There are seven NCAA Division I schools that have both their men’s and women’s teams ranked in the AP Top 25 poll. Gonzaga is one of them.
After losing to St. Mary’s on January 12th, the men dropped out of the rankings, but have finally returned this week at No. 24. The Zags have rallied together four straight wins to rank among the elite teams in the nation.
The women continue to climb the polls as they remain tied with BYU at the top of the WCC and earned a spot at No. 20 in the AP standings. BYU sits at 22 in the polls. The two teams face off on February 9th in Provo for the first time this season to potentially determine the conference leader.
Both the men’s and women’s teams have several similarities in their success this season. Each team has a 17-3 record for the season and one conference loss to St. Mary’s. The talent level on both teams is very broad and there isn’t one superstar that really controls the game like both programs have had in the past.
However, the height and depth in the post position, along with very gifted guards, has enabled both teams to grab victories on the court.
Kayla Standish, Kelly Bowen, and Katelan Redmon are the Big Three for the ladies, as they are all over six feet tall. Freshman Sunny Greinacher stands atop all of them at 6’4” and brings great height off the bench.
The guys have a similar situation, with Elias Harris, Rob Sacre, and Sam Dower bringing size and experience to the post. Ryan Spangler is the freshman coming off the bench and producing good minutes.
At guard for the women, Haiden Palmer, Taelor Karr, and Jazmine Redmon have contributed in various roles with much success. Two first year Zags (Palmer and Karr both transferred) and a sophomore make up the trio who rotate constantly throughout the game. Both Karr and Palmer are shooting very well from the perimeter.
On the men’s side, Kevin Pangos, Gary Bell Jr., and David Stockton share the most minutes on the court for the one and two positions. Pangos and Bell are first year players at GU and Stockton is a sophomore. Bell Jr. and Pangos are also incredible three point shooters.
It is interesting to see the parallels between the two squads. They are both very talented teams with a diverse array of players in various positions. Look out for both the men and women to make a run come March.