With only 5 conference games too go, the Gauchos are nearing the end of the schedule. They sit at 1st place right now with a 8-3 conference record. Here are three keys if the Gauchos wish to close out conference play with the top seed in Anaheim.
1) Free Throw Shooting: The Gauchos are a 66% free throw shooting team and at times during the season it has been worse than that. If the Gauchos want to win close games, they will need to make more like 80% of their free throws.
2) More Production from Front Court: Everyone new there would be a little let down with the 'Chos losing Chris Devine and Jesse Byrd, but I didn't think it would be this much. Jaime Serna, 6.9 ppg, really needs to start stepping up more. Sam Phippen, Greg Somogyi, and Jon Pastorek are both not playing to expectations. So if the Gauchos wish to beat big physical teams like Long Beach State, they need more production from the big guys.
3) More Balanced Scoring: All year its been mainly the James Nunnally and Orlando Johnson show. At times Will Brew and James Powell have had big games, but we need more of those type of games from them. The balance was out vs. Davis with 6 players over 8 points but they need more of that if they wish to get to the Big Dance.
I feel these things will be key if the Gauchos wish to go deep in March.