No. 16/17 Gonzaga (4-0) faces Oklahoma (3-0) in the semifinal round of the Old Spice Classic Friday at 4:30 p.m. (PT) in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The matchup will be televised by ESPN2.
The Stats - Gonzaga separated itself from Clemson Thursday with their offensive execution. David Stockton guided the attack with six second half assists as the Zags connected on 14 of their 20 shots (70 percent). It was a different story for the Sooners in their 68-61 win over UTEP. Oklahoma went 8-for-29 and 3-for-11 from deep, allowing the Miners to hang around. That was also the case in their previous win over UT- Arlington. OU only hit five shots (to go with 14 free throws) in the final 20 minutes. Gonzaga appears more equipped to tip the scales in their favor if the game stays close in the second half.
The Stars - After a quiet opener Romero Osby has put together a nice pair of games. The 6-foot-8-inch forward had 10 and 10 boards against UTA before posting 16 and 10 against the Miners for back-to-back double-doubles. The Sooners don't have overwhelming size, in fact they start three guards. Once again GU should have the edge in the paint against a power conference foe. Kelly Olynyk has to be feeling great after a 13-point debut (despite getting a couple of shots blocked early). He could be a tough matchup for the Sooners, and possibly in store for another productive outing. With OU starting two freshman guards (Je'lon Hornbeak and Isaiah Cousins), don't be surprised if Stockton and company can again dictate the game's flow when it counts.
The Storylines - These teams split their previous two meetings. Gonzaga topped the Sooners 83-69 on New Years Eve in 2009 in Spokane. Two years prior OU topped the Bulldogs 72-68 in Oklahoma City. Mark Few's team improved to 4-0 in the Old Spice Classic with their win over Clemson. GU will be far and away the toughest test of the young season for Lon Kruger's club. More than anything, this game could come down to who handles the quick turnaround best, and is up to the task of playing two games in two days. Winner locks up a spot in Sunday's tournament championship.