Gonzaga basketball is highly regarded as one of the best teams in the country. What will it take to defend their home court and defeat BYU?
Gonzaga basketball is always one of the best teams in the country and that is once again the case during this season. With a 19-1 (5-0 WCC) record that includes wins over Oregon, Arizona, and Washington, the Bulldogs have risen to the No. 1 spot in the AP Poll and they are not looking to relinquish their hold on that spot anytime soon. While the WCC is much better this season compared to most, Gonzaga is still the cream of the crop. They will be able to out to prove that again on Jan. 18th when BYU visits the McCarthey Athletic Center.
BYU has arguably been the second-best team in the conference so far this season and features a top-tier offensive unit. Even though star player Yoeli Childs will likely sit out this matchup, the Cougars still have enough threats to make this a game on the road. Most notably, Jake Toolson has been an absolute star since transferring back to Provo from Utah Valley with head coach Mark Pope. Additionally, Kolby Lee has been excellent as of late with Childs out of the lineup.
BYU currently holds a 14-5 (3-1 WCC) record and will be looking for a big-time signature win in this matchup.
With regard to how these two squads match up against each other, it is reasonable to think this will be a high-scoring affair. Both squads rank in the upper half of the country in tempo and boast elite-level offenses. Gonzaga’s adjusted offensive efficiency rating sits at No. 1 in the country while BYU is at No. 14 (granted with Childs in the lineup for nine games).
Gonzaga will be the clear favorite to win this game, possibly by double-digits, but it should still be a high-profile matchup in the WCC. With that said, let’s dive into this contest a bit deeper with three keys to success for the Bulldogs.