The college basketball landscape is abuzz following Gonzaga's dominating performance last night against the 22nd-ranked Mustangs of SMU. Most of the discussion is "SMU is not what we thought they would be but wow, Gonzaga looks good early in the year". This point is justified as the loss of Markus Kennedy was really damaging to Larry Brown's club and when you combine that with the earlier loss of Emmanuel Mudiay, this is a considerably different team than it could have been. That said, it is still a very talented squad that Gonzaga controlled for forty minutes. Let's take a look at some of the numbers that jump out...
86.1%... Kevin Pangos' effective field goal percentage. In case you aren't familiar with advanced stats, this is basically a measure that takes field goal % and assigns more weight to three-point shots made because they are worth 50% more than the average bucket. The Gonzaga point guard is off to an absolutely blistering start from the floor as he has made 7 of his 11 shots from beyond the arc so far this year. He's also back to hunting his shot which has been a pleasure to see and with Josh Perkins alongside at point guard, he's becoming the most dangerous shooter in the nation.
9:0... Every game I have a 'personal favorite' stat and this would be that stat. This is Gonzaga's point guard combined assist to turnover ratio. That's right, Kevin Pangos and Josh Perkins dished out 9 assists and combated that with a perfect game for point guards as they did not turn it over one time. Pangos logged 33 minutes and dished out 7 assists which Perkins played 17 minutes and passed out a pair of dimes. On the season, the pair have combined for just one turnover and that was from the young freshman against Sacramento State.
8-20... While it would be fun to just discuss rainbows and butterflies all day, we need to point out some of the flaws, however small they may be. Gonzaga was a woeful 40% from the charity stripe last night - a percentage which was exceeded by both their field goal and three-point percentage. Angel Nunez missed 3, Domantas Sabonis missed a pair...heck, even Kyle Wiltjer and Kevin Pangos missed a free throw which we won't see often this year. The biggest worry in all of this is the free throw percentage of Karnowski, Sabonis, and Nunez. Those three are going to draw a lot of fouls and it is paramount that points are not left on the table.
28.0%... This is Domantas Sabonis' usage percentage. Another advanced statistic but this is simply an estimate of what percentage of possessions a player uses while he is on the floor. That 28.0% is the highest usage percentage of anyone on the Gonzaga roster followed by Kyle Wiltjer at 25.3%. Some of this is a factor of Sabonis only logging 40 minutes so far this season but it is a huge indicator about how much the team is going to lean on the talented freshman while he is in the game. It is also an indicator of how much confidence he has in his game to put up shots at a high rate and, with an eFG% of 59%, he has a solid hit rate thus far.
What did I miss? What stats jump out to you after Gonzaga's second impressive performance?