December 17, 2014

Gonzaga's Jesse Wade highlights

Jesse Wade will be going on his Mormon mission for two years, but when he gets back he'll be a point guard at Gonzaga for the ages! Watch the video and see him rain in threes during his MVP performance at the .


December 16, 2014

Kelly Olynyk Goes NUTS in W over 76ers - Scores Career-High 30!

Former Gonzaga star Kelly Olynyk scored a career high 30 points vs. the 76ers last night. Watch Full highlights in this video!!~

December 12, 2014

Gonzaga takes on UCLA at Pauley Pavilion


Gonzaga (8-1) will have their hands full Saturday night at 7 p.m. when they face the UCLA Bruins (7-2) at legendary Pauley Pavilion.

This Bruin team is young, but has superior talent and athleticism. They have size, deep shooters, NBA prospects, and excellent rebounding. They are one of the top teams in the nation in scoring and one a very few teams that boast a starting five where all five score in double figures.

Coach Alford’s son, Bryce, is the point guard and is an outstanding one. He scores 17.5 ppg, 7.1 assists, shoots .900 from the foul line, and a respectable .355 from deep. He will be matched up with Kevin Pangos, who has been in a slump the past two games. Bryce has a couple inches on Pangos, who seems to struggle at times with big guards. It would be nice to see him blow up on the road and win this battle but it will be a steep challenge.

Besides Bryce, the biggest deep shooting threat on UCLA is Norman Powell .463, who can really light it up. He is also their leading scorer hitting 17.9 ppg. Powell will probably go up against Byron Wesley in what should be a fairly even matchup. Wesley’s biggest challenge will be to get in Powell’s grill and slow him down on the perimeter.

The Bruins have size in Kevon Looney, an NBA prospect, and Toney Parker, who provide about 25 ppg and 20 boards per game between the pair. If the refs don’t get carried away with too many phantom foul calls on Karnowski and Wiltjer we should be ok. But, it’s in Pauly so we’ll see how that plays out.

Now, here’s where we get a clear advantage over these Bruins. After the starting five, they fall off, and I mean they drop off a cliff. They have zero depth. Gonzaga needs to use their depth to their advantage. Rotate players in and out, and wear them down. UCLA also has a tendency to get off to slow starts. They have had to climb out of half time deficits to get wins on occasion. That being said, it would be nice if Gonzaga got off to a fast start.

This game is extremely important as the Zags need a marquee victory on their resume. There will not be another chance to get one. Yes, we still have Memphis down the road but a win vs UCLA in Pauley Pavilion would do very well.

I expect a fairly high scoring game that the Zags should be able to pull out. About 85-77 feels about right. One more thing…the teams are 1-1 but the last time we met was in 2006 in the NCAA Tournament. That’s all I’d like to say about that, other than some revenge would be very satisfying! 

December 5, 2014

Gonzaga vs Arizona



This is a difficult one to call. It’s defense vs. offense, #3 vs. #9. Many pundits are expecting Arizona to win big at home. Perhaps some are biased in UA’s favor from memories of ‘Zona’s beat-down of the Zags in the last NCAA Tourney, that ended Gonzaga’s season last year. The game is also in the desert where Arizona rarely loses. They are in the midst of a 25 home game winning streak, and also hold the nations longest regular-season non-conf winning streak at 34 games. Coincidentally, the last time they lost was in December 2011. Who was the team that did it? Here it comes…Gonzaga.

Perhaps ‘Zona wants to get some payback for the Zags wrecking their winning streak. Maybe they think because they rolled us last year it will be another blow-out. I say, not so fast, because this is a very different Zag team.

The addition of Kyle Wiltjer should spell trouble for ‘Zona. Coming over from Kentucky, he has lots of experience in big games, so he will not be rattled by the rowdy venue. If he can float out to the perimeter and hit threes, it will cause problems for their bigs. He’s been in a bit of a slump from deep of late but anyone who can hit 70 of 75 consecutive 3s in a Utube video should be able to knock down say, 4 or 5 on the road. This game will be telling too. Can Wiltjer really stay in the paint and bang with the big boys? Certainly, we’ll need him to roam out to the perimeter, stretch the defense and bury threes, but we’ll need him to go hard in the paint too because Arizona is big and physical. It’s time so show how much the redshirt strengthening helped his inside game.
      
Bryon Wesley is something else that was lacking on last years team. He is a starting wing that can do it all. He is athletic, can score all over the paint, has good size, and plays pretty mean D as well. A boisterous crowd in the desert won’t faze him either, as he’s already played there several times.

Domas Sabonis will also be a handful for ‘Zona. They will get their first taste of him and they will not like it. He can score in a variety of ways, and is a ferocious rebounder. He will have his hands full with Rondae-Hollis-Jefferson, but I think Domas wins this matchup.

Also, Pangos & Bell are seniors, battle tested and healthy. A hostile crowd like this should be a walk in the park to them but Pangos needs to shake the rep of going blind from deep on the road. Additionally, Bell needs to assert himself on the offensive end and show what he can do in a big game. Remember last season, early on they were smoking hot, but then the injuries mounted? Well, it’s early, they are on fire and healthy. Expect solid games from both.

Arizona has plenty of size, boasting two 7 footers. They will probably put 7’0 junior 245 lb. Kaleb Tarczewski on Karnowski. They have similar stats with Kaleb hitting a higher % from the line and Przemek being a bigger body at 290 pounds. Other than that it looks to be a pretty even match-up between centers.

If the Wildcats have a weakness it’s scoring consistently. They have a tendency to go cold for extended minutes. They cover this up well because as they stall on offense, their very good defense holds it down while they finally get rolling. With Gonzaga’s depth plus all the offensive weapons, that might get them in some serious trouble.


Keys to victory:

1. Get off to a fast start
2. Wiltjer needs his deep shot falling
3. Pangos & Bell need to show they can hit the three on the road
4. Avoid foul trouble w/ our bigs
5. Use our depth, go 10 deep and slow down ‘Zona’s D

Key matchups:

1. Pangos vs  McConnell- both are on all kinds of preseason award lists. Pangos for his offense, while McConnell for defense.

2. Sabonis vs Hollis- expect a battle here. Two of the nations best 6th men.

Look for a fairly low scoring event that will probably come down to a possession or two one way or the other. Zona’s D does not give up a lot of points but their offense struggles from time to time. Can Gonzaga’s potent offense get a couple extra buckets along the way, or will home-court for ‘Zona plus their D prove too much?


Zags 71   UA 69 

December 2, 2014

GONZAGA -vs- SE LOUISIANA STATE


After a very successful trip to Madison Square Garden and fresh off a National Invitational Tournament Championship, the 6-0 Zags look for what should be a fairly routine home win tonight at 6 p.m. against 2-5 Southeastern Louisiana.


Coming off two hotly contested wins (hotly meaning the refs might have been a bit feverish) against physical Georgia and St. Johns teams, tonight’s home game should see some even-handed refereeing. I doubt there will be kamikaze kicks to our players faces (see: Perkins broken jaw) and numerous phantom fouls (see: Karnowski called for a block with both hands straight up while the opponent drove into his back). Vent over.

Anyhow, I would expect Coach Few to use this game to do some fine tuning in preparation for Saturday’s huge road game against #3 ranked Arizona. With Josh Perkins out for an extended period necessitating coach Few to pull Silas Melson’s redshirt, I would anticipate seeing some different looks with Silas getting a lot of run.

SE Louisiana plays in the Southland Conference where they have won two of their last three games, getting wins against Tennessee Tech and Langston. They have four players who score in double digits: Jackson 15.7 ppg, Filmore 12.1 ppg, Guillory 10.3, and Devonte Upson 10.0 (he is also their leading rebounder ave. 8.1 pg).

They shoot a woeful .278 from deep. Filmore is the most dangerous sniper hitting a respectable .388. As far as size, they do not have any. Their Center, and biggest player, Devonte Upson, goes 6’9 and weighs in at only 205 pounds. Look for our bigs to basically score at will.

As well as being severely undersized, SE Louisiana turns it over to the tune of 16 times per game. Their pg Jay Jackson has an especially hard time hanging onto the ball, turning the rock over 17 times in a two game stretch against Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

Gonzaga has five players currently scoring in double figures; Wiltjer, Sabonis, Wesley, Pangos & Bell. They are ranked #5 in the country in scoring, averaging 90 points per game. As a team they are hitting approx .400 from deep, while ranked #3 in field goal % at .548. The Zags are also ranked #3 in the nation ave. 20.2 assists per game.

Gonzaga has enough talent and depth that even if they are looking past SE Louisiana towards Arizona in the desert, this game will most likely get out of hand in a hurry. I’d expect the Zags 90 ppg scoring ave. to rise a bit. Also, Gonzaga's speed, athleticism, and defensive pressure, will in most likelihood cause this turnover prone opponent into, well, numerous turnovers.

Barring truckloads of phantom fouls, any injuries, and Flagrant 1 Bruce Lee type assaults, this game should be highly entertaining and fun. Just what the Doctor ordered leading up to the huge game against ‘Zona on Saturday. GO ZAGS!!~



November 27, 2014

Gonzaga's Ryan Edwards & his Redshirt

Good informative article plus video w/ reporter Brenna Greene covering some of the background on Ryan Edwards decision to redshirt and what's happening with him currently.

http://www.krtv.com/news/athlete-of-the-week-ryan-edwards/









November 26, 2014

GONZAGA HOOPS TIP-OFF SHOW!! LIve Radio GONZAGA -vs- GEORGIA in NIT Tourney Tonight!

To our readers:

Exciting news!! You can now listen to LIVE Gonzaga pregame coverage via radio on the Gonzaga Hoops Tip-Off Show. Join us on KIXI 880AM for all big games & every Thursday night one hour before tip-off! 


Listen in tonight at 5:30 p.m. for pregame coverage of Gonzaga -vs- Georgia in the NIT Tournament!

The Gonzaga Hoops Tip-Off Show is hosted at the Ballard Loft in Seattle. Come on down to the party and see the game or listen live nation wide! There will be drink specials; you can win FREE Zag game tickets, and much more! 

Don't miss out...GO ZAGS!!~


Follow us on Twitter- @GUHoopsPregame  

                                          - @Zagaholic
                                                 





November 21, 2014

Preview: Gonzaga -vs- St.Thomas Aquinas


Next up for the 3-0 Gonzaga Bulldogs is the mighty St. Thomas Aquarium.

Ok, it’s not really “Aquarium”, I stole the line from a sports guy I heard on a local radio show. It’s actually the Division II St. Thomas Aquinas.

On Saturday for another NIT Season Tip-Off game, the Zags take on the D2 Spartans in the Kennel. They hail out of Sparkhill, New York, and are coached by an experienced Tobin Anderson. He is in his second year as head coach, taking his team to their first ever league Tournament Title game in his very first season at the helm. Before landing the Spartans job, he had two successful years as assistant Coach with D1 Sienna. They actually once posted an 11-4 home record and made it to the semi-finals in the MAAC Tourney with only a 6 man player rotation. Additionally, he had a record of 118-63 with D3 Hamilton College where they reached the league tourney 5 out of his 7 seasons, as well as winning 3 regular season titles.

Good coaching aside, so far they are a woeful 0-3 this season, losing 97-71 to St. Johns, 92-80 to St. Michael’s, and 75-68 to Pace. So, a D2 team that is win-less, having given up 90 plus points in two of their first three games, now gets to face an unbeaten and #11th ranked Gonzaga team that scores in the 100s & 90s against some pretty good D1 teams? Folks, this could get ugly.

Is there any hope at all for these Spartans? Well, not really. They lost their leading scorer and rebounder, Omar Kellman from last season. But, they do bring back a core of returnees that include pg Marcus Henderson who ave. 13.4 ppg and had 104 assists, Rookie of the Year Chaz Watler who hit 13.3 ppg, and Aaron Craft, who tossed in a respectable 9.5 ppg.

This team also lacks size. Their above mentioned leading scorer, Marcus Henderson, is only 5’7 and weights in at 140 lbs. As a matter of fact, only two players on their entire team weight in over 200 lbs. One of which is their Freshman Center Sam Berlin, who is 243 lbs.

These Spartans allow opponents to hit .540 from the field, as well as .483 from deep, are out-rebounded by -12.5 pg, and turn the ball over 13.5 times pg. Is there anything they can do? Yes, they can hit free throws at 61% pg. Gonzaga only hits 57%.

On another positive note, let it be known that the Spartans play at home to an ave. of 174 attendees per game. You may ask what is so positive about that. Well, think of how much, ahem, fun it’s going to be for them to travel all the way from New York to Spokane while getting to play in front of 6 thousand screaming Zag fans.

I hope it’s a fun show, nobody gets hurt, and Few lets off the gas early, tinkers with various line-ups, and gets a lot of PT for our walk-ons. 

Other than that, it’s still basketball, and the game counts. I could think of a lot worse things to be doing on a Saturday night. 

For those of you who cannot attend, catch the game via radio on KIXI 880 AM. 


Enjoy the game and GO ZAGS!!~

November 19, 2014

Pregame- Gonzaga vs St. Joseph's


After that thoroughly enjoyable thrashing of a top 20 ranked SMU team less than 48 hours ago, Zag Nation will certainly be curious to see how these Zags fare vs what should be a winnable St. Josephs team. We find out at 8 p.m. tonight in the always boisterous and friendly Kennel.

St. Josephs played in the NCAA tournament last year, losing to eventual National Champion UConn. They are also the defending Atlantic 10 Champions. But, with graduation and injuries (senior Papa NDao), they are not projected to do as well this season.

This year’s edition is led by Sophomore F 6-6 200 lb DeAndre Bembry. He is long and athletic, leads the team in scoring at 10.5 ppg, second in rebounding 6.5 pg, and he can step out of the paint to drill threes, hitting .346 last season. Bembry was also named co-rookie of the Atlantic 10 last year as well as preseason First Team All Conference for this season.

Another player to keep an eye on is F 6-7 Junior Isaiah Miles. He is a rebounding machine who leads the team ave. 11.0 boards per game. One of St. Joseph’s team strengths happens to be rebounding as they come in ave. 41 per game.

Although the Hawks are a bit light on deadly shooting deep threat snipers, they are led by Chris Wilson who buried 48 threes last season shooting a respectable .353.

St. Joseph’s record is currently 1-1, losing at home to Fairleigh Dickinson 58-57, and winning on the road vs Drexel 52-49.

To sum it all up, the opponent does not have a stellar offense. This team is not extremely dangerous from deep either, and they have had problems scoring. What they do have is a pretty solid defense, rebound well, and do not give up a lot of points, ave. just 55 ppg. The Hawks also lack size, which is not a good thing when playing this Zag team, plus they are playing in the Kennel, where Gonzaga is practically unbeatable. They do have pretty good depth, but it is not the kind of depth that the Zags have. The Zags go 10 deep with basically no drop off.

With that said, I expect a double digit win and a chance for everyone to get some playing time. It should be a fun game and, among other things, it will allow us to get a feel if newcomers Wesley, Sabonis, and Wiltjer can be consistent with what so far has been very successful play.


Go Zags!!~

*Catch the game on the radio- KIXI 880 am or tune in to ESPN U