The Gonzaga Bulldogs welcomed the Colorado State Rams to The Kennel on Monday as part of the ESPN college basketball tip-off marathon and summarily man-handled CSU. The Zags got great performances from just about everyone in their lineup but may have found a key piece to their success in the 2013-14 season. Coming off the bench, Gerard Coleman provided strong scoring production, giving Mark Few some much-needed depth to their offense.
Coming into the season, Few knew he would be able to count on a core group of returning contributors but there were some questions about the depth of the team coming off the bench. Even now, Gonzaga figures to only have around eight players who will log significant minutes during the season so Few needs those few bench contributors to make big impacts.
Coleman, a transfer from Providence, came into the game when Kevin Pangos picked up his second foul in the first half and immediately picked up the offensive slack. He scored 12 points before the break, showing a quick burst to the basket and an ability cut through the defense and finish at the rim that will play well with Gonzaga’s abundance of perimeter shooters. He finished the game with 16 points on 7 of 10 shooting with three rebounds, two assists and a steal.
Getting solid and consistent production off the bench will be key to providing Gonzaga with some much-needed depth as they head into what should be a tough WCC schedule this season. If Coleman can continue to be that spark as the sixth man in the rotation, the Zags will have a strong case to repeat as WCC champs.