Saint Mary’s will become a true frontrunner for the WCC title and make a strong case for a significantly high NCAA seed over the next two weeks.
Or the Gaels will settle back into the WCC pack and have to sweat it out a bit on Selection Sunday.
They’re scorching right now at 19-2 overall, including 8-0 in the WCC. Saint Mary’s has already beat newcomer BYU and rival/favorite Gonzaga. And the Gaels did it handily, defeating the Cougars by 16 and the Zags by 21.
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Saint Mary’s has signed coach Randy Bennett to a new 10-year deal, the school announced Friday.
Bennett has been at the school since 2001 and coached the Gaels to three NCAA tournament appearances, including a Sweet 16 in 2010.
Bennett has also led the Gaels to two NIT appearances and a first-place finish in the WCC.
Bennett interviewed for the vacant Utah job last spring but withdrew. He has spurned other offers to pursue jobs.
“I’m really thankful to Mark Orr, Brother President Ronald Gallagher and the Saint Mary’s administration for their support and for providing me the opportunity to continue to serve such a great institution,” Bennett said in a statement. “We’ve had great players and assistant coaches who have put a lot of effort into building the program to a level where we can maintain success and continue to build on it. We have great student-athletes, a supportive administration and enthusiastic student and community support for our program. My family and I enjoy being at Saint Mary’s and living in such a supportive and positive community.”