Admon Gilder, Ryan Woolridge and Killian Tillie got a head start on Senior Night with their families already in town for Thursday night’s blowout victory against San Diego.
Gilder threw down a one-handed dunk in the second half and pointed toward his mom, dad and young daughter Kailey in the stands.
Gilder, fellow grad transfer Ryan Woolridge and four-year Zag Killian Tillie will be honored Saturday when No. 3 Gonzaga entertains Saint Mary’s. The senior trio will address the crowd after the regular-season finale.
Gilder and Woolridge have made seamless transitions into the program, even if the journey hasn’t always been smooth. Both have battled knee issues. Gilder was replaced by Joel Ayayi in the starting lineup in November, but continued to be a steady contributor.
“I’m extremely big on my faith and I talked to a couple people,” said Gilder, fourth on the team in scoring (10.9) and first in assist-to-turnover ratio (2:29). “I just knew at the time, whatever was best for the team. Coach (Mark) Few has been doing this a long time.
“I’m not one of those guys (to complain) when a team is winning, so I was able to sacrifice a little bit for the team’s gain.”
Gilder transferred to Gonzaga after playing three seasons at Texas A&M and sitting out last year with a blood clot in his arm. He had 16 points and seven rebounds in the Zags’ 79-49 road win over the Aggies in November.
“It’s been a great season,” said Gilder, referencing Gonzaga’s 28 wins and an outright West Coast Conference title. “Great players come in and out of this program, so I just wanted to make sure to keep the tradition going.”
Woolridge decided to leave North Texas after three years, but postseason surgery to repair a stress fracture in his knee clouded the timeline for his return and left prospective schools skeptical.
“I talked to a lot of schools and they were like, ‘You can come here, but we don’t know,’ ” Woolridge said. Few “was 100 percent for me. As soon as I got here, he knew exactly what I needed to do to get back.”
Woolridge leads the Zags at 32.7 minutes per game and produces 10.3 points, 4.6 rebounds. 4.5 assists and 46 steals. He’s the team’s best perimeter defender.
“They did such a great job of trying to fit in, giving it their all and it really shows,” sophomore post Filip Petrusev said of Woolridge and Gilder. “It’s like they’ve been here a couple years.”
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