It’s the first of December, which means it is time to get the advent calendars out (if that is your tradition) and begin counting down. For the Zags, hopefully they are getting in some recovery time after they appeared to be running on fumes following a 4-game stretch over 8 days. While Duke may have ascended to the top spot in both the polls and everyone’s Power Rankings, and fairly so, they won’t stay there long after dropping their next game at Ohio State on Tuesday night. I guess both teams really drained the gas tank on Friday, huh?
- ESPN’s Myron Medcalf wrote a great peek behind the curtain at the Zags in Vegas and their ascendance after spending the week with them in Sin City.
- The ESPN crew shared their takeaways from Friday night’s clash of the titans.
- Dana O’Neil and Brian Hamilton use their Shot Takers column to debate who is at the top of the college basketball pyramid since Gonzaga’s dominance over the last season plus obviated the need for such conversations.
- In his takeaways from the Duke-Gonzaga tilt, David Cobb of CBS Sports comments that even though Paolo Banchero’s star may have shone brighter, Chet Holmgren’s proved his value and is still deserving of being viewed as the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft.
- In the first edition of their rankings of College Basketball Freshmen, Kyle Boone and David Cobb stick Holmgren at the third spot behind Banchero and Auburn’s Jabari Smith. Another notable includes Andrew Nembhard’s little brother, Ryan, who plays at Creighton and checks in at No. 7.
- Over at Mid-Major Madness, Isabel Gonzalez writes about the lessons that Gonzaga can take from the loss to Duke.
- Seth Davis examines how the rankings fall out in the top coaching jobs in men’s college basketball according to a survey taken among 60 individuals comprised of head coaches, assistant coaches, agents, and search firm executives. Gonzaga comes in tied for 7th with Indiana. The teams ahead of them include the usual suspects—Kentucky (1), North Carolina (2), Duke (3), Kansas (4), UCLA (5), and Villanova (6). It’s an interesting exercise in how Gonzaga’s program statute is viewed by others in the industry, and is probably a fair place for it to land.
- Not necessarily recommended reading, but Brendan Quinn recapped the game on Friday night and writes that Duke showed Gonzaga who’s still boss. Let’s just beat them on the last Monday night in April and take a more meaningful title.