Zags open season against College of Idaho Saturday - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Zags open season against College of Idaho Saturday

Photo: Gonzaga Athletics Photo: Gonzaga Athletics
By Gonzaga Athletics
No. 18/19 Gonzaga (0-0) vs. The College of Idaho (1-1)
- This is the 10th all-time meeting between The College of Idaho (Caldwell, Idaho) and Gonzaga.
- The Zags have won all nine previous meetings, including all five in Spokane.
- GU won the last meeting between the programs, 95-61, in Spokane on Dec. 2, 1960. It was GU’s 1960-61 season-opener.
- The first two meetings were in the 1940-41 season, and both were won by the Bulldogs by two points, 38-36 and 43-41.
- In 1954-55, Gonzaga beat a C of I team that featured Elgin Baylor twice in Spokane, 98-91 and 83-76.
- In 1957-58, the Zags beat a Yote team that featured Coach Few’s father-in-law, Julian Laca, 71-37.
- The College of Idaho fell victim to a last second shot against Ottawa University of Arizona last Saturday, 67-66.
- The Yotes had a seven-point lead with 2:21 left in the game, before Ottawa went on a 9-1 run. C of I missed eight consecutive free throws during the crucial stretch. Keun Palu-Thompson led the Yotes with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
- A night after scoring 130 points in a season-opening win over Northwest Indian College, The College of Idaho shot just 36 percent from the field and 29 percent (6-21) from the three-point range. The Yotes were 12-of-25 (48 percent) from the line.
- Through its first two games of the season, C of I is shooting 48 percent from the field and 37.7 percent from deep.
- The Yotes’ defense allowed 67 points in both of their first two games, conceding 40.5 percent shooting from the field.
- College of Idaho outrebounded its first two opponents, 64-29 and 50-34.
- Aziz Leeks has pulled down 20 rebounds through the first two games. Nate Bruneel has seven offensive boards.
- Bruneel is averaging a team-high 13.5 points, shooting 50 percent from the field.
- The Yotes were tabbed seventh in preseason NAIA Div. 2 national poll. They were selected as the preseason favorites to win the Cascade Collegiate Conference.
- The College of Idaho won 24 games last season, and fell to eventual NAIA Div. 2 national champion, Union (Ky.), 83-82, in the second round of the national tournament. The Yotes ended the season ranked 14th in the country.
- The Zags have a history of cruising in their season-opening exhibition games.
- Gonzaga has an average margin of victory of 39 points in exhibition wins over the past 10 seasons.
- Last season, GU beat West Georgia, 122-76. Six GU players finished in double-digit scoring led by Nigel Williams-Goss’ 20 points. Zach Norvell Jr. finished with 18.
- The Zags’ 122 points in the win over West Georgia were the most points scored by GU in any game since a 123-72 exhibition victory over Northwest Sports in 2003.
- Gonzaga made 42 of its 79 (53.2 percent) shots from the field against West Georgia.
- The Zags were slated second in the league’s preseason poll behind Saint Mary’s.
- The annual poll, along with the WCC Preseason Team, was released at the seventh annual #WCCHoops Tip-Off event at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., on Oct. 19.
- Prior to this season, the Bulldogs were named first place in every West Coast Conference preseason poll since 2001.
- GU received 73 points in the poll, with a first place, while the Gaels grabbed eight first place votes and 81 points. BYU was tabbed third with 62 points.
- The Bulldogs have won the last five West Coast Conference regular season and tournament titles. GU beat Saint Mary’s in the 2017 WCC Tournament Championships, before advancing to the program’s first-ever Final Four berth.
- Following BYU in the poll, San Francisco received 59 points, while Santa Clara rounded out the top-half of the league with 44 points.
- Josh Perkins and Johnathan Williams were selected to the West Coast Conference Preseason Team.
- Perkins was named to the Preseason All-WCC Team for the second time, while Williams made his debut. The Bulldog duo were staples in the starting lineup last season, including in the national championship game.
- In his redshirt sophomore season, Perkins averaged 8.1 points, 2.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 0.9 steals per game.
- Williams averaged 10.2 points and 6.4 rebounds per game last season. He made 59 percent of his shots from the field.
- Johnathan Williams is 18 points shy of the 1,000-point plateau in his career.
- The redshirt senior scored 585 points during his two seasons at Missouri, before totaling 397 last season at Gonzaga.
- Williams has shot 48.6 percent from the field during his collegiate career, making 357 of his 735 shots.
- He crossed over the 700-rebound plateau in the national semifinal game. The Memphis, Tenn. native has 706 career boards.
- Williams is three offensive rebounds away from 250 in his career.
- He has started in all 105 appearances in his career.
               - Two points away from 700 in his career
               - 18 assists away from 300 in his career
               - 20 steals away from 100 in his career
               - One made free-throw away from 100 in his career
               - Two assists away from 100 in his career
               - Eight made three-pointers away from 100 in his career
- Gonzaga was ranked No. 19 in the USA TODAY Coaches’ preseason poll.
- The Bulldogs had 242 points in this year’s preseason poll. The Bulldogs meet Villanova in the Jimmy V Classic in New York City on Dec. 5. The Wildcats were slated sixth in the poll.
- Creighton, which comes to Spokane on Dec. 1, received six votes. Gonzaga will play Stanford or Florida in the second round of the PK80 Invitational on Nov. 24 in Portland. Florida was No. 7 in the preseason ranking.
- WCC foe, Saint Mary’s, received 152 points and were ranked No. 22. The Bulldogs and SMC faceoff on Jan. 18 and Feb. 10.
- The Zags were ranked 13th in last year’s USA Today preseason coaches’ poll, before ending the season at No. 2.
- GU is ranked in the preseason coaches’ poll for the eighth consecutive season, and opens in the top-20 for the fifth straight year.
- Gonzaga received its highest ranking ever in the Preseason Coaches’ Poll in 2005-06 at No. 7, with 540 points.
- In the Associated Press Top 25 Preseason Poll, the Zags were ranked No. 18, with 500 points.
- Saint Mary’s was No. 22 (333 points).
- The Zags were ranked 14th in last year’s AP preseason poll, before ending at No. 2 in the final poll.
- The Bulldogs’ best showing in a preseason AP Top 25 poll was No. 8 at the beginning of the 2005-06 season.
- This marks the 17th straight season Gonzaga has been ranked in the AP poll.
- It’s the eighth consecutive year the Zags have appeared in the preseason poll, starting in the top-20 for the fifth straight season.
- Zach Norvell Jr. was named one of 20 candidates for the 2018 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award.
- Named after Hall of Famer and 16-year professional basketball player Julius Erving, the annual honor in its fourth year recognizes the top small forwards in Division I men’s college basketball.
- Norvell Jr. redshirted for the Zags last season and will make his freshman debut in 2017-18. He came to GU from a basketball-rich high school in Chicago, Simeon Career Academy.
- In his lone appearance in a Gonzaga uniform, Norvell Jr. scored 18 points in last season’s exhibition victory over West Georgia.
- Gonzaga has the best winning percentage (.841) in the NCAA since the start of the 2010-11 season.
- Gonzaga has won 212 games this decade, the third-most in the NCAA in that timeframe.
- Gonzaga’s win at LMU on Feb. 9, clinched the Bulldogs their 10th consecutive 25-win season.
- The Zags have reached the 25-win plateau in 13 of the last 14 seasons, and 17 of the last 19.
- GU grabbed its 20th straight 20-win season at Portland on Jan. 23.
- Prior to the previous 19 seasons, Gonzaga reached 20 wins in a season eight times since 1907-08.
- The Bulldogs’ streak of 10 straight 25-win seasons is the second-longest streak in the country. (Kansas 12-straight)
- Since the McCarthey Athletic Center opened in 2004, Gonzaga boasts a 178-17 record at home.
- The Zags’ 91.3 winning percentage at home since the 2004-05 season ranks third in the country, behind Kansas (.951) and Duke (.926).
- GU has sold out every game since the 6,000-seat McCarthey Athletic Center opened, a streak of 189 straight games.
- The Bulldogs currently have a sell-out streak of 223 consecutive games dating back to the second game of the 2001-02 season, in which 3,900 fans attended a matchup against Montana in the 4,000-seat Martin Centre.
- Since the 2007-08 season, Gonzaga is 153-46 in road or neutral games. The Zags’ 76.9-win percentage on the road or neutral games tops the nation over that span.
- Also since the 2007-08 season, the Zags are 80-23 in true road games. GU’s 77.7-win percentage in true road games is best in the nation.
- The Zags have won 11 straight true road games, which is the longest streak in the nation.
- The loss in the national championship game snapped a 22-game win streak in games outside of the McCarthey Athletic Center.
- Last season, the Bulldogs were the only team in the country that went perfect in true road games at 9-0.
- Gonzaga last went unbeaten on the road in the 2003-04 season when it went 10-0.
- Rui Hachimura and Killian Tillie had stellar showings at the FIBA Under-19 World Cup in Cairo, Egypt, from July 1-9.
- Hachimura was the second-leading scorer in the 16-team tournament. He averaged 20.6 points in Japan’s seven games, totaling 144 points in the event. The upcoming sophomore grabbed 11 rebounds per game, which was the third-best average in the tournament.
- He was fifth in the event with 10 blocked shots. Hachimura made 48 percent of his shots from the field (12th in the tournament). He finished the event with a tournament-best six double-doubles and led the tournament in minutes played and efficiency.
- Tillie helped France to four straight victories to open the tournament, winning Group A, before falling to eventual champion Canada in the quarterfinals. France placed seventh in the event after beating Argentina on the final day.
- Tillie averaged 12.4 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. He added 2.9 assists and 1.4 steals per contest. After scoring 20 points versus Puerto Rico in the Round of 16, Tillie had 22 points and 17 rebounds against Canada.
- Since the 2009-10 season, Gonzaga is a perfect 72-0 when scoring 80 points in a game. In fact, the Zags have won 85 straight games when reaching the 80-point mark in a game. Under Coach Few, GU is 161-9 when scoring 80 points in a game.
- Since the 2011-12 season, the Zags have lost only twice in the month of November, boasting a 34-2 record in the month.
- Under Coach Few, Gonzaga is 42-6 on Sundays and 48-9 on Mondays. The Bulldogs have won 20 straight contests on Wednesdays.
- Brandon Clarke, a transfer from San Jose State University, signed a financial aid agreement at Gonzaga joined the team on Sept. 1.
- Clarke is in classes at Gonzaga and be eligible for the 2018-19 season after sitting out the upcoming season due to NCAA transfer rules. He’ll have two years of eligibility remaining.
- Clarke is 208 points away from the 1,000-point plateau in his collegiate career.
- Following the 2016-17 season, he was named First Team All-Mountain West Conference. He was voted the Mountain West Sixth Man of the Year in 2015-16 by the league’s head coaches, becoming the first freshman to ever win the award since its inception in 2009.
- Clarke averaged a team-high 17.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game last season for the Spartans. He made a Mountain West best 59.2 percent of his shots from the field. His 2.57 blocks per game were good for 15th in Division I basketball.
- Clarke was the only player in the Mountain West to finish top-three in per-game scoring, rebounding and blocked shots.
- Clarke was also tabbed to the Mountain West’s All-Defense Team after blocking a SJSU program record 77 shots during the 2016-17 season. He also broke the single game record with seven blocks against UNLV.
- The Zags have won 13 straight regular season-openers dating back to a 73-66 loss to Saint Joseph’s in the 2003 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in New York City.
- Last season, the Bulldogs opened a 29-0 start to the season with a 92-69 win over Utah Valley in Spokane.
- Gonzaga has won 28 consecutive regular season home-openers since a 73-65 loss to Boise State on Dec. 7, 1988.
- GU has won all 13 regular season home-openers in the McCarthey Athletic Center.
- The Bulldogs have won all 18 regular season home-openers under Head Coach Mark Few.
- Gonzaga opens their 2017-18 regular season schedule against Texas Southern on Nov. 10.
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