Oakland-Gonzaga Preview

The Associated Press

Trying to beat Gonzaga with a full roster is tough enough for most opponents, let alone attempting to do so short-handed.

That's the challenge winless Oakland faces Sunday against the No. 15 Bulldogs, who look for a 29th straight home victory over an unranked opponent.

Oakland (0-3) likely was going to have its hands full trying to knock off Gonzaga (2-0), however, the task will be even tougher without second-leading scorer and rebounder Duke Mondy (10.5 points, 6.0 boards per game) and key reserve Dante Williams.

Both were suspended indefinitely following their arrests Thursday in the Los Angeles area on suspicion of sexual assault. Oakland, which opened with an 84-61 loss at 12th-ranked North Carolina on Nov. 8, fell 91-60 at No. 24 UCLA on Tuesday. Both players were released from jail but did not play in the Golden Grizzlies' 64-60 loss at California on Friday. They were reportedly expected to return to the school's Michigan campus this weekend.

Despite using eight players and forced to slow down the pace against Cal, Oakland nearly prevailed while shooting a season-high 40.4 percent.

Oakland coach Greg Kampe will be forced to employ the same deliberate game plan against Gonzaga, which has totaled 193 points and shot 55.6 percent in victories over Bryant and Colorado State.

"If we go up there and run with them, it's going to be 120-60 or something like that," Kampe told Oakland's official website. "We're going to have to control (the) tempo there, and this group of kids has to stick together because Gonzaga might be the best of all the four teams we've played."

Gary Bell Jr. went 8 of 13 from 3-point range to finish with 24 points as Gonzaga shot 57.6 percent and made 14 3s during a 93-61 rout of Colorado State on Monday.

"Life is pretty good when you make your shots," Bulldogs coach Mark Few said. ''That makes everybody look good."

Though Bell started all but eight of the 67 games he played in his first two seasons at Gonzaga, he averaged 9.7 points and shot 45.6 percent while sporting more of a team-first mentality. However, with big men Kelly Olynyk and Elias Harris both gone, the Bulldogs are likely to focus on succeeding from the outside with Bell playing a key role.

He's totaled 38 points while going 12 of 19 from the field, including 11 of 17 from beyond the arc, in the first two games.

''It was great to see him hunt shots," Few said after Monday's victory. ''He rarely forces shots.''

Dating to a 74-67 loss to Michigan State on Dec. 10, 2011, Gonzaga has won its last 28 home games against unranked opponents by an average margin of 23.5 points while shooting 51.8 percent.

Facing the Bulldogs for the first time, Oakland is playing its first seven games on the road before hosting Rochester (Mich.) on Nov. 30.

The nation's fifth-leading scorer last season at 22.1 points per game, Oakland senior guard Travis Bader is averaging 19.3 despite shooting 38.8 percent through three games.

The Grizzlies have dropped seven straight against Top 25 opponents since an 89-82 win at then-No. 7 Tennessee on Dec. 14, 2010.

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