Zag Hot File: San Francisco
Posted on January 26, 2013 at 1:15 AM
Saturday, Jan 26 at 2:07 PM
No. 10 Gonzaga (18-2, 5-0) welcomes San Francisco (9-11, 2-5) Saturday at 5:00 p.m. in the McCarthey Athletic Center. The game will be televised by Root Sports.
The Stats - The number that could have the Zags salivating heading into Saturday's game is 43.9. That's the field goal percentage the Dons have allowed their opponents to shoot, worst in the West Coast Conference. That figure is up to 44.9 percent in conference games. It could be a feast for one of the nation's best shooting teams, with GU now hitting 51.4 percent of its attempts. Couple that with the fact that USF is one of the league's worst rebounding teams, and it looks like a tall task for the Dons to hang with the Bulldogs - especially if GU has a defensive performance like it did against BYU. One thing San Francisco does have going for them is their three-point shooting. At 38.1 percent they're the most efficient team from beyond the arc in the WCC.
The Stars - One one player in the West Coast Conference averages a double-double. Six-foot-seven-inch forward Cole Dickerson leads the way for the Dons at 14.9 points and a league-best 10 rebounds. In their November matchup with Montana he posted 19 points and 20 boards, and on the year he's got eight double-doubles. Dickerson is a threat from the interior and the perimeter, currently tied for the most three-point makes on the team at 25, on 37.9 percent shooting. The problem is, he has to deal with a 1-2 punch that was as good as ever Thursday against the Cougars. Kelly Olynyk and Elias Harris are now combing for 34 points and 14 rebounds. Their numbers got another boost with Olynyk hanging 26 and 9 (on perfect shooting) and Harris putting up 25 and 10 on BYU. Lets not forget, Sam Dower exploded for 20 at Butler. The Dons do have some size down low, but not a ton of experience. And, as is typically the case, Gonzaga's platoon of big men looks awfully formidable against these guys, especially considering what they've done in recent outings.
The Storylines - Despite this being a WCC series that Gonzaga has dominated, the Dons have done enough in recent years to leave a sour taste with the Zags. USF has split the series the last two years, with both their wins coming at home. Unfortunately for the Dons, they haven't won in Spokane since 1989, a streak of 22 games. As a whole, GU has claimed 25 of their last 29 meetings. Mark Few is 23-4 in his career against San Francisco. This year the Dons' achilles heel has been close games. Eight of their losses have come by 10 points or fewer, while three of their last four have been decided by deficits of six or less. Rex Walters' team would love nothing more than to not just hang around, but end their woes in Spokane with another surprise win over the Zags.
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