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10 Observations from the LMU game

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25-0!

NCAA Basketball: Gonzaga at Loyola Marymount Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

My ears are still ringing from the shrill noise of that one LMU student. I may never recover.

  1. Gonzaga went inside on every single possession in the first 3 minutes of the game and there wasn’t much LMU could do about it either. Gonzaga’s first 4 possessions ended Karnowski layup, Karnowski layup, Williams layup, Karnowski free throws. The game is pretty easy when you can just throw the ball inside and expect to get points.
  2. LMU was willing to extend its defense well beyond the arc in an effort to pressure and trap Gonzaga’s ball handlers. In theory the strategy makes sense as they were trying to avoid getting bludgeoned in the post, but NWG and Perk aren’t going to wilt against that look. First two possessions against the increased pressure ended with a lob to Zach Collins and Perkins finding a wide open Tillie in the corner for a made 3.
  3. At this point in the season, you think the refs would stop blowing freshman fouls on Zach Collins and Killian Tillie, but they’re not.
  4. The guards did a good job of being aggressive pushing the ball up the floor, and the big men consistently ran in transition and were rewarded for their efforts. There was one sequence however, when Jordan Mathews tried to thread the needle and pushed the ball up the court to a triple-covered Zach Collins. Maybe a little too ambitious on that one, Jordan. I’ll give him credit for being brazen enough to try it though.
  5. LMU has decent size compared to most of the WCC squads, but it doesn’t seem as if they truly maximize some of the length on their squad. Yes, Petr Herman ended up with 5 blocks, but as a team they don’t contest as many shots as they should.
  6. It was evident that LMU’s game plan was to play extremely physical for some odd reason. I say odd because it didn’t help them much, and their approach resulted in a free throw parade for the Zags. More concerning is that Nigel took a couple of unnecessary shots in this game, highlighted by Shamar Johnson’s ridiculous hip check late in the first half. Coming off the ankle sprain and that nasty fall NWG had against Portland a few weeks ago, I’m not thrilled about the wear and tear on his body.
  7. Silas Melson is a joy to watch on the defensive end of the floor. He sees the action really well and always has a good feel for how to position himself on the court and shade over whenever necessary.
  8. It was another extremely balanced offensive attach for the Zags, with 5 players scoring in double figures. However, I would like to see Josh Perkins be aggressive and hunt for his shot a little more. He finished the night with 4 points (all in the first half) on just 1-3 shooting.
  9. One of the most fundamental lessons for a big man is to not bring the ball down to gather for a dunk/lay up, yet this seemed to be contagious tonight for our bigs.
  10. Buay Tuach got a nasty dunk on Zach Collins. It’s gonna happen eventually to guys, and you just tip your cap to him. Collins got out of his stance as he backpedaled on the switch at the top of the key, which put him in bad position to contest that dunk. A few years from now Tuach will get to tell his friends he dunked on Zach Collins when Zach’s playing in the NBA.