March 14, 2011 in Sports

A look at Zags’ bracket

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Associated Press photo

St. John’s coach Steve Lavin
(Full-size photo)

St. John’s (21-11)

Coach: Steve Lavin

Seed, region: No. 6, Southeast

Location: New York City

Enrollment: 15,720

Founded: 1870

Mascot: Red Storm

Conference: Big East (12-6)

Bid: At Large

NCAA tournament record: 27-28

Marquee players: Senior guard Dwight Hardy is the Big East Most Improved Player and made the All-Big East first team, averaging 18 points a game. Senior forward Justin Brownlee averages 12.2 points a game and 5.3 rebounds.

Famous alumni: Former New York governors Hugh L. Carey and Mario M. Cuomo, former California governor George Deukmejian, Gap president Gary P. Muto, Los Angeles Lakers player Ron Artest, actor Ron Silver.

Starting five

Pos. Player

Yr. Ppg.

F

Justin Brownlee

Sr.

12.2

F

Sean Evans

Sr.

3.6

F

Dwayne Polee

Fr.

2.4

G

Paris Horne

Sr.

7.8

G

Dwight Hardy

Sr.

18.0

Gonzaga (24-9)

Seed, region: No. 11, Southeast

Location: Spokane

Enrollment: 7,682

Founded: 1887

Mascot: Bulldogs

Conference: WCC (11-3)

Bid: Automatic

NCAA tournament record: 15-13

Marquee players: Steven Gray, the team’s only senior, and junior Robert Sacre were named to the All-WCC team. Gray is GU’s top scorer (13.8 points) and Sacre averages 12.5 points and a team-high 6.2 rebounds. Elias Harris was honorable mention and Marquise Carter was selected Newcomer of the Year.

Famous alumni: Former Speaker of the House Tom Foley, entertainer Bing Crosby, basketball Hall of Famer John Stockton, baseball All-Star Jason Bay.

Starting five

Pos. Player

Yr. Ppg.

C

Robert Sacre

Jr.

12.5

F

Elias Harris

So.

12.1

G

Steven Gray

Sr.

13.8

G

Marquise Carter

Jr.

5.9

G

Demetri Goodson

Jr.

5.3

Gonzaga will be the No. 11 seed, taking on No. 6 St. John’s in Denver on Thursday in the Southeast bracket. The other side of the bracket has No. 3 Brigham Young facing No. 14 Wofford.

Here’s a look at the four teams:

NO. 11 GONZAGA

Coach: Mark Few

Record: 24-9

Strength: The Bulldogs tend to have an inside-first approach, relying on Robert Sacre, Elias Harris and Sam Dower, who became a force off the bench in the last six weeks.

Season highlight: The Zags overcame a three-game deficit by winning their last eight WCC contests, including an overtime win against Saint Mary’s in Moraga. After sharing the regular-season title with Saint Mary’s, GU defeated the Gaels to win the conference tournament.

Style of play: The key to Gonzaga’s late-season winning streak was solid defense, often limiting opponents to shooting percentages in the 30s.

NO. 6 ST. JOHN’S

Coach: Steve Lavin

Record: 21-11

Strength: Tough, hard-nosed club that is battled-tested in the Big East, which has 11 teams in the NCAA field. Senior Dwight Hardy averaged 23.2 points over last 13 games and 20.4 vs. Top 10 opponents.

Season highlight: Put an end to three-game losing streak by thumping then-No. 3 Duke, 93-78, behind Hardy’s 26 points. That started a late surge by the Red Storm, who finished tied for third in the Big East, 10 spots higher than 2010.

Style of play: Hardy is a handful (59 3-pointers and an 84.3 percent free-throw shooter). St. John’s likes to apply pressure and plays quite a bit of zone defense. The Red Storm rank in the top 15 in turnover margin (plus-3.7).

NO. 3 BYU

Coach: Dave Rose

Record: 30-4

Strength: Player of the Year candidate Jimmer Fredette leads the nation in scoring (28.5 points per game). His range extends to roughly 30 feet and he’s also strong off the dribble. Senior guard Jackson Emery was named the Mountain West Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year.

Season highlight: Fredette poured in a school-record 52 points in BYU’s win over New Mexico in the Mountain West tournament semifinals.

Style of play: The Cougars are just 3-2 since Brandon Davies was suspended late in the regular season for violating the school’s honor code. The 6-foot-9 sophomore averaged 11.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.

NO. 14 WOFFORD

Coach: Mike Young

Record: 21-12

Strength: Senior forward Noah Dahlman averages 20.5 points and ranks fourth nationally in field-goal percentage (62.3).

Season highlight: Wofford won its last eight games, including three to claim the Southern Conference tournament championship. Earlier, the Terriers defeated George Mason in overtime and lost to Xavier in triple overtime.

Style of play: The Terriers share the ball (SoCon-leading 15.0 assists per game) and take care of the ball (first in the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio, plus 1.2).


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