Thursday, November 27, 2014

Gonzaga is Starting to Climb the Rankings; Don't Sleep On Them

Last night #10 Gonzaga beat Georgia 88-76.  Their win makes them 5-0 this season.

Gonzaga's Kyle Wiltjer goes up to the
basket for an easy two.

Kentucky transfer Kyle Wiltjer went off and scored 32 points to lead the Zags.  He also had 4 rebounds and 2 blocks.  Wiltjer got off to a hot start and had 16 of his 32 points in the first half.  He then continued his same pace in the second half, and led his team to victory.  The Zags forward only shot 1-6 from three point land, but said, "Not a lot of my 3s went down, but Kevin was finding me on those pocket passes on open side ball screens. They were having a tough time guarding us down low so we just tried to keep going at it and that's where we got easy points" (Via ESPN).  Wiltjer's all around game proved to be important tonight, when he scored a career high without shooting the three ball well at all.

Kevin Pangos also had a great game for Gonzaga.  He added 22 points, 6 assists, and 3 steals, and led the team's offense all night.  Pangos is one of the nation's best players because he is so well rounded.  He can score the ball inside or outside, but he also sets up teammates for easy buckets.

Kyle Wiltjer and Kevin Pangos make a deadly combo together.  They can both shoot the ball with range and already seem to have great chemistry.  They are one of the early favorites for best duo in college basketball.

#10 Gonzaga is sure to move up in the rankings this week after #5 UNC lost to Butler.  The Zags may gain a few spot over teams who haven't lost yet, just because of their great play thus far.

Although they look great right now, the question is: Can Gonzaga keep on playing this way?  Yes, they can and they will.  Amazing production from Kevin Pangos, who only has 1 turnover through 5 games, already sets this team up to be successful.  They also have 5 players averaging double digit scoring figures.  Lastly, they are averaging 93.4 PPG, which is the 4th best in the NCAA Division 1, and they are 2nd best averaging 21.4 APG.

Gonzaga's true test will be against #3 Arizona on December 6th.  Although Arizona has come out of the gate slow this season, they seem to be picking up some steam after winning the Maui Invitational.  Gonzaga is bound to give Arizona all they can handle, so don't be shocked if they knock off the nation's third ranked team.

Gonzaga's explosive offense is the real deal.  Right now they look like a top team in the country, but only time will tell.  They may encounter nights where their shots just won't fall.  It will be interesting to see how they respond in that case.  But for now, #10 Gonzaga is moving up the rankings and is on their way to be one of the top teams in the country.

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