Busting Brackets

Gonzaga Basketball: 3 keys to important non-con home matchup with San Diego State

Gonzaga Basketball looks to enter WCC play with a key win over San Diego State. Here are the keys for them to win.

Mississippi Valley State v Gonzaga
Mississippi Valley State v Gonzaga / Robert Johnson/GettyImages
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1. Slow down Jaedon Ledee

Gonzaga Basketball has already dealt with several quality frontcourt players, including Zach Edey (Purdue), Adem Bona (UCLA), and Donovan Clingan (UConn). But their biggest test defensively comes on Friday, taking on senior forward, Jaedon Ledee. His previous career-high was 7.6 ppg last season as a role player but without Keshad Johnson and Nathan Mensah around, LeDee has now become the focal point of the offense.

Through 11 games, the star forward is averaging 21.6 ppg and 9.4 rpg, shooting 57% from the field and 40% from deep. He’s also getting to the free throw line at a high rate, currently at 76% on nearly eight attempts a game. LeDee has at least 13 points in each game, including a career-high 34 pts and 17 rebs in a win over Washington.

Gonzaga does have bodies to throw at LeDee, starting with a former Mountain West foe in Graham Ike. He leads his team with 14.1 ppg and 7.9 rpg and has had some big games, though he’s also struggled against the top frontcourt opposite listed above. Ike isn’t an elite defender but he can slow LeDee down. 

Another option is to have Anton Watson on LeDee since he’s a much better interior defender. Watson and Ben Gregg could be a good pairing since Micah Parrish is more of a perimeter-oriented forward who plays at the four-spot. Coach Few needs a big game from Ike to neutralize LeDee cause a big game from him could lead to trouble.