Getting packed up to head over to the Orleans Arena for the first of two semifinal games for Gonzaga's basketball programs. The women tip against Saint Mary's at noon. The men take on BYU at …. the official time listed is 8 p.m., but the second half of the night session tipped at 8:25 Thursday and 8:45 Friday … we'll say approximately 8:15. Feel free to start a pool on the tip time..
Here's my GU women's preview and GU men's preview. Interested to see three things today: More on Saint Mary's women here. More on USF men here. More on BYU's men here, here, here and here. Plenty more here from the WCC website.
Interested to see three things today:
1, How will GU's women handle the physicality of Saint Mary's. The teams have played twice and both were close, both with the road team rallying to a narrow victory. The teams were even on the boards (38-38) and free-throw trips (20 each) in Spokane. SMC won the glass 38-34, but lost the FTs (23-19) in Moraga. Those will be key stats to watch, as well as the productivity of GU's interior players.
2. How will Noah Hartsock's knee respond after playing 27 hard minutes in BYU's uptempo attack last night? He wouldn't have played nearly as much if BYU had built a comfortable lead against San Diego, but the Toreros didn't let that happen. The Cougars are a different team with Hartsock providing points, rebounds and leadership.
3. Saint Mary's, which should have the services of Stephen Holt (knee) tonight, would be advised to play very well tongiht because San Francisco is well stocked with the right balance of confidence and looseness. The Dons will be a tough out.