No. 9 Gonzaga vs. Washington State Preview


In the wake of GU’s first loss of the season, the first overtime game since March 5th, 2012, the Zags play to rebound against Washington State on Wednesday.  Despite a valiant performance in Tucson where the Zags led most of the game, five turnovers and a T.J. McConnell overtime takeover resulted in a Zags loss.

Kevin Pangos and Co. will not face a defense woven to stifle, length engineered to prevent or an opposing standing raucous crowd of 14,545.  In fact, the No. 9 Zags have a date with a substantially lesser opponent.

While the Cougars (4-4) represent the only sliver of an in-state rivalry, the past four years have been all but a tug-of-war.  Gonzaga has won the past three match-ups, highlighted by a 90-74 Kennel mauling of the Zags last season.

Meet the Cougs…

Seven years ago, the Cougars were an NCAA team.  The years in between then and now have been somewhat of a spin out of relevance in which the program has gone through a couple of coaches, leading up to the current state of transition into the Ernie Kent era.

Kent, who formerly took the Oregon Ducks as high is the elite eight in his past tenure, takes the reigns of a Pac-12 gutter team.

The DaVonté Lacy Show:  Although possessing a slice of young talent, WSU’s offense runs solely through the senior score-first guard.  Lacy averaged 19.4 points per game last season and is averaging 18.5 points per game through eight games, coming off of an impressive 31 points.

3 things to watch for…

1. Gary Bell Jr. vs. DaVonté Lacy–The two shooting guards were high school rivals, Lacy, the University High School graduate and Bell a grad of Kentridge High in Kent, Wash were the two best players in the state of Washington coming out of high school and were both ESPN top-100 recruits. Both are seniors and this will be their last collegiate face off.

2. Kevin Pangos scoring barrage– In his first game in the Kennel as an 18-year-old, Pangos drilled nine three and notched 33 points.  The year after, he hit the game-winner in Pullman, and last year he notched 27 points with five threes.  Expect a Pangos offensive explosion tonight, as there will be no McConnell making his life a living hell, giving him plenty of space on offense to run free.

3.  A blowout–I expect the Zags to run away with this one.  Putting the defenses of Washington State and Arizona together is like throwing Sugar Ray Leonard in the ring with Little Bunny Foo Foo, and I fully expect GU to run all over the Cougs early and often.

Game info…

When: 8:00 p.m., December 10, 2014

Where: Spokane Arena, Spokane, Wash.