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10 Observations from Gonzaga’s win over Pacific

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NCAA Basketball: Pacific at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
  1. The return of the King! What a treat to have Jalen Suggs back in The Kennel, and experience it how it should be. It never sat right with me that he never got to play in front of a Kennel Club crowd at full throat and enjoy those special memories. But it was great that he made the effort to come back, the night before he had a game in Salt Lake City, and partake in that experience. Suggs fully embraced everything it meant to be a Zag (and continues to do so), and he deserved the opportunity to feel the love back.
  2. The Zags are so deep that Rasir Bolton often doesn’t get his due, but he has been incredibly solid all year and the perfect addition to this roster. It was about time that he broke the 20-point barrier for the season, and he made all the right moves with his inside-out game to lead the way for Gonzaga.
  3. The understanding and chemistry between Chet Holmgren and Drew Timme is the best it has been all season. It was certainly a work-in-progress throughout non-conference play, but it’s coming together at the right time.
  4. Unlike their recent performances against USC and BYU, Pacific failed to control the flow of the game. The Tigers couldn’t cope with Gonzaga’s balance, as they simply couldn’t defend straight up while the Zags easily created favorable matchups and open looks throughout the night.
  5. The Zags are so well drilled on attacking the ball in loose ball situations or creating deflections to areas where they can gather the ball. They have so many guys with quick hands and tremendous length that it feels like despite the 50/50 nature of those situations, they swing the
  6. Chet Holmgren’s 3-pt stroke looks so pure right now. I’m sure he wanted to show off for his buddy watching from the stands. If you compare Chet’s shots from the beginning of the season to now you can see a noticeable difference in how clean, confident, and quick his mechanics looks now. He didn’t need, or make, a mechanical overhaul but you can see he has definitely put in the work. That’s an impressive improvement in a really short period of time.
  7. Gonzaga’s defense did a great job of disrupting Pacific’s offensive actions and forcing them into inefficient basketball. The Tigers only mustered seven assists on 20 made field goals for a 35% rate, which is an area where the Zags have been extremely strong this year as they just just outside the Top 10 in the country in limited opponents assist percentage. By contrast, in their games against BYU and USC, Pacific assisted on 70.8% and 48.1% respectively.
  8. Keep in mind that this Pacific squad held a 13-point lead in the second half on the road at USC on Tuesday night and took them to the wire. You couldn’t tell based on how easily the Zags dispatched them. Gonzaga has normalized blowout conference victories, but don’t take for granted how dominant this team is.
  9. Chet’s double block of Alphonso Anderson about five minutes into the second half is the kind of sequence that sticks with guys for years. Anderson is going to be thinking about those three seconds for the rest of his life.
  10. Gonzaga reached the 20+ win mark for the 25th consecutive season with its fifth consecutive conference win by 30+ points. That is ridiculous consistency over the course of a QUARTER OF A CENTURY. What a program.

Bonus: That Hunter Sallis put-back dunk. My god.