Breaking News:

Keep up with So Much Sports on Twitter @SoMuchSports

Gonzaga’s defense key to Final Four run

While Nigel Williams-Goss was named the WCC Player of the Year for his incredible offense, but his defense on the perimeter has helped take away opponent’s 3-point shooting.

Gonzaga will eventually make a trip to the Final Four. The program is just too good and makes runs in the NCAA tournament way too often to not get there quite soon. But the question every single year seems to be: is this the year they make that run?

The same question is applicable this year. The Bulldogs deserve a No. 1 seed with a 32-1 overall record, a 17-1 conference, and another West Coast Conference championship. The Bulldogs have beaten Florida, Iowa State, Arizona and Saint Mary’s three times – all of which are currently ranked, and all but Florida were ranked at the times of the games. Their only loss was on the road at BYU, a tough WCC competitor that has 22 wins this year and is always a contender to make the NCAA Tournament as an at-large.

This has been Gonzaga’s most successful season against Top 25 teams. This year they are 5-0. Last year they were 3-3. From the 2010-11 season to the 2014-15 season the Bulldogs were only 5-12. This team is proven against elite competition this year, where in years past they were middle of the road against those top teams and just had a pretty looking record by destroying their competition in a fairly weak conference.

Also, the Bulldogs defense this season makes them a much bigger threat in this year’s NCAA Tournament than in year’s past.

Offense has never been an issue for Gonzaga. This year they ranked 13th in the nation, averaging 84.6 points per game. Nigel Williams-Goss will receive All-American considerations after averaging 16.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.8 steals while shooting 52.1-percent from the floor.

Since the 2010-11 season when the tournament expanded to 68 teams, top 25 teams averaged 69.6 points against the Bulldogs. This year that number is down to 61.8 points against per game. It’s been the most efficient defense the Bulldogs have had since Mark Few took over in 1999.

The Bulldogs are seventh in the country this year in scoring defense, allowing 61.2 points per game. The most incredible effort of the entire college basketball season was when they held Saint Mary’s, a team averaging 72 points per game this year, to only 18 points at halftime on their way to a 74-56 win in the WCC championship game.

If the Bulldogs are going to live up to the remarkably high seed they are sure to get and make their program’s first Final Four appearance, it’s going to because of this top-notch defense that they have this year.

The following two tabs change content below.

Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

Comments are closed.