SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga men’s basketball will be opening their 2021-2022 regular season against the Dixie State Trailblazers on Tuesday night at McCarthey Athletic Center.
This matchup will only be the second time these two teams have met in their history, as Gonzaga trounced Dixie State last season 112-67. Gonzaga has a lot to look forward to going into this year, as they were ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press preseason poll for a second year in a row. In addition, the Bulldogs reached the top spot in the USA TODAY Coaches’ preseason poll for the first time in their history.
Gonzaga has won 16 straight regular season openers dating back to a 73-66 loss to Saint Joseph in the 2003 Coaches vs. Cancer classic in New York City. On a grander scale, the Bulldogs hold the country’s longest home-win streak with 51 consecutive victories at McCarthey Athletic Center.
The Bulldogs will have to play this year’s season-opener without head coach Mark Few, as he is finishing out a three-game suspension following his DUI arrest. Gonzaga has won all their regular season home openers under Few.
The Dixie State Trailblazers were voted to finish 12th by both the coaches and the media in the Western Athletic Conference preseason poll. Four starters will be returning for the Trailblazers, and all of them were leading scorers for the team.
Some of Dixie State’s more prominent players include Cameron Gooden, who averaged a team-high 13.1 points and 3.2 assists per game. Hunter Schofield added 12.7 points and a team-high 5.9 rebounds per outing. Frank Staine chipped in 9.9 points per game.
Some Gonzaga players are on the cusp of reaching major milestones. Andrew Nembhard is one game short of his 100th collegiate appearance and one three-pointer away from 100 in his collegiate career. Meanwhile, Drew Timme is 69 points away from 1,000 in his career while Anton Watson is 7 points away from 300.