No. 3/2 Zags Look for Season Sweep of Loyola Marymount
No. 3/2 Gonzaga plays host to Loyola Marymount on Thursday at 6 p.m. on KHQ and ROOT Sports. GU won the first meeting of the teams by 86-67.
3/2 Gonzaga (24-1, 12-0) vs. LMU (8-17, 4-9)
Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015 | 6 p.m. (PT) | McCarthey Athletic Center (6,000) | Spokane, Wash.
TV: KHQ/ROOT Sports (Greg Heister, Richard Fox)
Gonzaga IMG Radio Network: KGA 1510/TuneIn App (Tom Hudson, Matt Santangelo)
Live Video: WatchESPN/TheW.tv | Live Stats | Gonzaga Notes | LMU Notes
***Live video is subject to blackout.***
- Last time out: Gonzaga came back from a second-half deficit for the second game in a row to win by double digits at San Francisco. Kyle Wiltjer poured in 29 points, including 20 in the second half, to go along with 11 boards. Kevin Pangos added 17 and three three-pointers.
- Gonzaga owns the nation’s longest current home court winning streak of 38 games.
- GU earned its sixth 12-0 start to WCC play under head coach Mark Few, and will be looking for its fifth 13-0 start.
- Gonzaga has won 17 straight games overall and 17 straight over WCC opponents.
- Gonzaga is one of two teams in NCAA in the top 25 of both FG% offense and FG% defense.
- Gonzaga is one of only two teams in the nation 24 wins (Kentucky). A win would make GU the only team with 25.
- Head coach Mark Few enters the game with a career record of 427-101, the NCAA all-time leader in winning percentage at .809.
- Gonzaga’s balanced scoring attack is led by Kyle Wiltjer’s 16.4 points per game. He’s among five Zags that average at least 9.9 ppg.
- Gonzaga is ranked No. 1 in field goal shooting in the nation at .532.
- The Zags are ultra efficient in taking care of the ball, ranking No. 7 in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.57), No. 11 in assists per game (16.9) and No. 7 in scoring offense (80.7).
- The Zags are also 22nd in the nation in field goal percentage defense (.383).
ABOUT LOYOLA MARYMOUNT
- Head coach Mike Dunlap is in his first season and comes with NBA coaching experience. He was the head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats during the 2012-13 season.
- Evan Payne is the leader for the Lions and is third in the WCC in points per game at 17.8.
- Ayodeji Egbeyemi is also in double digits, averaging 10.1 points points per game.
- The Lions rank third in the league in blocked shots, averaging 3.6 per game. Marin Mornar leads the way with the WCC’s second-best mark of 1.6 blocks per game.
ABOUT THE SERIES
- Gonzaga is 61-23 all-time against LMU and has won 11 games in a row and a 40 of the last 43.
- The Zags swept the Lions last season with an 86-67 win in Spokane.
- Earlier this year, GU defeated LMU on the road 72-55 with four players in double figures.
Senior point guard Kevin Pangos has played more minutes than anyone at GU in the last four years and has been in the starting lineup in every game except one - the first one. Pangos came off the bench in his first career game as a freshman and has started every game since. That’s 129 games played and 128 starts.
WOODEN WATCH LIST LATE SEASON TOP 20
The John Wooden Award Watch List Late Season Top 20 was released this week and included Gonzaga’s Kevin Pangos and Kyle Wiltjer. Pangos was on the original Top 50, but Wiltjer was an addition in the unveiling of the Top 25. With those two, Gonzaga is one of three schools (Louisville, Duke) to have multiple players on the list. When you add in Tyler Haws from BYU, the WCC is alongside the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC and ACC with at least three players in the top 25.
- Nation’s longest current home court win streak - 38 games
- Tied for nation’s longest current road win streak - 8 games
- Nation’s third-longest current conference win streatk - 17 games
- Nation’s fourth-longest current overall win streak - 17 games
- Won 11 straight against Loyola Marymount
Gonzaga hasn’t lost at home since Dec. 8, 2012 to Illinois (85-74), a streak of 38 games and span of 795 days. The 38 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.
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.
WILTJER SCORING AT WILL
Kentucky tranfer Kyle Wiltjer has a been a huge additon for the Zags this season, especially on the offensive end. He leads the team at 16.4 points per game, has a team high 21 double-figure scoring games and has led team in scoring 11 times. Wiltjer also posted a team season-high 32 points earlier this year against Georgia in the NIT Season Tip-Off Semifinal in New York City. Most recently, he dropped in 29, including 20 in the second half, to lead GU over San Francisco.
OFFENSE AND DEFENSE
Gonzaga is one of only two teams in the nation to rank in the top 25 in field goal percentage offense and field goal percentage defense. The Zags have the nation-leading mark on the offensive side at 53.2 percent and rank 22nd on the defensive side, holding teams a paltry 38.3 FG percentage. SMU is ranked 18th in field goal percentage and 12th in FG% defense.
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 .532 field goal percentage thanks in large part to its big men. Freshman forward Domantas Sabonis leads the team at .704 and junior center Przemek Karnowski is shooting .617.
OPPONENT COMPARISON NOTES - Through 25 games
- More assists than its opponent 22 times
- More rebounds than its opponent 23 times
- More or equal blocks with opponent 22 times
- More or equal steals with opponent 13 times
- Less or equal turnovers with its opponent 16 times
- A higher or equal field goal percentage 24 times
- More or equal 3FGM with its opponent 20 times
- Shot more or equal number of FT attempts 15 times
MAKING IT RAIN
- Gonzaga leads the WCC and is ranked No. 11 in the nation in 3FG% at .403.
- GU has made at least four three-pointers in every game, is averaging 7.2 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 54 threes and is shooting .458, 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 12 West Coast Conference games, Kevin Pangos has been about as good as it gets. He’s averaging 13.5 points and 4.6 assists per game. Not to mention, he’s shooting .524 (33-63) from behind the arc. He has 55 total assists in those 12 league games against just 15 turnovers, a 3.7:1 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 earlier this year against Portland. With his first three of that game (he made three on the night), he broke Blake Stepp’s career record of 288 three-pointers. Pangos now stands at 295.
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 12 WCC games, they are shooting a combined .703 from the field (97-138) and combining to grab 13.8 rebounds per game. They also combined for 33 assists, 14 blocks and 12 steals in that span.
Freshman Domantas Sabonis has turned up his game over the last five. In that span, he has two double-doubles and is averaging nearly a double-double of 10.4 ppg and 9.6 rpg.
Sabonis has also taken over the team lead in rebounding at 7.2 per game, and he’s been even better in conference play on the glass where he’s averaging 8.3 per game. He’s had at least eight rebounds in 10 straight games, and double digits on the glass in four of those. In the first 15 games, he had more than seven rebounds only four times and double digits once.
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, fifth in steals and seventh in points. See page eight for updated all-time rankings.
With Kyle Wiltjer's 29-point, 11-rebound performance against San Francisco, Gonzaga now has 10 double-doubles by five different players this season. Domantas Sabonis is the only player on the team with more than two. Here’s the breakdown:
- Byron Wesley (1)
- 15 pts., 10 reb. at BYU (12/27/14)
- Przemek Karnowski (2)
- 10 pts., 11 reb. at Arizona (12/6/14)
- 10 pts., 11 reb. vs. Portland (1/29/15)
- Angel Nunez (1) Kyle Wiltjer (2)
- 24 pts., 11 reb. vs. St. Thomas Aquinas (11/22/14)
- 17 pts., 11 reb. vs. St. Thomas Aquinas (11/22/14)
- 29 pts., 11 reb. vs. San Francisco (2/7/15)
- Domantas Sabonis (4)
- 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)