McKeon Pavilion

Common criticism of the gym, including by students, is its age and size. It is one of the smaller gyms in the West Coast Conference. The seating is mainly along two sides, running along the long sides of the court. Behind one basket is a large wall, and behind another a handful of elevated, VIP seats. Seating is mostly bleacher-style, not stadium style. However, many feel that the small size of the gym adds to the intensity of the crowd at sold-out games, when the cheers of 3,500 fans are amplified due to the small space. Because of this, McKeon Pavilion is considered by many to be one of the tougher gyms to play in for an opposing team. Current athletic director Mark Orr has said there are design plans that would knock out the front and back walls of the gym, adding 1,000 seats, but there is not yet funding for the project.[1]

With gym renovations years away, the college has made several upgrades to the facility. Prior to the 2005-2006 season new floors were installed. Before the 2006-2007 season, the lower level reserved seating (directly behind the benches) was changed from bleachers to stadium-style seats with backs. The bleachers in the student section (also known as Gaelforce) - opposite the benches - were painted dark blue. Large banners were hung from the railings separating the upper and lower seating sections, reading "Saint Mary's College" behind the reserved seating and "Gaelforce" behind the student section.

In the 21st century, the arena's culture has increasingly reflected the Gaels' strong Australian connections, with at least one Australian player on the men's basketball roster in each season since 2001–02 (among them current NBA players Patty Mills and Matthew Dellavedova) and a program record of seven in the 2016–17 season.[2] The student section has been filled with Australian flags,[3][4] a large Australian flag is now prominently displayed on a back wall of the arena, and the student section regularly responds to big plays with the "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie" chant.[2]

In recent memory, the gym has seen the 2001 women's basketball team and the 2005 men's basketball team reach the NCAA Tournament. The women's volleyball team has also achieved much success, reaching the post-season in 2004-2006. During the 2004-2005 season the men's basketball team posted a 15-1 record in their home gym en route to a bubble NCAA tournament berth. On January 8, 2005, the men's basketball team defeated West Coast Conference powerhouse Gonzaga University 89-81 in McKeon, ending a 17-game losing streak against the Zags and handing Gonzaga its first conference loss in 17 games.

It opened January 21, 1978. It is the largest enclosed arena in Contra Costa County.[5]

McKeon Pavilion
McKeon Pavilion interior
Location1928 Saint Marys Road, Moraga, California
OwnerSaint Mary's College of California
OperatorSaint Mary's College of California
Capacity3,500
OpenedJanuary 21, 1978
Tenants
Saint Mary's Gaels (NCAA)

Coordinates: 37°50′28″N 122°06′23″W / 37.841247°N 122.106409°W McKeon Pavilion is a 3,500 seat multi-purpose arena at Saint Mary's College of California in Moraga, California. Home men's and women's basketball and volleyball games are held in the gymnasium, the team nickname being the Gaels. Many athletic camps for youths also use the gym, primarily in the summer, and other on-campus events, such as the Baccalaureate mass, are also held there. Banners commemorating successful seasons, championships and post-season appearances for all Saint Mary's sports hang on the back wall. At well-attended games, the court-level bleachers opposite the benches are reserved entirely for students.

See also

References

  1. ^ Jeff Faraudo (2010-01-12). "Randy Bennett is deeply rooted at Saint Mary's College". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved 2010-01-16.
  2. ^ a b Brown, C. L. (October 21, 2016). "Saint Mary's Australian connection keeps growing". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  3. ^ Glockner, Andy (2007-12-12). "Aboriginal hoops star putting face on St. Mary's". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2007-12-13.
  4. ^ Katz, Andy (2007-12-13). "AIS preps Aussies, keeps them eligible for U.S. college life". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2007-12-14.
  5. ^ "McKeon Pavilion, home of the men's and women's basketball teams". WCCSports.com. West Coast Conference. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
2009–10 Saint Mary's Gaels men's basketball team

The 2009–10 Saint Mary's Gaels men's basketball team represented Saint Mary's College of California in the 2009–10 college basketball season. This was head coach Randy Bennett's ninth season at Saint Mary's. The Gaels compete in the West Coast Conference and played their home games at the McKeon Pavilion. They finished conference play with a record of 11–3 to place second. They were the champions of the 2010 West Coast Conference Men's Basketball Tournament and received the conference's automatic bid to the 2010 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament where they were a 10 seed in the South Region. Their first round win over 7 seed Richmond was the school's first tournament win since beating Idaho State in 1959. They continued their success by knocking off 2 seed and AP #9 Villanova to advance to the Sweet Sixteen where they would fall to 3 seed and AP #19 Baylor to end their season 28–6

2010–11 Saint Mary's Gaels men's basketball team

The 2010–11 Saint Mary's Gaels men's basketball team represented Saint Mary's College of California in the 2010–11 college basketball season. This was head coach Randy Bennett's tenth season at Saint Mary's. The Gaels competed in the West Coast Conference and played their home games at the McKeon Pavilion. They finished the season 25–9, 11–3 in WCC play to tie with Gonzaga for the regular season conference title. They advanced to the championship game of the 2011 West Coast Conference Men's Basketball Tournament before losing to Gonzaga. As a regular season champion who failed to win their conference tournament, the Gaels earned an automatic bid in the 2011 National Invitation Tournament where they were upset in the first round by Kent State.

2011–12 Saint Mary's Gaels men's basketball team

The 2011–12 Saint Mary's Gaels men's basketball team represented Saint Mary's College of California in the 2011–12 college basketball season. This was head coach Randy Bennett's eleventh season at Saint Mary's. The Gaels compete in the West Coast Conference and played their home games at the McKeon Pavilion. They finished the season 27–6, 14–2 in WCC play to be crowned West Coast Conference regular season champions. They were also champions of the West Coast Basketball Tournament to earn the conference's automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Tournament where they lost in the second round to Purdue.

2012–13 Saint Mary's Gaels men's basketball team

The 2012–13 Saint Mary's Gaels men's basketball team represented Saint Mary's College of California during the 2012–13 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. This was head coach Randy Bennett's twelfth season at Saint Mary's. The Gaels competed in the West Coast Conference and played their home games at the McKeon Pavilion. They finished the season 28–7, 14–2 in WCC play to finish in second place. They advanced to the championship game of the WCC Tournament where they lost to Gonzaga. They received an at-large bid to the 2013 NCAA Tournament where they defeated Middle Tennessee in the first four-round before falling in the second round to Memphis.

2012–13 Saint Mary's Gaels women's basketball team

The 2012–13 Saint Mary's Gaels women's basketball team represented Saint Mary's College of California in the 2012–13 college basketball season. It was head coach Paul Thomas's seventh season at Saint Mary's. The Gaels, members of the West Coast Conference, played their home games at the McKeon Pavilion. They finished the season at 23–11, 11–5 in conference play, and clinched the #3 seed in the WCC Tourney. After losing in the semifinals of the WCC Tournament, Saint Mary's was invited to participate in the 2013 Women's National Invitation Tournament, where they advanced to the quarterfinal round before being eliminated.

2013–14 Saint Mary's Gaels men's basketball team

The 2013–14 Saint Mary's Gaels men's basketball team represented Saint Mary's College of California during the 2013–14 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. This was head coach Randy Bennett's thirteenth season at Saint Mary's. The Gaels competed in the West Coast Conference and played their home games at the McKeon Pavilion. They finished the season 23–12, 11–7 in WCC play to finish in fourth place. They advanced to the semifinals of the WCC Tournament where they lost to Gonzaga. They were invited to the National Invitation Tournament where they defeated Utah in the first round before losing in the second round to Minnesota.

2013–14 Saint Mary's Gaels women's basketball team

The 2013–14 Saint Mary's Gaels women's basketball team represented Saint Mary's College of California in the 2013–14 college basketball season. It was head coach Paul Thomas's eighth season at Saint Mary's. The Gaels, members of the West Coast Conference, played their home games at the McKeon Pavilion. They would finish the season 23–10, tying for fourth in the conference and making the WNIT.

2014–15 Saint Mary's Gaels men's basketball team

The 2014–15 Saint Mary's Gaels men's basketball team represented Saint Mary's College of California during the 2014–15 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. This was head coach Randy Bennett's fourteenth season at Saint Mary's. The Gaels competed in the West Coast Conference and played their home games at the McKeon Pavilion. They finished the season 21–10, 13–5 in WCC play to finish in a tie for second place. They lost in the quarterfinals of the WCC Tournament to Portland. They were invited to the National Invitation Tournament where they lost in the first round to Vanderbilt.

2014–15 Saint Mary's Gaels women's basketball team

The 2014–15 Saint Mary's Gaels women's basketball team will represent Saint Mary's College of California in the 2014–15 college basketball season. It was head coach Paul Thomas's ninth season at Saint Mary's. The Gaels, members of the West Coast Conference, play their home games at the McKeon Pavilion. They finished the season 23–11, 13–5 in WCC play to finish in a tie for third place. They lost in the quarterfinals of the WCC Women's Basketball Tournament to BYU. They were invited to the Women's National Invitation Tournament where they defeated Hawaii in the first round, Fresno State in the second round and Sacramento State in the third round before losing to UCLA in the quarterfinals.

2015–16 Saint Mary's Gaels men's basketball team

The 2015–16 Saint Mary's Gaels men's basketball team represented Saint Mary's College of California during the 2015–16 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. This was head coach Randy Bennett's fifteenth season at Saint Mary's. The Gaels competed in the West Coast Conference and played their home games at the McKeon Pavilion. They finished the season 29–6, 15–3 in WCC play to win a share of the WCC regular season conference championship. They defeated Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine to advance to the championship game of the WCC Tournament where they lost to Gonzaga. As a regular season conference champion, and #1 seed in their conference tournament, who failed to win their conference tournament, they received an automatic bid to the National Invitation Tournament. As a #2 seed, they defeated New Mexico State and Georgia to advance to the quarterfinals where they lost to before losing to Valparaiso.

2015–16 Saint Mary's Gaels women's basketball team

The 2015–16 Saint Mary's Gaels women's basketball team will represent Saint Mary's College of California in the 2015–16 college basketball season. It will be head coach Paul Thomas's tenth season at Saint Mary's. The Gaels, members of the West Coast Conference, play their home games at the McKeon Pavilion. They finished the season 24–8, 14–4 in WCC play to finish in second place. They advanced to the semifinals of the WCC Women's Basketball Tournament where they lost to San Francisco. They were invited to the Women's National Invitation Tournament where they lost to Eastern Michigan in the first round.

2016–17 Saint Mary's Gaels men's basketball team

The 2016–17 Saint Mary's Gaels men's basketball team represented Saint Mary's College of California during the 2016–17 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. This was head coach Randy Bennett's 16th season at Saint Mary's. The Gaels competed in the West Coast Conference and played their home games at the McKeon Pavilion in Moraga, California. They finished the season 29–5, 16–2 in WCC play to finish in second place. In the WCC Tournament, they defeated Portland and BYU before losing to Gonzaga in the championship game. They received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. As the No. 7 seed in the West region, they beat VCU in the First Round before losing to No. 2-seeded Arizona in the Second Round.

2016–17 Saint Mary's Gaels women's basketball team

The 2016–17 Saint Mary's Gaels women's basketball team represented Saint Mary's College of California in the 2016–17 NCAA Division I women's basketball season. The Gales, led by eleventh year head coach Paul Thomas, played their home games at the McKeon Pavilion and were members of the West Coast Conference. They finished the season 20–13, 13–5 in WCC play to finish in a tie for second place. They advanced to the championship game of the WCC Women's Tournament where they lost to Gonzaga. They received an at-large bid to the WNIT where they lost to Colorado State in the first round.

2017–18 Saint Mary's Gaels men's basketball team

The 2017–18 Saint Mary's Gaels men's basketball team represented Saint Mary's College of California during the 2017–18 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The team was led by head coach Randy Bennett in his 17th season at Saint Mary's. The Gaels played their home games at the McKeon Pavilion in Moraga, California as members of the West Coast Conference. They finished the season 30–6, 16–2 in West Coast Conference play to finish in second place. As the No. 2 seed in the WCC Tournament, they defeated Pepperdine in the quarterfinals before losing to BYU in the semifinals. They were one of the last four teams not selected for the NCAA Tournament and as a result earned a No. 1 seed in the National Invitation Tournament where they defeated Southeastern Louisiana in the first round and Washington in the second round before losing to Utah in the quarterfinals.

2017–18 Saint Mary's Gaels women's basketball team

The 2017–18 Saint Mary's Gaels women's basketball team represents Saint Mary's College of California in the 2017–18 NCAA Division I women's basketball season. The Gales, led by twelfth year head coach Paul Thomas, play their home games at the McKeon Pavilion and were members of the West Coast Conference. They finished the season 20–11, 13–5 in WCC play to finish in second place. They lost in the quarterfinals of the WCC Women's Tournament to Pacific. They received an automatic bid to the Women's National Invitation Tournament where they lost to New Mexico in the first round.

2018–19 Saint Mary's Gaels men's basketball team

The 2018–19 Saint Mary's Gaels men's basketball team represents Saint Mary's College of California during the 2018–19 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The team is led by head coach Randy Bennett in his 18th season at Saint Mary's. The Gaels play their home games at the McKeon Pavilion in Moraga, California as members of the West Coast Conference.

2018–19 Saint Mary's Gaels women's basketball team

The 2018–19 Saint Mary's Gaels women's basketball team represents Saint Mary's College of California in the 2018–19 NCAA Division I women's basketball season. The Gales, led by thirteenth year head coach Paul Thomas, play their home games at the McKeon Pavilion and are members of the West Coast Conference.

Saint Mary's Gaels men's basketball

The Saint Mary's Gaels men's basketball team represents Saint Mary's College in Moraga, California, competing in the West Coast Conference of the NCAA. The team plays home games in the McKeon Pavilion, capacity 3,500; it is one of the smaller gyms in the WCC. The current head coach is Randy Bennett, who is the school's all-time wins leader. The Gaels have appeared in nine NCAA Tournaments—1959, 1989, 1997, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2017.

On March 1, 2013, they were placed on probation by the NCAA for four years due to rules violations.Their two historic rivals are the San Francisco Dons and the Santa Clara Broncos, two other Catholic schools in the San Francisco Bay Area that are in the WCC. More recently, the Saint Mary's Gaels have developed a rivalry with the Gonzaga University Bulldogs of Spokane, Washington. Many analysts and members of the media have touted the Gaels vs. Zags as one of the best, if not the best, college basketball rivalry on the West Coast.

Saint Mary's Gaels women's basketball

The Saint Mary's Gaels women's basketball team represents Saint Mary's College in Moraga, California, competing in the West Coast Conference of the NCAA. The team plays home games in the McKeon Pavilion. They compete in the West Coast Conference.

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