3. Be able to play more than five players in this game
The most telling part of the Saint Mary’s loss was how limited a roster Gonzaga Basketball truly had. Dusty Stromer played eight minutes and only took one shot, while Braden Huff allowed more points (10) than minutes played (8) and was on the court when the Gaels took the lead late in the game.
Even Luka Krajnovic, who has not played many meaningful minutes, even played a few first-half minutes to try and get Hickman a break. So that creates the question… can these guys be trusted to play against Kentucky?
The honest answer is probably not but Coach Few still is going to have to play them. Stromer is at least a decent defender and can be placed on Reeves and Dillingham at the three-spot, in case Anton Watson can’t play the small forward position. The key is Huff, who has seven games of 17+ points this season but hasn’t been trusted to play against the top teams.
The reality is that Ike can’t play 40 minutes against this kind of size that the Wildcats have and Huff’s spacing ability could offset the shot-blocking interior ability of Ugonna Onyenso. With the limited pieces Coach Few has, he’s going to need to maximize them and risk the downsides to have a chance at the upset.