Gonzaga handles St Mary's

I was looking at the box score for the WCC Championship. Gonzaga pounded St Mary’s by 18 pts (74-56). There are a couple of things that stood out to me. Gonzaga did most of its damage from 2pt range and at the foul line. Gonzaga was 27-54 for 50% from the field and 4-7 from the arc for 57.1%. St Mary’s was 21-57 for 36.8% from the field and 8-17 for 47.1% from the arc. It isn’t often that a team shoots better from beyond the arc than inside the arc. The other glaring stat was the point total at the free throw line. St. Mary’s is the team that never fouls, right? Gonzaga was 16-20 (80%) at the line while St. Mary’s was 6-7 (85.7%) at the line. Gonzaga was called for 12 fouls and St. Mary’s was called for 18 fouls. Gonzaga had more shooting fouls while St Mary’s had fewer.

I guess most of us still wonder how BYU could meltdown so badly against St. Mary’s. How could our shoot be so horrid? Besides that, we couldn’t get to free throw line against St. Mary’s but Gonzaga could. If you look at the box score, Goss was 10-10 from the line. He drew a lot of contact and made his FTs. He drew more fouls and made more FTs than the rest of the team combined. He made 22 pts, almost half of those at the line. The other thing that jumped out at me was the post defense of Gonzaga. Landale scored 22 pts against BYU (8-12). Against Gonzaga, he was 4-8 for 10 pts. Also, Gonzaga turned St Mary’s over 14 times compared to 7 times vs BYU. Gonzaga got 11 steals against St Mary’s while BYU got only 3 steals. Who said good defense wins games?

I watched the game and it was typical fare for Gonzaga in the wcc tournament. There is a reason they win it all the time. With about a minute to go in the half they had like 3 fouls called on them… then the refs realized it and called 2 or 3 more in the last minute. It’s a joke but not surprising. I can’t tell you how many times I saw Karnowski bang into guys with no consequence, both on offense and defense.

I knew it would happen and that is why I said Gonzaga would blow St. Mary’s out. The refs stayed out of it and St. Mary’s got to within 5 but I’ve seen that happen a million times with the same result. Gonzaga is ALWAYS the beneficiary of officiating when it matters.

GU is the WCC cash cow $$$$$$.

The problem that I see with BYU basketball, is they have no inside force on defense. Our centers and PF are soft. Love Mika offense, but when he goes up against bruts like Gonzaga and St. Mary’s, he is not strong enough.

Hopefully this off-season he can hit the weight room and put on some muscle and hopefully Rose will recruit some beef to protect the interior.

That is why they have Kaufusi, right?

You have only identified one of the problems, but it is one nonetheless.

I am not sure being “part time” helps with Kaufusi…

he needs to decide which sport he wants to play and stick with it…

The are other areas that I see Jim, but I was more concerned watching that game of the so called “big guys”. Not sure if the injured player (Sorry can not remember his name, think Davis???) would have helped BYU. but man the game was pretty much over when the interior could not defend worth crap.

This BYU team is like a script. They handled GU at the kennel, which greatly surprised me but I have to say that it was more of GU playing terrible then BYU playing superior ball. Other than that, BYU is so easy to define…

All you really have to do is shut down Mika and let BYU’s guards shoot them right out of the game. No discipline, no defined offense for when things get dicey out there. Play like typical freshmen.

SMC defends well and runs a precision offense and I think they will go far in the big dance unless they get matched with a well coached athletic team like a UNC. Sweet 16 team.

Gonzaga is a final 4 team.

BYU will probably get matched up with Utah in the NIT in the second round is my guess.

I keep going back and forth on the root of BYU’s problems. I heard Rose comment after the Gonzaga win that he knew Gonzaga hadn’t played from behind this season and they might struggle if the game was close or if they got behind. He was right on that point and he seemed to not mind taking some credit for helping the team have the right attitude for that game. Well, if you are going to own the credit, at least in part, for the Gonzaga win, you also need to own the St Mary’s meltdown. Yet, the only comment I read was when he referenced that this was a young team and they weren’t mentally up to the task. Yes, there are other excuses to be had such as the injuries to Davis and Rose. But, don’t you think that pretty much any coach could have taken this team after a week of coaching after summer workouts last year and played just as well (or poorly) as this team did against St. Mary’s?

You could also argue that the poor performance is on the players for playing hero ball, etc. Frankly, I still put that on coaching. If you let players get away with that in practice, they will do it in games. The problems with BYU’s poor defense is also a big issue. If the team is being lazy on defense in practice, they are not going to be able to adjust well to playing against a tough defense in actual games.

I have heard Rose compliment Nashiff as an outstanding coach who is on the rise. Nashiff was over the defense a few years ago and is now coaching the offense. So what do you do when the head coach thinks his offensive coach is outstanding even though his offense struggles a lot in games. It’s tough to come to a conclusion on where the problems lie without more access to what is happening in practices and film sessions. But, we all know where the buck stops.

I have never seen a team like this year’s where they beat the #1 team I the nation and turn around to play like dog doo doo. It just spells inexperience. When your team captain is Emery and he can go for 30 in a game or strike out, almost like he is bye polar may have something to do with it.

It is a mix of poor coaching and youth so I hope to see a better product next year when they have had those losses to stew on for the summer. As for SMC, they just don’t waste a single possession (I did not see the game but I knew what the outcome would be just on SMC’s merits).

Next year…oh wait, there is that little Utah event in the NIT.

Well, I hope you are right about the inexperience. This team knows it will see St. Mary’s again next year with most of the team coming back. I’d love to see this team be competitive with both Gonzaga and St. Marys and even challenge for a WCC championship. I don’t know if we have the coaching and the system to do that. If Nashiff is such a coaching talent as Rose claims, I hope to see it on the court this Fall.