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Oklahoma State basketball: Breaking down the matchups for OSU-Gonzaga

John Helsley takes a closer look at how the Cowboys match up with the Zags.
Oklahoman Published: March 20, 2014

OKLAHOMA STATE VS. GONZAGA

When: 3:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Viejas Arena, San Diego

TV: TNT (Cox 31/HD 730; Dish 138; DirecTV 245; U-Verse 108/HD 1108)

Radio: KXXY-FM 96.1

INSIDE THE MATCHUPS

POINT GUARD

OSU — Marcus Smart (6-4, So., 17.8 ppg, 4.7 apg)

Gonzaga — David Stockton (5-11, Sr., 7.5 ppg, 4.2 apg)

Stockton has blossomed as a senior, becoming a playmaker as a floor general and passer, although he doesn’t shoot much or particularly well. Since returning from his suspension, Smart has returned to being a dominant force, averaging 18.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 4.3 steals a game.

Edge: Cowboys

GUARD

OSU — Markel Brown (6-3, Sr., 17.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg)

Gonzaga — Gary Bell Jr. (6-2, Jr., 11.2, 2.9 rpg)

Brown’s ever-evolving game makes him a difficult matchup, as he can heat up from the perimeter, or soar to the rim, taking advantage of the NCAA’s new rules against hand-checking. Bell is the Zags’ shut-down defender. While he’ll be assigned mostly to Smart, he’ll likely spend some time on Brown, too.

Edge: Cowboys

GUARD

OSU — Phil Forte (5-11, So., 13.3 ppg, 1.8 rpg)

Gonzaga — Kevin Pangos (6-2, Jr., 14.1 ppg, 3.7 apg)

Forte has been a key offensive factor for the Cowboys the past month and his ability to knock down long-range shots could be the difference in opening up OSU’s offense. Pangos is a veteran guard who — if healthy — can create so much for himself and teammates with his explosive quickness.

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