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Baldwinzag
12-15-2012, 07:06 AM
From Meehan:


To cap off an interesting seven days, No. 14 Gonzaga (9-1) faces Kansas State (7-1) Saturday night at KeyArena in the 10th-annual Battle in Seattle.


Were going to respond like a great team, said sophomore guard Gary Bell Jr., the Kentridge High (Kent, Wash.) product who has been hitting up teammates for tickets to satisfy requests from friends and family. We just have to learn from how we played against Illinois. We just have to bounce back.


Few is hoping to get senior wing Guy Landry Edi back on track. Edi scored 30 points in the first two games but hes averaged just 4.4 over the last eight.

Hes just turning the ball over too much, Few said. He needs to be our energy guy, needs to be on the offensive boards, punch it into a gap when its the right time and hes having a hard time picking the right time. We need him running, finishing on the break, hitting an open 3 once in a while and helping us defensively.

More from Meehan HERE (http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2012/dec/14/zags-take-k-state-battle-saturday/).


From FoxSports:


The Wildcats (7-1) head into Saturday's tilt with No. 14 Gonzaga up in Seattle ranked first in the nation in offensive rebounds (19.3 per game) and second in 3-point field goal percentage defense (22.2). They're sixth in rebounding (44.6), 13th in average points allowed (54.6), 15th in rebounding margin (+10.4) and 25th in turnover margin (+4.3).


"We're not a great shooting team overall, but I think we have enough guys who can make some that can spread the defense. They've got to get confidence and feel good about themselves."



"I think we have the pieces," Weber continues. "We still could become hard to guard if that light comes on somewhere in the next couple weeks and months."


"I don't know if we can make 11 or 12 threes," the coach says. "Then after watching some of their scores earlier in the year, beating West Virginia by 30-something and Oklahoma by 20-something, you're like, Man, are they beatable?'"

More from FoxSports HERE (http://www.foxsportskansascity.com/12/14/12/At-K-State-winning-ugly-works--for-now/landing_kstate.html?blockID=835161&feedID=5118).


From Rush the Court:


Simply put, the Wildcats have been the best, most consistently excellent offensive rebounding team in the country over the past six years. What makes them such a force on the offensive glass? First, as Weber explained after the game, the players he inherited are very good at sealing their man and establishing position: Theyve learned how to position their body to get inside, especially on the weak side, they do a great job. Second, rebounding is a team effort.


as Weber explained, we come at you with a lot of different bigs, four or five bigs, just keep rotating, so you wear people down. This years team, in particular, has tremendous frontcourt depth and size, with five frontcourt players averaging more than 12 minutes per game, each of whom has an offensive rebounding percentage in excess of 10 percent.


Ill tell you one thing, Weber added, Id like to make some shots so we dont have so many offensive opportunities. And indeed, as good as they are on the glass, the Wildcats have a long way to go on offense

More from RTC HERE (http://rushthecourt.net/2012/12/10/is-kansas-state-the-best-offensive-rebounding-team-in-the-country/).


From Boyd's Bets:


Why Kansas State Covers

The K-State Wildcats have had an impressive season thus far. Their lone loss came on the road to Michigan by 14 points. Some of the Wildcats impressive wins this season include Delaware and George Washington. Offensively Kansas State is led by senior guard Rodney McGruder who is averaging 12.9 points per game and less than one turnover. McGruder has played this Gonzaga team before. In 2010 he had 10 points and nine rebounds. He has averaged 17.7 points and 8.3 rebounds in his last three games. The biggest advantage the Wildcats have in this game comes on the defensive side of the ball. They are one of the best teams in the nation in scoring defense allowing only 54.6 points per game. They also own a 3.1% advantage shooting free throws. If Kansas State can keep it together on defense, and they get hot shooting the ball there is no reason they cant contend with Gonzaga.


Why Gonzaga Covers

Gonzaga is coming off their first loss of the season and I expect a senior team like the Bulldogs to respond with a very big game. Their loss came to an undefeated Illinois team so it is unlikely they were too emotionally damaged by the loss. The Bulldogs have had a full week to make improvements and adjustments defensively after a poor performance against Illinois. The Kansas State team they face does not shoot anywhere near as well as the Illinois so they should have no problem holding them to somewhere between 60-65 points. The strength of schedule for 7-1 Kansas State has not been impressive. The toughest team they have beat was Delaware, who may not even finish on top of the Colonial Athletic Conference. There are a lot of ifs behind Kansas State. Its going to take everything coming together perfectly for the Wildcats and I still dont know if that is enough to beat a veteran Gonzaga team.

More from Boyd HERE (http://www.boydsbets.com/kansas-state-gonzaga-basketball-odds/).


From ESPN's Weekend Watch:


Brennan: Kansas State-Gonzaga is a great game!

Medcalf: I'm with you, man. I love this weekend's menu. Gonzaga needs to recover from last weekend's whipping and Bruce Weber needs a win that means something.


Medcalf:

I can't wait to see Kansas State versus Gonzaga in Seattle on Saturday. It's obviously a big game for both teams, but I think it's bigger for Gonzaga. Yes, Bruce Weber is still searching for his first signature victory as K-State's new head coach. The Bulldogs, however, need to shake off last weekend's home loss to Illinois. They were embarrassed in their own arena, and they couldn't deal with the Illini's athleticism and aggression. They'll face another talented backcourt, anchored by Rodney McGruder and Angel Rodriguez. How will the Zags respond? Since Gonzaga will play Baylor and Oklahoma State in the coming weeks, we'll find out if they are legit or if they can't deal with dynamic backcourts and were simply overhyped. That's why Saturday is such a significant test for Mark Few's program.

More from ESPN HERE (http://espn.go.com/ncb/notebook/_/page/notebookweekendwatch120214/dec-14-16).


From TSSF:


Although the Bulldogs have been impressive in 2012, we quickly learned in the loss to Illinois that there is plenty of work to be done. After several days to sober up get over it, we are now staring down another tough foe in Kansas State. The one loss Wildcats are still a relatively unknown commodity at this point but the basketball world should have a pretty clear picture of Bruce Weber's team on Saturday.


One thing that we do know about K-State is that they have been ferocious on the glass through the early part of their season. They are third in offensive rebounding percentage at 46% and are averaging an incredible 45 rebounds per game which is sixth in the nation.


Five K-State players have 4.5 or more rebounds per game and seven have more than three. They are winning the battles for a lot of the 50-50 balls, something which we have seen the Bulldogs excel at in some contests. With Gonzaga's size and Kansas State's tenacity, the rebounding battle could be a key stat to watch come Saturday night.

More from SSF HERE (http://www.slipperstillfits.com/2012/12/14/3764478/first-look-kansas-state-hits-the-glass).

Baldwinzag
12-15-2012, 08:11 AM
From Kansas City Star:


Asked McGruder: How do you think you can help your team win this game on Saturday?

The question was meant as a tongue-in-cheek gag, with McGruder smiling and laughing throughout the exchange, but Henriquez treated it like any other query.

I feel like I have to have a double-double, not in points and rebounds, but in blocks and rebounds, Henriquez said. I have to protect the rim along with our other big guys.


Youve got to attack their bigs, Henriquez said. We have got to get their bigs in foul trouble. We have to do whatever we have to do to keep them on defense Its a huge test for me and our front line. I plan on playing 100 percent and giving my all. Win or lose, whatever my stat line is in the game, I will be proud, because I am going to give my all this weekend.

More from KC Star HERE (http://www.kansascity.com/2012/12/14/3966060/k-states-henriquez-looks-for-bounce.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter#storylink=rss).