Zags Around the Web - Rushing the polls, Gary Bell goes off

Gary Bell Jr. scored 38 points last night in Kentridge's win over Thomas Jefferson. (waprepsports.net)

I kept meaning to sit down and write a post yesterday about the polls and what not but this Lane Kiffin to USC news just had me fascinated.  However, with Saint Mary's on the horizon, it is time to shift our focus to basketball.  Gonzaga has worked its way back into the middle of each poll and when you scan the WCC schedule, there are really only three games of significant worry for this team.  Thursday is definitely one of them.  Not only is it huge for the Zags to beat their biggest current rival on their home court but Saint Mary's also needs this game equally as much as they are still seeking that major quality win which would get them on the national landscape.  

As we take an in-depth look at the polls which were released on Monday, we once again have a lot of variance when it comes to Gonzaga.  Let's take a look at how the AP Poll shook out this week for the Zags

-- There are 65 voters in this year's Associated Press Poll
-- Of those 65, 59 of them decided that Gonzaga was worthy of being in their poll
-- Michael Rothstein of Ann Arbor, Michigan gave the Zags their highest ranking at 11th.

Obviously those six voters still need some convincing about Gonzaga so hopefully Thursday's game against Saint Mary's will be another big win for this team.  We've come to expect the unexpected when it comes to pollsters and how they sort through the middle to end of the polls.  We've droned on and on about quality wins because Gonzaga has a number of them.  Cincinnati and Wisconsin continue to look like good wins, Colorado is improving, and Illinois is definitely a tournament team that the Zags took down on the road.  Teams like Louisiana Tech, Northern Iowa, Temple, Dayton, and Miami all garnered rankings from the voters that left Gonzaga out and it really does have to beg the question about what voters really look for.  I understand the point of representing the smaller schools but this team proved in Maui, and then against Oklahoma and Illinois that they are one of the best 25 teams in the nation.

keep reading after the jump for a few links and things this morning...

-- High School Sports | Joshua Smith returns to action for Kentwood | Prep Basketball Roundup | Seattle Times Newspaper

Kentridge junior guard Gary Bell scored 38 points with six rebounds, five assists and three steals in the eighth-ranked Chargers' 70-56 SPSL South win over Jefferson. Bell, who scored a season-high 55 in an overtime loss to Auburn Riverside last month, lifted his scoring average to 25.9.

-- KREM 2 News | KREM.com | When it Matters Most | Video

Raw interviews with Robert Sacre, Mark Few, and Kelly Olynyk. Great stuff once again from the guys at KREM.

-- Rivals.com Basketball Recruiting - Portland's Wiltjer Rising Higher as Hoop Dreams Become Reality

This is a subscription page but OregonPreps.com had a nice article on 2011 prospect Kyle Wiltjer. Not a whole bunch of new info as far as recruiting goes but it's a quality read. From the sounds of it, Wiltjer is strongly considering Harvard.

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