Tournament Teams 2002 - NCAA West Regional Proving themselves to the nation as a program that has arrived on the national scene seemed to be the rallying point for the Bulldogs as Gonzaga University completed its most successful regular-season in school history, breaking several team and NCAA records along the way. The Bulldogs opened the season as a team in transition with the departure of All-American Casey Calvary and a nagging injury that hampered the early season progress of returning WCC Freshman of the Year Blake Stepp. The one constant the Bulldogs did have was in the return of do-everything point guard Dan Dickau. Dickau established himself as the best collegiate player in the history of the Bulldogs, earning first-team All-America honors and becoming a finalist for the John R. Wooden and James Naismith Player of the Year Awards. Dickau helped guide Gonzaga to a school record 29 wins and a No. 6 national ranking in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches polls. The climb to the elite of the national rankings did not come without some bumps in the road including a season-opening loss at No. 2 Illinois and a Great Alaska Shootout championship loss to Marquette. Following a 3-2 start, Gonzaga won 26 of its next 27 games with exciting wins over No. 16 Fresno State at the Loud Records Fab Four Classic, a Dickau buzzer beater at Saint Joseph’s and an overtime win at New Mexico on ESPN’s Big Monday at The Pit. Gonzaga entered the rankings prior to a December meeting with
Washington and remained in the rankings for the next 13 weeks. The Bulldogs cracked the Top 10 in February and remained there for the remainder of the regular-season, including the Bulldogs run to a fourth straight West Coast Conference Tournament Championship. For his individual efforts Dickau was named the WCC Player of the Year and WCC Tournament MVP. Head coach Mark Few was named the WCC Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year. Few also etched his name in the NCAA record book as he became the career leader in coaching wins to start a career with 81 wins in his first three seasons.
Final 2002 Associated Press Poll Team 1. Duke (58) 2. Kansas (10) 3. Oklahoma (2) 4. Maryland (1) 5. Cincinnati 6. GONZAGA 7. Arizona 8. Alabama 9. Pittsburgh 10. Connecticut 11. Oregon 12. Marquette 13. Illinois 14. Ohio State 15. Florida 16. Kentucky 17. Mississippi State 18. Southern California 19. Western Kentucky 20. Oklahoma State 21. Miami (FL) 22. Xavier 23. Georgia 24. Stanford 25. Hawai’i
‘02 Record 31-4 33-3 31-4 30-4 31-4 29-4 24-10 27-8 29-6 27-7 26-9 26-7 26-9 24-8 22-9 22-10 27-8 22-10 28-4 23-9 24-8 26-6 22-10 20-10 27-6
* The final 2002 rankings with Gonzaga opponents in italics. * Gonzaga was ranked No. 16 in the final ESPN/USA Today poll.
GONZAGA MEN’S ’ BASKETBALL 2009-10
Published on Nov 18, 2009