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Sports >  NCAA basketball

Key matchup: Cameron Gooden trying to duplicate success from last year’s contest vs. Gonzaga

UPDATED: Mon., Nov. 8, 2021

Dixie State’s Cameron Gooden did a little bit of everything – most of it on the good side of the stat sheet – against Gonzaga last season.

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound guard scored a team-high 20 points and nailed 3 of 5 3-pointers and 7 of 8 free throws in a 45-point loss at the McCarthey Athletic Center. He had three rebounds and two assists, but did commit six of the Trailblazers’ 20 turnovers.

The junior guard then is back as a junior guard now, taking advantage of the NCAA granting winter sports athletes an extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19.

Gooden led Dixie State in nearly every category last season, including scoring (13.1), minutes (32.4), made 3-pointers (28), made free throws (84) and attempts (110), assists (67), steals (35) and turnovers (74).

The Zags can throw size (6-5 Andrew Nembhard or 6-5 Hunter Sallis) or quickness (6-2 Nolan Hickman or 6-3 Rasir Bolton) at Gooden over the course of 40 minutes, but it figures to be Bolton drawing the assignment at the outset, though Dixie State also lists 5-10 Brock Gilbert as a probable starter.

Gonzaga (14.4 seconds) and Dixie State (14.7) were in the top five in KenPom’s average time of possession last season so limiting turnovers and containing the opponent’s transition game will be highlighted on both teams’ scouting reports.

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