Slow Turning

Like the song says, you can learn to live with love or without it

Round 2: Gonzaga vs Syracuse

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Pre-game thoughts:

I have not been this nervous for a game in a long time. I can barely type and I’m super tense.

Before the game starts, I want to say that I am really proud of this team. I wasn’t sure what to expect of this year, other than I wanted them to win. And they have. They haven’t always played to their potential but they’ve been fun to watch and, all things considered, have been as good as any team in this country.

What makes me the most nervous about this game is the experience of Syracuse. Talent wise, I think it’s a pretty good match up, but what will determine this game is how each team responds when the other team makes a run. I think Syracuse can weather the storm, but I’m worried about how Gonzaga will do.

Post-game thoughts:

With some time spent reflecting and reading other comments, I will say that I am probably more disappointed with this year’s loss than I was with last year’s. They opened the game so well, and were competitive for the first 9 minutes or so, that they gave me hope. I knew that the team wouldn’t play a full 40 minutes but what I didn’t expect was a complete meltdown.

Elias Harris was amazing. It sometimes felt like it was Harris vs Syracuse, but he needs to step up his defense. There were too many plays that caught him on his heels. Once he picks up that part of his game, he’s going to be even more tremendous. It could be the reason why he decides to come back next year, even though he’s strong enough offensively to get drafted this year.

Robert Sacre was a big part of the reason why Gonzaga started out strong. He won opening tipoff and was effective at both ends of the court. I think having to sit after his 2nd foul got him out of his rhythm and affected not only him, but the whole team.

Steven Gray was the key to the game for me. I really think he needed to have a lights out performance in order for Gonzaga to advance. He had a decent game, and was probably the most active player in all aspects of the game but without his shots falling, the game was out of reach. However, I am excited for him to take over as the Senior leader next year. I hope he realizes that Gonzaga will go as far as he will take them.

Matt Bouldin ended a bad stretch of games with one of his worst performances. I don’t think he had to be amazing like Gray needed to be, but he had to have a solid night and he didn’t. It didn’t even seem like he was on the floor. The hardest thing about this game was that it was his last in a Gonzaga uniform and it was one of his worst performances. His strength is seeing what’s happening and reacting to it by getting the open teammate or hot hand involved. It’s a disappointing loss, but I want to say this, even if he never sees it: Thank you for choosing Gonzaga. For four years, through ups and downs, you’ve brought a lot to the program and will be remembered for all you did. You earned the honor of being named the WCC’s 2010 Player of the Year.

Will Foster never saw a second of playing time. With the game so far out of hand, I’m not sure why. According my twitter friend, Tim Lewis (he’s kept an awesome blog of Gonzaga in Buffalo so follow him @tlkrem2), it’s because he’s been butting heads with Coach Few. That’s all fine and dandy but Coach, put your seniors in! This was not only Foster’s last game as a Zag but also Chris Pontarolo-Maag’s swan song. It would’ve been nice to see all 3 seniors on the floor during their last game together.

Here are some Gonzaga links

Post-game press conference: http://bit.ly/bpMINW
Here’s a really great blog post by Tim Lewis. http://bit.ly/aRkP0r

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Written by rachel

March 21, 2010 at 3:34 pm

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