Two nights after successfully dealing with BYU’s Yoeli Childs, Gonzaga encounters another versatile, high-scoring forward. San Diego’s Isaiah Pineiro is one of the WCC’s top scorers and rebounders at 19.5 points and 8.8 boards.
The rangy, 6-foot-7 Pineiro operates away from the hoop more than Childs, who managed just 12 points in Gonzaga’s blowout win. Pineiro shoots 52 percent from the field and he’s hit 23 3-pointers in 22 games. He makes 81.4 percent at the foul line.
Pineiro had mixed success against the Zags in two contests last season. Pineiro, usually defended by senior Johnathan Williams, scored 13 points on 3-of-11 shooting in a 10-point loss at the McCarthey Athletic Center. He made 6 of 14 field-goal attempts and had 14 points in a five-point setback in San Diego.
Rui Hachimura was stout on defense against Childs, with assistance from double teams and guards digging down. Hachimura and Brandon Clarke are likely defensive options on Pineiro, along with Killian Tillie off the bench. The Gonzaga starting big not on Pineiro will be assigned to 6-10, 227-pound center Yauhen Massalski.
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