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10 Observations from the Gonzaga-Mississippi Valley State Game

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NCAA Basketball: Mississippi Valley State at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Gonzaga played a nice tuneup game against the Delta Devils of Mississippi Valley State. The Delta Devils acquitted themselves pretty well for being a undefeated team. They even covered the spread (+36), which is almost like a win. Almost.

  1. What a first half from Josh Perkins. He started off the fireworks with a chase down block, which you don’t see too often from him. Then he pushed himself over the 50% 3P% threshold for the season with his 5-6 performance from deep in the first half (5-7 for the game).
  2. The Zags came out a little flat, and the Delta Devils were getting the better of Gonzaga on hustle plays. For the first 12 minutes, the game certainly had the feel of a glorified scrimmage/pick-up game.
  3. Zach Collins had two monster dunks that put some poor MVSU players on imaginary posters. Those two plays seemed to wake the team up and get the crowd going, and it was smooth sailing from there.
  4. Speaking of Collins, I liked seeing him directing traffic on defense. It’s vital that he and Tillie have the confidence and command to communicate defensive instructions to their more veteran teammates on the wings.
  5. Ball security was poor again in the first half. While it wasn’t an issue in the second, it must be a point of emphasis moving forward. It’s not just making the right pass either, but positioning yourself on the floor to avoid trouble.
  6. Silas Melson got 3 dunks simply from running the baseline. Pretty poor backdoor coverage from Mississippi Valley Sate.
  7. During the broadcast, Dan Dickau pointed out an interesting offensive set where Nigel Williams-Goss flashed to the high post and had his choice of feeding either Johnathan Williams or Przemek Karnowski who were double posted on opposite low blocks. It’s a look you don’t often see, but the Zags have the luxury of having NWG situated in the high post with Perkins also on the perimeter as the secondary ballhandler.
  8. Rui Hachimura’s physical gifts result in him flashing something enticing nearly every time he steps on the court. He flashed like 4 times in this game, and his off-balance dunk while switching from his left to right hand was especially spectacular. He made that dunk look way too easy.
  9. ReMVP. Love it. Gotta have more of it. Free Rem.
  10. Was Ryan Edwards sick? Injured? Studying for finals? Pretty strange for him not to get on the court in a blowout.