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Gonzaga notebook: Corey Kispert, Filip Petrusev named All-District IX; Orleans Arena gets court upgrade for WCC Tournament

UPDATED: Tue., March 10, 2020

Gonzaga guard Corey Kispert, right, and forward Filip Petrusev pressure Denver guard Jase Townsend in a December 2018 game. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga guard Corey Kispert, right, and forward Filip Petrusev pressure Denver guard Jase Townsend in a December 2018 game. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

LAS VEGAS – Gonzaga’s Corey Kispert and Filip Petrusev have been selected to the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) All-District IX team.

Kispert, a junior wing who is averaging 13.9 points, paces the Zags with 77 made 3-pointers and is second in minutes (32.8). He’s a finalist for the Julius Erving award for small forward of the year.

Petrusev, a 6-foot-11 sophomore, leads GU in scoring (17.7) and rebounding (7.8). He’s a finalist for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar award for center of the year and is one of 15 on the ballot for the Wooden Award player of the year.

District IX covers California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Arizona and Alaska. San Diego State’s Brian Dutcher was named coach of the year.

Oregon’s Payton Pritchard was selected player of the year. He’s joined on the All-District IX team by San Diego State’s Malachi Flynn, Jordan Ford of Saint Mary’s, Arizona State’s Remy Martin, Arizona’s Zeke Nnaji, USC’s Onyeka Okongwu, Washington’s Isaiah Stewart and Oregon State’s Tres Tinkle.

Lloyd gets hall call

Gonzaga University coaching staff, including head coach Mark Few and assistant coach Tommy Lloyd, argue with officials during a game against Arkansas Pine-Bluff on Nov. 9, 2019 at the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Wash. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga University coaching staff, including head coach Mark Few and assistant coach Tommy Lloyd, argue with officials during a game against Arkansas Pine-Bluff on Nov. 9, 2019 at the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Wash. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)

Gonzaga’s Tommy Lloyd has been selected for induction into the A STEP UP Assistant Coaches Hall of Fame.

Lloyd is one of eight in the 2020 induction class. The ceremony will be May 5 at the Sheraton Charlotte Hotel in North Carolina. Former Gonzaga assistant Donny Daniels was inducted in the inaugural class in 2019.

Lloyd, a 19-year assistant and GU’s coach-in-waiting if Mark Few were to retire or take another job, has guided international recruiting efforts that have been an important factor in Gonzaga’s rise as a national power.

A STEP UP, an acronym for Athletic Symposium To Elevate Professionals and Uplift Performance, created the hall of fame last year to celebrate its decade of providing professional development opportunities for coaches.

Court upgrade

The WCC logo is seen at center court before the start of the first half of a West Coast Conference championship basketball game on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at The Orleans in Las Vegas, Nev. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
The WCC logo is seen at center court before the start of the first half of a West Coast Conference championship basketball game on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at The Orleans in Las Vegas, Nev. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

The West Coast Conference’s new court was on display during the men’s and women’s tournaments at Orleans Arena.

The court was purchased as part of the conference’s five-year agreement with tournament title sponsor University Credit Union and will only be used for the tournaments.

“The title sponsorship has enabled us to purchase this court and not only that, it’s our hardwood,” commissioner Gloria Nevarez said. “It’s also painted with our new brand look, meaning there’s no decal. As many remember, that was a big issue a couple years ago for the health and safety of our athletes. We think it’s important to own our floor.”

Gonzaga players and the training staff noticed the difference immediately at their Sunday shootaround. The previous court had sponsor decals that some players said contributed to occasionally losing their footing.

Suggs makes All-America squad

Gonzaga recruit Jalen Suggs watches the action unfold during the second half of a college basketball game on Saturday, February 9, 2019, at McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Wash. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga recruit Jalen Suggs watches the action unfold during the second half of a college basketball game on Saturday, February 9, 2019, at McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Wash. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Jalen Suggs, a 2020 Gonzaga commit, has been named to the Naismith All-America first team.

Suggs, a two-sport standout at Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis, is joined on the five-player first team by Brandon Boston Jr., Cade Cunningham, Evan Mobley and Jalen Green.

Suggs is No. 5 on ESPN’s 2020 rankings, the highest recruit in Gonzaga’s history. He’s been selected to play in the McDonald’s All-American game on April 1.

Suggs committed to Gonzaga in January but he has kept open the option of playing professionally overseas.

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