30 second game guide
Bring’em Out: Pepperdine 7-12 (3-0 WCC) at No. 15 Gonzaga 14-3 (3-0 WCC) at the McCarthey Athletic Center, Thursday at 6:00 p.m.
Watch for: Gonzaga to take over first place in the West Coast Conference for good Thursday. Remember when these two were the “cream of the crop” in the WCC? If not, it’s most likely because it’s been nearly a decade. The Zags haven’t lost to the Waves since 2002 (88-79 in Malibu) and probably won’t for years to come. Don’t let Pepperdine’s 3-0 start to conference play fool you. The wins have come over three of the five bottom teams in the standings (San Fran, Santa Clara and Loyola Marymount), all of them at home.
Fear: Keion Bell. The Waves’ sophomore has only been held to single-digit scoring in two of 19 games this season and is pouring in 19.2 points per contest. Bell averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds in two games against GU last season. As long as he’s the only one putting up big numbers, the Waves won’t put up much of a fight.
Respect: Mark Few’s decision to empty his bench midway through the second half. Over the past eight seasons at home, Gonzaga is 8-0 versus Pepperdine averaging nearly a 25-point win margin. Since 2001, these two programs went in opposite directions…you can guess who improved and who fell off the radar.
Random Stuff: Pepperdine was the last team to share the conference title with Gonzaga back in 2001-2002. GU has won 16 straight over the Waves. The Zags were ranked 14th the last time Pepperdine beat them.