2011 March Madness Preview: Gonzaga Vs. St. John's

One of the biggest questions for the Gonzaga Bulldogs entering this season was how they would replace point guard Matt Bouldin's leadership and ball handling efficiency.

As coach Mark Few's Bulldogs team looks ahead to their first round matchup against the St. John's Red Storm who have had a solid season in Steve Lavin's first year in his return from coaching, that ball handling issue might once again define their chances to advance past the first round.

St. John's: What to expect on Thursday - The Slipper Still Fits
Steve Lavin mixes defenses: One of the huge advantages of having three days to prepare for a first round opponent is the fact that the coaching staff will have time to gameplan for all the different defensive rotations and looks St. John's will bring to the table. The primary defensive look will be a matchup zone defense. This works great with the talent St. John's has, as this particular team is incredibly athletic and comprised of seniors. Equally important will be the play of the Gonzaga guards, as this defense will trap as soon as the ball crosses halfcourt and will do everything possible to pressure the guards into bad decisions.

On a historical note, SBN's Rumble in the Garden (St. John's) notes that this is a rematch of a game between the Red Storm and a much more "Cinderella-ish" Gonzaga squad.

NCAA Tournament seed set: St. John's basketball a 6 seed, playing Gonzaga in Denver; Brigham Young on deck - Rumble In The Garden
The Gonzaga game is a rematch from the 2000 NCAA Tournament, where the 10th seeded Bulldogs knocked off St. John's in the second round. I remember Erick Barkley's proclamation that only the Final Four would satisfy the Red Storm... but a mediocre game against Dan McClintock and the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks foretold an upset by the then Cinderalla-ish Gonzaga.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation Seattle

You must be a member of SB Nation Seattle to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Seattle. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Seattle

You must be a member of SB Nation Seattle to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Seattle. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.