No. 13 MBB Hosts No. 22 SMU for ESPN Tip-Off Marathon
13/13 Gonzaga (1-0) vs. SMU (1-0) Monday, Nov. 17, 2014 | 8:00 p.m. (PT)
McCarthey Athletic Center (6,000) | Spokane, Wash. TV: ESPN2  |  Radio: Gonzaga IMG Radio Network WatchESPN  |  Live Stats  |  Gonzaga Notes  |  SMU Notes

STORY LINES

  • This game is showcased as part of ESPN’s annual Tip-Off Marathon.
  • Gonzaga is 5-12 all-time against ranked opponents at home and 29-63 overall against Top 25.
  • Gonzaga won its 11th consecutive season opener 104-58 over Sacramento State on Friday and had five players in double figures, led by 18 from Kyle Wiltjer and 16 from Kevin Pangos.
  • It marked the third straight year the Zags have opened with 100-plus points.
  • GU is now 14-2 all-time in season openers under Mark Few (last loss vs. St. Joseph’s in 2003).
  • Overall the Zags are 136-8 in the McCarthey Center since it opened for the 2004-05 season: 64-6 in non-conference games, 72-2 in West Coast Conference play.

ABOUT GONZAGA

  • Head coach Mark Few enters the game with a career record of 404-100, making him the all-time leader in winning percentage at .802. 
  • Gonzaga has now won 26 consecutive games at the McCarthey Athletic Center, a span of 706 days since losing to Illinois 85-74 on Dec. 8, 2012.
  • Kevin Pangos, an ironman, has started 104 of 105 games in his career, only sitting at the start of the first game of his freshman season. He cameoff the bench and has started 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 SMU

  • SMU is coming off a 93-54 season-opening win at home over Lamar. Four Mustangs scored in double figures, led by 22 from Ben Moore (8-for-12 FG) and 19 from Yanick Moreira (9-for-9).
  • SMU was 4-3 against ranked opponents last season.
  • The Mustangs are in their third season under Head Coach Larry Brown. SMU went 27-10 last season, reaching the NIT championship game. The Mustangs were picked to finish second this season in The American by the league’s coaches.
  • Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy were unanimous preseason all-conference selections.
  • The 2013-14 Mustang defense allowed just 62.2 points per game (24th NCAA, 3rd AAC).

ABOUT THE SERIES
This is the first-ever meeting between SMU and Gonzaga.

THE KENNEL
Gonzaga hasn’t lost at home since Dec. 8, 2012 to Illionis (85-74), a span of 26 games and 706 days. That ranks as the fourth longest streak in school history, and longest since a 29-gamer from 2000-03. 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 its new building. This season marks the 10th anniversary of the first game played in the MAC, a 98-80 win over Portland State on Nov. 19, 2004.

DOUBLE DIGITS X5
In its season-opening win over Sacramento State, five Zags scored in double figures. Against the Hornets, Kyle Wiltjer had 18 points, Kevin Pangos had 16, Domantas Sabonis had 14, Byron Wesley had 12 and Gary Bell Jr. had 11. That’ s the first time in a span of 23 games that GU has accomplished the feat. The last time was a 69-41 win over San Francisco at home on December 30, 2013.

CHASING MILESTONES

  • Kevin Pangos
    • Needs 46 three-pointers to break Blake Stepp’s GU career record of 288
    • Needs just 244 points to move into top 10 all-time in scoring at GU
    • Needs just 87 assists to move into top 5 all time at GU
    • Needs 26 steals to move into top 5 all time at GU
  • Gary Bell Jr.
    • Needs just 10 points for 1,000 in his career
    • Needs just 28 steals to move into top 10 all time at GU
  • Przemek Karnowski
    • Needs just 6 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, this GU 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.

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.

#4EQUALS3
Follow Pangos’ road to the GU career 3-pt. record on Twitter with #4equals3. With two against Sac State, he sits tied for fourth at 243 with Derek Raivio. Blake Stepp has the GU record at 288.


 

 

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