The Gonzaga Bulldogs return home to the friendly confines of The Kennel to try and reclaim some of the magic that has trickled away as the season progresses. After kicking, fighting, and scratching to a 9-2 record, the Zags are done with the meat of the non-conference schedule and close out the slate with a few easy games. First up, the University of Texas-Arlington Mavericks.
The Zags have lost two straight games to two ranked teams, dropping 103-90 against North Carolina on Saturday. In the game, the Zags never really had much of a chance, and North Carolina dictated the game for the full 40 minutes.
Things aren’t looking as good for the Mavericks either. UT Arlington is currently stuck in a six-game losing streak. Although the Zags are bit down at the moment, they aren’t that far down.
Meet the opponent
University of Texas-Arlington Mavericks, 3-7, KenPom #244
The Mavericks are led by junior guard Brian Warren, who is leading the team with 14.9 points per game. Sophomore guard Edric Dennis was chipping in 14 points per game, but he has been sidelined with a foot injury for the past couple of weeks.
The Zags’ defense has struggled this year, and a game against the Mavericks is exactly what the doctored ordered to get it back on trap. UT-Arlington has an eFG% as a team of just 44.8, good for No. 314 in the nation. They also struggle mightily with turnovers, ranked No 347 in the nation.
There is no real reason why this game should be any close. Gonzaga is still the top ranked offense, and Arlington’s offense isn’t challenging enough to force any issue.
What to watch out for
The Zags still need to attack the glass on defense.
Good thing for Gonzaga, there will still be some challenges in this game. UT-Arlington is a good, but not great, offensive rebounding squad. Considering that in the past few games, Gonzaga has been a bad, getting much worse, defensive rebounding squad, tomorrow’s contest provides the live bodies for getting back to the basics. Of the variety of holes the Zags’ defense has shown as of late, the defensive rebounding is one that needs to get fixed the quickest.
This would’ve been longer but my work got broken into happy Monday go Zags.