Morgantown but in the last 15 minutes of the game, it was the Gary Bell and Kevin Pangos show. Pangos himself hit three consecutive three-pointers beginning at the four-minute mark and coming to an end at the two-minute mark. In that time, he was on the only person to score on either side and his run led to the Zags taking an eight-point lead which the Mountaineers couldn't surpass.
On Saturday, the Zags conducted their annual Battle In Seattle against the worst opponent in the history of the event. South Alabama came to town and actually challenged the Zags who seemed to realize how poor of an opponent it was an subsequently play down to it. The Bulldogs got by with a 9 point win, but scored a season low 68 points on the night. They shot 41% from the floor and 14% from deep, both of which are also season lows.
There is still a lot of season left to go but if you had to stack rank the most important remaining games, this coming Saturday's contest against Kansas State would likely be in the top three. The Bulldogs visit the Wildcats (7-3) at 12:30 PM pacific in the Wichita Wildcat Classic. This marks the end, except for a February date with Memphis, of the nonconference slate for the Zags. Conference play starts on the 28th of December when GU welcomes Santa Clara to the McCarthey Athletic Center.
Kansas State is actually in a remarkably similar spot as West Virginia was in when Gonzaga visited them. Both are big names in the Big 12 conference that have had lackluster starts and are searching for a marquee win. The Wildcats season got off to a remarkably tough start when they lost their opener to Northern Colorado and then lost two consecutive games in their preseason tournament to Charlotte and Georgetown. K-State is among the worst offensive teams in the country. Their scoring output per game and field goal percentage are in the 300s. If this is a game that is played in the 70s, it would be hard to fathom a Gonzaga loss.
Future Opponents In The Rankings
Memphis remains the only ranked team on Gonzaga's schedule. They currently check in at No. 15. It is very possible that when you look at the Zags' resume come March, that could be their only 'quality' opponent played in the eyes of national media. While we know that BYU and Saint Mary's will present issues for Gonzaga, that game against Memphis is the difference between at-large possibilities and having the win the conference. For their efforts, Saint Mary's is currently receiving 11 votes in the AP Poll.