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10 Observations from Gonzaga’s Senior Night win over BYU

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27-2

BYU v Gonzaga Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images

Now that’s how you do a Senior Night! Congratulations to Josh Perkins, Jack Beach, Jeremy Jones, and Geno Crandall (and probably Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke) on putting the perfect bow on their collegiate careers!

  1. I love the tradition of giving starts to all the seniors on Senior Night. Not only does it reward some guys who have toiled for years, some without much recognition, but it reinforces the values and culture you want in your program. It was fitting too that Few kept Rui in the lineup, since this was almost certainly his final game in the Kennel (his final substitution was definitely a goodbye).
  2. The Zags struggled to find their defensive rhythm for most of the first half. That’s probably attributed to the altered starting lineups and substitution patterns, but once the regular lineup got on the floor they struggled to dictate terms against BYU’s offense.
  3. You don’t see Kispert make too many mental errors on the defensive end of the floor. When he gets beaten or gives up a score, it’s usually a physical issue, so it was surprising to see him misread a rotation and fail to pick up Gavin Baxter in the paint when Petrusev slid over to close a double team with Clarke.
  4. Whatever Norvell is doing with his pre-game routine, it’s working. He’s put together back-to-back dominant first halves this week and shooting really well during the first half for most of February. He was single-handedly responsible for catalyzing Gonzaga’s blowouts in each game with his microwave offense.
  5. Nothing came easy in the first half for Clarke and Rui, and a lot of that credit should go to BYU’s front court which had a much more disciplined and stout approach after getting torched by that duo in Provo earlier this season.
  6. Rui exhibited really solid defensive awareness for much of the night. His defense has lagged significantly behind his offense this season, but he’s shown that his game is always evolving so if he can keep building on that aspect of his game and string more of these performances together, that would be a great benefit to Gonzaga over the next month and aid his lottery aspirations in the NBA Draft.
  7. Watching Jeremy Jones go to work when there’s a loose ball nearby is a delight. His effort level paired with his anticipatory skills significantly tilts the so-called 50-50 balls in his favor.
  8. Nick Emery...I’m still laughing. Norvell dropped him with a simple jab step in the first half, and then Emery really outdid himself in the second when Geno sent him stumbling 15 feet into the baseline after crossing him up at the free throw line. Tough look.
  9. Angry Dave Rose. This game really had it all. What a treat.
  10. That was the senior night performance that Josh Perkins deserved. Masterful. Now it’s time to make this happen: