Back with a Gonzaga-Portland preview that will run in Saturday's S-R. We touch on GU's tough three-game stretch to open the WCC, Portland's perimeter prowess and the Pilots' experience.
Also, Oklahoma lost something else when it was thumped by Gonzaga on Dec. 31. Sooners' players lost the rights to use their locker room and OU practice gear (which probably doesn't sit too well with Nike). Read more here.
By Jim Meehan
The 19th-ranked Bulldogs (11-3) tip off conference play against
“Our conference is, if not the best in the West, it’s one of the best,” senior guard Matt Bouldin said. “Every game is going to be tough and we have a few tough ones right off the bat.”
Feeling’s mutual, Pilots coach Eric Reveno said. As GU’s travel partner,
“I’m very willing to put pressure on because of the fact that this is a home game,” Reveno said. “The thing that resonates is it’s a big game playing Gonzaga at home, but it’s the home part that’s almost more than the Gonzaga part.”
Stohl’s 10 3s and the Pilots’ 16 against
“They’re extremely skilled and they can really shoot the ball,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few. “If they’re open, it’s in.”
On the interior, Robin Smeulders, Kramer Knutson and backup forward Luke Sikma combine for 24.4 points and nearly 17 rebounds per game. Those three, along with Raivio and Campbell, have combined for eight double-doubles this season.
“They’ve got a lot of the same faces back, which really helps in college basketball,” Bouldin said. “I never realized how much I appreciated veterans until this year’s team with all these young guys.”