West Coast Conference College Basketball Preview: San Diego Toreros at Gonzaga Bulldogs
Betting odds courtesy of 5dimes
The San Diego Toreros are 11-9 on the season but will face its toughest test so far in 16-3 Gonzaga. The Toreros are 2-5 in WCC play while Gonzaga is 6-1, and the Bulldogs will enter the game as 18-point favorites according to college basketball oddsmakers at 5dimes.
The Toreros have lost five of its past seven games and the team hasn’t faced many tough opponents. On Dec 5, San Diego nearly knocked off then-No. 24 San Diego State, though. The Toreros nearly won but Duda Sanadze’s three-pointer bounced off the rim the clock sounded. The loss marked the eighth straight year that San Diego has fallen to San Diego State.
Johnny Dee, a 6’0″ junior guard, leads the Toreros in scoring with 16.5 points per game. He has been inconsistent of late, though, failing to score in double figures in three of the past five contests while shooting 13-of-32 (40 percent) over that span (slightly below his season mark of 41.8 percent). Sanadze mans the backcourt with Dee and is second on the team in scoring as a freshman this season with 13.3 points per game.
Gonzaga has been led by 6’2″ junior guard Kevin Pangos. Pangos is posting 16.2 points per game this season, up markedly from his 11.9 last year. He’s improved his efficiency and is hitting 45.1 percent from the floor and 44.5 percent from distance (up from 42.6 percent and 41.7 percent, last year, respectively).
Pangos had a rare off game against Loyola Marymount last game, hitting just 1-of-11 from the floor. Still, the Aztecs prevailed and won 82-72. It was Pangos’ first game this season without a made three.
But it hasn’t been all Pangos for the Bulldogs. Gonzaga has seven other players averaging at least seven points per game and the rotation goes ten deep, which will serve team team well in getting its starters rest for crucial games this March. Sam Dower has emerged as a strong leader on the interior. The senior is having his finest season at Gonzaga by far, posting 14 points and nearly seven rebounds per game while shooting over 61 percent from the floor. The Toreros will have a world of problems matching up with the 6’9″ 243 pound bruiser.
San Diego Trends: 15-6 ATS in last 21 Thurs games; UNDER 12-5 in last 17 road games.
Gonzaga Trends: 7-2-2 ATS in last 11 Thurs games; UNDER 8-3 in last 11 Thurs games; UNDER 37-14-1 in last 52 West Coast Conf games.
Head-to-head: OVER 9-4 in last 13 meetings in Gonzaga.