No. 2/2 Zags Hit Road to Bay Area
Second-ranked Gonzaga will take its show to the Bay Area this weekend, first up is a tilt with Santa Clara on Thursday at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.
2/2 Gonzaga (22-1, 10-0) vs. Santa Clara (11-12, 5-6)
Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015 | 8:00 p.m. (PT) | Leavey Center | Santa Clara, Calif.
TV: ESPN2 (Roxy Bernstein, Corey Williams)
Gonzaga IMG Radio Network: KGA 1510/TuneIn App (Tom Hudson, Matt Santangelo)
Live Video: WatchESPN | Live Stats | Gonzaga Notes | Santa Clara Notes
*Live video subject to blackout.
- Last time out: Gonzaga handled an athletic Memphis squad easily behind double figures from five different players. Przemek Karnowski led GU with 17 points, including 9-12 from the free throw line. Domantas Sabonis added his second straight double-double (13p, 11r).
- GU earned its sixth 10-0 start to WCC play under head coach Mark Few against Portland, and will be looking for its sixth 11-0 start.
- Gonzaga has won 15 straight games over WCC opponents.
- The Memphis win was Gonzaga’s 15th straight overall.
- GU has won 38 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 790 days.
- Gonzaga is the only team in the nation 22 wins.
- Head coach Mark Few enters the game with a career record of 425-101, 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 ranked No. 1 in field goal shooting in the nation at .528.
- The Zags are ultra efficient in taking care of the ball, ranking No. 5 in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.60), No. 8 in assists per game (17.0) and No. 9 in scoring offense (80.9).
- The Zags are also 13th in the nation in field goal percentage defense.
ABOUT SANTA CLARA
- Head coach Kerry Keating is in his eighth season and has a career record of 125-133.
- The Broncos feature last year’s WCC Newcomer of the Year in Jared Brownridge and Brandon Clark, who combine to score 30.4 points per game. Clark at 16.0, Brownridge at 14.4.
- Brownridge is one of the best in the league from behind the arc, shooting .430 on 61-of-141.
- Santa Clara is averaging just 62.3 points per game, but only giving up 66.2 per game.
- The Broncos are coming off of losses to BYU and San Diego, but had won four in a row prior.
ABOUT THE SERIES
- Gonzaga is 53-30 all-time against Santa Clara, including wins in 31 of the last 33 meetings.
- The Zags have won nine in a row overall. On the road, GU has won three straight and 13 of 14.
- Earlier this year, Gonzaga beat Santa Clara 79-57 in Spokane. Five Zags hit double figures.
SABONIS NAMED WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Freshman Domantas Sabonis posted a pair of double-doubles for the Zags on the way to a pair of victories over Portland and Memphis this week to earn West Coast Conference Player of the Week honors. He averaged 13 points and 11 rebounds in the victories while making 9-of-14 from the field and 8-of-9 from the free throw line. First, in a 64-46 win over Portland on Thursday, Sabonis was 3-for-5 from the field and 7-for-7 from the free throw line to score 13 points and grab 11 rebounds. He posted the same totals in an 82-64 win over Memphis on Saturday while going 6-for-9 from the floor. Of his 22 total rebounds for the week, eight were on the offensive glass. He also posted three assists and a steal on the week.
OFFENSE AND DEFENSE
Gonzaga is one of only two teams in the nation to rank in the top 15 in field goal percentage offense and field goal percentage defense. The Zags have the nation-leading mark on the offensive side at 52.8 percent and rank 13th on the defensive side, holding teams a paltry 37.6 FG percentage. SMU is the only other team ranked in the top 15 in both categories, checking in at 12th in FG percentage at 49.1 and 11th in FG percentage defense at 37.5.
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 .528 field goal percentage thanks in large part to its big men. Freshman forward Domantas Sabonis leads the team at .718 and junior center Przemek Karnowski is shooting .616.
OPPONENT COMPARISON NOTES
Through 23 games Gonzaga has:
- More assists than its opponent 21 times
- More rebounds than its opponent 21 times
- More or equal blocks with opponent 20 times
- More steals than its opponent 13 times
- Less or equal turnovers with its opponent 16 times
- A higher field goal percentage 22 times
- More or equal 3FGM with its opponent 20 times
- Shot more or equal number of FT attemps in 13 times
MAKING IT RAIN
- Gonzaga leads the WCC and is ranked No. 18 in the nation in 3FG% at .399.
- GU has made at least four three-pointers in every game, is averaging 7.3 per game.
- Gonzaga has made at least 10 threes in a game seven times this season.
- 11 players have made at least one three.
- Kevin Pangos leads the team with 50 threes and is shooting .455, second-best in WCC.
- A GU player has made five threes in a game four times this season (Pangos 3, Bell Jr. 1).
PANGOS LIGHTING UP THE LEAGUE
In 10 West Coast Conference games, Kevin Pangos has been about as good as it gets. He’s averaging 14.0 points and 4.5 assists per game. Not to mention, he’s shooting .527 (29-55) from behind the arc. He has 45 total assists in those 10 league games against just 11 turnovers, a 4.1:1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
#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 last 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.
Special thanks to Grantland college basketball writer Mark Titus for the “Low Bloc” nickname suggestion for the combo of Domantas Sabonis (Lithuanian) and Przemek Karnowski (Polish). The Zag pair has been nearly unstoppable when catching the ball in the paint. In the last 11 games, they are shooting a combined .718 from the field (94-for-131) and combining to grab 14.1 rebounds per game. They also combined for 31 assists, 14 blocks and 10 steals in that span.
Freshman Domantas Sabonis has turned up his game over the last five for Gonzaga. In that span, he has three double-doubles and is averaging a double-double of 10.4 points and 10.2 rebounds. He’s had at least eight rebounds in all five games, and double digits on the glass in four of the five.
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, sixth in steals and ninth in points. See page eight for updated all-time rankings.
With Domantas Sabonis’ second consecutive double-double on Saturday against Memphis, Gonzaga now has nine double-doubles by five different players this season. Sabonis is the only player on the team with more than two. 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)
- 13 pts., 11 reb. vs. Memphis (1/31/15)
Gonzaga is off to the best start to a season in program history at 22-1. 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.
FEW IN FEBRUARY
During Mark Few’s 16 years at the helm of the Gonzaga program, he’s compiled an NCAA record .808 winning percentage. In the month of February he’s been even better, compiling a mark of .851 with 103 wins and 18 losses. Here’s how it breaks down by year:
1999-00 — 5-3 2005-06 — 8-0 2010-11 — 8-1
2000-01 — 7-1 2006-07 — 6-3 2011-12 — 7-2
2001-02 — 7-0 2007-08 — 6-1 2012-13 — 8-0
2002-03 — 6-2 2008-09 — 7-1 2013-14 — 5-3
2003-04 — 8-0 2009-10 — 7-1 2014-15 — 0-0
2004-05 — 8-0