The Gonzaga women’s basketball team will play in another eight-team Thanksgiving weekend tournament this season.
The Zags have done that before, but this year’s Gulf Coast Showcase comes with a twist: GU may be the top dog in the event.
The tournament, scheduled Nov. 29 to Dec.1 at the Hertz Arena in Estero, Florida, will include six teams that won 20 games or more last year.
Five of them – Gonzaga, Arizona State, Auburn, Drake and Maine – reached the NCAA Tournament.
The Zags are coming off one of the best seasons in school history with a 29-5 record and West Coast Conference regular-season title.
GU also earned a program-best No. 12 ranking in the Associated Press poll and a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
“We are looking forward to bringing our team to the Gulf Coast Showcase,” women’s basketball coach Lisa Fortier said. “It’s always great to play in a tournament of this caliber and to test ourselves early in the season.”
The Gulf Coast bracket will be revealed later. Other teams in the tournament are Purdue, Dayton and Middle Tennessee.
Last year, Gonzaga played in the Vancouver Showcase. The Zags opened with a loss to top-ranked Notre Dame but bounced back with wins over Rutgers and Western Kentucky.
Considering that it’s mid-May, it’s been a busy week for the Zags.
On Monday, GU got a commitment from Vanderbilt guard Cierra Walker, who will transfer this fall.
Fortier is spending the week in Colorado Springs, Colorado, as one of four court coaches for the USA Basketball Junior National Team trials.
The trials will be used to select the 2019 USA Basketball Women’s U19 World Cup and U.S. Pan American Games teams.
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