BYU to take on Gonzaga on the road to open WCC play
PROVO, Utah – BYU men’s basketball will face No. 1 Gonzaga (10-0) on the road on Thursday for the Cougars’ West Coast Conference opener. A much-awaited opener it has been, as BYU was supposed to open WCC play last Thursday in Malibu, then Saturday in San Diego, then this Thursday against Pacific but COVID issues within the opposing programs postponed all three matchups. On short notice, the Cougs and Zags now get ready to renew their rivalry in a surprise matchup that was worked out this week.
This game will officially be a reschedule of the previously-scheduled Feb. 6 game between BYU and Gonzaga in Spokane. The Feb. 6 date for both BYU and Gonzaga is still to be determined as of now, as both programs and the WCC work on further modifications in the conference schedule.
The game will be broadcast on ESPN at 5:30 p.m. PST. It will also be broadcast live on the BYU Sports Network on BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM HD2 and KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.
BYU Notes (9-2, 0-0 West Coast Conference)
- The Cougars are off to a 9-2 start, most recently defeating Weber State and Texas Southern two weeks ago.
- BYU has wins over Weber State, Texas Southern, No. 18 San Diego State, Utah, Utah State, St. John’s, Utah Valley, New Orleans and Westminster. The two losses were to USC and Boise State.
- BYU is led by Alex Barcello who is averaging 16.9 points, 4.8 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game. Barcello has scored 186 points in 11 games, good for No. 6 in the nation in points scored. He is shooting a blistering 63% from beyond the arc, which is No. 1 in the nation among players who have shot 40+ threes.
- Barcello’s partner in BYU’s backcourt is Brandon Averette. Averette has come up clutch lately in a variety of ways, knocking down a huge three with 52 seconds left against SDSU, then dropping a season-high 30 points against Texas Southern and then racking up a season-high seven assists against Weber State.
Head Coach – Mark Pope
- Alma Mater: Kentucky, 1996
- Division I Career Record: 109-66 (5th season)
- Record at BYU: 32-10 (2nd season)
Gonzaga Notes (10-0, 1-0 West Coast Conference)
- Gonzaga is 10-0, after defeating San Francisco 85-62 in its most recent matchup on Saturday.
- The Bulldogs have marquee victories this season over four teams who were ranked at the time — No. 3 Iowa, No. 6 Kansas, No. 11 West Virginia, No. 16 Virginia.
- Gonzaga is first in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 96.2 points per game.
- The Bulldogs have four players averaging double digits in scoring — Corey Kispert (21.6), Drew Timme (18.4), Jalen Suggs (13.9), Joel Ayayi (12.2).
- Gonzaga has won 44 consecutive home games — the longest streak in the nation. The Bulldogs have only lost twice in their last 72 home games. One of those losses came to BYU in 2017.
- Gonzaga went 26-1 in the 2020 calendar year. Its only loss came at BYU in February.
Head Coach – Mark Few
- Alma Mater: Oregon, 1987
- Division I Career Record: 609-124 (22nd Season)
- Record at Gonzaga: 609-124 (22nd Season)
- All-Time Series: Gonzaga leads 18-5
- Last Meeting: BYU won 91-78, 2/22/2020 in Provo
- TV: ESPN
- TV Talent: TBA
- Radio: BYU Sports Network, BYU Radio Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM HD2, KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM
- Streamed Audio: BYURadio.org, BYUCougars.com/LiveRadio and the BYU Radio, BYUCougars and BYU Gameday apps
- Radio Talent: Greg Wrubell (play-by-play), Mark Durrant (analyst)
- Live Stats: BYUcougars.com