No. 10/8 MBB at Madison Square Garden to Take On Georgia
10/8 Gonzaga (4-0) vs. Georgia (3-1)
Wed., Nov. 26, 2014 | 6:30 p.m. (PT) | Madison Square Garden (18,200) | New York City 
TV: ESPN2 (Ryan Ruocco, Bob Knight, Jeff Goodman)
Gonzaga IMG Radio Network: KGA 1510/Sirius XM Ch. 84 (Tom Hudson, Matt Santangelo) Live Stats  |  Gonzaga Notes  |  Georgia Notes

STORY LINES

  • This game is the semifinal of the NIT Season Tip-Off. The winner will face the winner of the St. John’s/Minnesota game that is played just prior to this one.
  • Last time out: Gonzaga moved its win streak at home to 29 games with the 109-55 win over St. Thomas Aquinas College on Saturday and set the record for largest margin of victory in the McCarthey Athletic Center for the second straight game.
  • Gonzaga is on a six-game regular-season win streak (last regular season loss, 69-66 at San Diego, Feb. 22).
  • Gonzaga has had a different leading scorer in each of its first four games.
  • Senior guard Kevin Pangos has not committed a turnover this season in 95 minutes of game action and leads the team with 23 assists.
  • Freshman forward Domantas Sabonis has started his rookie season with four consecutive double-figure scoring efforts (14, 13, 10, 19).

ABOUT GONZAGA

  • Head coach Mark Few enters the game with a career record of 407-100, the all-time leader in winning percentage at .803.
  • Gonzaga is 4-0 for the fourth straight season, and looking for its third 5-0 start in the last four seasons. GU has been 5-0 four previous times under Mark Few.
  • Through it’s first four games, Gonzaga’s depth has shown its teeth, with six players averaging double figures, and three more averaging more than 5.5 per game.
  • Gonzaga’s defense has been stifling to opposing teams, limiting them to .308 from the field.

ABOUT GEORGIA

  • Georgia enters the matchup on a three-game win streak after opening the season with a seven-point loss at Georgia Tech.
  • UGA’s three wins have all come at home, with the most recent a 13-point triumph over FAU.
  • Four players average double figures, led by 6-8 forward Marcus Thornton’s 14.0 per game.

ABOUT THE SERIES - BULLDOGS VS. BULLDOGS

  • The all-time series between Gonzaga and Georgia is tied 2-2, with both Gonzaga wins coming at Spokane Arena and both Georgia wins coming at the Peach Bowl Classic in Atlanta, Ga.
  • All four all-time meetings have come in the Mark Few era (2003, ‘04, ‘07, ‘08).
  • The last time the two teams met, Gonzaga took a 75-67 victory in 2008.

NCAA’s ONLY
The Zags are the only team in the nation ranked in the top 10 in both field goal percentage (56.1) and field percentage defense (30.8). The NCAA released stat rankings for the first time this season, and Gonzaga is ranked in the top 10 in 10 categories. See the right-hand column on this page for the full breakdown of Gonzaga in the NCAA and West Coast Conference stat rankings.

C-NOTES
Gonzaga hit the 100-point mark for the second time this season on Saturday with a 109-55 win over St. Thomas Aquinas. It is the highest point total since 113-point effort last year against Chaminade in the Maui Invitational on Nov. 26, 2013. It also marks the third consecutive season the Zags have hit 100 twice in a year, and the eighth time in Mark Few’s 16 years at the helm.

MAKING IT RAIN
Gonzaga is averaging 9.25 three-pointers per game so far this season and is shooting at a .425 clip (37-87). Seven players have made at least one three, and Gary Bell Jr. leads the team with 11, including his five-three-pointer outburst against St. Joseph’s last Wednesday.

PANGOS’ PERFECT HANDLES
Through four games, senior point guard Kevin Pangos has yet to turn the ball over, and he’s averaging a career-best 5.8 assists per game. That leaves him with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 23:0. Even the stat programs are having a hard time compiling the ratio. Statcrew software used by NCAA member schools calculates it as 99.0, while it appears that the NCAA’s stat program is unable to calculate the number at all. Georgia Tech’s Josh Heath is listed at No. 1 in the category on the NCAA’s stat rankings released Monday at 18.0 as he has 18 assists and one turnover on the year, while Pangos does not appear on the full NCAA list for that category.

SUFFOCATING DEFENSE
It isn’t only Gonzaga’s 94.8 points per game on offense that’s been impressive, its been the 52.8 points per game allowed on defense. The Zags have held opponents to .308 from the field, and .290 from behind the arc. GU has forced 60 turnovers through four games, collected 35 steals and swatted away 19 shots.

WINDEX
Gonzaga has cleaned up on the glass through four games, holding an average of +18.0 on the boards. Collectively, the Zags have scooped up 59 offensive rebounds and 128 defensive rebounds to average 46.8 total boards per game. Conversely, their opponents are 44-71-28.8 on the glass. Newcomer Domantas Sabonis leads the way, averaging 7.5, while Byron Wesley, Kyle Wiltjer and Przemek Karnowski each average 5.8 rebounds per game.

BENCH STRENGTH
Led by freshman Domantas Sabonis, Gonzaga’s bench has proven to be a force. It has combined to score 167 points in three games with 50 in the last game against St. Thomas Aquinas. Sabonis alone has accounted for 34% of the bench production, scoring 56 of the 167.

DOMANTAS DOMINATING
Freshman Domantas Sabonis has wasted no time showing national pundits that he’s a rookie with no ceiling. Through four games, he’s the only Gonzaga player to score in double digits in all of them. He recorded his first double-double (10p-11r vs. St. Joe’s), and leads the team in rebounding at 7.5 per game. He’s also the son of NBA Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis.

#4EQUALS3
Follow Pangos’ road to the GU career three-point 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.

DEPTH FINDER
Gonzaga has shown its depth through the first two games with at least nine players scoring in each - 10 scored in games one, three and four; 9 in game two. The Zags also have nine players averaging between 16.3 and 25.0 minutes per game.

DOUBLE DIGITS X6
Gonzaga has six players averaging at least 10.3 points per game, lead by Sabonis’ 14.0. In three of the first four games, GU has had at least five players in double figures, including a different leading scorer in each game.

NATIONAL TELEVISION
All 31 Gonzaga games will be televised this season, including 16 on the ESPN family of networks. That gives Gonzaga 68 ESPN appearances in the last four seasons.

CHASING MILESTONES
Kevin Pangos

  • Needs 41 three-pointers to break Blake Stepp’s GU career record of 288
  • Needs just 219 points to move into top 10 all-time in scoring at GU
  • Needs just 67 assists to move into top 5 all time at GU
  • Needs 21 steals to move into top 5 all time at GU

Gary Bell Jr.

  • Eclipsed 1,000 points in his career vs. St. Joseph’s to become the 38th player to do so at GU and now has 1,022 points, 35th all-time at GU.
  • Against St. Joseph’s, moved into top 10 all-time at GU in made threes with174
  • Needs just 23 steals to move into top 10 all-time at GU

Przemek Karnowski

  • Against St. Thomas Aquinas, moved into tie for10th all-time at GU in blocks with 77

THE KENNEL
Gonzaga hasn’t lost at home since Dec. 8, 2012 to Illinois (85-74), a streak of 29 games and span of 715 days. The 29 games is the second-longest current streak in the nation, behind only Duke’s 35-game win streak. It is tied for the third-longest streak in GU history with 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. The 10th anniversary of the first game played in the MAC was on Nov. 19, 2004, a 98-80 win over Portland State.

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.


 

 

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