In theory, the Gonzaga Bulldogs should be favored to win today's game against the Marquette Golden Eagles on the strength of one clear advantage.
CBE Preview: Gonzaga vs. Marquette - College Basketball Nation Blog - ESPN
With Elias Harris and Robert Sacre in the frontcourt, Gonzaga is by far the taller, stronger team, and Marquette could again struggle to keep a bigger opponent off the glass. But the Eagles' quickness could give a plodding Gonzaga team all sorts of matchup issues on the offensive end. How that dynamic plays out -- strength vs. speed, size vs. versatility -- will determine whether Gonzaga rebounds from its second straight loss or suffers another disappointing defeat at the hands of an apparently ascendant team.
However, in practice, there might be some question among Gonzaga fans about whether they can capitalize on that advantage after witnessing last night's disappointing loss - even after cooling down a bit, Zach Bell of the Slipper Still Fits is calling out Gonzaga for a lack of toughness.
Can Toughness Be Taught? - The Slipper Still Fits
After focusing on these two points I want to open up a question to all of our great readers. Do you believe that a team is capable of developing passion and adjusting its mentality in a matter of hours? For example, do you think we will see a team that appears to care and play with heart tonight? I know it's early in the season for something like this to be discussed, but I just can't get over seeing a team playing against the No. 4 squad in the country with so little heart.
Whether you attribute it to a lack of heart or just a bad game marred by some struggles handling the ball, a loss tonight wouldn't do much to calm Bell's concerns - although it's still very early in the season to come to any sort of solid conclusions about a team, Gonzaga's performance against Kansas State does raise questions about how Gonzaga responds to more physical teams.
As something of a finesse team, losing to Marquette tonight would only add to that concern given their advantage, even if Marquette has some quickness on the perimeter - Gonzaga needs to impose their will.