Gonzaga Bulldogs: Week at a glance, November 5-11

The 2018-19 season begins Monday night for the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Here is a look at their first week of official competition.

This week, the third-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs officially start the 2018-19 season with a pair of home games. The Zags welcome Idaho State and Texas Southern to the McCarthy Athletic Center. They are the first games in what should be an exciting basketball season.

Gonzaga will be without forward Killian Tillie. The junior had ankle surgery last week and is expected to miss the next eight weeks. That time frame would give him a game or two to get back into shape before West Coast Conference play begins on January 5 against Santa Clara.

Junior transfer Brandon Clarke will fill in for head coach Mark Few while Tillie is out. Clarke has two games to find a rhythm with his teammates before the Zags meet Texas A&M on the 15th and then head out to Hawaii for the Maui Classic.

Tuesday, November 6

Who: Idaho State Bengals at Gonzaga Bulldogs

Where: McCarthy Athletic Center.

When: 6:00 p.m. PST.

TV: Root Sports Northwest.

Idaho State makes the eight hour trip from Pocatello for the 2018-19 season opener. Last Year the Bengals were 9-9 in the Big Sky Conference and 14-16 overall. They are led by an experienced backcourt of juniors Brandon Boyd and Jared Stutzman, both of whom averaged 14.9 points per game (PPG) last year.

Watch out for Stutzman, he’s tall for a guard at 6′ 6” and he shot 52 percent from behind the arch (only 4.7 percent less than his overall shot percentage). He’ll force the Zags to come out and guard the perimeter. Inside ISU only has one player taller than 6′ 8,” that would be 6′ 11” Kelvin Jones.

Saturday, November 10

Who: Texas Southern Tigers at Gonzaga Bulldogs

Where: McCarthy Athletic Center.

When: 7:00 p.m.

TV: TBA.

The Tigers had an up and down season 2017-18 that ended up. TSU had an overall record of 14-17 but were 12-6 in SWAC conference play which tied them for second place. They went on a big run in March winning all three games of the SWAC tournament to earn a berth in the NCAA Championships for a second straight season. A play-in game victory over North Carolina Central set up a meeting with number one seed and eventual champions Villanova.

Texas Southern is led by senior guard Derrick Bruce who averaged 13.9 PPG. They also have a 7′ 2” senior center Trayvon Reed. He will certainly test the Zags big men inside. Johnny Jones takes over this year as the Tigers head coach. He was most recently an assistant at Nevada and head coach at LSU before that.

Next: Gonzaga Bulldogs - An Underdog team for the Ages

It’s a long way for Texas Southern to come for a beating, but when you are a lower mid-major school, you take the games you can get.

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