The Gaels were up 25-11 after two Brad Waldow free throw’s against BYU. They were up 37-25 after a Stephen Holt layup early in the second half. They lost 60-57. Then they lost to USF, and despite wins against Santa Clara and Portland, the Gaels were then run out of their own building on Senior Night by Gonzaga. That loss to BYU, and the way it happened, took something from the Gaels. It’s hard to say what this team is missing; after all, they were rolling earlier in the season, starting 9-0, including a tough road win at Boise State. Now, they are sitting at 21-10. Do they have one last run in them? Certainly the talent is there. Perhaps the bright lights of Las Vegas and the horrible loss to their rivals will be the spark that gets this Saint Mary’s team going. Or maybe they will squeak by Pepperdine and then get run out of another building by the Zags to cap off a disappointing year. This team has the skills to win the West Coast Conference Championship. The real question, do they have the mental toughness to do so?
Player to Watch: ___________ has to step up. He’s going to have to make strong moves to the basket, and hit a tough shot when the team needs it. The defensive intensity will need to be there, and he’s going to have to out rebound his man. Insert whoever you want on the line above, and that will be the player to watch. The entire team will need to step up if they are going to make something happen, not just one player. Stephen Holt will have to find a way to hit shots when heavily guarded. Brad Waldow will have to find a way to convert layups in traffic and not turn the ball over when double teamed. Beau Levesque will have to find a way to stay on the floor and hit a three. Both Kerry Carter and James Walker III have to be play makers, not just sharp-shooters.
Prediction: They can lose a close game to Pepperdine or win three games in a row. My prediction is that the Gaels will come out with new found intensity. How long they last in Las Vegas will depend on how long their intensity will last.