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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Gonzaga-Baylor key matchup: All-American Jared Butler leads Bears

Dec. 4, 2020 Updated Fri., Dec. 4, 2020 at 7:38 p.m.

Any of the backcourt duels are must-see in this No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown, but a potential Jared Butler-Jalen Suggs matchup is off the charts. Or Butler-Andrew Nembhard. Or Butler-Joel Ayayi.

Butler is the leading man on Baylor’s talented guard line. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound junior guard is a difference-maker at both ends of the court. He’s a high-level defender. He averages 16.3 points, 4 assists and hits nearly 44% of his 3-point attempts. He’s only attempted one free throw in three games, despite his ability to penetrate off the bounce.

Suggs was off to a tremendous start before suffering an ankle injury Wednesday. He gamely returned early in the second half and seemed to be moving well toward the end of the game. Nembhard was stellar in relief of Suggs, but lost in his 19-point effort was his defensive work, particularly limiting West Virginia’s Miles McBride.

Both teams tend to switch on screens, so it’ll be a five-man approach as the Zags and Bears try to slow down each other’s backcourt.

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