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Gonzaga vs. Northwestern State Game Preview

The Zags finally get a home game.

Jimmy V Classic Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

After nearly a month of criss-crossing across the country, the Gonzaga Bulldogs finally get their first home game of the season, not that it matters as much in this fan-less environment.

Gonzaga is coming off of a dominant win over the No. 3 Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday, in South Dakota.

The Northwestern State Demons hail from the Southland Conference are one of the tune-up games for the Zags after four of the previous ones were cancelled due to the pause in basketball activities.

Meet the opponent

Northwestern State Demons, 1-7, KenPom #305

The Zags have essentially played four capable opponents and, for the most part, haven’t had too many issues along the way. Tomorrow’s game represents an opportunity to see a few more minutes from some of those guys who aren’t cracking the rotation too often, such as Dominick Harris, Julian Strawther, Martynas Arlauskas, and maybe even Pavel Zakharov.

Northwestern State head coach Mike McConathy runs out a rotation nearly 13 players deep. The Demons are ranked No. 12 in quickest tempo in the nation. Gonzaga comes in at No. 6. The Zags season-high in points is the opener against Kansas at 102 points. There is a very good chance, just based off the speed both teams enjoy, that it could be much higher than that.

What to watch out for

Is the three-point shooting for real?

Going into the win over Iowa, the Zags averaged 5.3 made threes through the first three games. After Iowa, that number rose to 7.25. Corey Kispert is obviously the consistent hand here, but Jalen Suggs coming out party from beyond the arc was a welcome addition to the arsenal. Suggs probably isn’t going to shoot 7-of-10 from three-point range each game, but if he can average around 40 percent, it helps plug one of the few holes in Gonzaga’s offensive arsenal.

The bench guys!

Mark Few ran out most everyone in the first half, with Julian Strawther and Dominick Harris each picking up a few minutes. Neither player will see much time in close contests this season, but getting that in-game experience is necessary to development. Against Northwestern State, we can probably expect most of the starters to log 20-25 minutes and see some substantial playing time from the bench crew.