Feb 27, 2014; Stockton, CA, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Kevin Pangos (4) looks to pass the ball against the Pacific Tigers in the second half at Alex G. Spanos Center. The Bulldogs defeated the Tigers 70-53. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Health is the key to Gonzaga's backcourt

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Mar 21, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Kevin Pangos (4) reacts after making a basket against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the first half of a men

Gonzaga has one of the best backcourts in the country.

Kevin Pangos is a great ball handler who can shoot the three ball with a high percentage and has an array of elusive moves to get to the basket.  He shows great leadership on the floor by playing the role of the general.  He can make tough passes in traffic and seems to always find the open man.

Gary Bell Jr. can also fire it from deep.  He has had some success with driving to the hoop as well.  He’s explosive and has surprising strength for his size.  Possibly his greatest contribution to the team is on the defensive end.  He will often be asked to guard the opposition’s best player.  He can play lockdown D on the best of them.

Byron Wesley is athletic and has good size at the wing.   He demands attention from defenders.  He is more of a slasher than any of Gonzaga’s other guards.  He will be able to create space for the other players on the floor, allowing for many open shot opportunities.  The shooting ability of Pangos and Bell will be more useful than ever this year because of Wesley.

Pangos and Bell have been great shooters for their entire careers at Gonzaga.  The biggest issue for both of them is staying healthy.  Over the past two seasons Bell has had knee problems as well as a broken hand that have often left him sitting on the sideline.  Pangos had to deal with turf toe last season.  This slowed him down a bit, but he still managed to be productive.

The offseason gives Pangos and Bell time to recover and come back stronger than ever.  If all of the guards can stay healthy for the entire season then Gonzaga will be able to put up huge numbers.  Healthy guards can dictate the tempo of the game.  Gonzaga loves to dictate the tempo.

I think that this could be one of the most talented backcourts that Gonzaga has had in a while.  At the beginning of the season they are going to come out firing and show people what they can really do.  As long as everyone can stay healthy, this team could really be going places this year.

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Tags: Basketball Gonzaga Bulldogs WCC West Coast Conference

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