Date: December 18 , 2008
No. 8 (AP)
No. 7 (USA Today)
NR (USA Today)
With the college basketball world eagerly awaiting the terrific match up between UConn and Gonzaga on Saturday, The Slipper Still Fits wanted to remind GU fans that the team does play on Thursday against Texas Southern. While this should be a fairly routine victory for the Zags, this game can provide GU with the opportunity to refine the offense and rebuild some confidence.
continue reading after the jump to read more about the Zags/Tigers match up...
Texas Southern This Season: I can honestly say that I have never seen a more difficult schedule to begin a season. Texas Southern has started the season 0-9, and much of that can be attributed to the talented teams they have faced. Already this season, the Tigers have gone on the road to play UTEP, Cincinnati, Marquette, Arkansas, Washington, and most recently Texas. There are very few teams in the country that would come out of a stretch like that with a winning record. The leading scorer for the Tigers is DeAndre Hall. Hall, a junior from Pontiac (MI), is an explosive SF who scored 29 points against Cincinnati. He leads the team in scoring with 13.4 points per game. Matthew Miller is the only other Tiger to average in double-digits, and he is scoring 12.7 points per game. Miller recently scored 21 points against Texas, so the Zags better be prepared for another high scoring game.
What We are Watching for: It will be interesting to see how the Zags react to their first loss of the season. Will the team come out and play in a funk, or will we see a resounding and dominant effort? Instead of viewing this as an easy victory before they head to Seattle, I hope the team uses this game an a chance to work on their offensive sets and create better cohesion. This game should also provide GU with a chance to work on their perimeter defense. Texas Southern attempts over 12 three's a game, and anything can happen if a team gets hot from outside the arc. Gonzaga needs to make sure that they contest every shot, and continue to play excellent perimeter defense.
Top match up: After being dominated by Nic Wise over the weekend, Jeremy Pargo will face another solid PG in Matthew Miller. Miller is a great scorer from the PG position, and Jeremy will need to step up on the defensive end. I look for Pargo to control both ends of the court, and prove that the last game was just an aberration in an All-American season.
The Final Prediction: While Texas Southern has been able to stay close against some of these tremendous opponents, this team is not capable of challenging the Zags. I expect to see Gonzaga put together a dominant performance, and then it's time to focus on the Huskies. Final Score: 94-67 win