Team and individual matchups don’t appear favorable for Southern Miss against eighth-ranked Gonzaga, but one to keep an eye on involves Golden Eagles senior forward Boban Jacdonmi.
The 6-foot-9, 256-pound native of England has an interesting story. He didn’t play basketball until age 17. He scored just 30 points in 23 appearances last season, but he’s emerged as the team’s top scorer (16.4 points) and second-leading rebounder (7.6) this season. He’s averaging 12.7 points against three Division I opponents.
Jacdonmi’s 66% shooting is tied for 19th nationally with North Dakota’s Filip Rebraca, who had 16 points and 13 rebounds against Gonzaga on Nov. 12. Jacdonmi does nearly all of his damage in the lane. He hasn’t attempted a 3-pointer in his career.
Gonzaga’s defense has been solid against opposing bigs this season, other than UT Arlington’s Jabari Narcis drilling five 3-pointers. CSU Bakersfield’s Shawn Stith was in early foul trouble and scored four points, eight below his average.
The Zags can rotate Filip Petrusev, Killian Tillie and Drew Timme on Jacdonmi. The Golden Eagles don’t have GU’s frontcourt depth and Jacdonmi will have to avoid foul trouble to make an impact.
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