|No. 9 Zags gets 1st real test at Old Spice Classic|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 25 November 2008 23:29|
That will change Thursday when the Zags take on Oklahoma State in the first round of the Old Spice Classic.
Coach Mark Few said the Old Spice might be the most loaded of the early season tournaments, with eight teams boasting a combined 19-1 record.
``A couple of teams are going to go home 1-2, and they are going to be really good teams,'' Few said.
The Zags (2-0) will play either Maryland or No. 5 Michigan State in the second round Friday. The rest of the field includes No. 12 Tennessee, No. 21 Georgetown, Siena and Wichita State.
``It's the best preseason tournament field this year,'' Few said.
Gonzaga opened at home with routs of Montana State-Billings and Idaho. The Zags will have been idle for nine days when they take the floor on Thanksgiving, because they were unable to schedule an opponent.
d somebody to pencil in there.''
Getting teams to come to Spokane, where the Zags are 54-2 since 2004, is becoming more of a challenge. Regional rival Washington opted to end that series several years ago, and other top teams are reluctant to come. The only marquee program coming to town this season is No. 18 Memphis.
The Zags beat Oklahoma State the two previous times they've played, in 2004 and 2005.
Robert Sacre is on the mend from foot surgery on Oct. 1, and will make the trip to Orlando. The Zags need him to shore up an inside game that is currently resting on Josh Heytvelt and Austin Daye.
``He's not cleared yet to go full,'' Few said. ``He's just practicing minutes at a time, but he's bouncing around pretty good. Hopefully we can get him up to speed to the point where he can really help us.''
Like the Zags, Oklahoma State (4-0) is guard-heavy. It starts four guards, including James Anderson, Terrell Harris, Byron Eaton and Obi Muonelo
``They've got great guards, pressing all over the floor,'' Few said.
The Zags counter in the backcourt with Jeremy Pargo, Matt Bouldin and Micah Downs.
Few said he has gotten used to playing road games on Thanksgiving weekend - this will be the Zags' third turkey day game since 2001.