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Battle of the bigs as Eric Mika, Przemek Karnowski square off in Provo

BYU forward Eric Mika, right, has scored in double figures in every game this season for the Cougars. (Isaac Hale / Daily Herald via AP)
BYU forward Eric Mika, right, has scored in double figures in every game this season for the Cougars. (Isaac Hale / Daily Herald via AP)

No. 1 Gonzaga visits BYU in the Marriott Center on Thursday and the spotlight will be on the big men. The Zags’ Przemek Karnowski and the Cougars’ Eric Mika rank among the best posts in the nation.

Karnowski is hitting 71.3 percent of his shots in WCC games and he’s been effective passing out of double teams. Mika has scored in double figures in every game this season. He’s the top scorer, rebounder and shot-blocker in the conference.

The 7-foot-1, 300-pound Karnowski will have a size advantage, but expect BYU to bring in 6-10, 260-pound Corbin Kaufusi at times to defend GU’s center. Kaufusi plays defensive end on the football team. Mika, at 6-10 and 230 pounds, is strong enough to post up but often uses his mobility to create shots inside.

Mika has played at least 32 minutes in five of the last six games, twice finishing with four fouls.

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