Gonzaga and Utah will spend New Year's Eve on the court for the second straight year. GU won 61-59 last year in Spokane. The rematch is Wednesday at 5 p.m. PST in Salt Lake City.
For the second straight year, GU assistant Ray Giacoletti will handle the scouting report for this game. Makes sense, given that Giacoletti recruited 8 of the 10 players in Utah's rotation when he was the Utes' head coach from 2005-2007.
Read on for an unedited game preview.
By Jim Meehan
Before talking matchups and strategy, Gonzaga’s first order of business tonight is simply to bring energy and effort.
Those two elements were sorely lacking when the Bulldogs lost to
“We definitely have to come out harder than we did against
The scouting reports on these teams probably haven’t changed a great deal. Both teams returned the majority of their key players. In fact, Gonzaga assistant coach Ray Giacoletti, who was
Center Luke Nevill was the first player Giacoletti signed at
“They have their entire team back and these are all the seniors that Ray recruited,” said Gonzaga head coach Mark Few, who stayed home Tuesday to be with his wife Marcy, who is pregnant and a couple days past her due date. Few is scheduled to fly to
The Utes have four players averaging in double figures, including Tyler Kepkay and Shaun Green, 3-point threats that come off the bench.
Gonzaga’s bench is without Robert Sacre (fractured foot). The 7-foot center’s appointment with a
“They just have a terrific combination of talent,”
“They’re very similar to us right now in that they’ve had a very difficult schedule. They’ve
lost a game or two that they thought they could win. When you have a schedule like the one they have, you have to play well every night, it’s difficult.”
“They’ve got a bunch of great shooters, they have some athleticism on the wings and their post is a stud,” Gonzaga junior guard Matt Bouldin said. “We’re going to have our hands full.”