Shocker? Wichita State Presents Challenge for Zags - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Shocker? Wichita State Presents Challenge for Zags

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - If you told me before the NCAA Tournament that Southern, Wichita State, and LaSalle/Ole Miss would be the teams standing between Gonzaga and the Elite Eight, I would've jumped out of my seat.  But here I am in the media work room, hours away from a 3rd round matchup with the Shockers, and I am downright nervous.
 
Granted, Gonzaga was rusty in its opener against Southern.  They were just a little bit off.  Wichita State was by no means sharp in its win over Pitt, but the Shockers were physical and just plain nasty.  They have athletic guards who can take away the three-point shot.  They have strong big men who can push you around.  If you've followed Gonzaga, you know you have to hammer Kelly Olynyk and Elias Harris, and defend the perimeter.  Wichita State plays much like Syracuse in that regard.  It presents a bad matchup for Gonzaga.
 
I saw Pitt throw up brick after brick against the Shockers on Thursday.  1-of-17 from three-point range.  That's not a fluke.  A lot of that falls on Wichita State guard Tekele Cotton.
 
"I look forward to being that guy to chase around their player like I did (Thursday)," Cotton said of the upcoming defensive assignment against Gonzaga's guards.  "So I look forward to chasing around Kevin Pangos.  I have no problem with it.  I enjoy it."
 
I wouldn't be surprised if we saw more of Przemek Karnowski in Round 3.  I saw something similar when Mark Few gave Ryan Spangler the bulk of the minutes last year against West Virginia.  If Cotton is Wichita State's free safety, flying all over the place, Karnowski could be Gonzaga's fullback, clearing the way for Kelly Olynyk and Elias Harris.  I saw Karnowski, a stout 7-footer, absolutely maul a Southern Jaguar on Thursday.  If you were watching, you know the kid is like a Grizzly pawing away at a salmon swimming upstream.
 
Whatever Gonzaga plans to do, I'm sure the Zags will not be outcoached.  They have one of the most talented coaching staffs in the country, with a national player of the year candidate to boot.  And that makes them a very real threat to reach the Final 4.  Even if they make me nervous in the process.

I'll be tweeting away as always @SWXSamAdams throughout the day, starting with the Arizona - Harvard game.  As an ASU Sun Devil and a sportscaster following Gonzaga, I have no problem rooting for Harvard.  The way this West Bracket is shaping up, why not knock out the #6 seed while we're at it.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 44 Riverside homes destroyed or damaged in storm

    44 Riverside homes destroyed or damaged in storm

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:46 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:46:53 GMT
    RIVERSIDE, Wash. - Many families were still at the Red Cross Shelter set up at Riverside High School in Riverside this morning.An afternoon storm destroyed or damaged 44 of their homes and knocked down close to 100 trees in Riverside Village Mobile Home Park.Many residents said the storm looked like a tornado as it swept through their neighborhood.>>
    RIVERSIDE, Wash. - Many families were still at the Red Cross Shelter set up at Riverside High School in Riverside this morning.An afternoon storm destroyed or damaged 44 of their homes and knocked down close to 100 trees in Riverside Village Mobile Home Park.Many residents said the storm looked like a tornado as it swept through their neighborhood.>>
  • 10 Cheapest Houses For Sale In Spokane

    10 Cheapest Houses For Sale In Spokane

    Wednesday, November 27 2013 2:35 AM EST2013-11-27 07:35:08 GMT
    Whether you are in the market for an affordable place to live or are in the business of flipping houses, here are the 10 cheapest homes for sale in Spokane according to AllSpokaneHomes.com.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Whether you are in the market for an affordable place to live or are in the business of flipping houses, here are the 10 cheapest homes for sale in Spokane according to AllSpokaneHomes.com. Yes, they all need some work and some need a lot more than others, but when your mortgage payment is around the $200/month range there's at least something to stay positive about.>>
  • Person injured by falling tree branches outside Spokane courthouse

    Person injured by falling tree branches outside Spokane courthouse

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:35 PM EDT2014-07-24 01:35:37 GMT
    One person was injured when strong winds caused tree branches to fall to the ground outside the Spokane County Courthouse in Wednesday afternoon.Fire crews and police officers told KHQ the person who was hit by the branches was quickly taken to the hospital.>>
    One person was injured when strong winds caused tree branches to fall to the ground outside the Spokane County Courthouse in Wednesday afternoon.Fire crews and police officers told KHQ the person who was hit by the branches was quickly taken to the hospital.>>
  • College SportsCollegeMore>>

  • Local Basketball Teams Praised By NABC For Excellence

    Local Basketball Teams Praised By NABC For Excellence

    A trio of local University basketball teams have been named among the best academically by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) on Wednesday, July 23.>>
    A trio of local University basketball teams have been named among the best academically by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) on Wednesday, July 23.
    >>
  • Williams Shuts Down Bells, Before Bats Rally To End Skid

    Williams Shuts Down Bells, Before Bats Rally To End Skid

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:30 PM EDT2014-07-23 16:30:37 GMT
    When the top two pitching staffs in the West Coast League, you can expect a quality pitching performance. That’s exactly what the Yakima Valley Pippins and Bellingham Bells delivered Tuesday night, as the Pippins rallied late to win, 6-1 at County Stadium.>>
    When the top two pitching staffs in the West Coast League, you can expect a quality pitching performance. That’s exactly what the Yakima Valley Pippins and Bellingham Bells delivered Tuesday night, as the Pippins rallied late to win, 6-1 at County Stadium.>>
  • Eastern Washington AD Bill Chaves In Studio

    Eastern Washington AD Bill Chaves In Studio

    Eastern Washington University Athletic Director Bill Chaves joined SWX's Sam Adams in the Fasteners Sports Studio to talk about Eagle football and the upcoming season.>>
    Eastern Washington University Athletic Director Bill Chaves joined SWX's Sam Adams in the Fasteners Sports Studio to talk about Eagle football and the upcoming season.
    >>
  • GonzagaGonzagaMore>>

  • Local Basketball Teams Praised By NABC For Excellence

    Local Basketball Teams Praised By NABC For Excellence

    A trio of local University basketball teams have been named among the best academically by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) on Wednesday, July 23.>>
    A trio of local University basketball teams have been named among the best academically by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) on Wednesday, July 23.
    >>
  • Gonzaga Dedicates Soccer Field Overhaul

    Gonzaga Dedicates Soccer Field Overhaul

    On July 10, 2014, as World Cup soccer reached fever pitch, Gonzaga University celebrated the official dedication of Luger Field, a first-class soccer field. The field, which opened in the fall of 2008, has been named in honor of the Luger family, a family with a rich history and relationship to the University...>>
    On July 10, 2014, as World Cup soccer reached fever pitch, Gonzaga University celebrated the official dedication of Luger Field, a first-class soccer field. The field, which opened in the fall of 2008, has been named in honor of the Luger family, a family with a rich history and relationship to the University...
    >>
  • Spokesman's Jim Meehan Joins SWX To Talk Zags

    Spokesman's Jim Meehan Joins SWX To Talk Zags

    Spokesman-Review sports writer Jim Meehan joined SWX's Sam Adams in the Fastners Sports Studio to talk about the upcoming season for Gonzaga men's basketball.>>
    Spokesman-Review sports writer Jim Meehan joined SWX's Sam Adams in the Fastners Sports Studio to talk about the upcoming season for Gonzaga men's basketball.
    >>