The finals of the NIT Tip-Off Tournament were certainly full of excitement as Gonzaga beat St.Johns 73-66. From the onset of the tournament, Gonzaga was considered to be a favorite, but St. Johns proved to be their toughest challenge.
The Good: Regardless of the team’s loss, St. Johns is a very well rounded team. The trio of D’Angelo Harrison, Rysheed Jordan and Phil Greene IV combined for 48 of the team’s 66 points. However, it is the role players that make a difference for the St.Johns Red Storm.
Sir’Dominic Pointer came up with some clutch drives and defense for the Storm and big man Chris Obekpa has proven to be a very effective rim protector. In fact, Obekpa is second in the NCAA with four blocks per game.
Gonzaga might want to consider using Domantas Sabonis in the starting lineup. Sabonis contributed 14 points and eight rebounds for the Bulldogs and proved to be the team’s best offensive weapon. Sabonis plays a beautiful pick and roll game with guard Keith Pangos and is very agile around the basket.
The Bad: St. Johns struggled mightily against the Gonzaga zone defense to start the second half. St.Johns missed a stretch of eight consecutive shots and despite a valiant comeback, they couldn’t recover after that. Gonzaga’s foul shooting was not up to it’s usual standards.
The team shot 60 percent in the contest. During the team’s last win against Georgia, they went a remarkable 32-35 from the charity stripe.
Extra Shots: Chris Obekpa might start a fashion trend with the short shorts. Obekpa is bringing the pre-Fab 5 style back to basketball.