College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, January 14, 2010
Every year, the Gonzaga Bulldogs field a team worthy of inclusion in the NCAA tournament field. Over the last decade, the Zags have become a nearly-permanent fixture of the tourney, and have gone from being a novelty to being a perennial high seed. This year's squad is no different, taking on teams from all over the country, and beating some of them, in preparation for the annual March madness.
On Thursday, the Bulldogs won their 5th straight, and 3rd straight on the road, with an important victory over one of their West Coast Conference main rivals, the St. Mary's Gaels. Leading the way to the 89-83 win was freshman forward Elias Harris, who did it all with a career-high 31 points on 13-for-20 shooting, and 13 rebounds. Operating mostly in the post, Harris displayed some very un-freshman-like skills and even drifted out beyond the arc on occasion, hitting one of his two 3-point attempts. Harris, 6'7", is a 46% shooter from downtown.
With wins in their first two conference games on the road over their main rivals for the WCC title - beating Portland on Saturday, 81-78, the Bulldogs are tied for first place with Pepperdine and appear to have a team worthy of a high seeding and potential run deep into the tourney field come March. Gonzaga is 13-3, with the losses coming against Michigan State, Duke and Wake Forest.