SPOKANE, Wash.—Evan Closky said there are three key things to look for in the Gonzaga and Florida State game Thursday night.
The first thing he said was: Turnovers.
Closky said Gonzaga has struggled with taking care of the ball at points this season, but the difference of Thursday night’s game will rely on the steady hands of Josh Perkins.
The Seminoles beat Missouri and Xavier last week to begin the tournament and in both games the team logged at least 16 turnovers. In the last two games Florida State has lost, but opposing teams failed to commit 10 or more turnovers so that is a key statistic to keep track of.
The second thing: Shutting down Florida State on offense.
Closky said Silas Melson will be a big catalyst for that. If you remember back in Boise one of Evan’s bold predictions was fans will see Melson have a big game in the second weekend of the tournament and this could be the contest.
Closky said he was definitely more interested in how Melson does on the defensive side of the ball as two of their three top scorers are guards.
The final key factor: As Neil Everett said, “Make your darn free throws!”
Closky said he doesn’t know what happened to this team but they can't buy a bucket from the charity stripe.
The Bulldogs have missed 12 free throws in back to back games and when we look back at that trip in Taco Bell Arena both games didn't have to be that close if the Zags just knocked down the freebies.
Limit that number to five or six missed baskets Bulldogs are looking good.