No. 3/2 Zags Host San Diego Thursday on ESPN2
3/2 Gonzaga (28-1, 16-0) vs. San Diego (14-14, 7-9)
Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015 | 8 p.m. (PT) | McCarthey Athletic Center (6,000) | Spokane, Wash.
TV: ESPN2 (Roxy Bernstein, Corey Williams)
Gonzaga IMG Radio Network: KGA 1510/TuneIn App (Tom Hudson, Matt Santangelo) WatchESPN  |  Live Stats  |  Gonzaga Notes  |  San Diego Notes ***Live video subject to blackout.***

STORY LINES

  • Last time out: Gonzaga erased a 17-point deficit and closed the game on a 24-5 run for a 70-60 win at Saint Mary’s on Saturday. Kyle Wiltjer had 16 pts., 12 rebs. for his third double-double, and Kevin Pangos added 14 pts., 7 assists.
  • The win also clinched Gonzaga’s 14th WCC regular season title in last 15 years.
  • GU earned its second 16-0 start to WCC play under head coach Mark Few, and will be looking for its first-ever 17-0 start.
  • Gonzaga has won 21 straight games overall, breaking the school record, which was done twice --20 games in 2003-04 and 2005-06.
  • Gonzaga has also won 21 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.

ABOUT GONZAGA

  • Head coach Mark Few enters the game with a career record of 431-101, the NCAA all-time leader in winning percentage at .810.
  • Gonzaga’s balanced scoring attack is led by Kyle Wiltjer’s 17.4 points per game. He’s among six Zags that average at least 8.1 ppg.
  • Gonzaga is ranked No. 1 in field goal shooting in the nation at .527 (next closest is .513).
  • The Zags rank No. 5 in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.58), No. 11 in assists/game (16.8) and No. 11 in scoring offense (79.7).
  • The Zags are also 20th in the nation in field goal percentage defense (.384).

ABOUT SAN DIEGO

  • Former Gonzaga assistant and USD Head coach Bill Grier is in his 8th season and led the Toreros to an 18-17 record last season, including a QF finish in the CIT Postseason Tournament.
  • Senior guard Johnny Dee is one of the deadliest weapons in the league from three-point land. He’s the NCAA’s active career three-point leader and he’s averaging 17.8 points per game this season.
  • Point guard Chris Anderson leads the team with 6.4 assists per game and Thomas Jacobs has a team-leading 5.1 rebounds per game. Jito Kok has 73 blocks on the season, 2.6 per game.

ABOUT THE SERIES
Gonzaga is 63-21 all-time against San Diego, including a 60-48 win at USD earlier this year.
The Zags have won 33 of the last 36 meetings, including 15 in a row in Spokane.

WCC REGULAR SEASON CHAMPS

Just as the league’s coaches had predicted at the season’s start, Gonzaga took the outright regular season crown. It was the Zags’ third title in a row, 14th in the last 15 years, 16th in the last 18 years, and 18th overall. Fourteen have come under with head coach Mark Few at the helm.

THE KENNEL
Gonzaga hasn’t lost at home since Dec. 8, 2012 to Illinois (85-74), a streak of 40 games and span of 807 days. The 40 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 35-game conference home winning streak that dates back to a 73-71 loss to Saint Mary’s on January 27, 2011. Of those 35 games, only five have been decided by single digits with only three decided by five points or less.

WINNING STREAKS

  • Nation’s longest current home court win streak - 40 games
  • Nation’s longest current road win streak - 10 games
  • Nation’s second-longest current conference win streak - 21 games
  • Nation’s third-longest current overall win streak - 21 games (school record)
  • West Coast Conference home win streak - 35 games

PANGOS IS EVERYWHERE
With his 500th assist at Saint Mary’s on Saturday, he became the only player in school history to amass at least 1,700 points, 500 assists and 150 steals. His 1,733 points rank sixth, his 500 assists rank fifth and his 164 steals rank fifth all-time at Gonzaga.

IRONMAN
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 133 games played and 132 starts. This season, Pangos also leads the WCC in minutes with 947:00.

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, 47% from behind the arc and 81% from the free throw line, while averaging a team-best 17.4 points per game. Over the last five games, he’s been even better, averaging 24.8 points, 9.0 rebounds and shooting 56% overall and 55% from behind the arc. More on Wiltjer’s scoring habits:

  • Led team in scoring 14 times
  • Team-high 24 double-figure games
  • Team-high 11 20-plus games
  • Single-game team season-high of 45 points (at Pacific)
  • Scored 20-plus in three straight games on two separate occasions
  • Has current streak of eight straight double-figure games

DROPPIN’ 40
Against Pacific last Thursday, Kyle Wiltjer put together the best Zag scoring game in more than five decades with his 45-point effort. He knocked down 15-of-22 from the field, including 7-of-10 from behind the arc. His 45 points were the third-best in school history, and most since Frank Burgess scored a school-record 52 in 1961. It also topped Adam Morrison’s 44-point night against LMU on Feb. 18, 2006. He followed that up with a 16-point, 12-rebound double-double two nights later.

MOST WINS EVER
Gonzaga’s four-year senior duo of Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell Jr. are rewriting the records books with each victory. Against Pepperdine, the pair became the winningest senior class in program history with a 115-18 record, besting last season’s senior class win total of 112. If attributing wins directly to players that played in those games (Pangos played in all 133), Kevin Pangos is tied with Wichita State’s Tekele Cotton for most wins by an active senior.

DIME STATS
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 46% of their field goals.

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 (the next closest is Notre Dame at 51.3) and rank 20th on the defensive side, holding teams a paltry 38.4 FG percentage. SMU is 10th in field goal percentage and 9th 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 .675 and junior center Przemek Karnowski is shooting .615.

PANGOS LIGHTING UP THE LEAGUE
In 16 West Coast Conference games, Kevin Pangos has been about as good as it gets. He’s averaging 13.0 points and 5.1 assists per game. Not to mention, he’s shooting .512 (42-82) from behind the arc. He has 81 total assists in those 15 league games against just 21 turnovers, a 3.9:1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

OPPONENT COMPARISON NOTES - Through 29 games

  • More assists than its opponent 26 times
  • More rebounds than its opponent 26 times
  • More or equal blocks with opponent 26 times
  • More or equal steals with opponent 16 times
  • Less or equal turnovers with its opponent 19 times
  • A higher or equal field goal percentage 27 times
  • More or equal 3FGM with its opponent 22 times
  • Shot more or equal number of FT attempts 18 times

 


 

 

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