Gonzaga Men's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Gonzaga Bulldogs
West Coast (32-2, 17-1)


Could this be the year for Gonzaga? Everything has come together for the Bulldogs this season and they have the talent and experience to make a serious run at the Final Four. However, we have been down this road before. Gonzaga, despite all of the talent and occasional high seeds, has not made the Sweet Sixteen since 2009. Coach Mark Few hopes to put an end to that little streak.

Big Wins: 11/17 SMU (72-56), 11/26 vs Georgia (88-76), 11/28 at St. John’s (73-66)
Bad Losses: 12/6 at Arizona (63-66), 2/28 BYU (70-73)
Coach: Mark Few

Why They Can Surprise:
This team really has it all and it starts up front with forward Kyle Wiltjer and center Przemek Karnowski. Wiltjer has been a dominating force in the paint since arriving from Kentucky. He is the team’s top scorer and an absolute nightmare to defend since he stands at 6-10, plays the power forward spot and can step outside and knock down some three-pointers. Even if the opposition has enough size to defend Wiltjer, it is unlikely they have the athleticism. Karnowski is the more traditional big man. At 7-1 and 288 pounds, he eats up even more space than Wiltjer. Karnowski has developed a decent defensive game to go along with his offense and rebounding. And then there is 6-10 freshman Domantas Sabonis. When Wiltjer or Karnowski need a break, Sabonis is ready to step in without missing a beat. In fact, he is the best rebounder on the team too. Kevin Pangos is the man getting them the ball and has truly turned around his game after a disappointing junior season. Wing Byron Wesley is a superb slasher and Gary Bell is one of the best perimeter defenders in the country.

Why They Can Disappoint:
With all of that talent, size and depth, there is not much that can stop Gonzaga…at least on paper. But Gonzaga has the same issue every year. Who have they played lately? And this season it is even worse. BYU and Saint Mary’s have been tougher competition in years past than they have been in 2014-2015 and the Bulldogs traditional late non-conference contest was against a pretty bad Memphis team on January 31st. That certainly did not provide this group with a tough game. There have been close calls along the way, but this team really has not played a really good team since early December when they lost in overtime at Arizona. That was a long time ago.

Probable Starters:
Kevin Pangos, Senior, Guard, 11.5 ppg, 5.0 apg, 5.0 rpg
Gary Bell, Senior, Guard, 8.2 ppg, 1.9 apg
Byron Wesley, Senior, Guard, 10.8 ppg, 2.3 apg, 4.9 rpg
Kyle Wiltjer, Junior, Forward, 16.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg
Przemek Karnowski, Junior, Center, 11.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.0 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Kyle Dranginis, Junior, Guard, 4.0 ppg, 1.6 apg
Domantas Sabonis, Freshman, Forward, 9.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg
Silas Melson, Freshman, Guard, 3.4 ppg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 78.8 (13th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 60.5 (37, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 52.4 (1, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 38.2 (11, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.1 (96, 3)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 40.1 (9, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.0 (137, 7)
Rebound Margin: 7.7 (10, 1)
Assists Per Game: 16.5 (9, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.7 (29, 2)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2014    NCAA    Second Round win over Oklahoma State
2014    NCAA    Third Round loss to Arizona
2013    NCAA    Second Round win over Southern
2013    NCAA    Third Round loss to Wichita State
2012    NCAA    Second Round win over West Virginia
2012    NCAA    Third Round loss to Ohio State
2011    NCAA    Round of 64 win over St. Johns
2011    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to BYU
2010    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Florida State
2010    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Syracuse
2009    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Akron
2009    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Western Kentucky
2009    NCAA    Regional Semifinal loss to North Carolina
2008    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Davidson
2007    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Indiana

*all team stats through 3/8


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules