Men's College Basketball
Preview
Gonzaga vs Baylor
When: 1:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 5, 2020
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana

An early season showdown is on the card when No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 2 Baylor square off Saturday in the Jimmy V Classic at Indianapolis.

The Bulldogs (3-0) own a 102-90 win over then-No. 6 Kansas as part of a strong start. They also recorded an 87-82 win over No. 11 West Virginia on Wednesday in their first game of the Jimmy V Classic.

The Bears (3-0) notched a solid 82-69 victory over No. 5 Illinois on the same night in their first contest at the Jimmy V Classic.

Gonzaga coach Mark Few is expecting a slugfest in a contest that he says is a big one for the sport in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Bulldogs were ranked second in the final 2019-20 college basketball poll after the season was halted in March. Baylor was No. 5.

"It is going to be a monster for us," Few told ESPN. "Baylor is really, really good and hungry after last season. ... We knew it was going to be really good for college basketball and probably what college basketball needed. This is a good opportunity for all of us."

Opportunity sure is knocking loudly for the Bears, who are 0-5 all-time against the Zags, including an 83-71 loss in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament.

Baylor coach Scott Drew understands the allure of this contest and what it means for the sport.

"Anytime you have 1 vs. 2 in any sport, it draws great attention, visibility, notoriety, interest," Drew said after the win over Illinois. "They're very similar to our team. They have a lot of guys who can score 15 or 20 points. It's going to be a great game and a great opportunity for us."

Gonzaga's balanced effort against West Virginia saw junior guard Joel Ayayi match his career high of 21 points. Senior forward Corey Kispert and junior guard Andrew Nembhard added 19 apiece.

The Bulldogs had a scare when highly touted freshman guard Jalen Suggs went down with a left ankle injury in the first half. But he later returned in the second half -- which surprised Few -- and ended up playing 26 minutes.

Despite scoring just four points against the Mountaineers, the five-star recruit is averaging 13.3 points, 6.3 assists and 4.7 rebounds.

"I didn't want him to play, but he was pretty convincing," Few said. "He just tweaked his ankle a little bit. Once the trainers told me that's what it was, he's a pretty ferocious competitor. So he convinced me that he could be a factor."

Sophomore forward Drew Timme leads Gonzaga in scoring at 23.3 points per game with Kispert right behind at 22.3. Ayayi averages 13.7 points and Nembhard is contributing 11.7 off the bench.

Baylor features a quartet of solid scorers. Junior guard Jared Butler averages a team-best 16.3 points, followed by senior guard MaCio Teague (15.7), sophomore guard Adam Flagler (15.7) and junior guard Davion Mitchell (13.0).

Flagler led the way with 18 points off the bench in the victory over Illinois.

"It definitely felt like my teammates and coaches gave me confidence," Flagler said. "That just allowed me to compete and play as hard as I can. I can't give enough credit to my teammates for finding me and me finding them."

--Field Level Media

Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Neutral Day Night Conf
Gonzaga 3-0 W3 0-0 0-0 3-0 2-0 1-0 0-0
Baylor 3-0 W3 0-0 0-0 3-0 2-0 1-0 0-0
Last Meeting
Gonzaga Baylor
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
3/23/19 BAY 71 GONZ 83 83 35 54.4 71 24 41.7
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Gonzaga B. Clarke 36 83.3 6
Baylor M. Mason 17 31.2 5
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Gonzaga B. Clarke 8 4 4
Baylor M. Vital 8 5 3
Assists Player  
Gonzaga J. Perkins 6
Baylor M. Mason 5
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Gonzaga D. Timme 70 60.4 11
Baylor J. Butler 49 48.8 0
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Gonzaga J. Ayayi 23 5 18
Baylor J. Tchamwa Tchatchoua 25 11 14
Assists Player  
Gonzaga J. Suggs 19
Baylor D. Mitchell 20
Quickchart Matchup
blue bar Gonzaga Off vs  red bar Baylor Defense
blue bar 93.0 Points For
red bar 67.7 Points Against
blue bar 55.3 FG%
red bar 44.8 FG%
blue bar 34.0 Reb
red bar 25.0 Reb
red bar Baylor Off vs  blue bar Gonzaga Defense
red bar 93.3 Points For
blue bar 79.7 Points Against
red bar 51.2 FG%
blue bar 42.8 FG%
red bar 41.0 Reb
blue bar 30.7 Reb