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Healthy outlook for Gonzaga’s Killian Tillie, Josh Perkins
John Blanchette: Doc Ball answers all your First Four questions
Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura named first-team All-America by U.S. Basketball Writers Association
Gonzaga falls to fourth, Duke back on top in final AP poll
Fantasy basketball dream matchup: 2017 Zags vs. 2019 Zags
- John Blanchette: Doc Ball answers all your First Four questions
- John Blanchette: Depth and defense against offense and athleticism makes for tough choice in fictional battle between Gonzaga’s best
- John Blanchette: On a topsy-turvy Selection Sunday, Gonzaga avoids another upset, holding on to No. 1 seed
NCAAB Standings - Gonzaga
Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura is one of four finalists for the Citizen Naismith Trophy Player of the Year.
Learned and wise about college basketball as he is, Charles Barkley can’t cover everything, especially when it comes to all that’s complicating Gonzaga’s merge from the on-ramp to the fast lane of the NCAA Basketball Tournament this March. Good thing, then, that ol’ Doc Ball is here to answer your many questions and craft a primer to get you through this First Four chicane. So fire away.
Senior guard Geno Crandall watched the Selection Show with great interest to learn Gonzaga’s seeding and also see the draw for numerous friends. Crandall, a Minneapolis native, knows virtually all of the players on Minnesota’s roster. His former prep teammates at DeLaSalle High included 6-foot-8 forward Reid Travis, a graduate transfer at Kentucky, and 6-5 wing Sacar Anim, a redshirt junior at Marquette.
Killian Tillie’s health has been a key factor throughout Gonzaga’s 2019 season. Josh Perkins’ shoulder was a major question for months leading up to the season. Both should be ready to go when the top-seeded Gonzaga Zags (30-3) open the NCAA Tournament on Thursday at Vivant Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City.
Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura was named first-team All-America by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and Mark Few is a finalist for the USBWA’s Coach of the Year Award.
The final AP college basketball poll of the season mirrors the NCAA Tournament’s No. 1 seed line. Gonzaga’s three-week stay at No. 1 in the media poll ended with a disappointing 60-47 loss to Saint Mary’s in the WCC Tournament title game last Tuesday. The Zags (30-3) slipped to fourth, one day after receiving the fourth No. 1 seed from the selection committee.
In one corner, the 2017 Zags. The 29-game winning streak to open the season. Top defensive team in the country. In the other corner, the 2019 Zags, with generational offensive numbers.
Picked up those inseparable buddies and Zags fans, Hysteria and Horse Sense, hitchhiking back from Las Vegas after cashing in their return flight tickets to put everything on Gonzaga to win against Saint Mary’s.
The magnitude of the moment is what matters the most. Yes, the games absolutely matter, but I’m talking about something different, something more meaningful. As this Gonzaga team begins its postseason journey, there are lessons I wish I had better understood as a young player. It’s those lessons that I hope to see this team embrace.
From Twitter to the lengthy roster of college basketball analysts, it was nearly impossible to ignore the debate leading up to Selection Sunday about Gonzaga deserving a No. 1 or No. 2 seed.
So in case the Gonzaga Bulldogs still didn’t have that top-line feeling back after Terrible Tuesday, they were given an imprimatur on Selection Sunday. And they had nothing to do with it.
The man most college basketball purists turn to when they need to scratch their advanced statistics itch will be courtside in his hometown of Salt Lake City when the Zags play Fairleigh Dickinson or Prairie View A&M on Thursday in the opening round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament.