No. 3/3 Zags Step Out of Conference, Host Memphis
Third-ranked Gonzaga will step out of conference for the final time this regular season on Saturday when they host Memphis at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
3/3 Gonzaga (21-1) vs. Memphis (13-7)
Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015 | 7:00 p.m. (PT) | McCarthey Athletic Center (6,000) | Spokane, Wash.
TV: ESPN2 (Beth Mowins, Jim Calhoun)
Gonzaga IMG Radio Network: KGA 1510/TuneIn App (Tom Hudson, Matt Santangelo)
Live Video: WatchESPN | Live Stats | Gonzaga Notes | Memphis Notes
*Live vide subject to blackout.
- Last time out: Gonzaga turned a six-point halftime lead into an 18-point victory against Portland on Thursday night. The lead grew to as many as 26 on a night that Kevin Pangos broke the GU career three-point record with his 289th three. Przemek Karnowski (10p, 11r) and Domantas Sabonis (13p, 11r) each collected double-doubles.
- GU earned its sixth 10-0 start to WCC play under head coach Mark Few.
- The win was Gonzaga’s 14th straight overall and 15th straight over WCC opponents.
- GU has won 37 games in a row at home, the nation’s longest active home winning streak, dating back to Dec. 8, 2012 loss to Illinois, a span of 785 days.
- The Zags have also won 33 straight WCC home games, dating back to a 73-71 loss to Saint Mary’s on January 27, 2011.
- Gonzaga is the only team in the nation 21 wins.
- Head coach Mark Few enters the game with a career record of 424-101, the NCAA all-time leader in winning percentage at .808.
- Gonzaga’s balanced scoring attack is led by Kyle Wiltjer’s 15.6 points per game. He’s among five Zags that average double figures.
- Gonzaga is the No. 1 field goal shooting team in the nation at .527.
- The Zags are ultra efficient in taking care of the ball ranking No. 4 in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.62), No. 10 in assists per game (17.0) and No. 11 in scoring offense (80.8).
- The Zags are also 16th in the nation in field goal percentage defense.
- The Tigers are led by sixth-year head coach Josh Pastner, who has a 143-51 career record.
- Sophomore forward Austin Nichols leads Memphis in scoring at 13.3 ppg and rebounding at 6.0 rpg. He’s the only player that averages double figures.
- Trahson Burrell comes off the bench to contribute 9.0 ppg and 5.7 rpg, second-best at UofM.
- After a pair of losses to Tulane and SMU in early January, UofM has won five of the last six.
ABOUT THE SERIES
- Gonzaga is 2-6 all-time against Memphis with the wins coming on the road in 1999 and 2010.
- The teams met last season in Memphis with the Tigers came away with a 60-54 win.
- Memphis is 3-0 in Spokane (all three games played at the Spokane Arena).
THE NATION’S ONLY
Gonzaga is the only team in the nation to rank in the top 18 in field goal percentage offense and field goal percentage defense. The Zags have the nation-leading mark on the offensive side at 52.7 percent and rank 16th on the defensive side, holding teams a paltry 37.8 FG percentage.
THE NATION’S BEST
When it comes to putting the ball in the basket, no team in the nation has done it at a higher rate this season than Gonzaga. The Zags have an NCAA best .527 field goal percentage thanks in large part to its big men. Freshman forward Domantas Sabonis leads the team at .722 and junior center Przemek Karnowski is shooting .614.
Gonzaga became the first NCAA Division I team to reach the 20-win plateau this season.
Gonzaga has now reached the 20-win plateau in all 16 of Mark Few’s seasons as head coach.
The overall streak of 20-win seasons is at 18, with the first two coming in Dan Monson’s two seasons. Counting three of the four seasons prior to Monson, GU 20-win achievements stretch to 21 of the last 22 seasons.
#4EQUALS3 - MISSION ACCOMPLISHED
Kevin Pangos definitely won’t be done making three-pointers this season, but he put himself at the top of the GU record book on Thursday night against Portland. With his first three of the game (he made three on the night), he broke Blake Stepp’s career record of 288 three-pointers. Pangos now stands at 291.
Gonzaga hasn’t lost at home since Dec. 8, 2012 to Illinois (85-74), a streak of 37 games and span of 785 days. The 37 games is the longest current streak in the nation and also the second-longest streak in school history. The school record is 50 from 2003-2007, which includes the McCarthey Athletic Center opening in 2004. The Zags won their first 38 games in their new building after winning the final 12 in the Martin Centre.
Freshman Domantas Sabonis has turned up his game over the last five for Gonzaga. In that span, he has two double-doubles and is averaging a double-double of 11.4 points and 10.4 rebounds. He’s also shooting .778 (21-for-27). He’s had at least eight rebounds in all five games, including a season-high 13 against Saint Mary’s, 12 at Pepperdine and 11 vs. Portland He also scored a season-high 18 points on 9-9 shooting at PEPP.
PANGOS LEAVING HIS MARK
Senior guard Kevin Pangos continued his assault on the Gonzaga all-time top 10 lists recently. He moved into first at GU in three-pointers, fifth in assists and ninth in points. See page eight for updated all-time rankings.
THE KENNEL - WCC VERSION
Gonzaga also owns a 33-game conference home winning streak that dates back to a 73-71 loss to Saint Mary’s on January 27, 2011. Of those 33 games, only four have been decided by single digits with only three decided by five points or less.
With both Przemek Karnowski and Domantas Sabonis posting double-doubles against Portland on Thursday, Gonzaga now has eight double-doubles by five different players this season. Sabonis is the only player on the team with at least three. Here’s the breakdown:
- Byron Wesley 15 pts., 10 reb. at BYU (12/27/14)
- Przemek Karnowski 10 pts., 11 reb. at Arizona (12/6/14)
- 10 pts., 11 reb. vs. Portland (1/29/15)
- Angel Nunez 24 pts., 11 reb. vs. St. Thomas Aquinas (11/22/14)
- Kyle Wiltjer 17 pts., 11 reb. vs. St. Thomas Aquinas (11/22/14)
- Domantas Sabonis 10 pts., 11 reb. vs. St. Joseph’s (11/19/14)
- 18 pts., 12 reb. at Pepperdine (1/15/15)
- 13 pts., 11 reb. vs. Portland (1/29/15
Gonzaga is off to the best start to a season in program history at 21-1. The previous best was a 17-1 mark from the 2012-13 season. As for league play, at 10-0 the Zags are tied for the best start through 10 games. They’ve achieved an 10-0 record five previous times.