#9 Gonzaga Men's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Gonzaga Bulldogs
2019-2020 Overall Rank: #9
Conference Rank: #1 West Coast
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Gonzaga has been a regular in the NCAA Tournament for a long, long time. In fact, Coach Mark Few has taken the Bulldogs to the big dance in each of his 20 seasons leading the program. However, Gonzaga has been much more dangerous recently in the tournament. They have reached at least the Sweet 16 for five straight campaigns, including that trip to the national title game in 2017. That is the type of year Gonzaga is hoping for in 2019-2020.
2018-19 Record: 33-4, 16-0
2018-19 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Mark Few
Coach Record: 568-122 at Gonzaga, 568-122 overall
Key Departed Players:
Rui Hachimura, Forward, 19.7 ppg
Brandon Clarke, Forward, 16.9 ppg
Zach Norvell Jr, Guard, 14.9 ppg
Josh Perkins, Guard, 11.0 ppg
Geno Crandall, Guard, 5.0 ppg
Jeremy Jones, Forward, 3.1 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Corey Kispert, Junior, Forward, 8.0 ppg
Filip Petrusey, Sophomore, Forward, 6.5 ppg
Killian Tillie, Senior, Forward, 6.2 ppg
Joel Ayayi, Sophomore, Guard, 1.7 ppg
Matthew Lang, Sophomore, Guard, 0.7 ppg
Key New Players:
Martynas Arlauskas, Freshman, Guard
Oumar Ballo, Freshman, Center
Admon Gilder, Senior, Guard, Grad Transfer from Texas A&M
Brock Ravet, Freshman, Guard
Drew Timme, Freshman, Forward
Anton Watson, Freshman, Forward
Ryan Woolridge, Senior, Guard, Grad Transfer from North Texas
Pavel Zakharov, Freshman, Forward
Four starters are gone, leaving forwards Corey Kispert, Filip Petrusey and Killian Tillie the only returning players from the regular rotation a year ago. Kispert is a very talented small forward who averaged 8.0 points and 4.1 rebounds last season. The 6-7 junior can score in the paint and hit 61 three-pointers as a sophomore. Tillie struggled through an injury filled season last year, but will put up big numbers if he can stay healthy. Petrusey proved to be a great scoring threat as a freshman, but he will need to play better defense to hold off the talented freshmen. Drew Timme, Anton Watson, Pavel Zakharov and Oumar Ballo all have the talent to crack the regular rotation in the frontcourt. The backcourt expects to get some production out of sophomore Joel Ayayi, but everything else will have to come from the newcomers. Fortunately, graduate transfers Admon Gilder and Ryan Woolridge will add some experience to the perimeter. Both have struggled with injuries recently, but Gilder is a proven outside shooter and Woolridge is an experienced point guard who can run this team effectively. Freshmen Brock Ravel and Martynas Arlauskas could crack the regular rotation, but most of the minutes should go to the more experienced players. As usual, Gonzaga should win the West Coast Conference, but this is a relatively inexperienced team. There are only two returning upperclassmen and the Bulldogs are often a team that boasts a much more experienced roster than this. We may not find out how that lack of experience really affects this group until March though.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 87.6 (1st in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.9 (32, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 62.6 (1, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 38.9 (7, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.8 (171, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.3 (80, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 76.1 (16, 1)
Rebound Margin: 6.8 (13, 1)
Assists Per Game: 18.1 (4, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.6 (23, 3)
Madness 2020 NBA Draft Rankings:
#57 Killian Tillie
Madness 2019 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#40 Drew Timme
#48 Anton Watson
#60 Pavel Zakharov
#115 Oumar Ballo
#151 Martynas Arlauskas