Nov 26, 2013; Lahaina, HI, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers guard Malik Smith (30) is guarded by Arkansas Razorbacks forward Michael Qualls (24) during the second round of the Maui Invitational at the Lahaina Civic Center. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Gonzaga Game Preview: Zags Play Arkansas for 5th Place at Maui


Gonzaga vs. Arkansas

Game Time: 2:00 p.m. PST

TV: ESPN2

Radio: http://www.gozags.com/liveEvents/liveEvents.dbml?SPID=90846&db_oem_id=26400

Teams Records: GU – 5-1 – Ark – 4-1

Leading Scorers: GU – Pangos 20.0 – Ark – Qualls 16.0

Leading Rebounds: GU – Dower 8.0 – Ark – Qualls 6.4

Leading Distributors: GU – Stockton 5.2 – Ark – Gulley 2.8

Projected Starters

Gonzaga

Kevin Pangos

Gary Bell Jr.

David Stockton

Samuel Dower Jr.

Przemek Karnowski

Arkansas

Fred Gulley III

Anthlon Bell

Michael Qualls

Coty Clarke

Bobby Portis

 

After a disappointing loss to Dayton in the first round of the Maui Invitational, where Gonzaga blew a 16 point first half lead, the Bulldogs blew out Chaminade by a score of 113 to 81. In their last game in Maui, the Zags will play a much more physical, athletic squad in Arkansas.

 

The Opponent

AP Poll: NR

Coaches Poll: NR

RPI: 17

KenPom: 73

 

Arkansas is an athletic team that gets after it on the defensive side of the ball. The Razorbacks are forcing 19.0 turnovers per game, which is good for 8th best in the entire nation. Arkansas creates these turnovers with suffocating on-ball defense and great anticipation.

On the offensive things, the Razorbacks love to chuck up the three. They are 33rd in the country in three-point percentage (41. 3%).

Michael Qualls is the Razorbacks big player on offense, averaging 16.0 points per game this season. Alandise Harris provides a great punch off the bench with 15.6 points per game.

Keys to the Game

 

More Coleman, Less Stockton

This is NOT meant to be a knock on David Stockton whatsoever. However, this type of game does not fit with his style of play.

Arkansas is long and athletic, and loves to aggress on the defensive end of the court. Stockton is not blessed with the athletic ability that some other players on the Gonzaga roster, and could struggle in this type of contest.

Gerard Coleman on the other hand, has a style of play that fits perfectly with the style of play of Arkansas. He is rangy and athletic and can keep up with more athletic wings. His ability to drive to the basket will draw more fouls, and could possibly cause Arkansas to back off on the defensive end, opening up the shooters that Gonzaga has on its roster.

Stockton should still play extended minutes, but expect to see Coleman out there a great deal more than he has in other games this season.

Second Chance Points

Neither Arkansas nor Gonzaga are great rebounding teams. The Razorbacks average 34.6 per game (232nd in the nation) and the Bulldogs average 33.8 (255th in the nation).

However, Arkansas is a tad better on the offensive end, where they average 11.6 offensive rebounds per game (171st in the country). Gonzaga is no better on the offensive end; the Zags average only 8.5 offensive rebounds per game, good for 318th in the nation.

Gonzaga’s bigs Przemek Karnowski and Sam Dower (and to a certain extent Drew Barham) need to box out and make sure Arkansas doesn’t feed off of second choice points. On the other end of the spectrum, Karnowski and Dower will need to find a way to grab offensive rebounds and give second opportunities to the Bulldogs offense.

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