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Zags return to road in WCC

Game day is approaching for Gonzaga, which visits Loyola Marymount on Thursday in Los Angeles.

Here's my preview of the Bulldogs-Lions, a glance at the game and a couple of notes that will run on our Four Corners college basketball page in Thursday's S-R.

 More below.


RECORD: 19-2, 6-0 WCC

COMING UP: Tonight at LMU, 8 (ESPN2); Saturday at San Diego, 8 (ESPNU)

OUTLOOK: No. 7 Gonzaga is the highest ranked team to visit Gersten Pavilion since the fifth-rated Bulldogs’ visit in 2006. Loyola Marymount (8-12, 1-6 WCC) is 4-4 in its last eight versus ranked foes, including a 74-66 victory over No. 9 GU in 2010. The Lions are tied with Portland, which knocked off LMU in Los Angeles on Jan. 12, for last place in the WCC. After defeating Santa Clara 84-80 three weeks ago, LMU has dropped four in a row by 4, 8, 9 and 3 points. LMU is last in the conference in field-goal percentage (41.7) and scoring defense (70.6 ppg). Junior point guard Anthony Ireland is averaging 20 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Ireland had 11 rebounds against SMU earlier this season and he’s 32 of 34 at the free-throw line in conference.

San Diego (11-11, 4-3) won its first four WCC games before dropping three straight by a combined 64 points.




Mark Few has taken a wait-and-see approach when asked if this is his best team at Gonzaga, but Few’s WCC coaching counterparts aren’t waiting around.

Loyola Marymount coach Max Good, whose team entertains Gonzaga tonight, in his pre-game comments sounded much like San Francisco’s Rex Walters after the Dons’ 66-52 loss to the Bulldogs on Saturday.

“I believe this is the best team in our league in my five years and I’ve talked to a lot of other people that think it’s the best team in our league in the last 13 years,” Good said. “I think (junior forward Kelly) Olynyk is the best player in the league in the last five years.”

Good didn’t stop there.

“If you put (David) Stockton, (Kyle) Dranginis, Guy (Landry Edi), (Przemek) Karnowski and (Sam) Dower out there, they’d be in the top two or three in the league,” Good said. “I know every single one of those five would start for some, and probably several, of the teams.”


Gonzaga senior forward Guy Landry Edi, who missed the San Francisco game last Saturday with an ankle injury, has practiced this week and should be available against LMU. Edi stepped on a teammate’s foot during the BYU game and sprained his ankle.

Edi has started 13 games. He’s averaging 4.4 points and 2.7 rebounds, but his playing time has dropped to 6 minutes per WCC contest. Senior Mike Hart is averaging 18 minutes in conference games.

Redshirt freshman Kyle Dranginis made his first start versus USF.



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Jim Allen Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jacob Thorpe Sports reporter Jacob Thorpe covers Washington State University athletics. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jim Meehan Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Josh Wright Josh Wright is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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