This is something I have wanted to do for a while. As the Gonzaga program has grown over the last two decades, a ton of great players have cycled through. From Casey Calvery to Kevin Pangos, a great deal of fantastic players have worn the Gonzaga jersey. Here is what a 12 man roster would look like from choosing from the 1999 team on.
Now, no disrespect to the classic players that were at Gonzaga prior to the 1999 season, but I can’t do those players justice because I wasn’t alive to see them play. I’m sure Frank Burgess and John Stockton were phenomenal at Gonzaga, but I wasn’t around to watch them play. It wouldn’t be fair. So I’ll stick to the recent teams.
Now, here would be my bench.
Santangelo was the first great point guard in the Mark Few era. He will always be immortalized in Gonzaga history for leading the Bulldogs to the elite eight in 1999. In his career, he played in 104 games, and averaged 14.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game. Santangelo currently serves as the color analyst for the 1510 KGA, which is the radio station for the Zags.
Out of all the point guards that have gone through the Gonzaga program over the years, Pargo might be the toughest and the most athletic. The Chicago native was the point guard of the 2008-2009 team, which in my opinion was the third best Gonzaga team of all-time. His ferocious on-ball defense was the facet of his game that puts him on this team.
Olynyk managed to have one of the best single seasons in Gonzaga history this year, and that is what puts him on this list. KO was the centerpiece of the only team in Bulldog history to climb to the very tippy top of the AP poll. The best part about the Kelly Olynyk story is that he accomplished all of this in one of the most unorthodox ways; to redshirt after his sophomore year.
Mr. Consistency. For four years, Harris helped the Zags immensely by scoring and rebounding at a high level. In his four year career, Harris averaged 13.8 points and 7.3 rebounds. Harris possessed the ability to take over a game on the glass, and that is why he finds himself on this list.
Matt Bouldin contributed in all four of the years he was in Spokane, and was an integral part of 2008-2009 team, and was the proverbial leader of the 2009-2010 team. Throughout his Bulldog career, Bouldin averaged 12.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game.
Blake Stepp carried on the torch that was passed on by Matt Santangelo and Dan Dickau extremely well. He averaged 13.o points, 3.9 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game in his four year career as a Zag. This is a player that simply knew how to score and distribute the basketball; he exemplified what a Gonzaga point guard should be.
The 6th Man- Austin Daye
Daye is maybe the best player to pass through the Gonzaga program based on pure talent. His Bulldog is legacy is somewhat tainted by a premature departure, but Daye was a fantastic player for the Bulldogs when he was there. In his two year Gonzaga career, he showed his ability to score and rebound the basketball with relative ease.
Point Guard- Dan Dickau
Dickau’s choice to transfer to Gonzaga after riding the UW bench for two years proved to be a fantastic one. In his two year Gonzaga career, Dickau averaged 20.8 points and 5.5 assists per game as the Gonzaga point guard. No one could score like Dickau; he had a silky smooth jump shot and was crafty around the basket. This is the guy I would want running my team.
Shooting Guard- Richie Frahm
Richie Frahm was the leading scorer on the best Gonzaga team in history, and that’s why he is the starting shooting guard on my roster. Frahm averaged 14.4 points per game in the 1998-1999 season, and 16.9 points per game in his senior year in 1999-2000. This is guy that flat out knew how to score the basketball, and excelled in Mark Few’s system.
Small Forward- Adam Morrison
We will forgive Ammo for having a disgusting mustache, a mutt-cut hairstyle, and for crying after losing against UCLA in the sweet sixteen. Adam Morrison was the best pure scorer that this program has ever seen, and probably ever will see. Sure he took a lot of shots, but he made a lot of them as well. In his three year Gonzaga career, Morrison averaged 19.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. In his wooden award winning season, he averaged 28.1 points per game, which is the highest scoring average of any Bulldog in the post 1999 era.
Power Forward- Ronny Turiaf
Ronny Turiaf is an absolute beast, and that is why he is in the starting lineup. In his four year career, Turiaf averaged 13.6 points, and 6.8 rebounds per game. Turiaf has also experienced a great deal of success in the pros, and is representing his alma mater well.
Center- J.P. Batista
He only was in Spokane for two years, but when he was in the 509, J.P. Batista ruled the paint. The community college transfer averaged 16.1 points and 7.9 rebounds in his two year Zag career. He wasn’t a very good shot blocker, but he could control the paint with his overall size and physicality.
Here is my 12 man squad. Let me know what changes you would make in the comment box below.