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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Gonzaga-Creighton key matchup: Marcus Zegarowski orchestrates Bluejays’ offense

March 27, 2021 Updated Sat., March 27, 2021 at 10:25 p.m.

Creighton has a balanced offense, but it revolves around Marcus Zegarowski.

The junior point guard has been the team’s top or co-leading scorer in eight of the last 10 games. He’s dialed it up in March Madness, averaging 18.5 points and 5.0 assists while shooting 51.9% from the field and 53.8% beyond the arc.

Zegarowski ranks sixth in career 3-pointers (212) and he’s just about to crack the school’s top-10 list in assists.

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Zegarowski is a smaller version of Oklahoma’s Austin Reaves, the 6-5 guard who stung Gonzaga for 27 points last Monday. Both operate effectively off high ball screens, creating for themselves or teammates. Zegarowski is better from distance (career 42.1%) while Reaves is more physical in the lane.

Gonzaga had issues at times defending Reaves and the Sooners’ ball screens, which has likely been a focal point in practice this week. The Bluejays run a similar offensive system with Zegarowski at the controls. He’s surrounded by 3-point threats Damien Jefferson, Mitch Ballock and Denzel Mahoney.

Zegarowski’s challenge against Gonzaga will be the size and length of potential defenders Jalen Suggs (6-4, 205), Joel Ayayi (6-5, 180) and Andrew Nembhard (6-5, 193). Reserve guard Aaron Cook (6-1, 180) is one of GU’s better on-ball defenders.

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