Team Spotlight: Gonzaga

 Basketball player wearing Gonzaga Bulldogs shirt
Coming out of Spokane, Washington is the Gonzaga University men’s basketball team. Since the mid-1990s, they have proved that they are a force to be reckoned with. We take a closer look at some of the stats of this year’s roster, and at some past performances to gauge the potential for Gonzaga basketball this year, at the March College Basketball Tournament.

Past Performance

Sitting on top of the West Coast conference is nothing new for Gonzaga, and fans would expect nothing less. They have been putting up incredible stats this year in their regular season, dropping only 2 games overall, putting their record at 29-2 overall and 15-1 in the WCC. They have not dropped a single game, on home territory, and were about to go on a 20-win streak. However, they were stopped in their tracks by BYU. That didn’t do anything to kill their momentum though, and Gonzaga basketball is looking as good as ever as we look ahead to the conference tournament, and the selections that will take place on the allocated Sunday.

Since their amazing Cinderella run to the last eight teams in 1999, Gonzaga has been back to every National tournament, trying to get that seemingly elusive National Championship win. They have been close, but never quite managed to clutch up in the final and take home the title. 2017 was the closest they got. They made the last four teams for the first time, and then went on to play in the championship game where they were taken out by NCU – who claimed the title of champions on that day. However, the team has been outclassing the rest of the WCC and have appeared in every WCC title game since 1998, winning 16 of them. Gonzaga basketball has had 15 of its players receive the WCC Player of the Year award, with two of them leading the nation in scoring.

Heading into the semi-final of the WCC tournament, Gonzaga basketball fans and sports bettors will be pleased to know that their momentum and thirst for wins is not letting up. They are looking like firm favorites to take the WCC title, as well as the automatic bid to the National tournament. Be sure to have these guys on your bracket to go far, and potentially all the way to the win, in the March College Basketball Tournament this year. Let’s meet the team.

Meet the Players and Know Who to Watch

Joel Ayayi #11 of Gonzaga Bulldogs holds up most outstanding player award at West Coast Conference basketball tournament
The roster for the Gonzaga team, heading into the semi-final of the WCC tournament, and the March College Basketball Tournament this year are as follows:

1 Admon Gilder – G

2 Drew Timme – F

3 Filip Petrušev – F

4 Ryan Woolridge – G

5 Martynas Arlauskas – G

10 Pavel Zakharov – F

11 Joël Ayayi – G

21 Oumar Ballo – C

22 Anton Watson – F

23 Matthew Lang – G

24 Corey Kispert – F

32 Brock Ravet – G

33 Killian Tillie – F

35 Will Graves – G

In terms of who to watch, high up on the list is Filip Petrusev. The Serbian forward currently leads the team stats for points per game and rebounds made. He is no slouch in the field goal percentage area either. With an overall 200 field goals made, 552 points and 241 rebounds made across the 2019-20 season, this is a player worth keeping an eye on, going into the upcoming tournaments.

Next to keep an eye out for is Gonzaga’s assists and steals king, Ryan Woolridge. No stranger to the net either, Woolridge has sunk 30 3-point goals and 117 field goals over the course of the season. He has posted 138 assists, 46 steals and 142 rebounds, making him the leader on the roster for steals and assists per game. Woolridge will be key in a solid defensive performance that will carry the team to a potentially great run in the March College Basketball Tournament.

Another key player to the inevitable success of the Bulldogs is forward Drew Timme. With only 31 games played, this freshman player has been making his presence felt on the court. He is eager to prove that he is capable of running with the big dogs. Timme is leading the team in blocks per game and putting up decent offensive stats. Keep an eye out for Timme as he looks to improve on his gameplay and help take Gonzaga far in the March College Basketball Tournament.

As a team, the stats are impressive: they are ranked first in their conference for points per game with 87.74 and they are ranked second for field goal percentage with .515. The roster for the Gonzaga team is talented all around. You can look forward to some excellent quality basketball coming from them, as the WCC tournament is rounded out. Expect a bid for them to enter the National tournament, no matter what happens, as they seem to be a staple mid-major team in the tourney.

Recent and Upcoming Games

Gonzaga Bulldogs celebrate win with trophy at West Coast Conference basketball tournament
The Gonzaga boys have made the regular season and the WCC tournament look easy so far. They are proving to be stronger and stronger as their games go on. Having dropped only 2 games so far, against BYU (currently 2nd in the WCC) and Michigan, their wins have ended with impressive leads in most cases – making the competition seem a little soft when compared to Gonzaga basketball.

The team’s first encounter with BYU this year resulted in Gonzaga taking home a pretty convincing win with a final score of 92-69, in which, Killian Tillie put up an impressive 22 points and 10 rebounds. The loss came in a couple games later, when Gonzaga went to BYU and ended with a final score of 91-78. Despite the loss, Tillie still managed to secure 18 points and Drew Timme came through with 8 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to carry them to the win. The most impressive scoreline, from this season, for Gonzaga came during a game at home against Santa Clara: they managed to thrash them 104-54. Joël Ayayi came up big in this game, with 19 points. Timme showed up with 11 rebounds. Woolridge put work in too, with 5 assists, on the day. This led to the most convincing display of Gonzaga’s dominance so far this season.

So far in their regular season, Gonzaga hasn’t lost a game at home, so despite being a mostly overlooked factor, location might be a big player in the performance for the Bulldogs, in the coming tournament. The March College Basketball Tournament has a single-elimination format, so one bad performance on the day means the end of the run. But Zags fans don’t have to worry too much, as their consistency in taking home big wins, and their history of knocking out some of the top seeds, should be able to carry them far in the National tournament.

Looking forward to the WCC tournament semi-final game, with the opponent still to be decided, Gonzaga basketball fans and sports betting fans should be looking forward to an impressive and dominating performance from this Bulldogs roster. If history is anything to go by, then the Zags are sure to bring home the WCC championship title again this year. They will be looking to show up in a big way at the National tournament too.

A Couple of Numbers to Sum Up

Corey Kispert throws hands up during championship game at West Coast Conference basketball tournament

A few stats to keep in mind when putting your March College Basketball Tournament bracket together. A reason to not overlook the Gonzaga Bulldogs, when they might just net you some serious points, as they look to make a massive impact on the tournament this year:

· National Championship games – 1

· National Last Four Teams – 1

· National Last Eight Teams – 4

· National tournament appearances – 22

· #1 seeds in the National Tournament – 3

· WCC regular season titles – 25

· WCC tournament titles – 17

If you are a Zags fan, you can look forward to more amazing basketball from this roster. When you are filling out your bracket for the March College Basketball Tournament, expect the Bulldogs to go far, maybe even to the championship game. If you are a fan of basketball and are also a sports betting fan, then keep your eye out for the Gonzaga Bulldogs to net you a couple wins as the tournament goes on.

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