No. 3/5 Gonzaga (24-2, 11-0) visits San Francisco (11-14, 4-8) Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in War Memorial Gymnasium. The game will be televised by Root Sports.
The Stats - Even though the Dons didn't hit an overwhelming percentage of their threes when the teams met on January 26th, Gonzaga got a sense of how large a role three-point shooting plays in their offense. San Francisco hoisted 24 threes, hitting nine on the Zags. In their last three games (which have included two wins) USF has caught fire from deep, hitting 37 of their 69 attempts. They're shooting over 48 percent from deep in their last six appearances. On the year they're sinking 40.7 percent of their tries, which is the best in the WCC and ranks 7th in the country. However, the Dons have been out rebounded in 17 of their last 20 games, with GU edging them 37-33 in their previous meeting. San Francisco also ranks last in conference games in points allowed (74) and eighth field goal percentage defense (45.4) which is not a good sign against a team that scores as efficiently and as frequently as the Zags.
The Stars - Good luck finding a standout from USF based on their visit to Spokane. Nine players scored for Rex Walters, with Chris Adams' nine points leading the way. Six-foot-seven inch forward Cole Dickerson is their top point-producer on the year at 14.8 points to go with 9.8 boards. Those two, along with Avry Holmes and De'End Parker have reached 17 points at least once in the last two games. Holmes and Parker have helped key their recent three-point barrage, both hitting over 50 percent of their attempts. Gonzaga's scorers also put up fairly conservative numbers the first time they met the Dons, with Elias Harris and Kelly Olynyk combining for 25 points and 19 rebounds. As far as recent performances go, Gary Bell Jr. posted a season-best 20 points against St. Mary's, while Kevin Pangos has strung together three double-digit performances for the first time since the opening three games of the season. It wouldn't be a shock if their trip to USF played out like that January game, with no one herculean performance, but a balanced attack that feeds off a Dons 'D' that gives opponents there share of scoring opportunities.
The Storylines - Memorial Gymnasium has haunted Gonzaga in recent years. The last three times Mark Few's team has visited the Bay Area, they came back with losses. Aside from those games the Dons have only topped Gonzaga once since 1999. The 3rd ranked Bulldogs are the highest ranked team to visit USF since No. 3 Santa Clara made the trip in 1969. San Francisco's last win over a top-5 squad came in 1956. The Zags will try and overcome some recent history in order to keep USF from bucking that 57-year long drought.