Picking the two "All-Time Teams" of the Randy Bennett/Mark Few Era

 The Gaels celebrate after beating Villanova in the 2010 Tournament to punch their ticket to the Sweet 16. (photo by Jim Rogash)

The Gaels celebrate after beating Villanova in the 2010 Tournament to punch their ticket to the Sweet 16. (photo by Jim Rogash)

By Connor Buestad | Connor@Section925.com

Right around the turn of the millennium, in a couple of poorly lit gyms in the all-Jesuit West Coast Conference, the programs at St. Mary's College and Gonzaga University found a spark. For Gonzaga, the fire was found under coach Dan Monson, who was hired in Spokane in 1997. In just two seasons, Monson (assisted by Mark Few) laid the groundwork for an unforgettable run in the 1999 NCAA tournament behind the leadership of Matt Santangelo and Casey Calvary along with the sweet shooting of Richie Frahm. 

For Moraga, the flame was lit by Ernie Kent, who rode "Big Continent" Brad Millard and David Sivulich to an NCAA tournament birth in 1997 where they would face off with Tim Duncan and Wake Forest. 

By the fall of 2001, both the Zags and Gaels had welcomed in new coaches with the inflated dreams of somehow turning their tiny schools into major stalwarts of college basketball. With Mark Few at the helm at Gonzaga, and Randy Bennett at St. Mary's, basketball fans have been treated to a steady rise in both programs. Every year, the two schools play each other at least twice and usually a third time in the WCC tournament championship. The rivalry, once lopsided and predictable, has turned into what announcers love calling, "the best college basketball rivalry on the west coast." 

For roughly the last 20 years, both Few and Bennett have recruited some of the most colorful, fun-to-watch players in the world to come to their campuses and battle it out for the all-important WCC automatic bid each year. Section925 decided to take a look back and compile and "All-Time Team" that has played for each coach. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. 

Randy Bennett's Saint Mary's Gaels

Starting 5:

1.     Matthew Dellavedova

2.     Mickey McConnell 

3.     Patty Mills

4.     Omar Samhan 

5.     Jock Landale

Bench:

1.     Daniel Kickert

2.    Adam Caporn

3.    E.J. Rowland

4.    Diamon Simpson

5.    Paul Marigney 

6.    Stephen holt

7.     Emmett Naar

Honorable mention:

Mitchell Young

Rob Jones

Joe Rahon

Clint Steindl 

 Richie Frahm and Gonzaga beat Stanford in 1999 to go to their first ever Sweet 16. (photo by Robert Beck)

Richie Frahm and Gonzaga beat Stanford in 1999 to go to their first ever Sweet 16. (photo by Robert Beck)

 

Mark Few's Gonzaga Bulldogs

Staring 5:

1.     Matt Santangelo 

2.    Kevin Pangos  

3.     Adam Morrison 

4.     Ronny Turiaf

5.     Przemek Karnowski

Bench:

1. Dan Dickau 

2. Casey Calvary 

3. Robert Sacre

4. Nigel Williams-Goss

5. Derek Raivio

6. Kelly Olynk

7. Richie Frahm 

Honorable Mention:

Cory Violette

J.P. Batista

Jeremy Pargo

Josh Heytvelt

Matt Bouldin

Elias Harris

Kyle Wiltjer