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San Francisco Dons at Gonzaga Bulldogs: Preview & Open Game Thread

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January 17, 2009
5:00 PST
TV: KHQ/FSNW
Radio: 1510 KGA
Live Stats: GameTracker

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11-4 (2-0)
NR (AP)
NR (USA Today)
8-10 (0-3)
NR (AP)
NR (USA Today)

Probable Starting Lineups:

Gonzaga Bulldogs Ht. Wt. Pos. Yr. PPG RPG APG
Jeremy Pargo 6-2 220 G Sr. 10.0 3.8 6.5
Steven Gray 6-5 208 G So. 11.1 3.5 2.6
Matt Bouldin 6-5 224 G Jr. 12.7 3.9 2.9
Austin Daye 6-11 200 F So. 12.9 6.5 0.8
Josh Heytvelt 6-11 250 C Sr. 14.6 6.5 0.4
USF Dons Ht. Wt. Pos. Yr. PPG RPG APG
Dontae Bryant
6-2 175 G Jr. 4.4 2.3 3.1
Chris O'Brien 6-4 205 G Fr. 4.0 2.2 0.9
Christian Hernandez
6-5 210 G Jr. 1.8 1.4 0.4
Angelo Caloiaro
6-7 225 F Fr. 8.7 4.1 1.1
Dior Lowhorn
6-7 230 F Jr. 20.4 6.2 0.7

continue reading after the jump for a quick game preview...

San Francisco Dons (8-10) at a glance

Stat Leaders Games of Note All-time Series
Dior Lowhorn (20.4 ppg) L @ Boston College (84-62) Zags 37-14 (since 1980)
Dior Lowhorn (6.2 rpg) L @ USC (74-69) Zags have won last seven
Manny Quezada (3.1 apg) L @ Cal (87-74) Last USF win was in 2005

13-41 is the combined record of the next three opponents for the Gonzaga Bulldogs. The pleasure cruise kicks off tonight with a home game against the Dons of San Francisco who have shown positive flashes but haven't been able to string together any sort of consistent effort. There's one player to watch for tonight and that is Dior Lowhorn. The do it all 6'7'' forward is a sure fire All-WCC type player this season and has been the only bright spot for the Dons. Lowhorn is extremely skilled in the interior and is a match up problem thanks to his above average athleticism. While Dior has done his share, the rest of his team is very young and are really struggling. Here are some keys tonight for the Gonzaga Bulldogs:

Dominate Early and Often: I'd like to see another performance that is a clone of the Santa Clara game. Gonzaga got running early with the lights out early game shooting of Steven Gray and the solid efforts from Matt Bouldin and Austin Daye. This should be one of those games that Andrew Sorenson gets a lot of playing time in. While Lowhorn is extremely skilled; expect the length of Josh Heytvelt and upstart Will Foster to really frustrate the Dons. Their two starting big men are really not that big at all, standing at 6'7'' each. The perimeter for USF is another extremely weak area and the Zags should be able to control the game from outside.

Keep it going, Jeremy: One of the most frustrating aspects of Gonzaga's rough December was the sputtering play of Jeremy Pargo. He had a great start to the season and had seemed to have grown into the role of distributor. This all changed in December when Jeremy's assist/turnover ratio plummeted. He really struggled making the right passes and it hampered this team greatly. Pargo had one of his best outings of the season on Thursday and the USF game should be another confidence booster before January 29-February 7th when the Zags will have to take on St. Mary's, San Diego, and Memphis. If the Zags want a good position in the NCAA tournament, they'll need Pargo to play well in these games.

You are big, act like it: USF is built alot like Portland State. They specialize in undersized big men. The sad thing about the Portland State game is that the Zags were abused on the boards. Josh Heytvelt and Austin Daye are super-athletic players with length and are heavily relied on to pull down some boards. Against Santa Clara, the two led Gonzaga in rebounds and the Bulldogs wound up dominating the glass. It's a simple formula, really. Josh and Austin have to commit themselves to rebounding. Just like Pargo, this is a game that should serve as a confidence booster.

Final Prediction: Vegas likes the Zags by 26. I'll take the over and say...Gonzaga 91-60. Sorenson enters the game with about 8 minutes in the second half and Gonzaga is paced by Josh Heytvelt who dominates.


A look at the per game statistics...

Team PPG FG% FT% 3P% RPG ORPG DRPG APG TPG SPG BPG FPG
San Francisco 69.2 45.7 68.1 37.7 33.6 8.9 22.1 12.9 14.3 5.8 2.3 20
Gonzaga 78.1 47.6 69.7 36.1 41.9 10.9 27.6 16.2 12.1 7.9 5.4 17.3
USF Opponents 69.6 44.3 70.4 36.5 36.3 10.9 22.6 13.8 15.2 5.3 2.4 19.2
GU Opponents 62.1 36.9 72.1 31.9 40.3 11.7 24.1 10.9 16.3 5.1 3.1 18.3