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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Saint Mary’s center Jock Landale has been matchup nightmare for opponents

UPDATED: Fri., Feb. 9, 2018

Saint Mary’s center Jock Landale  looks to pass during the second half last Saturday  in San Diego. (Gregory Bull / Associated Press)
Saint Mary’s center Jock Landale looks to pass during the second half last Saturday in San Diego. (Gregory Bull / Associated Press)

Saturday’s key matchup? Hmm, take one guess.

Saint Mary’s senior center Jock Landale has been working over opponents all season and it was no different against the Zags in the first meeting. The 6-foot-11 Australian made 12 of 15 shots, scored 26 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and handed out three assists.

Landale has seven 30-point games and 11 20-point efforts. He makes 66 percent of his field-goal attempts and 74 percent from the free-throw line.

Gonzaga tried several tactics in the first meeting, but there were long stretches in which Johnathan Williams dealt with Landale one-on-one and the All-American candidate took over in crunch time.

The Zags will probably expand their coverages on Landale, perhaps doubling more or having guards dig down on entry passes. The problem is Landale is an accomplished passer, averaging 2 assists per game, and he’s surrounded by shooters. The Gaels make 42 percent of their 3-pointers and all five starters shoot at least 40 percent.

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