MBB Hosts Saint Joseph's on ESPNU for NIT Season Tip-Off
13/13 Gonzaga (1-0) vs. SMU (1-0) Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014 | 8:00 p.m. (PT)
McCarthey Athletic Center (6,000) | Spokane, Wash. TV: ESPNU  |  Radio: Gonzaga IMG Radio Network WatchESPN  |  Live Stats  |  Gonzaga Notes  |  St. Joseph's Notes

STORY LINES

  • This game is part of the NIT Season Tip-Off.
  • Gonzaga moved its win streak at home to 27 games with the win over No. 22 SMU Monday as the leadoff game of ESPN’s .
  • With the win over SMU, Gonzaga moved to 6-12 all-time vs. ranked opponents at home.
  • Overall the Zags are 137-8 in the McCarthey Center since it opened for the 2004-05 season: 65-6 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 405-100, making him the all-time leader in winning percentage at .802.
Gonzaga has now won 27 consecutive games at the McCarthey Athletic Center, a span of 708 days since losing to Illinois 85-74 on Dec. 8, 2012, the second-longest streak in the NCAA.
Gonzaga is 2-0 for the fifth straight season, and looking for its fourth straight 3-0 start.
Through it’s first two games, Gonzaga’s depth has shown its teeth, combining for 67 points (40 vs. Sacramento State and 27 vs. SMU).
Gonzaga’s defense has been stifling to opposing teams, limiting them to .333 from the field.

ABOUT ST. JOSEPH’S

  • St. Joseph’s is 1-1 coming into the game, dropping a one-point game to Fairleigh Dickinson on Friday and winning at Drexel by three on Monday.
  • The Hawks return two starters from last season’s Atlantic 10 championship team - Deandre’ Bembry and Chris Wilson.
  • Bembry was named a preseason First Team All-Atlantic 10 selection after averaging 12.1 points per game last season. He scored a team-leading 13 points in the win over Drexel, and has averaged 38 minutes per game in the team’s first two games.
  • Phil Martelli is in his 20th season as the head coach at St. Joe’s, and leads the school in all-time wins at 363.

ABOUT THE SERIES

  • Gonzaga is 3-2 all-time against St. Joseph’s, with the last meeting coming in a 2008 GU overtime win, 70-65 at SJU.
  • All-five meetings have been decided by 8 points or less.
  • Two of the five all-time meetings have gone into overtime, with each team winning one.
  • Gonzaga has won each of the last two meetings (2006, 2008).

THE KENNEL
Gonzaga hasn’t lost at home since Dec. 8, 2012 to Illionis (85-74), a streak of 27 games and span of 708 days. The 27 games is the second-longest current streak in the nation, behind only Duke’s 35-game win streak. It ranks as the fourth-longest streak in GU 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 their 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.

PANGOS LOVES THE BRIGHT LIGHTS
In four career ESPN Tip-Off Marathon games (like the one Monday vs. SMU) Kevin Pangos has made 19 three-pointers. He nailed five in the win over SMU, three last season against Colorado State, two in 2012 against West Virginia, and a school-record tying nine against Washington State in 2011, the first start and second game of his career.

DOMINATING DEFENSE
It isn’t only Gonzaga’s 88 points per game on offense that’s been impressive, its been the 57.0 points per game allowed on defense. The Zags have held opponents to .333 from the field, and .355 from behind the arc. GU has also forced 35 turnovers through two games, collected 18 steals and swatted away 10 shots.

WINDEX
Gonzaga has cleaned up on the glass through two games, holding an average of +11.0 on the boards. Collectively, the Zags have scooped up 32 offensive rebounds and 48 defense rebounds to average 45.0 total boards per game. Conversely, their opponets are 26-42-68 on the glass. Newcomers Domantas Sabonis and Byron Wesley have led the way, averaging 8.5 and 6.5 rebounds per game.

BENCH STRENGTH
Led by freshman Domantas Sabonis, Gonzaga’s bench has proven to be a force. It has combined to score 67 points in two games with 40 in the opener vs. Sac State. Sabonis has 27 of the 67, knocking down 14 in the opener and 13 against SMU.

DEPTH FINDER
Gonzaga has shown its depth through the first two games with at least nine players scoring in each - 10 in game one, all with at least four points; 9 in game two, all with at least four points.

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 USF at home on Dec. 30, 2013.

CHASING MILESTONES
Kevin Pangos

  • Needs 41 three-pointers to break Blake Stepp’s GU career record of 288
  • Needs just 227 points to move into top 10 all-time in scoring at GU
  • Needs just 80 assists to move into top 5 all time at GU
  • Needs 23 steals to move into top 5 all time at GU

Gary Bell Jr.

  • Needs just 4 points for 1,000 in his career
  • Needs 2 three-pointers to move into top 10 all-time at GU
  • Needs just 26 steals to move into top 10 all-time at GU

Przemek Karnowski

  • Needs just 5 blocks to move into top 10 all-time at GU

#4EQUALS3
Follow Pangos’ road to the GU career 3-pt. record on Twitter with #4equals3. With five vs. SMU, he sits in fourth at 248, four behind Matt Santangelo 252, 32 behind Richie Frahm’s 280 and 40 behind Blake Stepp’s 288.

PANGOS ON WATCH LISTS
Senior guard Kevin Pangos was named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50, 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.

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 Gonzaga basketball 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 to Gonzaga after averaging 24.3 points per game as a senior on the way to a second consecutive state 5A 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 this fall 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, November 12th. 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 as a junior.

ZAGS PICKED 13TH IN PRESEASON POLLS
Gonzaga was tabbed 13th in the both the USA Today Coaches and Associated Press Preseason polls announced in recent weeks. 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. In the AP poll, the ranking is the fourth-highest to start a season and highest since being 12th to start the 2010-11 season. GU’s 2005-06 team started eighth and the 2008-09 team started 10th. It also marks the 11th time in team history for the Zags to start the season in the top 25 of the AP poll. The Zags moved up to 11th in the first regular season USA Today poll released Monday, while styaing at No. 13 in the first regular season AP poll.


 

 

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