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St. Mary's Gaels

1. That Confusing Nickname. Saint Mary's, out of the West Coast Conference (aka Gonzaga's Conference) cannot be found on a map by many (or any?) but is 20 miles from Oakland and San Francisco in the hills of the East Bay. They may suffer from having the most confusing name in college basketball. To Clarify, a Gael is not a bird, nor a storm, nor wizard, it is a Scottish or Irish knight who fought on foot.

2. Mate! A big part of the Gaels' success and media recognition this year can be accredited to the country that has given us Mel Gibson, Marion Jones' Olympic platform, Andrew Bogut and Corey Delany Washington. That's right, the Land Down Under continues to impact the American landscape. Patrick Mills, a freshman Aussie Aboriginal point guard has attracted a lot of attention this year, not only for being second native Australian (after his uncle) to play for his country's Olympic team but for ROASTING Oregon for 37 points early in the year. He was named All-Conference, All-Freshman, All-Around popular kid. He's been supplemented by big impact from backup point, Carlin Hughes, and athletic forward Lucas Walker, both Aussie transfers from Montana St. Billings. Redshirting is Indiana transfer Ben Allen. Next year the Gaels will run 4 Aussies at once at times. (Be afraid Gonzaga, be very afraid.) And true to stereotype, they are a people that like to have fun. (Be afraid Campus Police, be very afraid.) Regardless of what you may have heard (in the previous paragraph), they have more than Men from the Land DownUnder. Local talent Diamon Simpson, a junior, was named first team All-Conference this week. He's only 6-7 but is so long...7 footer's wingspan. He works extremely hard on the glass, blocks shots, and usually can out-quick his matchup on the block. Omar Samhan, 6-10 center and Honorable Mention All-Conference, is another local product; he has a great touch around the rim and also works extremely hard underneath. What he doesn't have is athleticism so if the Gaels face a team with some athleticism and size to match, he's pretty ineffective.


3. Problems Around. For those you looking here for insider bracket help — you're better off picking based on mascots if you're turning here for insider analysis — a few criticisms that might be helpful: St. Mary's really prefers a faster paced game where they can spread the floor and get early shots, they really struggle when the game slows down (76.3 pts/game average yet scoring 61.2 pts/game in loses). Also, no statistics to back it up, but teams that bang on the perimeter are terrible match-ups for Gaels (i.e. Southern Illinois, Kent State losses). Lastly, and not to be a dick, but they don't make in-game adjustments. — Matt O'Leary

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