Gonzaga Forward: Motivation Won't Be An Issue

After a sluggish performance in the WCC Championship, Gonzaga intends to come out swinging in the NCAA Tournament

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
March 18, 2019 - 9:01 am

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Despite losing to Saint Mary’s in the WCC Championship, Gonzaga still earned the No. 1 seed in the West Region. The Zags beat Saint Mary’s twice in the regular season, including 94-46 in Spokane in February, but came out sluggish in the tournament final, losing 60-47.

How do we know Gonzaga (30-3) won’t come out sluggish in the NCAA Tournament?

“That was one of the most painful losses I’ve had to go through,” Gonzaga forward Corey Kispert said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Seeing a rival like that hoist up a trophy that we honestly thought we deserved really stung. If that’s not a motivator and enough proof for anybody wondering what we’re going to come out and play like, then I don’t know what is.”

Gonzaga plays the winner of Fairleigh Dickinson and Prairie View A&M on Thursday at 6:27 p.m. ET. If victorious, Gonzaga plays the winner of No. 8 Syracuse vs. No. 9 Baylor on Saturday.

Rui Hachimura is averaging 20.1 points for the Zags, who have four players averaging double figures. They are, in a word, balanced.

“That’s a really good word to use,” Kispert said. “We’re incredibly hard to guard just because we have a lot of really talented players on our team, and our offense kind of plays in to each of our strengths. If you clog the paint and you try to disrupt our bigs, we have three guys that are shooting close to 40 percent from three. We’re dangerous from all three levels and all facets of the game and can come attack you and attack the defense in multiple different ways.”

Click below to listen to Kispert’s interview in its entirety.