Gonzaga Wants To Get Physical With West Virginia - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Gonzaga Wants To Get Physical With West Virginia


Gonzaga watched the NCAA Tournament selection show like every other team in the field and saw its pairing with West Virginia. Most people reacted first to the place the game would be played, which is Pittsburgh. Gonzaga players instead immediately looked forward to the opportunity to play against a Big East team.

"When you go against West Virginia, it's more physical," Gonzaga Center Robert Sacre said. "They're very physical, very strong inside. I think we're excited to see that. We haven't seen that in a while."

Sacre will provide something West Virginia has not seen in a while and that is a seven-footer. He will be the one tasked with keeping Kevin Jones from putting up the numbers he has throughout the year.

"He has a great talent of finding the ball, locating the ball when it goes off the rim," Sacre said. We just got to make sure that you keep a body on him at all times, be physical with him. I think we have a great game plan for him, I'm not too worried about it."

Gonzaga Head Coach Mark Few is a little more concerned about Kevin Jones and West Virginia's physical play.

"It's going to be a challenge," Few said. "It's one of those be careful what you wish for thing."

WVU is also excited about playing a physical game. The Big East has a reputation for physical play. As a result, the Mountaineers have more experience playing that style of basketball and say they want to see Gonzaga try to keep up.

"I think they're very physical in their conference," WVU Forward Deniz Kilicli said. "But we play [in the] Big East. I play guys like Sacre and [Elias] Harris 16 times, 17 times you know? We'll see what's gonna happen. I think we gonna beat them on the physical end."

"I don't think they are accustomed to the rugged style of Big East play," WVU Forward Dominique Rutledge said. "They are a pretty big team and as we see on film, they hit the glass as much as we do. We just want to match that and play hard."

One of the most intriguing matchups in this game will be Sacre against Jones.

"They definitely have a post presence in Sacre," Jones said. "We got to limit his touches as much as possible."

"I think he's a great player," Sacre said. "We got to limit his touches, make sure that he doesn't get easy baskets. He's a great offensive rebounder. That's where he gets most of his baskets."

Jones gets his 20 points per game and 11 rebounds per game within the flow of the contest. He racks up offensive rebounds and puts them back for some of his points. That is hard to stop and Gonzaga Head Coach Mark Few realizes that.

"You have to have a real attention to detail because this kid's got a nose for the ball," Few said. "He really has a great understanding of what shots are getting ready to go up. He sets up shop in there and he does a great job of finding the ball."

West Virginia meets Gonzaga at 7:20 p.m. The team that plays more physical and under control will likely win this game and advance.

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