MBB Ranked 13th in Preseason USA Today Coaches Poll

MCLEAN, Va. – Gonzaga’s men’s basketball team will begin the season ranked 13th in the Preseason USA Today Coaches Poll, released today.

Gonzaga’s 13th-place ranking marks the highest preseason rank for the team in the Coaches Poll since entering the 2010-11 season ranked 12th. The Zags entered the season 14th in 2013-14, 22nd in 2012-13 and 23rd in 2011-12. Kentucky checks in at No. 1 to start the season with 24 first-place votes, followed by Arizona in the No. 2 spot. GU and Arizona will face off in Tucson, Ariz., on Dec. 6 this season. The Zags will also face SMU, who enters the season ranked No. 22, on Nov. 17 at home.

Gonzaga finished last season unranked (receiving votes) in the Coaches Poll after knocking off ninth-seeded Oklahoma State in the NCAA Tournament Second Round and falling to top-seeded Arizona two days later.

The Zags return three starters and seven lettermen from last year’s squad that finished 29-7. A healthy Kevin Pangos is back and brings a streak of 103 consecutive starts after battling injuries last season while still putting up 14.4 points per game. GU also returns starters Gary Bell Jr. and Przemek Karnowski. Bell, who missed six games due to injury, averaged 11.0 ppg, and Karnowski turned in 10.4 ppg, 7.1 rebounds per game and a team-leading 1.72 blocks per game.

Gonzaga also welcomes a heralded set of transfers and freshmen. Junior Kyle Wiltjer (Kentucky), senior Byron Wesley (USC) and junior Eric McClellan (Vanderbilt) will all suit up this season for the Zags. GU’s freshman class of Josh Perkins, Domantas Sabonis, Silas Melson and Bryan Alberts are also looking to contribute right away.

Gonzaga opens the season with an exhibition against Thompson Rivers University on Nov. 1 at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Tip is scheduled for 6 p.m. and will be televised on KHQ. The first regular season game kicks off four consecutive home games and is on Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. against Sacramento State on ROOT SPORTS/KHQ.

 Complete Preseason USA Today Coaches Poll

RANK

TEAM

RECORD

POINTS

#1 Votes

1

Kentucky

29-11

785

24

2

Arizona

33-5

746

3

3

Duke

26-9

715

2

4

Wisconsin

30-8

706

3

5

Kansas

25-10

654

0

6

North Carolina

24-10

598

0

7

Florida

36-3

568

0

8

Virginia

30-7

519

0

9

Louisville

31-6

507

0

10

Texas

24-11

479

0

11

Wichita State

35-1

471

0

12

Villanova

29-5

439

0

13

Gonzaga

29-7

423

0

14

Iowa St.

28-8

323

0

15

Connecticut

32-8

292

0

16

Virginia Commonwealth

26-9

259

0

17

San Diego State

31-5

251

0

18

Michigan State

29-9

241

0

19

Oklahoma

23-10

237

0

20

Ohio State

25-10

223

0

21

Nebraska

19-13

156

0

22

Southern Methodist Univ.

27-10

149

0

23

Michigan

28-9

139

0

24

Syracuse

28-6

128

0

25

Iowa

20-13

56

0

 


 

 

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