So it turns out that Gonzaga is very, very good once again. The rest of the country will be so annoyed. The UCLA apologists have been quick to mention that Cody Riley didn’t play, and the Duke apologists are already laying the groundwork to excuse a potential sideways result on Friday by pointing out that Gonzaga has enjoyed the benefit of getting use to the rims and the floor (yes, that’s right, the treacherous hardwood court) at T-Mobile Arena. What a world we live in. Here are some more credible Gonzaga-related bits from the week:
- The ESPN college basketball staff shared their takeaways from the rematch with UCLA, highlighting how the addition of Chet Holmgren transformed Gonzaga’s defense and Andrew Nembhard’s ascendence now that he is the unquestioned operator of the Gonzaga Death Star.
- Jon Rothstein also commented on Holmgren’s ability to not just block shots, but alter them, as the key to Gonzaga’s defensive dominance. Of course, we’ve been saying that since our first look at the Zags this season.
- Brendan Quinn wrote about the show that Gonzaga is putting on during its Vegas residency, highlighted by the most unique talent in the land—Chet Holmgren.
- The debate over who should be taken with the first pick in next summer’s NBA Draft between Chet Holmgren and Paolo Banchero rages on in advance of their showdown on Friday.
- In his latest edition of The Athletic’s college basketball power rankings, Eamonn Brennan tries to understand how it is that Gonzaga might actually have improved this season despite all the talent that departed from last year’s near-perfect squad.
- SI’s Kevin Sweeney writes that there can be no doubt that Gonzaga is college basketball’s best team after the win over UCLA, with no apparent challenger akin to last year’s Baylor squad.
- Gary Parrish comments that Gonzaga made a statement and cemented its standing as a “special” team after completely overwhelming a pair of preseason top five teams.