It’s WSU vs. Gonzaga Wednesday night in the McCarthey Athletic Center. The WSU-Gonzaga game has become a huge rivalry game over the past 10 years, as the Gonzaga Basketball Program has moved up into the upper echelon around the country. The 2009 WSU vs. Gonzaga game is very important for both teams, because both squads are packed with young players trying to get their teams recognized around the country. It’s also a good match-up because both Washington State and Gonzaga are coming off of tournament championships that they played in prior to conference play.
Gonzaga won the 2009 Maui Invitational and WSU won the Great Alaska Shootout, and this has caused both teams to have a nice boost of energy as they head towards their rivalry game. Due to their success in the 2009 Maui Invitational, the Gonzaga Bulldogs find themselves now ranked in the national polls, with Gonzaga being ranked #17 in the AP Top 25 and #16 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll for week three of the college basketball season. The Washington State Cougars have received votes in both polls, but even with an undefeated record could only find four total votes in the AP Top 25 this week.
Gonzaga has a 5-1 record so far on the 2009 season, with key wins over Cincinnati, Wisconsin, and Colorado that all took place at the Maui Invitational. Their only loss was to a Michigan State team that was ranked #2 in the country at the time of their game. Washington State is currently sitting at 6-0 with a first place standing in the Pac-10 Conference so far, but this is before conference play begins, so it’s just based on overall records. WSU was able to beat the University of San Diego (a team in Gonzaga’s conference) by 37 to win the Great Alaska Shootout in an extremely impressive performance by shooting guard Klay Thompson. Klay Thompson has also been named Pac-10 player of the week for two consecutive weeks.
Currently Klay Thompson leads the NCAA in scoring at 28.3 points per game, so he is definitely going to be the key to the Gonzaga vs. WSU game. WSU will hope for a big night out of Thompson, and Gonzaga will need to find a way to contain him if they want to win. What Gonzaga has working for them is a great post game and a big height advantage over the Cougars. With balanced scoring, they will try to take advantage of their center Robert Sacre down low against a smaller WSU team. This game seems pretty balanced on paper, but with Gonzaga playing at home in front of one of the most involved crowds in college basketball, this game is going to be a very interesting one. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:00 P.M. PST on Wednesday night, and for people in the Spokane area the game will be broadcast on KHQ.
Gonzaga Basketball Page
WSU Basketball Page