With football over, college basketball takes center stage for the next two months as we approach the business end of the season. Here’s what’s on tap this week in Gonzaga-related content from around the interwebs:
- If you haven’t read it yet, I URGE you to check out the wonderful feature written on the close relationship between Josh Perkins and his father Randy, written by The Athletic’s Dana O’Neill. It’s a fantastic piece on the nature of familial bonds.
- The return of Killian Tillie has caused a significant decrease in Filip Petrusev’s minutes, and forced the freshman forward to adjust to a new and unfamiliar reality where he is not depended upon to be a key cog for his team. But that doesn’t change his importance for Gonzaga’s future, and he’s making sure to capitalize on his time now to be ready.
- KREM2’s Brenna Greene sat down with Drew Timme to discuss his realization that Gonzaga was always the perfect fit for him, and his excitement to join the program.
- Gonzaga represents the best hope for a national champion to come out from the west coast, according to NCAA.com.
- Bracketology: SI has Gonzaga on its top line (West region) for the first time this season in its latest bracket prediction with Michigan as the #2 in its region. SB Nation has the inverse of SI’s arrangement, with Michigan retaining the top spot in the West region while Gonzaga slides down to the #2 spot. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has Gonzaga as the #1 in the West, with the other Michigan school (MSU) in the #2 spot. Funny enough, The Athletic’s Brian Bennett has the inverse of Lunardi, with Michigan State has the #1 in the West, while Gonzaga holds down the #2 spot. Moral of the story, Gonzaga will be a #1 or #2 in the West.
- Over at The Athletic, Kendra Andrews examines which Zag has the best case for the team MVP award.
- ESPN’s Jordan Schultz has Rui Hachimura on his Second Team All-America ballot while Brandon Clarke makes his Third team ballot.
- For ESPN+, John Gasaway ranks the Top 25 college basketball players wherein he lists Brandon Clarke at #8, and Rui Hachimura at #17. Here’s what he had to say about each player:
Clarke: If you predicted before the season that a San Jose State transfer might lead his team to a national title, take one proud step forward. Clarke was excellent when he was with the Spartans, no doubt, but even Mark Few must be delighted with the blithe dominance the 6-foot-8 junior has displayed since arriving in Spokane.
Clarke is getting to the rim like a certain rather celebrated Duke player while serving as the best shot-blocker the Bulldogs have had since Zach Collins -- which wasn’t all that long ago, granted. Let’s call Clarke the Zags’ best starting rim defender since Robert Sacre. The list of players nationally who’ve had a bigger impact than Clarke on both sides of the ball is very, very short.
Hachimura: It’s a mark of the monster Few has built in Spokane, surely, that Hachimura is hitting 61 percent on his 2s and 43 percent on his once-in-a-blue-moon 3s, yet he ranks as merely the Bulldogs’ second-most accurate starter from the field. (Take another bow, Mr. Clarke.) When Killian Tillie returned from the injured list in early January, curious observers wondered how the rotation might work with three top-25-caliber players all 6-foot-8 or taller. The short answer to that question is it works just fine. Hachimura and Clarke have continued to start, Tillie comes off the bench, and, once in a while, the three are on the floor together. Gonzaga has options.