No. 5 Ranking A Meaningful One for Gonzaga - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Gonzaga Basketball

No. 5 Ranking A Meaningful One for Gonzaga

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Gonzaga gets to test out it's No. 5 ranking this week against Saint Mary's (Photo: SWX) Gonzaga gets to test out it's No. 5 ranking this week against Saint Mary's (Photo: SWX)

While it may not be their highest ranking in history, Gonzaga's new No. 5 label may mean more now than it did at any other time in the program's history.

The Zags jumped from No. 6 to No. 5 this week. They could have gone higher, given that Indiana and Michigan lost last week. But they didn't – perhaps more of a statement about the WCC than anything else.

Nevertheless, Gonzaga received two first place votes. One came from a writer in Kentucky, while the second came from someone in New Orleans.

When it came to the opinion of the coaches, the Zags moved up to No. 3, just behind Duke and Indiana.

"I was kind of shocked, I thought we were going to be higher," said guard Gary Bell Jr. "But I don't think it really means anything. Obviously, I think it's an accomplishment but you just have to keep going."

Even Coach Mark Few, the one who always seems to quell the enthusiasm about the polls, believes the respect his team is seeing is a good omen.

"It means a lot more in the second week of February than it does in November," said Few. "I think that's a very good sign that we're moving up and thought of that highly this late in the season. I think that's a very good sign."

The Zags get a chance to test their No. 5 ranking in an important game Thursday at Saint Mary's. The game is an 8 p.m. tip on ESPN2.

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