No. 3/2 Zags Travel to Pacific Thursday
No. 3/2 Gonzaga hits the road for the final time in the regular season with a weekend trip to the Bay Area that starts with Pacific on Thursday at 8 p.m. on SWX/ROOT Sports.
3/2 Gonzaga (26-1, 14-0) vs. Pacific (10-16, 2-12)Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015 | 8 p.m. (PT) | Alex G. Spanos Center (6,150) | Stockton, Calif.TV:
SWX/ROOT Sports (Glen Kuiper, Dan Belluomini)Gonzaga IMG Radio Network:
KGA 1510/TuneIn App (Tom Hudson, Matt Santangelo) Watch: TheW.tv | Live stats | Gonzaga Notes
**Live video subject to blackout.** *Note: This game will be broadcast on SWX and ROOT Sports. KHQ will not be carrying the game. ROOT Sports will lift its customary blackout of the KHQ viewing area, making it available to fans in those areas.
- Last time out: Gonzaga got 19 points from Kevin Pangos and used a 16-3 run to start the second half on the way to a 56-48 victory over Pepperdine on Saturday in The Kennel. The win marked Gonzaga’s 40th straight at home, the nation’s current leading mark.
- GU earned its fifth 14-0 start to WCC play under head coach Mark Few, and will be looking for its second 15-0 start.
- Gonzaga has won 19 straight games overall, one short of the school record of 20, which was done twice -- 2003-04 and 2005-06.
- Gonzaga has also won 19 straight games over WCC opponents dating back to last season.
- Gonzaga is one of two teams in NCAA in the top 20 of both FG% offense and FG% defense.
- A win would make Gonzaga the only team in the nation with 27 wins.
- Head coach Mark Few enters the game with a career record of 429-101, 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 six Zags that average at least 7.9 ppg.
- Gonzaga is ranked No. 1 in field goal shooting in the nation at .527.
- The Zags rank No. 5 in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.55), No. 11 in assists/game (16.8) and No. 11 in scoring offense (79.8).
- The Zags are also 17th in the nation in field goal percentage defense (.381).
- Head coach Ron Verlin second year at Pacific after going 18-16, 6-12 WCC last season.
- TJ Wallace and Dulani Robinson lead the way for the Tigers. Wallace averages 13.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, while Robinson averages 9.5 and 2.8.
- The Tigers have a +1.8 rebounding edge on their opponents, and have hit the offensive glass hard this season, averaging 12.2 offensive rebounds per game.
- Pacific is making 6.4 three pointers per game, and has four players who have made at least 30 threes this season, led by Robinson’s 44.
ABOUT THE SERIES
- Gonzaga is 6-1 all-time against Pacific and has won four games in a row.
- Earlier this year in Spokane, Gonzaga had five players in double figures in a 91-60 win.
A Gonzaga win Thursday over Pacific would clinch the Bulldogs at least a share of their 18th WCC regular season title. A win coupled with a Saint Mary’s loss would give the Zags the title outright on Thursday. Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s face off on Saturday.
It’s been the veteran experience of Kyle Wiltjer, Kevin Pangos and Byron Wesley that have carried the Zags on the road. All three are averaging higher point totals away from Spokane. Wiltjer’s split is the biggest at 18.1 points per game on the road and 14.8 ppg at home. Pangos has averaged 12.7 ppg and 5.6 assists per game on the road and 11.1 ppg and 4.5 apg at home. Wesley is at 12.7 ppg on the road and 9.7 ppg at home.
As a team, Gonzaga has been one of the best in the country at making the extra pass. So far this season, the Zags have gotten an assists on 58% of their made baskets. Comparatively, Zag opponents have gotten assists on only 47% of their field goals.
WILTJER’S CRAFTY OFFENSE
On a team as balanced as Gonzaga is offensively, junior Kyle Wiltjer has been the unrivaled scoring leader with his variety of offensive skills. He’s shooting 54% from the field, 44% from behind the arc and 80% from the free throw line, while averaging a team-best 16.4 points per game. Over the last five games, he’s been even better, averaging 20.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and shooting 56% overall and 55% from behind the arc. More on Wiltjer’s scoring habits:
- Led team in scoring 12 times
- Team-high 22 double-figure games
- Team-high 10 20-plus games
- Single-game team season-high of 32 points (vs. Georgia)
- Scored 20-plus in three straight games on two seperate occasions
- Has current streak of seven straight double-figure games
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 131 games played and 130 starts.
PANGOS OVER 1,700
With nine points against Pepperdine, Kevin Pangos became just the 7th GU player ever to surpass 1,700 points in his career. He’s now at 1,715 for his career and in sole possession of seventh all-time, just eight behind Ronny Turiaf for sixth.
LATE SEASON WATCH LISTS
The John Wooden Award Watch List Late Season Top 20 and Naismith Top 30 list were released last week and included Gonzaga’s Kevin Pangos and Kyle Wiltjer. Pangos was on the original Wooden 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 Wooden list.
- Nation’s longest current home court win streak - 40 games
- Nation’s second-longest current road win streak - 8 games
- Nation’s second-longest current conference win streak - 19 games
- Nation’s third-longest current overall win streak - 19 games (1 shy of school record)
- West Coast Conference home win streak - 35 games
OFFENSE AND DEFENSE
Gonzaga is one of only two teams in the nation to rank in the top 20 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 17th on the defensive side, holding teams a paltry 38.1 FG percentage. SMU is 14th in field goal percentage and 10th in field goal percentage 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 .527 field goal percentage thanks in large part to its big men. Freshman forward Domantas Sabonis leads the team at .707 and junior center Przemek Karnowski is shooting .614.
PANGOS LIGHTING UP THE LEAGUE
In 14 West Coast Conference games, Kevin Pangos has been about as good as it gets. He’s averaging 13.6 points and 4.7 assists per game. Not to mention, he’s shooting .526 (40-76) from behind the arc. He has 66 total assists in those 14 league games against just 19 turnovers, a 2.58:1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
OPPONENT COMPARISON NOTES - Through 27 games
- More assists than its opponent 24 times
- More rebounds than its opponent 25 times
- More or equal blocks with opponent 24 times
- More or equal steals with opponent 14 times
- Less or equal turnovers with its opponent 17 times
- A higher or equal field goal percentage 25 times
- More or equal 3FGM with its opponent 22 times
- Shot more or equal number of FT attempts 17 times