Feel free to freak out in this thread. A few things that jump out to me just a few moments after Portland waxed Gonzaga in the Chiles Center:
- Make no mistake, Portland dominated this game from start to finish. The Pilots seemingly led by at least 6 points throughout the game since putting the Bulldogs down 8-2 early. It wasn't a typical WCC loss in which we see a team draining insane shots to get the win, this was a very consistent and workman like win for the Pilots. Take from that what you will in terms of what it means about this Gonzaga team, but, to me, it meas we are in for a very long and stressful WCC season.
- While it was a dominant performance from Portland tonight, the Pilots confidence came from Gonzaga's horrid three-point defense. Gonzaga allowed the Pilots to get momentum early by offering up open looks to Bobby Sharp and Kevin Bailey and they never looked back. In total, Portland hit 57% of their three point attempts and I would guess a majority of those were barely contested. For as good as Gonzaga has been over the past 10 days in terms of defending the three, tonight was a major step back.
- I'm of the belief that Gonzaga should have won this game even if they weren't at 100% health but it was clear that several of their stars were not all there. In particular, Przemek Karnowski looked like he had run a marathon after playing three minutes in this game. He has battled the flu all week. Kevin Pangos seems to still be nursing and injury and Sam Dower continues to move gingerly up and down the court. Not an excuse, but an observation.
- My only hope from this loss is that it forces some changes in the starting lineup and in the rotation. Most notably, I am of the belief that Gerard Coleman deserves to finally enter the starting lineup and David Stockton should move to the bench. In the past, Mark Few has used WCC losses to shake things up a bit and I can't imagine why he wouldn't tonight.
That's it for me. This one just feels weird.