A 28-2 start to this game in favor of Gonzaga really is all I need to say. Tells you that the Lions had no chance from the tip.
What fans saw from Arkansas-Pine Bluff is what you would expect from the worst team defense in the nation (against Division 1 opponents, the Lions rank dead last at 97.1 PPG) going up against one of the top team offenses in in the nation (the Zags are putting up 87.3 PPG which ranks 17th best in the country).
Jun Seok Yeo made his first career start as Dusty Stromer looked to not get as much of a workload after all the effort he’s put in since the Maui Invitational. The star freshman deserved a bit of a breather. As for the South Korean native’s performance, Yeo is still working out the kinks. In all, he had some bright spots (10 points on 4-6 FG, 4 rebounds in 16 minutes). Yeo was attacking the basket with force and is starting to understand the defensive rotation more.
Luka Krajnovic also got some important minutes off the bench in the blowout over Arkansas-Pine Bluff but seemed to have trouble getting a real groove going (7 points on 3-5 FG, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal in 21 minutes).
Both Yeo and Krajnovic had struggles but overall, this was a solid learning experience. To have your pieces deep in your bench get these kind of minutes at this point of the season is massive for the team’s overall growth going forward. It’ll pay off more once it hits March.
Graham Ike was a manimal (17 points on 8-12 FG, 9 rebounds, 2 assists) in the post. What’s new? He made a fantastic point in the postgame presser which is the reason teams should be very worried about the Zags. “The other team’s not getting a break. They might think they’re getting a break, but you’re not with these two.” Those two being Braden Huff (19 points on 8-9 FG and 1-1 3PT, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks) and Ben Gregg (8 points on 3-6 FG and 2-2 3PT, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 1 steal). The national media needs to start paying more attention to the frontcourt presence that the Zags possess.
It’s now time to extend the winning streak against PAC-12 opponents to 17 straight. The Zags don’t have to go to far to take on the Washington Huskies in Seattle on Saturday at 8 PM PT on ESPN2. Some more late night basketball action so get your coffee or tequila ready (whichever works best for you).
Arden Cravalho is a Gonzaga University graduate from the Bay Area... Follow him on Twitter @a_cravalho