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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Except for sleepyheads, GU players celebrate

Gonzaga University guard Josh Perkins, working on free throws at Monday’s practice, said he’s had a smile on his face all day thanks to the news of the Zags’ No. 1 ranking. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga University guard Josh Perkins, working on free throws at Monday’s practice, said he’s had a smile on his face all day thanks to the news of the Zags’ No. 1 ranking. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
By Michael Gulledge The Spokesman-Review

The members of Gonzaga’s 2016-2017 men’s basketball team will always remember the moment discovering they were the top college program in the Associated Press Top 25 and USA Today Coaches’ Top 25 polls on Monday morning.

“I woke up this morning with a smile on my face, and its been on there ever since,” said starting guard Josh Perkins.

Players were scattered across GU’s campus when the news broke that they were the best team in the nation.

However, guards Silas Melson and Zach Norvell hadn’t surfaced from their beds when the rankings were released around 9 a.m.

Center Zach Collins was in philosophy class when he was alerted by a notification on Twitter and saw a text message in a group chat.

Perkins heard the news from his parents after the polls were released. Around the same time the rankings came out, a friend of Perkins beat him in the iPhone game 8-Ball. According to Perkins, his friend beat him and said, “Beat you in this but congrats on No. 1.” Perkins responded with, “That’s cool, but rematch at this pool game.”

A best friend of Nigel Williams-Goss texted him about the ranking. Jordan Mathews was at home when he saw notifications from his Twitter.

The Zags are proud of their accomplishment, but Melson restated it’s not the team’s overall goal. “It’s something to celebrate for a little while, but it’s only February. Our goal is to be No. 1 in April, not in February,” Melson said.

Gonzaga’s first challenge as the No. 1 team in the country is a showdown with the BYU Cougars on Thursday in Provo, Utah. Tip-off will be at 8 p.m. PST.

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