An interesting day on the roads. It took about 55 minutes (normal trip 25-30) to get to Gonzaga for media day because traffic was backed up on I-90 from a vehicle spin-out near Barker Road. Later, I was stuck, briefly, in a carefully selected parking spot at NIC and, to cap off the evening, a good Samaritan with 4-wheel drive helped pull my wife's van out of a snowbank midway up an icy hill. That was interesting.
GU coach Mark Few mentioned that he and several neighbors spent part of Saturday helping a neighbor whose barn had collapsed under the weight of the snow.
Enough of the weather. An unedited Zag notebook below. Also, Tennessee's Wayne Chism was hurt in the Vols' win Monday night. GU visits the Vols on Jan. 7th.
Less than three weeks ago, the Gonzaga Bulldogs were 7-0 and ranked No. 4. They had just defeated
But the Bulldogs (8-3) have absorbed three losses in four games and they’ve dropped to No. 16 in the Associated Press poll, No. 17 in the ESPN/USA Today rankings.
The three losses had similar characteristics. Gonzaga was outrebounded in two of the three (by 10 against
And all three games were there for the taking in the closing minutes. Gonzaga rallied to tie
The Bulldogs led
“Rebounding has really been a common problem,” said Gonzaga coach Mark Few, whose team faces
“The best thing about this group is their versatility and there’s some good balance. The worst thing about this group is there’s just not one guy that can step up and make a play that we’ve had in the past, whether it was Adam (Morrison) or Blake (Stepp) or Ronny (Turiaf), so that’s been difficult. We just haven’t had a guy really make that big of a basket at the end of the game.”
Following the loss to
“Defense is something we prided ourselves on for the first part of the year,” Gray said. “We saw that slide a little bit against
Gonzaga needs to follow its formula for success, Few said. “I’ve seen them in practice, I’ve seen what they’re capable of doing and when we play to our strengths we’re pretty good. And when we don’t we’re pretty vulnerable, especially when we’re down a guy or two.”
Few’s wife, Marcy, is pregnant with the couple’s fourth child. She’s actually a couple days past her due date. Few is waiting to see what happens in the hours leading up to the Utah game before determining when or if he’ll be able to go to Salt Lake City.
There is nothing definitive on sophomore center Robert Sacre’s re-injured foot, but his return doesn’t appear to be imminent. Sacre has missed GU’s last four games.
“It’s amazing the dynamics of losing him, but somebody needs to step up. Rob was providing great energy, great rebounding and great defensive presence. We’ve been missing that, we really have.”
Back at work
Gonzaga returned to practice Saturday, but there were only seven players on hand for the first post-Christmas session because a few were stymied by travel issues. Freshman guard Demetri Goodson returned in time to practice Sunday night and reserve center Will Foster’s first practice was Monday morning.
“We need to come back and really get our mojo back,” junior guard Matt Bouldin said. “Coach (Few) is really pushing us hard right now, but we deserve it. It’s good for us.”
Not so good was watching the video of the
“That wasn’t fun,” Bouldin said, “but we needed to go through it.”