It’s November. College Basketball is finally here! Gonzaga begins their season with an exhibition game tonight against Central Washington. If you are a stats nerd like I am, you enjoy looking at numbers on a daily basis throughout the season. So I figured I would give you all some numbers to follow over the next five months. A lot of them involve Josh Perkins because he’s been at Gonzaga for so long. Thanks to Gonzaga Guru, basketball-reference and KenPom for the help on these.
Most 3-Pointers Made in Gonzaga History
1. Kevin Pangos – 322
2. Blake Stepp – 288
3. Richie Frahm – 280
4. Matt Santangelo – 252
9. Josh Perkins – 198
Last season, Perkins hit 83 threes. He was on pace for 100 during the first half of the season. He will not catch Kevin Pangos, and I’m not sure any Gonzaga player ever will, but he needs 91 to move into second in Gonzaga history, which is doable. On that same note, only five players in Gonzaga history have hit 90+ threes in a single season. Perkins could flirt with that this season, and Zach Norvell (77 last year) might also find his way up there.
Most Assists in Gonzaga History
1. Matt Santangelo – 668
2. Blake Stepp – 640
3. Jeremy Pargo – 589
4. John Stockton – 554
5. Kevin Pangos - 546
6. Josh Perkins – 478
Perkins is 191 assists away from becoming the all-time leader. Last season, he dished out 196 of them. If he does that again, he’ll pass the great Matt Santangelo, who has held the record since he graduated in 2000. Also, Santangelo is one of three players (Stepp and Stockton) who have over 200 assists in a single season. Perkins could become the fourth if the stars align.
Most Steals in Gonzaga History
1. John Stockton – 262
2. Kevin Pangos – 177
3. Jeremy Pargo – 170
4. Matt Bouldin – 170
5. David Stockton – 167
12. Josh Perkins – 124
Perkins had 43 steals in the 2015-16 season, and he mustered up 44 last year. If he puts up those numbers again, he will move into the top five. Let us also marvel at John Stockton racking up 262 steals, including a ridiculous 109 in a single season in 1983-84.
In short, Josh Perkins has a legit chance to finish in the top five in threes made, assists, and steals in his Gonzaga career. For someone who has been so polarizing to the fan base, there’s no denying the impact he has had on the program. With a little bit of luck, he could also finish with the most wins in NCAA history. He needs 37 to pass Przemek Karnowski, which is the same number the Zags won in their National Championship run two years ago.
Moving on from Josh Perkins, here are a couple quick hitters to keep an eye on this season:
- The Gonzaga record for blocks in a season is 70, set by Austin Daye in 2008-09. Brandon Clarke racked up 77 blocks his sophomore season at San Jose State. He averaged 31 minutes at SJSU and may average close to that at Gonzaga now that Killian Tillie is out for eight weeks.
- No underclassman has won WCC Player of the Year in nearly 40 seasons. There are plenty of options to win it this year, but if Zach Norvell goes off, he would be the first sophomore to win the award since Quintin Dailey (USF) in 1981.
- Gonzaga has had their season ended four straight years by ACC opponents. They are 10-4 against the ACC in the regular season under Mark Few, but 2-5 against them in March.
- Speaking of good teams, there’s a good chance that Gonzaga will face at least one Top 10 team this season. Under Mark Few, Gonzaga is 5-24 against teams ranked in the Top 10 (extra tidbit: 30-42 vs Top 25).
- Since 2006-07, Gonzaga is 346-17 when leading with 5:00 to remaining (30-0 last season). They are 23-61 when trailing with 5:00 remaining (2-5 last season).
- My personal favorite: Gonzaga is the only team in the country who has finished in the top 30 in both 2pt FG% on offense and 2pt FG% defense each of the last SIX seasons. They have become hyper efficient inside the arc and their rim protection has been elite for several years now.