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#7 Gonzaga @ Washington Preview

The Zags least favorite opponent in-state.

NCAA Basketball: Eastern Oregon at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The first true road game of the season for the Zags and it had to be against those damn Huskies. It’s all good. Gonzaga has Washington’s numbers and against their soon previous conference. Here are the facts: The Zags have won 13 of the last 14 meetings against the Huskies and Gonzaga is going for its 17th straight victory over a PAC-12 opponent. History is not on UW’s side to say the least...

For those weren’t made aware, Gonzaga ranks in the Top 20 in these categories:

87.3 PPG - tied for 12th

51.0 FG% - 11th

46.1 RPG - tied for 3rd

That last ranking is where the Zags need to come out on top. You’ll have to win the rebounding battle through your starting bigs in Graham Ike (8.1 RPG) and Anton Watson (8.1 RPG). These two will need to create separation on the glass against Mike Hopkins and his new man-to-man defense.

Washington’s record -

5-3 (W vs Bellarmine, W vs Northern Kentucky, L vs Nevada, W vs Xavier, L vs San Diego State, W vs UC San Diego, L vs #20 Colorado, W vs Montana State)

Key stats -

82.8 PPG (47th in the nation)

72.6 points allowed

47.6 FG%

32.2 3P%

70.5 FT%

40.0 RPG (tied for 65th in the nation)

17.1 APG (39th in the nation)

6.8 SPG

5.4 BPG

12.3 TO

KenPom rankings -

#58 overall

112.0 adjusted offensive efficiency (#61)

99.4 adjusted defensive efficiency (#72)

Key player to watch for -

Keion Brooks Jr. (senior, forward) - 20.3 PPG on 51.8 FG%, 7.9 RPG, 1.8 APG

Is Brooks Jr. the best individual talent and upcoming NBA Draft prospect in the state of Washington currently? Yes. The former Kentucky Wildcat is a versatile, big wing who has the ability to play the shooting guard position or move over to the stretch four at the next level.

The Kentucky transfers in Brooks Jr. and Sahvir Wheeler (16.1 PPG on 45.2 FG%, 6.9 APG, 3.7 RPG, 1.4 SPG) love to feed off each other’s energy. That’s the duo Mark few will focus in on and try to slow down.

A war on a Seattle Saturday is brewing at 8 PM PT on ESPN2. Only the true top dawg in the state of Washington will prevail.

Arden Cravalho is a Gonzaga University graduate from the Bay Area... Follow him on Twitter @a_cravalho