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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Gonzaga-Oklahoma key matchup: Sooners offense runs through Austin Reaves

March 21, 2021 Updated Sun., March 21, 2021 at 10:19 p.m.

There shouldn’t be much mystery when Oklahoma is on offense. The ball will likely be in Austin Reaves’ hands, and he’s capable of creating his own points and opportunities for his teammates.

Reaves, a 6-foot-5, 206-pound guard, averages 17.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists. He earned first-team All-Big 12 recognition. He also became the first Big 12 player in history to average at least 18.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists during conference play.

Reaves hits 86.1% at the free-throw line and ranks 13th nationally in attempts (166). Most of the players listed above Reaves played in more games. He isn’t necessarily a knock-down shooter (43.1%), but he finds ways to score from distance (31 3-pointers) and off dribble penetration.

The Zags have the size and depth to match up against Reaves, beginning with point guard Jalen Suggs. Reaves, who played 38 minutes Saturday, will probably try to apply foul pressure on the freshman, who missed significant time against Norfolk State after picking up two early fouls.

Joel Ayayi, Andrew Nembhard and Corey Kispert will likely see time on Reaves when Gonzaga switches on screens. The Zags also could change it up and use speedy Aaron Cook or a bigger body in Anton Watson.

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