Gonzaga vs. South Alabama (Battle in Seattle)
Game time: 7:00 p.m. PST
TV: Root Sports
Teams Records: GU – 9-1 – USA – 5-4
Leading Scorers: GU – Pangos 19.6 – USA – Rubit 16.7
Leading Rebounders: GU – Karnowski 8.1 – USA – Rubit 10.0
Leading Distributors: GU – Stevens III – USA – Stockton 5.2
Gary Bell Jr.
Samuel Dower Jr.
Barrington Stevens III
After a convincing road victory versus West Virginia on Tuesday, the Gonzaga Bulldogs take on South Alabama in its annual “Battle in Seattle” game at Key Arena.
Many fans of the Gonzaga program scoffed at the notion of scheduling South Alabama for a game that usually attracts big name programs such as Connecticut, Arizona and Illinois. However, do not let South Alabama’s title as a mid-major fool you, this is a team that will challenge Gonzaga until the final horn sounds.
AP Poll: NR
Coaches Poll: NR
The name fans will be hearing all throughout the game is Augustine Rubit, the Jaguars 6’7” star senior forward. Rubit is averaging a double-double this season with 16.7 points and 10.0 rebounds. He has a very interesting story, which can be read here.
Behind Rubit, the Jaguars rely on a plethora of different players to provide scoring. Antoine Allen (10.1 PPG) is the Jags best three-point shooter, with 23 made on the season and three-point percentage of 48.9. Mychal Ammons is a fantastic rebounder with 8.7 per game, which goes along with his 9.8 points per game. The Jaguars point guard is Barrington Stevens III, who averages 2.7 assists this season. Other players who play significant minutes include Ken Williams (9.4 PPG), Aakim Saintil (7.4 PPG), T.J. Johnson (4.7 PPG), and Deonte Ferguson (4.6 PPG).
The tallest player on South Alabama to play significant minutes is Rubit, who is 6’7”. Despite the lack of height, the Jaguars are one of the best rebounding teams in the nation. South Alabama’s 41.2 rebounds per game is 22nd in the NCAA, and average 13.8 offensive rebounds which is 42nd in the NCAA. The Jags do a great job of crashing the glass and controlling the boards.
South Alabama has wins against Detroit, William Carey (NAIA), Wright State, Houston Baptist and Spring Hill (NAIA) and losses against Texas, Southern Mississippi, Middle Tennessee State, and Rice.
Keys to the Game
The Twin Towers
Both Sam Dower and Przemek Karnowski are significantly taller than South Alabama’s tallest player. Expect the Bulldogs to attack the post early and often to exploit this mismatch.
This goes for the whole team, not just the front-court. As alluded to before, South Alabama does a fantastic job of crashing the glass, a testament to its high rebounding numbers. The Bulldogs cannot let the Jaguars score a ton of second chance points, and need to get some themselves on the other end.
After a close second half, the Bulldogs talent level will propel them past South Alabama in the second half. Gonzaga 90, South Alabama 75.