30 second game guide
Bring’em Out: Gonzaga (4-3) vs. Washington State (5-1) at Beasley Coliseum Wednesday at 8 p.m. on FSN.
Watch for: One heck of a basketball game. For the first time in years, these two teams are evenly matched as far as talent goes. The Cougars have been lying in wait for the Zags for two years with young potential who’ve grown into mature stars. Klay Thompson, DeAngelo Casto and Reggie Moore were all present for last year’s game, and remember WSU let one get away in the Kennel. After Friday night’s 63-58 loss to No. 5 Kansas State (GU lost to the same Wildcats 81-64 earlier this season), the Cougs showed they are a force on their home court. Gonzaga will have to bring its “A” game, and nothing less to have any chance at a victory Wednesday.
Fear: Reggie Moore if you’re the Bulldogs, Elias Harris if you’re the Cougars. Moore made his season debut Wednesday against K-State, and looked as though he hadn’t missed a beat running the Wazzu offense. Moore should be just as good, or better in his second game against an in-state rival. Harris is also battling an injury (Achilles) and showing he, too can play at a high level. After scoring 12 first-half points vs. Illinois (including a monster tip-jam off a Demetri Goodson miss), Harris finally showed he’s still the player we all witnessed on a regular basis last season.
Respect: This rivalry. Only 70 miles apart, anytime these two meet on the court, it’s going to be emotional, physical and in all likelihood, a close game. Last year, the Cougs led by as many as 15 points in the McCarthey Athletic Center, and had it not have been for Matt Bouldin’s then-career-high 28 points and the support of the home crowd, WSU would have come out on top. But they didn’t. GU rallied to win it 74-69, and you better believe every single returning Cougar remembers that game. Look for a nail-biter at Friel that comes down to the final minutes (even seconds).
Random Stuff: Washington State leads the all-time series with the Zags, 97-47, but the Cougs have only won twice in the last 11 meetings. This is the first time in exactly five years neither team comes into the rivalry game ranked in either of the Top-25 polls. The last time was December 8th, 2005 when Adam Morrison paced the Bulldogs with 25 points in a 67-53 win in the Kennel.