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10 Observations From Gonzaga’s Win vs. LMU


Loyola Marymount v Gonzaga Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images

It must be hard being Mark Few. When your top player goes down, the rest of the team can pick up the slack as if it is no big deal. Six-man rotation? No worries. The Zags have this handled.

  1. Prior to the start of the game, it was announced Killian Tillie would be available to play, but it became readily apparent that availability would only kick in during the most desperate time. That never happened. Drew Timme earned the start and immediately played as if he belonged in the starting lineup all year. He scored six of Gonzaga’s first nine points, hitting it in a variety of ways, from a drop step (that he grabbed his miss and scored on) to a nice jumper from a step beyond the free-throw line. Timme has come into his own in the past couple of games and his offensive versatility is a lot of fun to watch.
  2. Ryan Woolridge is just so danged fun to watch in transition. In the second half, he took it coast to coast, sprinting down the court before slamming on the brakes and creating space on a layup. Then, a few minutes later he threaded an absolute needle to Filip Petrusev at full speed for the huge fastbreak dunk.
  3. Speaking of Woolridge, his ability to penetrate so quickly on fastbreaks, combined with his willingness to pass in those situations, makes him one of the more dangerous players in college on the fastbreak. He was able to repeatedly kick it out to his main man Admon Gilder for some open threes during Gonzaga’s big run, and LMU just had no answer.
  4. Anytime a player of Tillie’s caliber is out, there will be a few hiccups. The first half largely provided that. LMU was able to do a decent job of dictating the pace for the first 20 minutes. They forced turnovers and outrebounded Gonzaga, something that few teams can accomplish. They also did this with Eli Scott sitting on the bench because of fouls for the final five minutes of the first half. The Zags never coughed up the lead in that period of time, but the struggles were pretty evident.
  5. The second-half, of course, was a much different story. There was more energy all over the ball from Gonzaga. The Zags were sprinting down the court and diving after loose balls. Timme, in one sequence, poked the ball loose, then dove for the ball, and was able to kick it out to jumpstart the fastbreak. The energy was there in the second half from the entire squad.
  6. During the big run in the second half, the Zags threw in a little bit of full-court pressure to put the game out of reach. Smart move by Coach Few, and kind of surprised they didn’t do it more often, or earlier. LMU doesn’t have a true point guard due to injuries, and they use Eli Scott, who came into college as a forward, as the player bringing the ball up the court sometimes.
  7. LMU must have figured out Joel Ayayi, or something. Ayayi is averaging 11.2 points per game on the season. In two games against LMU, Ayayi has scored a grand total of 10 points. His shot was off from long range and it was an uncharacteristically quiet night from the French guard.
  8. Sometimes, it is easy to forget that Admon Gilder is such a stellar and steady scoring option. The senior guard poured in 17 points off the bench, going 3-of-6 from long range.
  9. If there was one negative about this game, it would have to be the rebounding. LMU is not a good rebounding team, on either the offensive or defensive glass. Coming into the game, Gonzaga was outrebounding opponents by almost 10 per game. LMU owned the edge 31-25, including five offensive rebounding. This is the first time Gonzaga has been outrebounded since the UNC game.
  10. The Zags wore green shoelaces last night in honor of Katie Day, a senior tennis player who was recently diagnosed with a form of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy and we wish her all the best.