by Patrick Schmitt / Just Play Solutions – Analytics Academy
Mark Few has had a great career at Gonzaga, having won over 600 games as head coach of the Bulldogs since 1999. This year’s team may be the most talented in his tenure, as they’re off to a 6-0 record, with three victories over top-15 teams.
The key for the Zags has been their offensive efficiency. Gonzaga is among the highest-scoring teams in the country, putting up 94.7 points per game. The Bulldog roster features five players averaging over 9 ppg, led by veteran Corey Kispert with 20.8 per contest. Five-star freshman Jalen Suggs is scoring 16.3 points with 5.7 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game.
Few’s squad is putting the ball in the basket at a high rate while also ranking among the fastest in the nation when it comes to pace, making it hard for opponents to keep up for the full 40 minutes. This strategy showed in their most recent victory over #3 Iowa.
Gonzaga held a one-point lead at the 10:16 mark in the 1st half before using a 26-13 run to close out the half and run away with the game, never letting the Hawkeyes back within eight points.
As you can see from the above shot chart from Just Play, Gonzaga has shot the ball from all over the court, currently firing at 55% this year. They’ve regularly been one of the most efficient teams in the nation, utilizing a mix of transfers, veterans, and newcomers. The roster transformation has been particularly impressive this year under Coach Few after losing both Killian Tillie and Filip Petrusev to their respective professional leagues this past offseason.
This year’s Zags are the favorite to win yet another West Coast Conference Championship and are also now the top contender to be cutting down the nets come March Madness. If they can continue their offensive efficiency like shown above, it will be hard for anyone to stop the high-scoring Bulldogs this season.
For shot charts on Corey Kispert and Jalen Suggs, click below:
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