People still tend to associate Gonzaga with underdog, but should they? After all, the Bulldogs have made the NCAA Tournament 18 years in a row and have won four consecutive West Coast Conference Tournament championships. They were also a 2-seed a season ago and advanced to the Elite Eight before losing to Duke, the eventual national champion.
So, is it fair to still call Gonzaga a Cinderella? At this point, shouldn’t we expect success from the Bulldogs?
“Shoot, I would say so,” Gonzaga point guard Josh Perkins said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence, “but we’ll take the Cinderella. We like it, but like you said, we’ve been here so many times. Now it’s time to take this program where it hasn’t been. I think this year could be the year.”
No. 11 Gonzaga (26-7) will play No. 6 Seton Hall (25-8) this Thursday in opening-round action. The Zags have won 12 of their last 14 games.
Perkins (10.3 points per game) is one of four Bulldogs averaging double figures, along with Kyle Wiltjer (20.7), Domantas Sabots (17.4) and Eric McClellan (10.6). Wiltjer was named the WCC Tournament MVP for the second straight season, the after combining for 46 points, 12 rebounds, six three-pointers and three blocks in wins over BYU and Saint Mary’s in the semifinal and final, respectively.
“(Kyle is) one of the easiest people to play with,” said Perkins, who is averaging a team-high 4.0 assists. “He can score at any time from anywhere. Honestly, it makes it easier for me. Defenses are so worried about him that it creates shots for the other guys. But he’s one of the best scorers I’ve ever played with. He’s great on the court and he’s an even better person. He’s like a brother off the court. I can’t even explain it. It’s unbelievable playing with this guy.”