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Standouts and sleepers: Eight players to watch in Gonzaga’s pod at the Sweet 16

UPDATED: Tue., March 20, 2018

As Gonzaga heads into the Sweet 16, here are five standout players and three sleepers the Bulldogs need to have on their radar this weekend at the Staples Center.

Five standouts

Terance Mann, guard, Florida State

Mann’s scoring production has dipped as of late – the Seminoles guard has scored 32 points in his last five games – but it’s hard to ignore what he’s done in some of his previous outings: 30 vs. Georgia Tech, 25 vs. both Florida and Louisville and 20 or more against four other schools. Mann isn’t much of an outside shooter, but his midrange game is solid (56 percent from the field) and he knows how to get to the foul line.

Braian Angola, guard, Florida State

The Colombian-born guard who spent one season at North Idaho College is a streaky shooter who’s capable of going 7 for 11 or 1 of 8. Angola’s done both this season, but by the looks of it, he’s hit his stride in the NCAA Tournament, going 2 for 3 and 3 for 7 from long range in wins over Missouri and Xavier.

Moritz Wagner, forward, Michigan

The lone All-Big Ten selection for the Wolverines, Wagner averages a team-high 14.2 points per game and 7.1 rebounds. The 6-foot-11, 245-pound forward from Berlin, Germany, is a willing 3-point shooter who’s knocked down four 3-pointers in three games this season. Your best bet to stop Wagner is to get him into foul trouble. The junior fouled out of four games in 2017-18 and in 13 others, he’s been right on the cusp with four fouls.

Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, guard, Michigan

Leading up to the Big Dance, Abdur-Rahkman was looking like one of the country’s most lethal 3-point shooters. He had a Killian Tillie-esque stretch during Michigan’s run to the Big Ten Tournament championship, making 11 of 16 in three games while scoring 51 points. Two games prior, in the regular-season finale, he torched Maryland for 28 points on 6-of-13 shooting from distance.

Tyler Davis, center, Texas A&M

One of eight players named to the All-SEC first team, Davis, a 6-10, 266-pound junior, has been a steady double-digit scorer for the Aggies this season, hitting that plateau in all but five games. He averages 14.6 points and nine rebounds, and knows how to get himself to the free-throw line. During one three-game stretch, Davis shot 39 free throws. In two tournament games, he’s already made 15 trips.

Three sleepers

Jordan Poole, guard, Michigan

Poole isn’t flying under the radar anymore, and every American who’s followed the tournament closely knows the name of the freshman guard from Milwaukee. Poole drained the buzzer-beater to beat Houston in the Round of 32. While his 6.2 point-per-game average is nothing remarkable, he’s been able to turn it on at times this season.

Robert Williams, forward, Texas A&M

Williams has averaged close to a double-double this season, with 10.3 ppg and nine rpg, but it’s his defense that’s helped the Aggies regain relevance in the SEC and advance this far into the NCAA Tournament. The 6-10 sophomore forward shared SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors with South Carolina’s Chris Silva, averaging 2.6 blocks per game over the course of the season. Williams’ season high in that category is seven, achieved against Alabama in the SEC Tournament.

Duncan Robinson, guard, Michigan

The Big Ten’s Sixth Man of the Year is one of Michigan’s most important players four years after transferring from Division III Williams College. Robinson is thought to be the first player in NCAA history to transfer from the Division III level to the Division I level. This season, he’s averaging better than nine ppg, hitting 40 percent of his 3-pointers and 90 percent of his free throws.

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