Bulldogs Hoops: Moments In Time
This all-time starting five takes into account the player’s importance to Gonzaga’s program, the numbers that the player put up at Gonzaga, and the individual and team honors that were achieved by the player.
PG: Matt Santangelo (1996-2000)
I am aware that this one will get a ton of questions and I really wanted to put someone that is more decorated here, like Stockton or Dickau, but this player is too crucial to Gonzaga’s current success to leave off the list.
Matt Santangelo was a four-year starter during an era that propelled Gonzaga basketball into the nation’s consciousness.
One of the leaders on Gonzaga’s 1998 Elite Eight squad, Santangelo legitimized the run with a Sweet 16 surge in 1999. He was an AP All-American Honorable Mention that year and is the Bulldogs‘ all-time assists leader (668).
SG: Frank Burgess (1958-1961)
Based on awards, I really wanted to go with two-time WCC Player of the Year Blake Stepp here (2003, 2004), but Burgess‘ scoring numbers are just too astounding.
The 6’1″ Burgess scored a school-record of 52 points against UC-Davis and led the NCAA in scoring (32.4) during the 1960-61 campaign.
He was a Helms Foundation Second Team All-American (1960, 1961) and an AP Second-Team All-American (1961).
Burgess holds numerous Gonzaga records including career points (2,196) and scoring average (28.1) and as a result his #44 hangs in Gonzaga’s rafters. Burgess was selected into the WCC Hall of Honor in 2010.
SF: Adam Morrison (2003-2006)
Set aside the images of him crying after losing in the Sweet 16 to UCLA, Morrison was an enigma during his collegiate career in Spokane.
The 6’8″ local kid from Mead High with the Maravich-esque socks and the wispy mustache garnered more attention than other player in Gonzaga’s history.
In the 2005-2006 season, Morrison (28.1 ppg) edged Duke guard J.J. Redick for the NCAA scoring crown. His 2006 resume is impressive as he earned national player of the year honors in addition to being named a unanimous choice as a First-Team AP All-American.
Morrison was drafted by the Charlotte Bobcats with the 3rd pick in 2006 NBA Draft.
PF: Jeff Brown (1991-1994)
This pick, like the Santangelo pick is one about creating the foundation of what Gonzaga basketball is today.
Although Casey Calvary was named a Wooden Second-Team All-American WCC Player of the Year in 2001, Brown was easily as great as a three-time WCC First-Teamer. In his senior season, Brown led the conference in scoring at 21.0 ppg, while anchoring the team to a 22-8 record.
It was their first WCC regular-season championship and the first appearance in a postseason tournament (NIT).
Brown was selected to the WCC Hall of Honor in 2010.
C: Ronny Turiaf (2001-2005)
Undeniably one of the most popular players in Gonzaga’s history, Turiaf lands as Gonzaga‘s all-time starting center. Undersized at 6’9,” Ronny Turiaf‘s heart and enthusiasm made up for his lack of size.
His intensity would often set the tone in The Kennel, making it one of NCAA’s most hostile arenas during his tenure.
Turiaf was the WCC Player of the Year in 2005 and a two-time AP All-American Honorable Mention (2004, 2005). His 179 blocks rank second on the all-time list at Gonzaga.
A current Washington Wizard, Turiaf was drafted in the second round (37th overall) by the Los Angeles Lakers.
Agree? Disagree? Hit me back below. I’d love to hear from you on who your starting 5 are! Remember these are MY starting five! Let’s hear yours!