Kansas State Wildcats vs Gonzaga Bulldogs Preview

Kansas State (7-3) will take on the #15 Gonzaga Bulldogs

Dec 15, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs center Sam Dower (35) protects the ball from Kansas State Wildcats forward D.J. Johnson (50) during the 1st half at KeyArena. Gonzaga defeated Kansas State 68-52. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

(10-1) in the Wichita Wildcat Classic at Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita on Saturday afternoon. Kansas State will be trying to get their first win over a ranked opponent this season, while Gonzaga can try to continue their strong play before conference play begins. The Wildcats are coming off of a 72-43 victory over Troy and Gonzaga will be entering after defeating South Alabama 68-59. The Wildcats and Bulldogs faced off last year in Seattle, with Kansas State being sent back to the Midwest with a 68-52 loss.

Here is all the information you need to catch the game:

Who: Gonzaga Bulldogs (West Coast Conference); Spokane, Washington

Gonzaga shed the Cinderella tag quite a while ago, and reached a No.1 ranking at one point last year as well as their 15th straight NCAA Tournament appearance. They finished the season 32-3 (16-0), with a conference title. Though they lost 32 points per game in Kelly Olynyk and Elias Harris, coach Mark Few returns one of the best guard tandems in the country, Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell, Jr. Even more, they have legendary John Stockton’s son, David Stockton, in their lineup who is averaging nearly 5 assists per game this season so far.

Keys to the Game:

1: Don’t lose the shooters: Gonzaga ranks in the top 5 nationally in 3 point field goal percentage, 3 pointers made,  and overall field goal percentage. Pangos, the Bulldogs’ leading scorer, is averaging 18.7 ppg and shooting 47% both inside and outside of the arch. Kansas State’s guards will have to be at their best to prevent Gonzaga’s 11th ranked scoring offense from getting unchallenged shots.

2. Stay out of foul trouble: Gonzaga plays fast and puts up points. Kansas State’s only true point guard, Jevon Thomas, will be eligible to play in the game but will most likely not be called upon. If Will Spradling, Marcus Foster, or Shane Southwell start getting into foul trouble though trying to keep the Bulldogs from getting easy baskets, Thomas may be thrown into the fire earlier than expected. If this happen, we probably won’t get to see how talented he really is because of his lack of practice time.

On the inside, Gonzaga has 7’1″ Polish giant Przemek Karnowski, who could provide a real challenge to Thomas Gipson. Gipson cannot allow himself to get silly fouls and put the Wildcats in an even deeper size-deficit in the paint.

3. Turnovers: Kansas State has been doing fairly well in forcing turnovers this season, their opponents are averaging 13.2 turnovers per game, and Gonzaga does much of the same. They get nearly 7 steals a game, and if Kansas State’s young lineup starts rushing themselves they could start coughing the ball up too often. For the Wildcats to stay close they’ll need to play extremely smart and limit their turnovers, while trying to get Gonzaga’s offense to commit more than they’re used to.

Where: Intrust Bank Arena

Wichita, Kansas

When: 2:30 PM CT

Television: ESPN2 and WatchESPN

Radio: K-State Sports Network

Sirius 112/XM 191

Topics: Kansas State Wildcats

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