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Gonzaga Basketball
Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Gonzaga completes nonconference schedule with NAU, USC and North Carolina Central

UPDATED: Tue., June 30, 2020

Gonzaga guard Joel Ayayi drives against Washington in the first half of the Zags’ win last December. The Huskies visit GU on Dec. 12  (Associated Press)
Gonzaga guard Joel Ayayi drives against Washington in the first half of the Zags’ win last December. The Huskies visit GU on Dec. 12 (Associated Press)

Gonzaga’s non-conference basketball schedule next season appears to be set.

The final addition – vs. Northern Arizona on Dec. 28 – is the last non-conference date before Gonzaga’s WCC opener on Dec. 31.

NAU joins USC and North Carolina Central as the most recent additions on the Zags’ schedule.

Gonzaga will face USC on Nov. 17 in the Phil Knight Invitational (PKI) at the Moda Center in Portland. BYU and Oregon are expected to meet in the second game.

The Trojans have retooled their roster after finishing 22-9 and No. 45 in the final NET rankings. Post Onyeka Okongwu declared for the NBA draft and is projected by many as a lottery pick. Elijah Weaver (Dayton) and Kyle Sturdivant (Georgia Tech) transferred.

Four players graduated, including guard Jonah Mathews, younger brother of former GU wing Jordan Mathews, a grad transfer from USC who helped the Zags reach the 2017 national championship game.

USC reloaded with 7-foot center Evan Mobley, ranked No. 3 by ESPN in the 2020 class, and five transfers, including three grad transfers that should fill roles immediately. Mobley and Gonzaga freshmen Dominick Harris were teammates at Rancho Christian High in Temecula, California.

Mobley’s brother, Isaiah, is a rising sophomore at USC and father, Eric, is an assistant coach. Isaiah averaged 6.2 points and 5.3 rebounds in 20.3 minutes per game last season.

Santa Clara grad transfer Tahj Eaddy averaged 12 points and 2.6 assists over the last two seasons. He has connected on 162 3-pointers in three collegiate seasons.

Isaiah White, a 6-7 forward, averaged 14.5 points and 8.4 rebounds for Utah Valley last year. Chevez Goodwin, a 6-9 post from Wofford, averaged 11.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks last season.

Northern Arizona finished 16-14 last year, 10-10 in the Big Sky. The sixth-seeded Lumberjacks lost to No. 11 Idaho State in the first round of the Big Sky Tournament.

Shane Burcar was promoted to head coach in March after guiding NAU to its best record since the 2014-15 season as interim coach.

NAU returns junior point guard Cameron Shelton, a third-team All-Big Sky selection. He averaged 14.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.5 steals, one of just two players in the Big Sky to rank in the top 10 in those four categories.

Post Brooks DeBisschop exited after a strong season year (12.0 points, 8.1 rebounds). He made third-team All-Big Sky. Forward Bernie Andre (Vermont) and guard Cameron Satterwhite (Montana) moved on as grad transfers. The 6-6 Andre averaged 11.2 points and 6.6 boards as a junior while Satterwhite chipped in 9.0 points per game.

Gonzaga will open the season Nov. 10 against North Carolina Central, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference regular-season champions last year. The Eagles (18-13, 13-3 MEAC) won a MEAC Tournament quarterfinal game before the remainder of the event was canceled in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

NCCU loses 6-7, 230-pound forward Jibri Blount, named MEAC player of the year after averaging 19.2 points and 9.5 rebounds as a senior. Rising senior guard C.J. Keyser shot 57% from the field and averaged 11.6 points, 15.8 in conference, while earning third-team All-MEAC honors.

North Carolina Central reached three straight NCAA Tournaments from 2017-2019, falling in the First Four each year. Coach LeVelle Moton has guided the Eagles to four NCAA Tournaments and has a 61.3 winning percentage in 10 seasons at his alma mater.

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