USA TODAY Sports
After a pair of dominant conference wins, Gonzaga has risen to their highest position ever in the polls
Gonzaga's week in review: 166 points scored, 92 points against. Yep, there are amazing stats like that across the board from this past week and it all points to the fact that Gonzaga is playing some extremely solid basketball as we head towards March. Santa Clara (a solid team mind you) and San Diego did not need to get off the bus this past week as the Zags were on another level. With those wins, and some key losses around them, Gonzaga has slid up to the second spot in the just released Associated Press and Coaches Polls. This marks the highest spot a Gonzaga team has ever risen in the polls.
Even though Gonzaga has to battle the "you play in an awful conference" argument, they are doing exactly what the need to do in said awful conference: taking care of business. They dispatched Santa Clara with little resistance even though the Broncos came into Spokane looking like a team that could pull the upset. The Broncos were ranked 92nd by KenPom. As a comparison point, let's look at Wake Forest which just took down Miami. The Demon Deacons were ranked 118th. While no ranking is 100% accurate at all times, can you imagine how strong the backlash would have been had GU fallen to Santa Clara? I'd guess 100000x worse than the criticism Miami took for falling to a very, very bad Wake Forest team.
With that semi-rant over, it is great to see just how much this team continues to grow. Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell are playing darn near error free basketball. The duo has only committed two turnovers over the past four games...combined. Elias Harris and Kelly Olynyk continue to play at an extremely high level and etch their names in Gonzaga record books. Mike Hart and the Gonzaga bench are all settled into their roles and doing a great job, as well.
The Zags still have what I would call a major test this week when they travel to Provo to take on BYU. The Cougars are struggling this season but are still the third best team in the conference and the Marriott Center is an extremely tough place to play. At the same time, this does not seem like the type of the team that is about to overlook any game so I think we see the Zags continue to play great basketball as the regular season comes to a close.