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San Diego vs #24 Gonzaga Preview

Alumni weekend carries on in Spokane.

NCAA Basketball: Pepperdine at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Gonzaga is adding on to their already impressive collection of jerseys with a throwback 1998-1999 jersey saluting the team that started this impressive run for the program. This one is right up there with the best that the Zags have ever put on.

Steve Lavin is back coaching in the collegiate game after his TV hiatus and is trying to put the Toreros on the map. In the WCC opening loss to Saint Mary’s, 81-70, San Diego struggled with their perimeter defense and allowed 10-25 3PT (40 3PT%). This is a great opportunity for the Zags to grow off their strong shooting performance against Pepperdine and get in a groove from beyond the arc. Ryan Nembhard, Nolan Hickman, and Dusty Stromer especially. Who cares who you’re going up against as long as this team is building up confidence heading into the postseason?

San Diego’s record -

10-6, 0-1 (W vs Sonoma State, W vs Jackson State, L @ UC San Diego, W vs Le Moyne, W vs Navy, W vs Arkansas State, L vs Hawaii, W vs Northern Colorado, L @ Stanford, L @ Utah State, W vs Arizona State, W vs Portland State, W vs South Dakota, L vs Fresno State, W vs Westcliff, L vs Saint Mary’s)

Key stats -

72.7 PPG

72.4 points allowed

42.9 FG%

34.4 3P%

73.9 FT%

37.4 RPG

12.5 APG

7.3 SPG

4.0 BPG

14.2 TO

KenPom rankings -

#217 overall

100.8 adjusted offensive efficiency (#263)

104.5 adjusted defensive efficiency (#160)

Key player to watch for -

Wayne McKinney III (junior, guard) - 14.4 PPG on 42.8 FG%, 3.9 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.6 SPG

The Southern California native is a small guard but plays with a ton of heart. McKinney III is an athletic finisher and can score in multiple ways. On the other end, he’s a lockdown defender. He tries to make everyone better around him anyway he possibly can and has grown exponentially as a more versatile player each season with the Toreros.

The first West Coast Conference matchup in the Kennel this season is about to go down on ESPN+ at 6 PM PT.

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