A team like the Gonzaga Bulldogs should run more zone on defense this season. The big guy depth that they bring every night lacks and it shows. When playing taller players that can score, the Bulldogs get into to foul trouble. Playing against the University of San Francisco Dons, coach Mark Few decided to be a little bit more passive and play some zone defense, something he’s not necessarily accustomed to doing.
Coach Few decided to go to the 2-3 zone once big man Przemek Karnowski had two fouls early in the second half.
It turned the odds forever in the favor of the Bulldogs as they led 41-23 at the half.
Not only did it allow the ‘Zags to play smaller — which they should do more often — but it kept the offense on track; five players finished with five or more points at the half.
Having a true four-guard lineup has helped the Bulldogs get out and run more — and thanks to the zone defense — allows them to focus all the energy they have on the offensive side of the court where they have struggled of late.
The Dons are a middle-of-the-road West Coast Conference team that the Bulldogs absolutely dismantled.
With star guard Kevin Pangos’ attention to the offensive side of the court, it will be smooth sailing for Gonzaga in the WCC.
The Bulldogs ended up winning the game thanks to the switch to the zone defense; it served as the catalyst of the offense. In a game that was not close throughout, Few’s coaching shined as his Bulldogs won 69-41. The switch to a zone defense, for some part of the game, allowed five Bulldogs to score in double figures.