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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Gonzaga-Loyola Marymount key matchup: Lions rely on versatile Eli Scott

Jan. 10, 2020 Updated Fri., Jan. 10, 2020 at 8:21 p.m.

Gonzaga faces one of the more unique players in the West Coast Conference on Saturday.

Eli Scott, a 6-foot-5, 245-pound junior, is listed as a guard/forward, but he does it all for Loyola Marymount. Scott ranks second in the conference in assists (4.7), fifth in scoring (16.1), and ninth in rebounding (6.4). He shoots 55.3% from the field, sixth in the WCC.

Scott has hit 4 of 9 3-pointers, but he’s far more comfortable putting his muscular frame to work closer to the basket. He orchestrates most of LMU’s offense and spends a fair amount of time at the free-throw line (99 attempts, 65.7%).

Junior wing Corey Kispert is probably Gonzaga’s first defensive option on Scott, who rarely leaves the court (32.8 minutes per game). It’s a stark contrast from Kispert’s assignment Thursday against San Diego’s rangy 6-6, 185-pound wing Braun Hartfield, but Kispert’s size and strength should make for an interesting matchup with Scott.

The Zags have the option of putting more size on Scott with 6-10 Killian Tillie, but Tillie probably will guard 6-7 Ivan Alipiev, the Lions’ second-leading scorer at 10.8 points with a team-high 78 3-point attempts.

“He’s a good player,” Zags guard Joel Ayayi said of Scott. “Every time we play a great player, we always guard him as a team.”

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