No. 13 MBB Opens Season With Sacramento State
13/13 Gonzaga (0-0) vs. Sacramento State (0-0) Friday, Nov. 14, 2014 | 6:00 p.m. (PT)
McCarthey Athletic Center (6,000) | Spokane, Wash. TV: KHQ/ROOT Sports  |  Radio: Gonzaga IMG Radio Network Live Stats  |  Gonzaga Notes  |  Sacramento State Notes 

STORY LINES

  • Gonzaga has won 10 consecutive season openers.
  • Gonzaga is 41-13 all-time in season openers.
  • Gonzaga is 13-2 all-time in season openers under Mark Few (only losses: at Illinois in 2001 and in N.Y. vs. St. Joseph’s in 2003).
  • The McCarthey Athletic Center has become a pretty special place for Gonzaga. The Bulldogs played their 100th game in the facility Dec. 15, 2011, downing Oral Roberts University. Overall the Zags are 135-8 in the building that opened for the 2004-05 season: 63-6 in non-conference games, 72-2 in West Coast Conference play.

ABOUT GONZAGA

  • Head coach Mark Few enters the season with a career record of 403-100, making him the all-time leader in winning percentage at .801. North Carolina head coach Roy Willimas is second at .792 (724-190 in 26 years).
  • Gonzaga returns three starters (Kevin Pangos, Gary Bell Jr., and Przemek Karnowski) from the 2013-14 squad that went 29-7.
  • Kevin Pangos, an ironman, has started 103 of 104 games in his career, only sitting at the start of the first game of his freshman season. He played in that game off the bench and has been in the lineup ever since.
  • Gary Bell Jr. returns 11.0 points per game and comes in healthy after battling injuries last year that included a broken hand and knee pain that was cleared up with offseason surgery.
  • Karnowski has continued to hone his game after averaging 10.4 points and team-leading totals of 7.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game in 2013-14.

ABOUT SACRAMENTO STATE

  • Sacramento State returns all five starters from a year ago, and eight of the team’s nine leading scorers from last season.
  • The five starters include guards Dylan Garrity and Mikh McKinney, forwards Cody Demps and Zach Mills, and center Alex Tiffin. All five started at least 24 games.
  • Four of the returning starters are seniors (Garrity, McKinney, Mills and Tiffin)
  • Five of the nine returners have been in the program for over two years.

ABOUT THE SERIES
The meeting will be the fifth all-time between the two teams, and first since Gonzaga took a 66-44 victory at home on Jan. 7, 1996. The series is tied 2-2 overall, and 1-1 in Spokane.

PANGOS ON WATCH LISTS
Senior guard Kevin Pangos was named to the Bob Cousy Award Watch List and the Lute Olson Award Watch List prior to the start of the season. He is one of 37 players named to the Cousy list, an award given to the nation’s top collegiate point guard. He is one of 25 players named to the Olson list, an award given to the player of the year in college basketball.

CHASING MILESTONES
Gonzaga’s senior guard duo of Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell Jr., as wells as third-year big man Przemek Karnowski are poised to move up the career charts. Check out the next milestones in these great careers:

  • Kevin Pangos
    • Needs 48 three-pointers to break Blake Stepp’s GU career record of 288
    • Needs just 250 points to move into top 10 all-time in scoring at GU
    • Needs just 90 assists to move into top 5 all time at GU
    • Needs 27 steals to move into top 5 all time at GU
  • Gary Bell Jr.
    • Needs just 21 points for 1,000 in his career
    • Needs just 28 steals to move into top 10 all time at GU
  • Przemek Karnowski
    • Needs just 7 blocks to move into top 10 all time at GU

FRESHMAN TALENT
Led by top-100 recruit Josh Perkins from Huntington (W.Va.) Prep and Domantas Sabonis, the son of NBA Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis, the GU freshman class brings in some serious talent. Silas Melson and Bryan Alberts round the class into one of the most highly-touted in program history.

  • Perkins, originally from Denver, Colo., helped Huntington Prep reach a No. 3 national high school ranking last season on the way to a 29-5 record.
  • Sabonis, one of the youngest ever to play in some of the top leagues in Spain, hails from Lithuania. He brings in international experience from playing with his native country in FIBA U-18 and U-16 tournaments where he averaged better than a double-double.
  • Melson, an Oregon state player of the year in the 5A classification, comes in after averaging 24.3 points per game as a senior on the way to a second consecutive state championship.
  • Alberts, a 6-5 combo guard, averaged double digits throughout his final three years of high school and helped his team to the Division V state title in California as a sophomore.

HIGH-IMPACT TRANSFERS
Kentucky transfer Kyle Wiltjer will be back on the court after sitting out last season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules. Wiltjer, a redshirt junior, played a pivotal role on a national-championship squad at Kentucky, being named the SEC Sixth Man of the Year.

Byron Wesley, the leading scorer as a junior at USC last season, averaged 17.8 points per game and comes to Gonzaga immediately eligible after finishing his undergrad degree prior to transferring.

Eric McClellan, who transferred to Gonzaga midseason last year from Vanderbilt, will be eligible as a redshirt junior on Jan. 6, after satisfying NCAA transfer rules. In 12 games last year for the Commodores, McClellan put up 14.3 points per game to lead the team.

Jesse Wade Signs NLI
Point guard Jesse Wade signed a national letter of intent to play basketball for Gonzaga, head coach Mark Few announced on Wednesday. Wade, a 6-1, 175-pounder from Kaysville, Utah, will join the Bulldogs for the 2017-18 season after completing his two-year LDS mission upon high school graduation. He ranks as the No. 1 recruit in the state of Utah by both ESPN.com and 247sports.com. Known as one of the top scoring point guards in the country, Wade put up 17.6 points per game to go along with 3.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.4 steals per game. His team posted a 21-3 record and advanced to the 5A state semifinals before falling to eventual champion Lone Peak High School. Wade earned first team all-conference and all-state honors, and was invited to the Pangos All-American Camp last summer.

 


 

 

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