Gonzaga takes on Division II St. Thomas Aquinas


On the side of St. Thomas Aquinas’ website sits a poll of 11 basketball games throughout the season asks which one fans are most looking forward to.  Out of every conference game (including inner-state battles and conference foes), 52 percent voted they most look forward to playing at Gonzaga.

  • Who: No. 11 Gonzaga vs. St. Thomas Aquinas (Division II)
  • When: Saturday, Nov. 22, 6 p.m.
  • Where: McCarthey Athletic Center, Spokane, WA
  • TV: KHQ, Radio: 1510 AM

If I took every team Gonzaga plays this season and ranked each one in talent order, St. Thomas Aquinas would probably be at the bottom of the list.  Not just that, but the Division II opponent has not only never played the Zags before but also probably would not be able to point out GU on a map, factoring in that Spokane, WA is 2,595 miles away from Sparkill, NY and that the teams have never played each other before.  Why would fans be most looking forward to watching their team leave the McCarthey Athletic Center looking like they just ran the gantlet?

Like most conference teams, the Spartans have this game circled on its Calendar as the highest-ranked opponent of the year.

Regardless, as a part of the NIT Season Tipoff the Zags (3-0) will seek a similar result as Wednesday’s 94-42 eradication of St. Joe’s facing the Spartans (0-3), who are a member Division II’s East Coast Conference.

What to watch for…

1.  The Kennel will indubitably fall in love with a bench player, as the starters will not see much action.  Choose wisely as (sneak preview) my crystal ball has the trio of Dustin Triano, Rem Bakamus and Connor Griffin, also known as “Platoon B,” seeing a lot of action Saturday night.

2. KEVIN PANGOS TURNOVER TRACKER: Through three games, Pangos has not turned the ball over once to compliment his 16 assists on the season, which leads the NCAA in efficiency.  I do not see him playing enough minutes to stain that streak tonight.

3. Say your prayers for no injuries.  Although the Zags are a deep squad and an injury to a starter may not mean as much as it would have to a not nearly as deep 2013-2014 roster, an injury this game would be so pointless.

What my crystal ball says…

In last preview’s instillment of “what my crystal ball says,” I nailed the foreseeable prediction that Gonzaga would roll over St. Joe’s and then some.  My crystal ball has never been wrong and I don’t see it coming up short when I say that the Zags will take this game handedly and gear for Georgia next Wednesday and the winner of St. John’s and Minnesota on Friday.