Gonzaga’s meeting schedule isn’t going to ease up anytime soon, especially if the Bulldogs can pick up some wins this week at the Phil Knight Legacy Tournament in Portland.
The sixth-ranked Bulldogs should be important favorites facing Portland State in the PK85 opener on Thursday at 9:30 p.m., but things get tougher from there.
With a win, Gonzaga’s next opponent will come from the winner of Thursday’s 7 p.m. game between Purdue and West Virginia.
No matter how the Bulldogs do in their second-round game on Friday, they’re sure to play another great opponent – Duke, Xavier, Florida or Oregon State – in Sunday’s final game.
The Zags have spent the past three days scouting Portland State for, if not a few of the other teams they could face in Portland, but we’ve broken down all seven ahead of GU’s second appearance in PK85.
Portland State (2-2)
Results: 98-91 loss to Portland. 83-71 loss to Seattle U; 113-40 win over Evergreen State; 79-66 win over Oregon State.
Coach: Jesse Coburn (Sophomore year, 16-19)
Three to watch: J. Jurrell Satterfield (17.5ppg, 6.0RPG), J.Cameron Parker (14.0ppg, 5.5APG), J. Hunter Woods (12.5ppg, 7.5RPG)
Scouting Report: The Vikings are transfer-intensive, with their top three scorers arriving in the Big Sky Conference after hiatuses at other midsize programs. Portland State’s defense looked weak after opening losses to Seattle U and Portland in which the Vikings conceded 181 points, but Coburn’s combination turned things around in a 79-66 win over Oregon State, the school’s first in the series with the Beavers.
No. 24 Bordeaux (3-0)
Results: 84-53 win over Milwaukee; 63-44 win over Austin B. 75-70 win over Marquette.
Coach: Matt Painter (18th year, 387-192)
Three to watch: C Zach Edey (20.7 ppg, 13.7 rpg, 3.3 bpg), G Braden Smith (10.7 ppg, 2.3 spg), G Brandon Newman (9.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg)
Scouting Report: Zach Eddy carries a lot of the load for a Boilermakers team that isn’t as strong in the backcourt without Jaden Ivy’s fifth NBA draft pick, or in the frontcourt without Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year Trevion Williams. Eddie, who stands at 7-foot-4 but moves smoothly for someone of his size, will pose a unique challenge for Gonzaga’s Drew Timm, who hasn’t faced a college prospect since training with Chet Holmgren last season.
West Virginia (4-0)
The results: 76-58 win at Mount Saint Mary’s. 81-56 win over Pittsburgh; 75-57 victory over Morehead State; 92-58 win over Penn.
Coach: Bob Huggins (Season 16, 330-188)
Three to watch: G Erik Stevenson (14.0 ppg, 1.5 apg), F Tre Mitchell (13.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg), G Joe Toussaint (10.5 ppg, 3.3 apg)
Scouting Report: Amid reports tying Gonzaga to the Big-12, Huggins teased fans in Spokane when he said moving up to the conference would be a “shameless wake-up” for the Bulldogs. But Huggins hasn’t had much success against GU in the past, losing all five matches between the two teams, including a closely contested match in the 2017 Elite Eight. Eric Stephenson, who began his career at WVU before transferring to Washington, is back with the Mountaineers and shoots 53% from the 3-point line.
No. 8 Duke (4-1)
Results: 71-44 win over Jacksonville; 84-38 win over South Carolina Upstate; 69-64 loss to No. 6 Kansas; 92-58 win over Delaware; 74-57 win over Bellarmine.
Coach: John Scheer (Season 1, 4-1)
Three to watch: C Kyle Filipowski (15.6 ppg, 10.4 rpg), G Jeremy Roach (12.2 ppg, 3.6 apg), F Mark Mitchell (11.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg).
Scouting Report: It’s only been a calendar year since Gonzaga and Duke met in Las Vegas, but the Blue Devils have a very different make-up this season, including a first-year coach. Four of the eight Duke players who appeared in a game last year were selected in the first round of the NBA Draft and another player was selected in the second round. Roach, the only returning Blue Devil to play against GU, is the only non-renewer on the starting unit that includes three five-star prospects.
Results: 81-45 win over Stony Brook; an 88-78 win over Kennesaw State; 76-75 loss to Florida Atlantic; 76-67 win over Florida State.
Coach: Todd Golden (Season 1, 3-1)
Three to watch: F Colin Castleton (25.3 ppg, 8.8 rpg), G Will Richard (14.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg), G Kyle Lofton (9.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg).
Scouting Report: The Golden and Zags saw plenty of each other while the 37-year-old was in San Francisco, but it’s unclear who that familiarity would favor — if it does at all — in a potential meeting Sunday in Portland. Golden’s first four games in Gainesville yielded mixed results, but if nothing else, the coach can count on Castleton, the fifth-year big man who is the second leading scorer and makes 55% of his field goals.
Results: 96-73 win over Morgan State; an 86-64 win over Montana; 78-65 win over Fairfield; 81-79 loss to No. 12 Indiana.
Coach: Sean Miller (Season 1, 3-1)
Three to watch: F Jack Nunge (17.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg), F Zach Freemantle (15.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 5.0 apg), G Souley Boulm 14.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg)
Scouting Report: Miller’s 12-year tenure at Arizona State has ended after the 2020-21 season, amid a federal investigation into college basketball corruption. The coach took a year off before accepting the open position at Xavier – Miller’s first college stop, in 2004-09. The Knights receive a top 25 vote and have a well-balanced PK85 offense, with five double-digit scorers and four players averaging at least 13 points.
Oregon State (3-1)
Scores: 73-70 win over Tulsa; 60-43 win over Florida A&M; an 83-66 win over Bushnell University; 79-66 loss to Portland State.
Coach: Wayne Tinkle (Season 9, 119-138)
Three to watch: F Glenn Taylor Jr. (16.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg), G Jordan Pope (15.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg), Dexter Akanno (10.8 ppg, 3.3 apg).
Scouting Report: Oregon State fans were optimistic that a surprise race to the 2021 Elite Eight Championship would be a springboard for the Beavers, but the Tinkle program has only managed a 6-29 record since then and entered the tournament this week with a double-digit loss to Portland. condition. The Beavers commit approximately 15 turnovers per game and shoot only 25% from beyond the arc over four contests.