NCAA BK

Thu, Nov 22, 2012 - 9:00 PM ET
Game Preview
 

Clemson-Gonzaga Preview

Share This Story

   
 

The last time Gonzaga played in the Old Spice Classic, it walked away as tournament champion.

As the only ranked team in this year's field, the No. 17 Bulldogs begin their quest for another tournament title Thursday night against Clemson in suburban Orlando.

Behind current Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jeremy Pargo, Gonzaga beat Oklahoma State, Maryland and then-No. 12 Tennessee to win the 2008 Old Spice Classic at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex. That was the program's only previous trip to this event.

After barely being tested in their first three contests this season, the Bulldogs (3-0) are the favorites in a field that also includes West Virginia, Vanderbilt, Davidson and Oklahoma. No other team at this tournament received a vote in this week's AP poll.

"We just need to go out every night and play as hard as we can, it doesn't matter who we face," said senior Elias Harris, who had 16 points and 18 rebounds in Sunday's 96-58 win over South Dakota.

Gonzaga has shot 54.3 percent while averaging 94.3 points. Its most impressive win was an 84-50 rout of the Mountaineers, who could face the Bulldogs again in Sunday's championship game. Six Gonzaga players are averaging at least 11.0 points, led by 7-foot-1 Polish reserve Przemek Karnowski at 16.0 per game.

"They're really good, with great size," South Dakota coach Dave Boots said.

Karnowski, a freshman, scored 20 points in 19 minutes against South Dakota, but coach Mark Few knows the key to his team's success depends on the play of Harris and the backcourt of Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell Jr.

Bell and Pangos are each 6 of 13 from 3-point range while Harris continues to solidify his presence in the paint, averaging 13.0 points and 10.7 boards.

"Just go out and have fun, come out with lots of energy, attack the boards and grab as many boards as I can," Harris said.

He hopes to do the same Thursday when Gonzaga faces Clemson (2-0) for the first time since the Bulldogs upset the fifth-ranked Tigers 84-71 in double-overtime at the 1997 Top of the World Classic in Alaska.

After beating Presbyterian and Furman by a combined 50 points, the Tigers face their first true test in the tournament opener. Senior big man Devin Booker averages a team-leading 13.0 points, but Clemson coach Brad Brownell hopes to see some continued balance after eight players averaged at least 5.5 points through the first two contests.

"That's probably going to be the recipe for our team this year," he told Clemson's official website. "I don't know that we have a lot of potent guys that are ready to have big nights. I believe it's going to be a bunch of guys getting eight, 10, 12 points when we're playing well."

The winner of this contest faces either UTEP or Oklahoma in Friday's semifinals.

Tagged: Clemson, Oklahoma, Gonzaga, Elias Harris

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



NCAA BK Videos

Georgetown, Syracuse to renew CBK rivalry Posted: Jun 10, 2014
Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson III on the renewal of the rivalry betw...

Cuonzo Martin new head coach at Cal Posted: Apr 16, 2014
Cuonzo Martin is introduced as Cal's new head coach.

UConn tops Notre Dame in women's final Posted: Apr 09, 2014
Hear from Geno Auriemma and his players after their National Championship victor...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/885881/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_885000/ff_885881_xl.jpg&w=100 74.95 Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black
    Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Georgetown_Hoyas/browse/featuredproduct/1030243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1030000/ff_1030243_xl.jpg&w=100 119.95 Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue
    Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Duke_Blue_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/1032710/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1032000/ff_1032710_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue
    Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oregon_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/1052002/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052002_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green
    Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Ohio_State_Buckeyes/browse/featuredproduct/1052645/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052645_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet
    Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Indiana_Hoosiers/browse/featuredproduct/1124528/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1124000/ff_1124528_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Cri..
    adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Louisville_Cardinals/browse/featuredproduct/1127200/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127200_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/1127218/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127218_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey ..
    Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Gonzaga_Bulldogs/browse/featuredproduct/1155821/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1155000/ff_1155821_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue
    Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Champions Adjustable Hat – Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Hurricanes/browse/featuredproduct/1177723/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1177000/ff_1177723_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Cham..