NCAA Men’s Basketball: Gonzaga Bulldogs vs Pepperdine Waves – Possible Lineups and Predictions

Published 01/14/2021, 3:00 PM EST
Jan 2, 2021; Spokane, Washington, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Corey Kispert (24) celebrates with guard Andrew Nembhard (3) after a basket and foul in the first half against the San Francisco Dons at McCarthey Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports


NCAA Men’s Basketball returns as the number one ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs face the Pepperdine Waves. The Bulldogs play host, as the Waves travel to the McCarthey Athletic Center tonight at 9 pm EST.

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The Bulldogs are still undefeated, after thrashing Portland in their last game. It ended 116-88 with Joel Ayayi becoming the first player in Bulldogs history to record a triple-double. He had 12 points, 13 rebounds, and 14 assists. That was their 12th win of the season, and tonight they hunt for their 13th.

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The Waves are coming off a loss against the Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners. That was their fifth loss of the season, making their overall record 4-5 heading into this game. This will be their first encounter with a ranked opponent this season.

NCAA Men’s Basketball: 13th win incoming for the Gonzaga Bulldogs?

The Bulldogs continue their injury free run and Mark Few has the full roster at his disposal. Point guard Jalen Suggs is having an excellent freshman season, and is currently averaging 13.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game, while shooting 40% from three. They also have a National Player of the Year candidate in Corey Kispert who has been a complete scoring beast for them.

So they will continue to start with Drew Timme, Jalen Suggs, and Joel Ayayi as their guards, and Anton Watson and Corey Kispert will start as their forwards. Their lineup remains unchanged, but the lower rotational players could feature more in this game.

Jan 7, 2021; Spokane, Washington, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Joel Ayayi (11) puts up a shot over Brigham Young Cougars center Richard Harward (42) in the second half of a WCC menÕs basketball game at McCarthey Athletic Center. The Bulldogs won 86-69. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

For the Waves, Kene Chukwuka is still listed as questionable after missing their three previous games. Victor Ohia Obioha remains out and there is no return date mentioned yet. They will continue to rely on their two stars, Colbey Ross who is averaging 19 points and 7,2 assists per game, and Kessler Edwards who is averaging 17.2 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.

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So their lineup will feature Colbey Ross, Jade’ Smith and Sedrick Altman as the guards while Jan Zidek and Kessler Edwards start as the forwards.

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The number one ranked team going up against the 145th ranked team is a complete mismatch. So it should be an easy win for the Bulldogs. They will still have to stay focused and not get complacent as they take one more step towards an undefeated season.

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Aaron Mathew

1666 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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