The Gonzaga Bulldogs are struggling so considerably this time. Lots of of their challenges have to do with place guard perform.
Sunday night time, the Gonzaga Bulldogs narrowly conquer Kent Condition 73-66 at the McCarthy Athletic Center. With that victory, the 18th-ranked Zags enhanced their history to 6-3 this year.
That opening paragraph ought to scare the tar out of Gonzaga supporters. Let’s break it down.
To start with, the Bulldogs not only narrowly defeat Kent State at property, but they had to occur from guiding to do it. They trailed 66-62 with 3:41 still left in the video game. No offense to the Golden Flash supporters, but Kent Point out doesn’t belong in the identical time zone as Gonzaga.
18th rated? The very last time GU was rated as minimal as number 18 in the polls was on January 1, 2018. That’s almost 5 calendar several years.
Finally, the Zags enhanced to 6-3. To place that stat in point of view, the final time Gonzaga shed 3 of 9 was amongst November 24 – December 21, 2017. They hadn’t dropped that several games to open a year due to the fact 2015.
Things are significantly from sunshine and rainbows in Spokane.
Some why at the rear of the what
Anybody who has viewed them perform this time can effortlessly decide on out their flaws. Far too quite a few turnovers, terrible in changeover, and struggles in opposition to bodily groups all lead to the team’s downfall. But what it arrives down to is their perform at place guard.
Gonzaga Bulldogs supporters have been spoiled in current a long time by some outstanding position guards. Gamers these kinds of as Kevin Pangos, Josh Perkins, Jalen Suggs, and Andrew Nembhard not only ran the offense but managed the pace of the match.
Not up to velocity
This is not necessarily a putdown of latest point guard Nolan Hickman. But the outcomes speak for themselves. Even after observing Suggs up close and playing caddy for Nembhard, Hickman doesn’t have the exact on-court existence as his predecessors.
What wants to be asked is: are his shortcomings thanks to means or self-assurance? On the capacity facet, Hickman has failed to impress with either his shooting or his passing as the beginning stage guard.
One issue that may well aid him is if he attacked the basket off the dribble each now and then. Getting the ball to the rack would hold defenders honest. Rather of what occurs now, when defenses can sit again and wait for him to go the ball to Drew Timme.
His on court docket leadership also needs some operate. The Gonzaga Bulldogs are careless with the ball, which leads to as well several turnovers. Their 14.6 turnovers per activity this period is the most considering the fact that Mark Couple of turned Gonzaga’s head coach in 1999.
Talking of careless, the Bulldogs are awful in changeover and often run the flooring like an out of management educate. Gonzaga lacks a ball handler who can settle the staff down and get them into their halfcourt sets.
Unfortunately, the answer is not incredibly crystal clear. Either Hickman demands to move up his recreation, or Number of requirements to place the ball in someone else’s palms.
The first situation is additional probable than the next. Gonzaga’s other options have a worse aid-to-turnover ratio than Hickman does.
Do you think the Gonzaga Bulldogs have a issue at level guard?