Explaining another tournament failure for Gonzaga.
Its naive to think those early non conference games against major schools match the level of physicality, intensity, and strategic planning as any tournament game. The tournament is the peak of basketball life for most of these kids, and they play like it. The sudden encounter with increased speed and strength must be prepared for. And Gonzaga has not been thoroughly prepared for it. They’ve let opponents prepare for them. If the Zags game is high possession with skill emphasis, they need to have strategy to insure that happens. If that style can’t endure street like physicality, it needs tweaking. A few tough mid season non conference games at neutral sites would help. Pressing more often with a higher player rotation is much needed. Sallis, Hickman, Gregg, should have had more minutes. A zone with Chet roaming in the middle would have maximized his wingspan and mobility. Also reduced Chet’s foul trouble issues. I’m old enough to remember the high paced offenses of Laker Showtime, LMU with Westhead, and the 10 man rotation Kentucky used a few years ago. THEY dictated the pace, no matter the circumstances. LMU didn’t have ultimate success, but they lost playing THEIR game. Ultimately, in order for Gonzagas style of play to have success in March, they need to analyze the obstacles like intensity, physicality, and athleticism. Thereafter adjust their schemes to combat it within THEIR overall style of play. In other words, have a prepared all purpose strategy. Much like all weather tires, be prepared for any storm with proper traction. Enough said. Stay healthy, and good luck Chet. It was a pleasure watching you develop and perform. Go Zags!