In the West Coast Conference, the Gonzaga Bulldogs rule all. Since 1994, the Bulldogs have won 16 regular season championships in the WCC and 12 tournament championships in that span. The Bulldogs simply have dominated the WCC since the mid-90s.
Head coach Mark Few took over a program started by Dan Monson in 1999. Since that time, the ‘Zags did not win the regular season title twice. With this pedigree, it’s easy to get recruits to jump on board the Gonzaga Bulldogs’ bus.
Kevin Pangos is the newest player to dawn the white, red and blue that is Gonzaga’s colors. The Canadian point guard has the Bulldogs in top shape and ready to win yet another WCC title. He might not be the best NBA-ready player on his team (that belongs to Polish center Przemek Karnowski), but he lights up college campuses along the West coast. His 27 points against the Washington State Cougars on Thursday night proves that he will win this honor unanimously.
The dead-eye shooter Pangos is a third-year starter for the ‘Zagsm but he does way more than just shoot threes and get to the foul line. He has an assist-to-turnover ratio of almost four on the season, meaning that he’s the smart facilitator the Bulldogs need. Along with point guard David Stockton, son of John Stockton, Pangos makes for a deadly combination of speed, smarts and shot selection.
The reason Pangos will win this award is the fact that he does everything well on the basketball court. His aforementioned 3-point shooting — at a 40 percent clip in his career — is what helps his game and his team better. His performance against the Cougars propelled his team to victory (27 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including 5-of-8ight from downtown and a perfect 6-of-6 from the line).
All the Gonzaga point guard needs to do this season to win the award is to stay consistent. He has done that for three years now and there is no looking back in his game. Gonzaga won 90-74 with Pangos leading all scorers.
The only somewhat legitimate threat to Pangos for this award is BYU junior guard Tyler Haws. On the season, Haws has averaged 26 points and accumulated those stats against Weber State, Stanford and Iowa State — good competition. Haws does not have the supporting cast that Pangos does, and the Gonzaga Bulldogs will win yet another WCC title and player of the year award – their 14th since its 1979 debut in the WCC).
John Lloyd is a PAC-12 College Basketball for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JohnHLloydIII