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Gonzaga-Portland key matchup: Isaiah White still a concern despite recent slump

UPDATED: Wed., Jan. 1, 2020

This isn’t easy to pinpoint.

Guards and wings account for five of Portland’s top six scorers. However, the top two scorers, Isaiah White and JoJo Walker, have struggled over the last four games with the emergence of 5-foot-7 guard Chase Adams and 6-7 wing Takiula Fahrensohn.

White, a 6-4, 195-pound transfer from Maine, seems to be a barometer for Portland’s win-loss record. He had three 20-point games and five others in double digits in the Pilots’ 8-3 start. He’s averaged 7.8 points on 35-percent shooting in the team’s current four-game losing streak.

White still ranks first in scoring (13.3) and blocks (17), and second in assists (36), steals (19) and made 3-pointers (26). Walker is second in scoring at 10.2, followed by guard Malcolm Porter (9.8), son of head coach Terry Porter, and Fahrensohn (9.6).

Gonzaga could go several directions defending White. Joel Ayayi and Corey Kispert, likely in that order, are probable options in the starting unit. Admon Gilder is another possibility when he enters the game. Ryan Woolridge could see time on White, but he’ll probably defend Adams at the outset.

Portland’s primary concern will be trying to slow Gonzaga’s frontcourt of Filip Petrusev, Drew Timme, Killian Tillie and Anton Watson. Tillie sat out Monday’s win over Detroit Mercy but was available if needed.

The Pilots have some size and shot-blockers, but points have been hard to come by. Tahirou Diabate, a 6-9, 225-pound forward, tops frontcourt players at 8.3 points.

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