Wipe that absurdly annoying grin off your face yet? No? Yeah, me either.
Gonzaga just completed one of their more dominating nonconference performances in recent memory and you get the sense that this team has a whole lot more to offer - which is downright frightening, particularly for the WCC. There were a number of things that stood out - let's take look at our postgame three points.
1. Gonzaga got its point guard back.
Kevin Pangos was simply remarkable tonight. He was actively hunting his shot and, when I say hunting, I mean that it seemed like the ball was burning a hole in his hands whenever he got it and had to shoot it as soon as possible. He finished with 17 points on 6-11 shooting from the floor. Oh yeah, he also distributed decently as he had seven assists against zero turnovers. The announcing tandem noted it many times tonight but it is clear in watching him move tonight just how banged up he was last year.
2. Pangos stole the show but the defense was stifling.
The intensity was there against Sacramento State but everyone had the same rhetoric: "let's just see what happens when they play someone good". Well, you can check that box. Gonzaga once again jumped passing lanes, hit the glass with fervor, and looked like the better defensive team against an SMU club that is known for its defense. Most notably, Gary Bell and Byron Wesley absolutely flew around. Pangos was carrying those two on the offensive end but it was Wesley often times hitting the glass and tying up loose balls. Moreover, Mark Few flipping in and out of zone defense was really disturbing to the Mustangs and kept them from making extended runs.
3. Angel Nunez provided huge minutes in the first half.
When Karnowski and Sabonis went out in the first half with two fouls each, I must admit that I thought SMU would mount a comeback and could steal a win in Spokane. We all know Angel Nunez is remarkably athletic but his consistency has been an issue. Tonight, it was mostly good Angel. He was 2-2 from the floor and had a huge swat on an otherwise open three point attempt for SMU. I thought his minutes early were particularly important in keeping SMU at bay.
What stood out to you in this fantastic Bulldogs win?