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More on matchups with Zags ...

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Obviously everyone around various Bruin related online communities are putting in their respective 2 cents on our matchups with the Zags this Thursday night. Sportsline has more on the matchup between the Zags and Bruins with this bit on Zag's strengths and weaknesses:

Strengths: Could this be the year that Gonzaga finally breaks through and reaches a Final Four? The strengths are obvious, with Morrison being the premier forward in the country and the Zags entering the NCAA Tournament winners of 18 straight. Forward J.P. Batista is among the more underrated players in the country. If the offense can remain balanced, this team has the defense to make a serious run. Gonzaga, like always, is also a strong free-throw shooting team at 78.3 percent.

Weaknesses: Not a lot of depth, with just two reserves seeing more than 290 minutes of action this season over 30 games. Three of the starters, led by Morrison's 36.5, play at least 32 minutes a game, too. However, if Gonzaga controls the tempo, which they do as well as any team in the country, that shouldn't be a huge issue. Rebounding, however, could become a problem, as Morrison needs to avoid wanting to run against the bigger teams and remain in the post for defensive boards
Sportsline's note on Zags reserves is interesting considering some Zag's fans feel pretty good about going 9-10 deep? We will find out on Thu. night I guess. Re. their frontline, JD over at BruinHoopScoop has an interesting post on a source who may have some helpful hints for Howland's crew on how to stop Morrison:
Of course, the Bruins will spend a lot of time working on defense this week too, as Gonzaga is an exceptionally proficient team on offense. And while a lot is being made about the Zags' ability to beat Indiana without Adam Morrison having a good game, he is the one who typically makes big shots in close games and containing him will be a high priority. On just how to do this, we might have a bit of an edge by turning to a member of the extended Bruin family: Brad Holland, head coach at the University of San Diego. While Holland's team went 0-3 against the Zags, here are Morrison's numbers in those games: 1) 16 pts, 5-11 fg, 4-5 ft, 0 assists; 2) 11 pts, 3-11 fg, 5-6 ft, 1 assist; and 3) 24 pts, 5-16 fg, 11-14 ft, 3 assists. The last two games were on Gonzaga's home floor, and the third game went into overtime. Overall, Morrison's numbers were way down, and USD did it by putting 6′ 6″ Corey Belser on him. Now Belser is a tremendous defensive player, but we have two solid defenders about the same height in Arron Afflalo and Cedric Bozeman. We also have Prince Luc who is a little taller but with a 7-foot wingspan. I believe any of these three are viable options on Morrison, and if anyone can put together a gameplan to contain this offense, it is Ben Howland. I'm sure Howland has been picking Holland's brain over the past week (the team actually practiced at the USD campus last week with Holland addressing the team), so lack of information on Gonzaga won't be a problem. Will this make a difference on Thursday? We shall find out.
And BBR has this take on how to take on Morrison's frontcourt partner - Batista:
With his size and bulk, Batista usually has no problem getting good position against defenders on the low blocks. UCLA will double-down on Batista whenever he receives the ball in the low post; however, the Bruins will need to react quickly as Batista usually makes his offensive move as soon as he receives the ball.

Bruin seven-footer Ryan Hollins will get the starting assignment against Batista, but he will need back-up help from his teammates on the floor and from the bench.

Despite UCLA having practically its full stable of centers available for the game, aside from Hollins, none of the other players would appear to match up well against Batista. Lorenzo Mata, Ryan Wright, and Alfred Aboya may not have the size or experience to guard Batista; however, senior center Michael Fey might be an option.
I have to tell you thought I just don't see how we can count on Fey to provide any kind of viable mins. at this point of the season, considering what he has (or has not) done the whole year. If Fey can step up, then great. But I just don't see it, especially considering how Howland has already sort of tighten up our rotation. What do you think?

GO BRUINS.