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10 Observations from the San Diego game

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29-0!

NCAA Basketball: Gonzaga at San Diego Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Most of us had an abridged broadcast of last night’s game thanks to the signal somehow getting lost between the arena and ROOT’s satellite truck. There’s an analogy for San Diego’s offense in there somewhere.

  1. USD plays a slow tempo style of game that emphasizes ball movement to create good looks, except in practice its offense fails to generate any good opportunities and on the rare occasions when it does, there’s the problem of capitalizing.
  2. Gonzaga stumbled out of the gates but was somehow pitching a shutout through the first 6 minutes as the Toreros missed their first 10 field goal attempts. If the Zags played a little better on offense during that stretch, this game might have ended up 115-38.
  3. In the midst of a poor stretch of shooting, it was good to see Jordan Mathews going to the basket more in an attempt to find a way to contribute and bust himself out of a slump.
  4. Speaking of slumps, it looks like Josh Perkins shot his way out of his own as he hit five bombs on his way to a stellar night. Perkins finished with 15 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, and most importantly 0 turnovers.
  5. Gonzaga’s edge on the glass was absurd with a 51-20 advantage. Johnathan Williams (19 rebounds) out-rebounded the Toreros on his own for the entire time he played, as USD only surpassed his total in the final moments of the game.
  6. USD made it a point of emphasis to take away Przemek Karnowski and Nigel Williams-Goss to a lesser extent. You could see their defense keyed on those two guys simply by watching where their players heads were focused on defense. This left lots of room to operate for Perkins, Williams, Mathews, and pretty much anyone else.
  7. On a post-up early in the game, Zach Collins demonstrated excellent patience by holding the ball high and waiting for USD’s sagging defenders to clear out before initiating his move. Most freshmen would just go right into their move and get the ball swiped, but Collins isn’t most freshmen.
  8. The Zags coughed up 9 turnovers in the first half which is less than ideal considering USD plays a soft defense. The Toreros don’t employ an effective press, played a compressed zone with little ball pressure on the perimeter for extended portions of the game. Most of the Zags turnovers were simply unforced errors, particularly during that 6-7 minute stretch at the start of the night.
  9. Gonzaga finished with more assists than San Diego had rebounds, and almost made more 3s (13) than San Diego made field goals (14). It was that kind of night.
  10. Another outright WCC regular season championship for both of Gonzaga’s basketball teams (congrats Lady Zags!), but there are bigger goals ahead.