Saint Mary’s Mr. Big Shot Matthew Dellavedova
by Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Dellavedova says he wants to be a teacher after he finishes his basketball playing career.
Unfortunately for the Saint Mary’s standout guard, making clutch buzzer beaters won’t be a subject available for him to teach in his native Australia.
Dellavedova’s half-court heave with two seconds left gave the Gaels’ a stunning 70-69 win over West Coast Conference rival Brigham Young on Jan. 16 for one of the year’s best buzzer-beaters.
“I’m still kind of stunned I made it,” Dellavedova said, having seen highlights of the video.
On Thursday night, BYU (20-8) gets a rematch with Saint Mary’s (22-5) in a clash between the West Coast’s two NCAA tournament bubble teams. League-leader Gonzaga is ranked No. 3 in the country and has beaten the Gaels twice after being the Zags in last year’s West Coast Conference Tournament championship.
This year, Saint Mary’s is as close to the NCAA tournament bubble as a team can get with a 49 RPI ranking and 17 of its wins coming against opponents in the top 150. That means there isn’t much room for any type of resume stain.
Dellavedova, who averages 15.8 points and 6.4 assists, brings an international style to Saint Mary’s roster having played for the Australian senior national team. As a senior, his primary focus is getting his team back to the Big Dance. An early exit from a three-point loss to Purdue in last year’s second round still resonates with Dellavedova.
Dellavedova on his playing style:
“I think playing internationally has helped me (develop) fast. I’m comfortable off pick and rolls and that comes from playing against grown men who know how to play the game. I just try to control the game the best I can, getting my teammates open and leadership-wise making sure everyone’s doing their job.
Dellavedova on his plans after leaving Saint Mary’s:
“The ultimate goal is to play in the NBA.”
Dellavedova on Saint Mary’s being on the NCAA tournament bubble:
“I think we need to keep getting better in certain (areas) on defense, rebounding the ball. We can’t think about the (NCAA) tournament now. … [For more on Mid-Major Player Diary: Saint Mary's Mr. Big Shot Matthew Dellavedova, click here.]