Zags have hands full with Smart, Cowboys

Gonzaga has faced four Big 12 teams thus far and each time the outcome gets a little tighter: Defeated West Virginia by 34 points, Oklahoma by 25, Kansas State by 16 and Baylor by 7.

Of course, that probably has more to do with the fact that they're facing a better Big 12 opponent each time out. And that trend will continue Monday night when No. 13 GU faces No. 22 Oklahoma State, which is 10-1 and has a number of impressive defensive statistics.

The Bulldogs will have to contend with freshman point guard Marcus Smart and a stellar supporting cast that includes leading scorer Le'Bryan Nash (14.9 ppg), Markel Brown (14.0) and Phil Forte (10.9). Gonzaga coach Mark Few saw Smart's all-around impact on games first hand as an assistant on Billy Donovan's Team USA U-18 staff. Smart helped the U.S. to a gold medal.

Here's a link to my preview that will run in Monday's S-R.


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