We are just two games into the season and the play of the year has already happened. Josh Perkins tosses a beautiful pass to Domantas Sabonis, who destroys four SMU defenders in the process. This team is going to win the national title.
Granted, the Bulldogs are just 2-0. But those two wins have a team that looks like it can't be stopped. It was one thing against a clearly overmatched Sacramento State. it is another thing against a team like SMU that isn't supposed to look so overmatched.
The demolition of the Mustangs might be the perfect indicator of Gonzaga this year. The team has often flirted with these sorts of expectations. It is those games that are played at such a high caliber that the first thing you find yourself saying is, "If they play like that every game they can beat anyone."
Of course, the crux of the issue is the Bulldogs, most likely, won't play like that every game. But when you see the offense executing on such a high level -- it is hard not to get a bit too excited. Especially when you see pick and rolls between Sabonis and Perkins as if the two have been playing together for years.
In case you missed the game, here is the thunderous dunk in action.
It was the perfect pick and roll. Sabonis came out, found the lane and Perkins found him. This all came when Gonzaga was up nearly 20 points, and might be the key indicator of what is different between this team and previous Gonzaga teams. The Bulldogs are good, year in and year out, but always seem to lack that killer instinct. They seem to lack that instinct that says to hell with sportsmanship, let's just destroy 'em by 50.
Some people say that holding a 20 point lead is harder than holding a five point lead and I don't doubt that. This Gonzaga squad, albeit with a small sample size, is putting the boot down on the throat and just crushing the windpipe. The old guard is holding its own and the new guard is injecting the lifeblood.
This is the fun part of the season, where we can buy into the hype and let our expectations soar to grandiose heights. Enjoy this part of the ride. The Bulldogs still have 30-odd games left and there are bound to be some pitfalls. I wouldn't bet on there being too many of them, however.