Georgia basketball faces tenth ranked Gonzaga in Madison Square Garden


Georgia will face the most successful basketball program in the country in Madison Square Garden Wednesday night – the Gonzaga Bulldogs.

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: 11/26/2014

Tipoff Time: 9:30 pm

Venue: Madison Square Garden

Radio: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network from IMG – in Atlanta: WSB (750 AM), WSBB (95.5 FM). In Athens: WRFC (AM 960), On satellite Sirius 84 & XM 84. Free audio on


Gonzaga University: located in Spokane, WA. Established in 1887, the private liberal arts university enrolls just under 7500 students. Gonzaga is a member of the West Coast Conference.

Head Coach: Mark Few has been at the helm of  Bulldog basketball for 15 prior seasons, and has been with the Gonzaga program for 26 years. He is the winningest active head in the country (.801).  Gonzaga qualified for the last 16 NCAA Tournaments, the longest active streak in the nation.

The Georgia basketball team will step up in class Wednesday night to take on the number 10 ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs in Madison Square Garden.

The starting lineup for Gonzaga is expected to be senior PG Kevin Pangos – 6’2″ 185, senior SG Gary Bell, Jr. – 6’2″ 214, senior SF Byron Wesley – 6’4″ 206, junior PF Kyle Wiltjer – 6’10 240 junior C Przemek Karnowski – 7’1″ 300.

Gonzaga is 4 – 0 on the young season, including a 72 – 56 defeat of 22 ranked SMU. Against the Mustangs, Kevin Pangos led Gonzaga with 17 points including 5 of 8 shooting from behind the 3-point arc. Big man Domantas Sabonis came off the bench to play 20 minuntes and score 13 while claiming a team high nine rebounds. Kentucky transfer junior Kyle Wiltjer scored 10.

Against SMU the Bulldogs played five guards significant minutes with freshman Josh Perkins and Kyle Dranginis coming off the bench to spell starters Byron Wesley, Gary Bell and Pangos. Coach Few stuck with primarily three big men – starters Przemek Karnowski, Wiltjer and substitute Sabonis.

The double digits win over SMU supports the preseason prognostications regarding Gonzaga. Coach Few has bolstered a solid roster built on the foundation of two stellar returning guards with three transfers and a potential impact freshman.

Wesley was USC’s best player a year ago, leading the Trojans in scoring and rebounding, averaging 18 points per game.

Wiltjer, the Rivals number 22 national recruit in 2011, transferred from Kentucky and now joins the program after sitting out last season.

Eric McClellan transferred from Vanderbilt. He led the team while averaging 14 points per game.

Freshman Josh Perkins is the number 67 player in the Rivals 2014 recruiting class.

Georgia will counter with a starting lineup of senior forward Marcus Thornton, junior guard Kenny Gaines, sophomore guard Juwan Parker, junior guard Charles Mann and senior forward Nemi Djurisic.

Nov 22, 2014; Spokane, WA, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Domantas Sabonis (11) dribbles the ball around Saint Thomas Aquinas Spartans center Sam Berlin (33) during the second half at McCarthey Athletic Center. The Bulldogs won 109-55. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia’s big men Thornton and Djurisic have led the team in tandem, averaging about 30 points a game together, and play with a chemistry that resulted in Djurisic earning 8 assists against FAU. However, the Dawgs have not faced a player like the 7’1” 300 pound Karnowski.

And while Georgia’s starting guards Gaines and Mann are mature and capable, they will face an even more veteran – and very talented – Gonzaga backcourt.

Simply put, Gonzaga is an extremely talented team steeped in tradition that habitually maintains a high level of success. After Wednesday night , Georgia will know exactly what kind team it is.