How to Beat Gonzaga

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They’ve held on to the #1 spot in men’s basketball the last couple of weeks and have dropped just one game all season. But let’s take a look at how a team could take down the Bulldogs.

Take Care of the Basketball

They don’t necessarily turn you over an absurd amount of times – just 14 per game but in their two closest games (vs Arizona and Oregon) and their one loss vs Michigan – those teams averaged 7 more assists than turnovers. So they were able to work the ball offensively and get to better shots. Although amazingly, both Arizona and Oregon shot below 40% in both of those games.

Flip their aggression

Gonzaga has shot almost twice as many free throws as their opponents. Even in their closer games and they have five single-digit wins so far, they shot about 10 more free throws than their opponents. They’re actually not a great free throw shooting team but they get to the line quite a bit so they can make up for misses with volume but look for this to potentially be a problem come tournament time.

Work for Higher Percentage Shots

Teams have actually made quite a few three-pointers against them and part of that is due to Gonzaga having bigger leads. But the rub here is they give up very few offensive rebounds so if you’re not working for better shots – see the first point – you won’t get to just make up for it with second chances.

So while we’ve seen come tournament time, a team can get hot from the three-point line and beat anyone. The team that can beat Gonzaga will most likely be strong with the basketball, aggressive enough to get to the foul line a decent amount so they don’t rely on second chances that just won’t be there. This is a very good basketball team but as Michigan proved in November, very beatable.