Saint Mary's Men's Basketball 2019 NCAA Tournament Capsule


 Saint Mary’s Gaels

West Coast (22-11, 11-5)

Saint Mary’s started the season 3-4, with those losses coming against Utah State, Mississippi State, Harvard and UC Irvine. They did pick up a few decent non-conference wins and that put the Gaels on the bubble for most of the 2018-2019 campaign. Of course, Saint Mary’s won when it mattered most, upsetting Gonzaga 60-47 in the conference tournament final.
Big Wins: 11/14 at New Mexico State (73-58), 3/11 vs San Diego (69-62), 3/12 vs Gonzaga (60-47)
Bad Losses: 12/22 at Western Kentucky (68-71), 1/3 at San Francisco (72-76), 1/26 at Pepperdine (77-84)
Coach: Randy Bennett
Why They Can Surprise:
The Gaels can beat a team like Gonzaga by taking care of the basketball and playing solid defense. It was the defense that led to the win over the Bulldogs. The Gaels held Gonzaga to 37.5 percent shooting from the floor and just 11.8 percent from beyond the arc. If Coach Randy Bennett can keep his team playing defense like that, the Gaels will be a scary team to see in the NCAA Tournament. Taking care of the basketball will be equally important. The Gaels commit just 10.5 turnovers per game and the backcourt trio of Jordan Ford, Tanner Krebs and Tommy Kuhse certainly help in that regard. Ford is the team’s top scorer too, averaging 21.3 points per game and shooting an impressive 42.3 percent from beyond the arc.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Ford joins forward Malik Fitts to join a potent scoring duo. Like Ford, Fitts is a consistent outside shooter and the big man averages 15.3 points and a team high 7.6 rebounds per game. Nobody else on the team averages over nine points per game though and it will be important for somebody to step up and provide another scoring threat in the NCAA Tournament. It could be Tanner Krebs and his outside shooting or ability or senior center Jordan Hunter, who tallied 12 points and 15 rebounds in the win over Gonzaga.
Probable Starters:
Tommy Kuhse, Sophomore, Guard, 6.2 ppg, 2.9 apg
Jordan Ford, Junior, Guard, 21.3 ppg, 2.5 apg
Tanner Krebs, Junior, Guard, 8.9 ppg
Malik Fitts, Sophomore, Forward, 15.3 ppg, 7.6 rpg
Jordan Hunter, Senior, Center, 7.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.4 bpg
Key Role Players:
Matthias Tass, Freshman, Forward, 3.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg
Dan Fotu, Freshman, Forward, 2.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.5 (152nd in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 65.0 (36, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.3 (43, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.8 (181, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.6 (190, 6)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.9 (32, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 74.0 (64, 6)
Rebound Margin: 5.5 (26, 2)
Assists Per Game: 10.5 (340, 9)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.5 (17, 3)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2018NITFirst Round win over Southeastern Louisiana
2018NITSecond Round win over Washington
2018NITQuarterfinal loss to Utah
2017NCAARound of 64 win over VCU
2017NCAARound of 32 loss to Arizona
2016NITFirst Round win over New Mexico State
2016NITSecond Round win over Georgia
2016NITQuarterfinal loss to Valparaiso
2015NITFirst Round loss to Vanderbilt
2014NITFirst Round win over Utah
2014NITSecond Round loss to Minnesota
2013NCAAOpening Round win over Middle Tennessee
2013NCAARound of 64 loss to Memphis
2012NCAARound of 64 loss to Purdue
2011NITFirst Round loss to Kent State
2010NCAARound of 64 win over Richmond
2010NCAARound of 32 win over Villanova
2010NCAARegional Semifinal loss to Baylor
2009NITFirst Round win over Washington State
2009NITSecond Round win over Davidson
2009NITQuarterfinal loss to San Diego State
2008NCAARound of 64 loss to Miami
2005NCAARound of 64 loss to Southern Illinois
*all team stats through 3/10