A roundup of Gonzaga items, including a third member of the 2009 recruiting class. The Bulldogs bid goodbye to 2008 tonight against Utah in Salt Lake City.
—The newest Zag commitment is Elias Harris, a bouncy 6-foot-7, 215-pound wing from Speyer, Germany. He joins Mangisto Arop, a 6-foot-5 wing from Canada, and Sam Dower, a 6-9 forward from Minnesota, in the 2009 class.
There isn’t a ton of information known about Harris, but he’s apparently one of the top young prospects in Germany. One person I talked to compared Harris’ athleticism to ex-Bulldog Erroll Knight, with the ability to slash from the wing. The 19-year-old Harris plays in Germany’s third division and has had numerous options to play throughout Europe.
According to one article, Harris has played power or strong forward much of his career, but is transitioning to small forward, which requires better ball-handling and an expanded shooting range. He also is guarding smaller, quicker players, which hasn’t presented a problem for Harris thus far. One set of on-line statistics had Harris averaging 19.1 points and 8.2 rebounds.
Harris’ dad apparently lives in Houston. Harris has yet to qualify academically and he hasn’t visited Gonzaga’s campus. He’s expected to visit Spokane sometime in the near future.
—Some game-related notes that caught my eye. Lost in Portland State’s upset win over Gonzaga was the fact that Jeremy Pargo quietly reached two milestones. He became the 30th Zag to reach 1,000 career points (he’s at 1,004) and he’s the fourth player in school history to surpass 500 career assists (he’s at 501).
—Austin Daye is in a mini shooting slump. He’s just 10 of 26 in Gonzaga’s last two games, 1 of 5 on 3-pointers. Daye has 80 career blocks, tied with Mark Spink for sixth in school history. Josh Heytvelt has 77 blocks, sharing eighth place with Abdullahi Kuso.
—Matt Bouldin has 21 steals this season, nearly two per game. At his current pace, he’ll crack GU’s top 10 list by the end of the year. Bouldin had 26 points against Utah last season.
—Gonzaga has dropped back-to-back regular-season games for just the seventh time in Mark Few’s 10 years as head coach. GU’s longest losing streak in Few’s tenure is four in 2007.
—Utah has lost four of its last six games. This is the Utes’ second game against a top 20 foe. The first didn’t go too well as Oklahoma, which lost for the first time Tuesday night, pounded Utah 70-52.
—The Utes bring two of their best scorers off the bench in Tyler Kepkay and Shaun Green. The theory is Utah starts a more defensive-minded first five, then has scoring punch when it goes to the bench.
—Luke Nevill, a Ray Giacoletti recruit, has won consecutive Mountain West Conference player of the week honors. Utah has five seniors, three juniors and three sophomores, all brought in by Giacoletti. Eight of the top 10 in Utah’s rotation are Giacoletti recruits. The Utes won 18 games a year ago.
—Utah is 6-16 in games decided by 5 points or less the last three seasons.