Posts tagged: Gonzaga basketball
Gonzaga has added another key transfer. Vanderbilt's Eric McClellan announced Sunday that he'll transfer to Gonzaga after he finishes up three classes this summer. Byron Wesley, a three-year standout at USC, announced last month that he'll join the Zags for the upcoming season.
McClellan will likely be eligible for the second half of the 2014-15 season, but he hopes to obtain a waiver that allows him to be eligible immediately.
I spoke with McClellan for about 10 minutes after finishing up Ironman Coeur d'Alene duties and put together the article below for Monday's S-R.
Read on for an unedited version.
Luke Meikle, who rarely saw the court as a freshman, won't return for his sophomore season. Gonzaga announced on Tuesday that Meikle has been granted his release to pursue other opportunities.
The 6-9, 203-pound forward from Tacoma's Bellarmine Prep logged just 60 minutes in 15 appearances. It wasn't immediately known what schools Meikle is considering. If he transfers to a Division I school, he'll have to sit out next season under NCAA rules.
Gonzaga landed another key addition to its promising 2014-15 roster. USC transfer Byron Wesley announced Sunday he'll join the Zags.
My unedited article is below.
A couple of things that didn't make the article. Wesley was scheduled to visit Pitt on Friday, but decided to reschedule because that was the same day as USC's graduation ceremonies.
“I talked with my family and we decided this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (to walk) and we felt it was the best thing for me,” said Wesley. “It was nothing against Pitt. Then once I decided Gonzaga was the place for me, I decided not to visit Pitt.”
Wesley said coach Mark Few and assistant Donny Daniels visited his home in Southern California. Wesley was joined by his parents when he visited Gonzaga last weekend.
“They were really impressed,” Wesley said. “They know the pedigree of Gonzaga basketball and the history and things they've done in the past. My dad is a big basketball fan and really pays attention to all that stuff.”
Gerard Coleman, a Providence transfer who played last season at Gonzaga, is transferring elsewhere for his senior season, Bulldogs coach Mark Few said. Click here for our story.
From Pullman — Football practice meant that I couldn't get this blog post up until now, but earlier I tweeted the news that Washington State will play Gonzaga in Spokane for the second straight year next season as part of a three-year contract. The terms of the contract say that Gonzaga will host WSU the first year (this past season), the teams will play a “neutral site” game at Spokane Arena in the second year (next season) with a game in Pullman during the third and final year.
It's likely that the schools will split the revenue from next year's game but I haven't been able to confirm that. I should have more tomorrow.
Domantas Sabonis, the 17-year-old son of former Portland Trail Blazer center Arvydas Sabonis, has signed with Gonzaga. Article here.
It's a big get for the Zags, who bolstered their frontcourt and added a highly skilled forward to go with Przemek Karnowski, Kyle Wiltjer and Angel Nunez. As GU's release indicates, Ryan Edwards has told coaches he plans on redshirting next season.
The word that came to mind watching Sabonis on this highlight tape is smooth. He has polished moves and scores in a variety of ways. He's probably similar to Wiltjer in many ways, minus the 3-point accuracy at this point. Sabonis moves well and should only get bigger and stronger as he ages. He speaks fluent English (Spanish, too).
Numerous tweeters have asked if he'll play right away. My guess is he'll see a lot of playing time.
The college basketball season ended last night with UConn winning the national title over Kentucky. Gonzaga's season ended March 23rd with an 84-61 loss to Arizona.
I took a look back and look ahead for the Zags, who will be under the expectation spotlight again next season with a strong group of returning players joined by Kyle Wiltjer, who sat out last season under NCAA transfer rules. Here's my article that ran in today's S-R.
GU is No. 15 in one of those way-too-early rankings for next season.
About the only question in the closing minutes was whether Gonzaga would suffer its worst NCAA tournament loss. They didn't, but it hardly eased their pain as the Bulldogs were crushed by Arizona 84-61 Sunday at Viejas Arena.
GU's 87-63 loss to Maryland in 1995 — the school's first NCAA trip — remains its most lopsided. This one wasn't close as Gonzaga couldn't handle with Arizona's pressure defense and coughed up 21 turnovers, leading to 31 Wildcats' points.
Przemek Karnowski had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Kevin Pangos played through a sprained ankle to make four 3s and finish with 12 points. But the Bulldogs made just 41 percent of their shots and scored only 27 points in the second half.
Gonzaga, back in its familiar role as NCAA tournament underdog, takes on No.-1-seeded Arizona tonight in San Diego.
The Zags have pulled more than their share of tourney upsets — No. 7 Minnesota, No. 2 Stanford, No. 6 Florida in 1999, No. 7 Louisville and No. 2 St. John's in 2000, to name several — but they've never knocked off a No. 1. They're 0-5.
They've come close twice, falling to No. 1 UConn 67-62 in 1999, 77-62 to Michigan State in 2001, 96-95 in double OT to Arizona in 2003, 99-78 to North Carolina in 2009 and 87-65 to Syracuse in 2010.
Here's our coverage: My game preview, my notebook and look back at the memorable 2003 contest, and John Blanchette's column on a couple of 7-footers. A capsule look at the teams and keys to victory below.
In-game updates on twitter tonight @srjimm.
Good evening from San Diego. Gonzaga defeated Oklahoma State 85-77, behind Kevin Pangos' 26 points, Gary Bell Jr.'s 17 and Przemek Karnowski's 15.
Good evening from San Diego. Gonzaga and Oklahoma State go about their business in different ways and that contrast of styles will be on display when they collide Friday in a round-of-64 game at Viejas Arena.
Lastly, we have a capsule look at GU and OSU below.
We took a look back through the S-R archives at the brief Gonzaga-Oklahoma State series. They've played five times since 2004 in five different venues in five different cities. Gonzaga has won all five.
Press conferences this afternoon. Back later with more.
Gonzaga was coming off a stinging 0-2 road trip last month that sounded warning signs, particularly with another two-game road trip coming up, followed by the neutral-site WCC Tournament and wherever the NCAA road took them, if the Zags were fortunate enough to make the big dance.
The Bulldogs gathered prior to practice for, as Sam Dower Jr. put it, “a man to man” talk. The Zags have won five games since that meeting and seem to have become a more hardened squad that deals better with adversity.
More on the meeting and the aftermath here.
Gonzaga has faced its share of adversity this season: injuries, come-from-ahead losses, tough road trips. Nearly every team goes through it.
Oklahoma State, GU's opponent Friday in the NCAA tournament, experienced the extremes of college basketball's four-and-a-half month grind. More on OSU's season here.
Eighth-seeded Gonzaga will open the NCAA Tournament against No. 9 Oklahoma State on Friday in San Diego.
Here's my article on the matchup that will run in Monday's S-R.
I checked in with Boston Celtics president Danny Ainge at the WCC Tournament for this update on Kelly Olynyk that ran in Sunday's S-R.
I cut-and-paste a capsule look at GU-OSU below.
Below that, I cut-and-paste my game story from Gonzaga's 69-68 win over OSU last New Year's Eve.
Gonzaga took all the guesswork – other than seeding, opponent and location — out of Selection Sunday by winning the WCC Tournament title over BYU on Tuesday. Had the Zags lost, most pundits still had them in the NCAA field as an at-large team but it would have been an uncomfortable few days waiting for Sunday’s announcement. (I’m guessing an 8 or 9 seed, I’m pulling for a trip to San Diego).
GU did it with a near flawless first half, leading by as many as 21 before settling for a 17-point edge at the break. The cushion helped the Zags withstand BYU’s second-half rally for a 75-64 victory.
Here’s my game story, John Blanchette’s column and Colin Mulvany’s photos. The view from Utah here, here, here, here and here. The Zags doubled up on championships as Gonzaga's women thumped BYU. My game story here and Colin's photos.
Onward for my day-after BYU post.
As junior guard Gary Bell Jr. put it afterward, “No more bubble talk.”
Gonzaga secured the WCC Tournament title with a 75-64 victory over BYU on Tuesday, earning its 16th straight NCAA Tournament berth. Sam Dower, with 20 points and 13 boards, was named MVP. David Stockton had seven assists, five rebounds, four points and three steals to join Dower, BYU's Tyler Haws and Kyle Collinsworth and USF's Cole Dickerson on the All-Tournament team.
My unedited game story is below. Check back tomorrow for my day-after post.
Gonzaga rode its defense to another WCC title.
The Bulldogs limited BYU to 14 first-half points and cruised to a 71-57 victory Tuesday in the championship game at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
Keani Albanez led the way with 20 points, Sunny Greinacher added 16 and Lindsay Sherbert had 15.
My unedited game story is below.
Another busy day ahead in Las Vegas with the Gonzaga men and women playing for titles at Orleans Arena — GU-BYU women at 1, GU-BYU men at 6 — so we'll move on to our day-after Saint Mary's post.
It'll be shorter than usual. Heading to the arena soon and Gonzaga players had exited the locker room by the time the Bulldogs' press conference ended.
GU roughed up the Gaels again Monday night, 70-54, to advance to the championship game. Here's my game story, John Blanchette's column, Colin Mulvany's photos (many of these pictures show the physical nature of the contest), and recaps in the San Francisco Chronicle and Contra Costa Times.
BYU's men went cold for the last 6 minutes of regulation but managed to advance to the title game by edging San Francisco in overtime. More on that game here, here, here and here. BYU's women pulled away in the second half against Pacific.
Gonzaga took apart Saint Mary's for the third time this season, the latest a 70-54 rout Monday that sends the Bulldogs into the WCC Tournament title game for the 17th straight year.
GU beat the Gaels by 21, 28 and 16 in three meetings.
David Stockton, building a strong case for MVP through two games, equaled his career high with 21 points. GU (27-6) will face No. 2 BYU or No. 3 San Francisco in Tuesday's title game.
My unedited game story is below.