Games to Look Forward to: Gonzaga at Memphis


With ESPN’s College GameDay crew in the building, the Gonzaga Bulldogs will play a late season non-conference game on February 8th at the FedEx forum against the Memphis Tigers, something that should not be foreign to the Gonzaga faithful. Every game but one in this series has been played smack dab in the middle of conference play. Gonzaga has playedMemphis six times in the last decade, but has only taken down the Tigers once. The mini-rivalry has not gone the Bulldogs’ way thus far, but they will look to change that in front of a nationally television audience.

The Memphis Tigers absolutely have eaten Gonzaga’s lunch the last decade, as alluded to previously. The Tigers have outscored the Bulldogs 430 to 396 over the course of six games. The blatantly obvious thing that stood out in these matchups is how much quicker and faster the Tigers were than the Bulldogs. Players like Antonio Barton, Tyreke Evans, Chris Douglas-Roberts and Derrick Rose have absolutely torched the Zags in previous years, due to their superior athleticism.

Unfortunately for Gonzaga, the Tigers could be lethal in 2013-2014. A host of newcomers should come in and contribute right away for the Tigers. A pair of transfers, Michael Dixon and David Pellom, should be key players for the Tigers this season.Memphiswill bring in the second-ranked recruiting class in the nation, which features Kuran Iverson, Nick King, Austin Nichols, Rashawn “Pookie” Powell and Dominic Woodson. Notable returning players include guards Chris Crawford, Geron Jackson and Joe Jackson, and forward Shaq Goodwin.

The most intriguing part of this game will be how these two backcourts fare against one another. Both teams will likely start three guards, and both backcourts will be the strengths of their respective teams. It will be interesting to see who Gonzaga’s defensive ace Gary Bell Jr. faces up against in this game. Will he match up with Michael Dixon, who is projected to have a phenomenal season, or Joe Jackson, who was the Tigers’ leading scorer last season? Only time will tell. Gerard Coleman will likely go toe-to-toe with Tigers’ guard Chris Crawford, who is a serious threat from three-point range. Kevin Pangos will lead the offensive charge of the Bulldogs.

This is definitely one of the games that WCC fans will need to look out for in 2013-2014, along with college basketball fans around the country.