Brent Yarina, BTN.com Senior Editor, March 12, 2012
For the sixth consecutive season, Purdue is back in the NCAA tournament, this time as a No. 10 seed in the Midwest Region. The Boilermakers take on WCC tourney champ and No. 7 seed Saint Mary's at 7:27 p.m. ET Friday night. Before the game tips off in Omaha, Neb., BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina introduces you to the Gaels. A little sampling: Did you know a former Northwestern big man is a reserve for the Gaels? Meet Saint Mary's in this post.
Best win: vs. Gonzaga, 83-62 (box)
Coach: Randy Bennett
Best player: Matthew Dellavedova, Jr., G – 15.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 6.4 apg
Last NCAA tourney: 2010
Deepest tourney run: Elite Eight – 1959
Track the tourney: NCAA Bracket
5 THINGS ABOUT SAINT MARY'S
- Despite winning the WCC tournament, Saint Mary's is 5-3 in its last eight games.
- Former Northwestern big man Kyle Rowley is a reserve for the Gaels, averaging only 4.4 minutes per game.
- Only 14 teams in the nation compile more assists per game (15.9) than the Gaels, who are led by Matthew Dellavedova's 6.4 dimes.
- Dellavedova won the West Coast Conference Player of the Year and is one of five finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, presented annually to the nation's top point guard.
- Saint Mary's shoots an impressive 47.5 percent from the field — good enough for 27th in the nation.