The top-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs are back in action on Thursday to take on the Pepperdine Waves for a WCC battle. The Bulldogs have been defending the top spot in college basketball with one great performance after another. The Waves bring a 4-5 overall record into this matchup, and have yet to play a conference game. This will be the first time these teams have met since Gonzaga defeated Pepperdine in last year's WCC tournament semifinal.
Fixture: Pepperdine Waves vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs - NCAA Men's Basketball
Date & Time: Thursday, January 14th, 2021, 9 PM ET
Venue: McCarthey Athletic Center, Spokane, Washington
Pepperdine Waves Preview
The Pepperdine Waves started their season winning four of their first seven games, but have since lost two and had two more postponed for COVID-19 protocol. The Waves are likely to struggle against the Gonzaga Bulldogs, and will need to put together quite the performance in order to compete on Thursday. The Waves are averaging only 68 points on offense in their last three games, and will need to find a way to score against the elite Bulldog defenders.
Key Player - Colbey Ross
The player making the biggest nightly impact for the Pepperdine Waves has been Colbey Ross. Now in his senior year, Ross recently surpassed Stacy Davis for the most points in Pepperdine basketball history. Ross stands only 6-foot-1, but has tremendous quickness and explosiveness through the lane and can create baskets on his own.
Colbey Ross is averaging a team-leading 19 points and 7.2 assists per game, and has also been a pest for opposing guards on the defensive end. Ross has accumulated 12 steals through his first nine games, and will need to lock down the Gonzaga guards to give his team a chance at an upset.
Pepperdine Waves Predicted Lineup
F Jan Zidek, F Kessler Edwards, G Sedrick Altman, G Jade' Smith, G Colbey Ross
Gonzaga Bulldogs Preview
The Gonzaga Bulldogs continue to put up jaw-dropping numbers on the offensive end, scoring a season-high 116 points in their latest victory over the Portland Pilots. The Bulldogs' strength of schedule decreases considerably once they enter conference play, and they are looking at an undefeated regular season barring a massive upset. The Bulldogs should cruise through this Pepperdine Waves' defense on their way to a 13th consecutive victory.
Key Player - Drew Timme
The Gonzaga Bulldogs' offensive outburst against the Portland Pilots was led by sophomore Drew Timme. The 6-foot-10 forward scored a game-high 26 points on 71% shooting from the field.
Drew Timme is the second-leading scorer on the Gonzaga Bulldogs behind senior forward Corey Kispert, bringing an average of 18.8 points per game into this matchup with Pepperdine. On Thursday, Timme will likely exploit the undersized Pepperdine Waves' defenders on his way to another big night.
Gonzaga Bulldogs Predicted Lineup
F Anton Watson, F Corey Kispert, G Drew Timme, G Jalen Suggs, G Joel Ayayi
Pepperdine vs. Gonzaga Prediction
The Gonzaga Bulldogs will once again be the big favorite in their upcoming matchup with the Pepperdine Waves. The Bulldogs have been able to fend off any attempts at an upset with consistently strong offensive efforts. On Thursday, the Gonzaga Bulldogs should out-shoot and out-rebound the Pepperdine Waves for their 13th victory of the season.
Where to watch Pepperdine vs. Gonzaga
The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2.Published 13 Jan 2021, 06:03 IST