While the rest of the country walked away wowed by the Gonzaga Bulldogs, who showed why they deserve their No. 1 ranking, head coach Mark Few didn’t think his players did anything special.
“We got guys who can score,” Few said after three of his players scored 20-plus points against the No. 6 Kansas Jayhawks. “I don’t think anyone was playing out of their minds. They were doing things they do during practice.”
The Zags are 2-0 after cruising through the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off. Not only did they get a 102-90 victory over Kansas, the team woke up the following day at what would’ve been 4 a.m. PT for a walk-through and then won 90-67 against the Auburn Tigers.
Kansas head coach Bill Self said Gonzaga probably had the best guards the Jayhawks would play all season. Auburn’s Bruce Pearl described Few as a “brilliant” offensive coach and said Gonzaga did a great job of making a lot of things look easy.
“They ran what they wanted and they got what they wanted,” Pearl said.
Against Kansas, the Bulldogs had five players reach double digits. Drew Timme led all players with 25 points, which is the opposite of bad for a sophomore playing against the No. 6 team in the nation. However, Few decided his six rebounds were not good enough, so he challenged the 6’10 forward to get a double-double against Auburn. Timme got the job done with 28 points and 10 rebounds.
Going back through Kraziness video right now. Underrated moment I just caught: Timme talking crap to Oumar Ballo after scoring on him.— Brenna Greene (@BrennaGreene_) November 24, 2020
Gotta say, Oumar probably hasn't had too many people talk trash to him in his life. Drew doesn't discriminate lol pic.twitter.com/U3jTTu5qUz
It wasn’t just Timme who had goals to meet on Friday. Few told the team as a whole that the 33 rebounds against Kansas could have also been better. They responded by registering 44 against the Tigers.
“With our preseason practices, intra-squad scrimmages we had, and against KU, we have not looked especially good on rebounding,” Few said. “So without drilling it or working on it, we challenged the guys and they stepped up. They really did a nice job walking off as a team.”
The Bulldogs shot 58.7% from the field in the first two games, but even before they stepped on the court, it was a well-known fact that they had a lot of weapons in the offense. Senior forward Corey Kispert officially joined the 1,000-point club on Thursday. The Preseason All-American scored 23 against Kansas and 25 against Auburn.
The Zags’ high-profile freshman guard Jalen Suggs also didn’t disappoint, contributing with 24 points in the season opener and 12 points the following day.
Gonzaga has a talented group of players who like to play fast and have plenty of resources on offense. Few is trying to keep his team grounded, but that’s not going to stop the hype around the program from growing. Even Stadium analyst Jeff Goodman can’t imagine anyone not currently having this Zags team as the best in the nation.
I wanna know who doesn’t have Gonzaga at No. 1 after these two games. ...— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) November 27, 2020