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BASKETBALL | ZAGS' DEEP BENCH 

Gonzaga's numbers are already impressive

click to enlarge Johnathan Williams is just part of Gonzaga's multi-pronged scoring attack. - AUSTIN ILG
  • Austin Ilg
  • Johnathan Williams is just part of Gonzaga's multi-pronged scoring attack.

After taking care of 16th-ranked Arizona 69-62 last Saturday in L.A. for the team's eighth straight win and remaining unbeaten as we inch deeper into December, it's safe to say this new-look Gonzaga team, now ranked No. 8, is going to work out.

While they still have veteran Przemek Karnowski on the low block, the Zags can roll in a pair of 7-footers (or close to it) in freshmen Zach Collins and Killian Tillie, both of whom can also conveniently shoot the three. Also able to drill from deep are returning guards Josh Perkins and Silas Melson, but it's newcomers like Nigel Williams-Goss (UW transfer) and Johnathan Williams (Missouri transfer) who are making even bigger waves so far. In all, it's a daunting amount of talent.

Just how stacked is the Gonzaga roster? Here are a few telling numbers:

3 Players (Collins, Karnowski, Williams) who had multiple blocks in the win against Arizona.

5 Players (Perkins, Williams-Goss, Karnowski, Collins, Williams) who are averaging double figures in scoring this season. At 9.1 points per game, Jordan Mathews is close to joining them.

7 Gonzaga's Rating Percentage Index (RPI), a tool used by the NCAA tournament selection committee to determine seeding, as of press time. It's a high ranking for the Zags, especially considering that it's so early in the season. Fellow West Coast Conference foe St. Mary's is at No. 4 and Florida, which the Zags defeated 77-72 on Nov. 25, is No. 5. Playing (and beating) teams with high RPIs is beneficial for your own RPI, so this is a good thing.

1 How many awesome hairstyles — a glorious man bun from walk-on senior Rem Bakamus — the Zags are rocking this year. A program that has prided itself on creatively coiffed young men has let that tradition slip, it seems. This is GU's lone weak spot.

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