MORAGA -- Eran Ganot will serve as acting head coach for the Saint Mary's College men's basketball team while Randy Bennett serves a five-game suspension.

Ganot, an assistant in his fourth consecutive year at Saint Mary's, will coach the Gaels beginning with Monday's West Coast Conference opener at Pacific, a school official confirmed.

Bennett must sit out five games as part of NCAA sanctions levied on the program last spring for rules violations. Ganot will also lead the Gaels for road contests at Gonzaga and Pacific and home games against William Jessup and Santa Clara.

Bennett also is prohibited from attending practices, contact with players and any other head coaching duties during the suspension, which begins Monday at midnight (late Sunday night).

Bennett's suspension ends at midnight after the Gaels' Jan. 9 game against Santa Clara. His first game back will be against San Francisco at home on Jan. 11.

Ganot, who also coached at Saint Mary's from 2003-2006 before a four-year stint at Hawaii, is the program's longest tenured assistant.



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