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Gonzaga, UConn and Missouri ...

By hagrin - Posted on 05 August 2006

Sorry for the slow updates - I've had some technical issues so I haven't been able to approve any of the stories submitted by my editors. But, I think they should all be sorted out today - yay!

Last night was a decent night of college basketball and a good night for those March Madness freaks looking to scout teams early. First, Gonzaga beat Loyola Marymount by a large margin with their big three scoring over 70 points. However, what's troubling about watching Gonzaga is that they can't seem to play the defense needed to beat any elite teams in the tournament - a reason why they haven't made it past the second round in the last 4 years. Adam Morrison is a one-way player who only plays offense. Too many times last night, I watched him run out at a defensive assignment standing straight up and he got beat off the dribble. They have let some very bad teams score over 70 points against them and too many open looks which will kill you against better teams. Plus, they have no depth on the inside and can definitely be outrebounded by bigger, more physical teams.

All that being said, Gonzaga does have a few things going for them. First, their big three all shoot excellent from the free throw line (Morrison, Bautista and Raivio who is the best free throw shooter in the nation) so if they have a lead late, you're not going to come back on this team. Also, pressing this team is a bad idea due to Morrison's height, ability to dribble and create his own shot. Morrison and Bautista will be down court in press situations so if they break your press, it's almost a guaranteed bucket.

All that being said, I don't see this team going far in the tournament even with one of the best players in the nation.

A quick note on UConn - does anyone else thing that Hilton Armstrong might surpass Josh Boone as a top rated NBA prospect? Boone really hasn't elevated his game the way I htought he would by staying in school, but Armstrong has improved almost every game this year. UConn didn't need him to score last night, but Armstrong is just an animal in the middle of the paint and guards used to driving the lane just can't against the huge and deep UConn front line. I would look for Armstrong to be the better pro for sure.

Missouri, you stole that game last night. It's a great win, but do your fans really have to rush the court? You beat an unranked, young, immature Kansas team - save your court rushing for a real win in a big spot. An overtime robbery against a poor team doesn't really give you the right to rush the court.