2. Prevent a big outing from Rob Dillingham
Kentucky currently is the No. 1 scoring team in the country, something that Gonzaga Basketball has been for the last several years. Antonio Reeves leads the team with 19.7 ppg, one of five players averaging at least 12.0 ppg.
The second-leading scorer for the Wildcats comes off the bench. Dillingham is the latest five-star freshman to excel at Kentucky, averaging 15.5 ppg and 4.1 apg on 48% shooting from the field and 43% from three-point range. The 6’2 scoring guard has had some big games but has been on a recent scoring run, including a pair of 20-point games and 35 points in a loss to Tennessee.
Now getting 30 mpg and getting starter minutes, Gonzaga will have to find a way to deal with Dillingham. Because if he goes off, the road team will have little chance of winning. Look for Hickman, who has become the team’s best perimeter defender, to take the main assignment, while Nembhard deals with Reed Sheppard.
There’s also going to be a need for Dusty Stromer to have an impact off the bench. It will be a tough ask for Nembhard and Hickman to score and guard for all 40 minutes and avoid foul trouble. We’ll see if he’s ready for this spotlight.