The men’s basketball team known as the Saint Mary’s Gaels competes for Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California, in the NCAA’s West Coast Conference. The University Credit Union Pavilion is the venue for the team’s home matches. Randy Bennett, who has won the most games for the school overall, is their current head coach.
This team has appeared in over 11 NCAA Tournament appearances. You should check out this team’s college basketball odds for the next season! In this article, we will give you a team profile of the famous Saint Mary’s Gaels.
Saint Mary’s Gaels History
Saint Mary’s Gael are a popular college team. This team has been on the scene since 1959 and had varying degrees of success. The men’s basketball squad has established a reputation as being one of the top non-Power 5 teams in the country under head coach Randy Bennett. Since Bennett’s arrival, the Gaels have featured a minimum one Australian player across every season.
The club experienced one of their better seasons in school history in 2007-08 because of the performance of Australian freshman Patty Mills. The squad spent 5 to 6 weeks, respectively, on the USA Today and AP top 25 lists
The Gaels won the WCC Tournament championship in March 2010, earning them an automatic invitation to the 2010 NCAA tournament. The Gaels then won their second WCC tournament since the event’s creation in 1987 by defeating Gonzaga in the championship game. Then, when they defeated the Richmond Spiders in 2010, it was their first NCAA Tournament victory since 1959.
Although, due to breaking the regulations, the NCAA put Saint Mary’s Gaels on four-year probation on March 1, 2013. The team then came back in 2017, and have continued to play alongside the rules.
There are few noteworthy players who have played in Saint Mary’s Gaels. These players have then gone on to have really successful professional basketball careers. This includes:
- Matthew Dellavedova – Dellavedova was recruited for the team in 2009 and was ranked as a top junior player in Australia. He had 3.5 rebounds, 12.1 points, and 4.5 assists per game in 2009–2010.
- Patty Mills – Mills signed a contract in November 2006 to start playing in the 2007–08 campaign. After assisting the Gaels in reaching the top 25 for the first time since the 1988–89 campaign, Mills was awarded the WCC Newcomer of the Year and received All–WCC First Team recognition.
- Tom Meschery – In 1959, Meschery assisted Saint Mary’s in getting to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. He was voted the West Coast Conference Player of the Year.
Saint Mary’s Gaels Coach
In 2001, Bennett was hired by Saint Mary’s College of California and made his head coaching debut. Bennett raised his team’s win-loss records every year up to 2004-05, when Saint Mary’s went 25-9 and earned a spot in the NCAA tournament.
In 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2017, 2019, and 2022, Bennett has guided Saint Mary’s to the NCAA Tournament. As well as the National Invitation Tournament in 2009, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2021.
Bennett has been connected to various coaching positions in bigger profile leagues in recent years as a result of his performance. Nevertheless, Coach Bennett extended his contract with the Saint Mary’s Gaels by ten years, until 2026–2027.
The NCAAB favorites, Saint Mary’s Gaels, have made 11 NCAA tournament appearances. They have won 6 out of the 11 appearances they have made. The last win was in the last 2022 season against the Indiana Hoosiers.
In addition to that, the Gaels have also competed in 7 National Invitation Tournaments as well. Although, they have seen great success within this competition since they started competing in 2009. They have reached the quarter-finals in 6 out of the 7 tournaments they have gone to.
The University Credit Union Pavilion, which seats 3,500 people, is the home court of the Saint Mary’s volleyball and basketball teams. George R. McKeon, a longtime leader of the college’s Board of Regents, was honored with its original name.
The stadium was originally built in 1978, but in the summer of 2006, renovations were made. New additions included repainted bleachers, updated chair back seats behind the reserved area, a remodeled VIP area, and a banner with the word “Gael Force ” behind the student section.
The venue’s new name as of 2019 is University Credit Union Pavilion.
Saint Mary Gaels Rivalries
Two additional Catholic institutions in the San Francisco Bay Area who are members of the WCC are the Santa Clara Broncos and the San Francisco Dons. They have been Saint Mary’s Gaels two main opponents throughout history.
Additionally, the Gonzaga University Bulldogs of Spokane, Washington, and the Saint Mary’s Gaels have grown to be rivals in more recent times.
Saint Mary’s Gaels have had a varied history so far, yet they are a basketball team to watch out for. Their success is thanks to their coach, who will be staying with them for another 10 years. Keep a look-out for how they do in the next season!