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Gonzaga Basketball: 3 takeaways from double-digit loss to UConn Huskies

Gonzaga Basketball was underdogs heading into its matchup with the UConn Huskies and that proved to be true for all 40 minutes, suffering a clear defeat.

Continental Tire Seattle Tip-Off - Connecticut v Gonzaga
Continental Tire Seattle Tip-Off - Connecticut v Gonzaga / Conor Courtney/GettyImages
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Gonzaga Basketball was underdogs heading into its matchup with the UConn Huskies and that proved to be true for all 40 minutes, suffering a clear defeat.

For any Gonzaga Basketball fan looking for revenge from last season's Elite 8 loss to the UConn Huskies, Friday night wasn't the answer. The Bulldogs went down early and never could come back, trying to stay close but falling double-digits throughout the second half. The final score was 76-63, with Anton Watson leading the way with 20 points.

Here's some takeaways from the game from the WCC program's side.

1. Another second-half offensive drought

The Bulldogs weren't very good offensively all night, shooting 39% from the field and going 2/10 from deep. But it was another final 20 minutes where the guards couldn't get it going. After a great start to the game, Ryan Nembhard had just 2 of his 15 points in the second half, while Nolan Hickman had 6 pts. When those are your only true perimeter scores, you're just not going to win many games, against top-5 teams or even in the top-100.

2. Graham Ike wasn't playable

It was the best offensive game UConn center Donovan Clingan had against a good team, going for a game-high 21 pts and 8 rebs. On the other hand, Gonzaga's starter Graham Ike had just 5 pts and 5 rebs in 18 minutes played. He got dominated on the defensive end and just wasn't comfortable taking post-shots against Clingan. The good news is the WCC doesn't have bigs like this so the Bulldogs won't have to bench him going forward.

3. Need to have Seo in the main rotation

To continue on my first point, Gonzaga's lack of guard depth is going to haunt them all season. The starting trio of guards played a combined 116 minutes out of 120, with no real breaks. It was mainly a 7-man rotation again, outside of two minutes from redshirt freshman, Jun Seok Yeo.

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The 6'8 wing is very raw and ideally doesn't play but with the recent news that freshman guard Luka Krajnovic is out for the next month with an injury of his own, Gonzaga literally has no other non-frontcourt players available outside of those three starting guards. They need to find a way to get Yeo on the floor more so that Hickman and Nembhard aren't exhausted in the second halves of games.