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Santa Clara backcourt trio next challenge for Gonzaga

UPDATED: Sat., Dec. 30, 2017

Gonzaga guard Josh Perkins (13) and Santa Clara guard Matt Hauser go after the ball during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Spokane, Wash., Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017. Gonzaga won 90-55. (Young Kwak / Associated Press)
Gonzaga guard Josh Perkins (13) and Santa Clara guard Matt Hauser go after the ball during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Spokane, Wash., Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017. Gonzaga won 90-55. (Young Kwak / Associated Press)

Gonzaga has played numerous guard-driven opponents but Santa Clara might lean on its starting trio more than the rest.

KJ Feagin (18.7 points, 39 percent on 3-pointers), Henry Caruso (13.6 points, 86.7 percent free throw) and Matt Hauser (10.8 points, 39 percent on 3s) account for 43 of the Broncos’ 72 points per game. The trio rarely leaves the floor as each averages 34 minutes. They combined for 50 points in a 72-65 home win over Pepperdine in a WCC opener Thursday.

GU is familiar with Feagin, a three-year starter, and Hauser, a two-year starter. Caruso is a grad transfer from Princeton where he earned All-Ivy League honors in 2016.

Gonzaga counters with Josh Perkins, Silas Melson and Zach Norvell Jr. Caruso, 6-foot-4, 195-pound wing, can hit 3s but does more damage inside the arc and by getting to the free-throw line. Melson figures to defend Caruso or Feagin. Perkins should see time on Feagin, an All-WCC preseason pick.

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