The Big "3": They started the game, but it was a pretty inauspicious start. Eastern Oregon got out to a 10 - 1 lead thanks to a couple of uncontested 3's. The experiment lasted 3:15 until Dranginis came in for Sabonis and was officially canceled when Sabonis went down hard. Too early to give up on it completely, but If Eastern Oregon can jump out to a big lead, I'm afraid what a much better Pitt team may do.
Shooting the 3: Remember last year where there were games GU shot better from the arc than they did from the line? Doesn't look like a problem this year and not because free throw shooting has dramatically improved. Melson, Alberts and Dranginis, three guys counted upon to take up the slack from the Pangos and Bell departures, were 0 - 15. As a whole, the team was 5 - 31 (16%) with Wiltjer accounting for 3 of those 5. If something doesn't change fast, the best front line in the country is going to be facing a lot of 2 - 3 zones with guards cheating down.
The Defense: Very sloppy considering the competition. Lots of open 3's for Eastern Oregon and they shot a pretty good percentage until garbage time time, basically the last 10 minutes of the second half. On the bright side, Gonzaga did have 11 steals and the athleticism of EMac and Perkins was on display with their strips and jumping in the passing lanes.
The Offense: Yeah it's early, but a lot of one on one play along with early shots in the possession. Wiltjer dominated the first half, Sabonis got hurt before taking a shot, and feeding Karnowski in the post didn't seem to occur until late in the 2nd half. Maybe losing 3 seniors in the backcourt won't be such a smooth transition.
Wiltjer: Unstoppable with 33 points and 14 rebounds. I didn't think he would lead the country in scoring because of the balanced attack but tonight's game has me rethinking that assumption.
Karno: Slow start and missed some bunnies early in the game. Better 2nd half, but didn't move as well as I'd hoped. Maybe still suffering some residual effects of a week off with Pneumonia.
Perkins: I thought he looked great. 3 - 5 from the field, 5 dimes, 4 rebounds, no turnovers and 10 points. Sharp entry passes, a beautiful drive and dish, he looked sharp, very sharp.
EMac: 12 points, a rim-rocker dunk, very nice pull-up 3 and blazing speed to the hoop, EMac looked very good. He filled in for Perkins at the point and seemed to be directing traffic while he was in the game. Seems to be a sure starter at the 2 and will play big minutes if Few has to shorten the guard rotations.
Dranginis: Tough shooting night, but a typical Kyle game, great hustle, offensive rebounds and tips, 3 assists. Looks like Kyle will be starting at the 3 if Few goes to a more conventional line-up.
Melson: A very tough night for Silas, 0-6 from 3 and he seemed to get down on himself late in the game. He did make a nice coast to coast drive in garbage time, but Silas needs to get his head together quick or may find himself out of the guard rotation.
Alberts: 0-fer from the arc, he still had a couple of nice baskets to go along with 3 rebounds. Potential is there.
Edwards: Solid with 10 point and 5 rebounds, but also had 4 turnovers. Still raw, but GU will be in good shape if one of the bigs goes down and things look bright for the next two years.
Game Summary by YoungZagFan: I really hope that after getting all of the boys adjusted they can work out the 3 Bigs situation. I’m not expecting them to be the best quite yet, as they need some time to warm up, and increase the on court chemistry. But bringing them out and letting them work together now will really benefit later.