I've traveled home, had the requisite number of computer issues, so I'll take another stab at getting this post off the ground. Lots of stuff to get to after Gonzaga's 78-73 win over San Francisco. Read on for the day-after USF post.
--Reserve guard Demetri ‘Meech’ Goodson was summoned soon after Jeremy Pargo’s second turnover, which came early in the first half.
Goodson quickly made a layup and a bank shot. He finished on the break after a nifty pass fake fooled a Dons defender. In between, Goodson had a steal and fed Pargo for a layup.
“I was just letting the game come to me,” he said. “In high school, I was a pretty good scorer. This team has so many good offensive players I’ve never really had to score. It just felt good tonight.”
Goodson surpassed his career high (eight points vs.
Goodson’s only point of the second half came at the foul line. He also drew a charging foul.
--Gonzaga was careless with the ball at the outset. Four different players had turnovers on GU’s first four possessions. The Bulldogs had 12 turnovers in the first half, leading to 18 USF points. The Zags were nearly turnover-free in the second half until committing three inside the final 3 minutes.
Pargo, Austin Daye and Josh Heytvelt each had four turnovers. Pargo has 12 assists and 14 turnovers the last three games, and it’s costing him some playing time. Goodson logged a season-high 25 minutes against USF.
“I lost the ball a couple times; the first one I got stripped, it was a pretty good defensive play actually,” Pargo said. “Another one was a dumb turnover (on an inbounds) pass (that) hit the backboard. We didn’t take care of the ball. As you saw last year, turnovers was one of our downfalls and it could come back to hurt us if we don’t clean it up.”
Head coach Mark Few was blunt with his assessment. “Some of our guys are starting games way too casual. I think they’re trying to get into a flow and get others into the flow, (and) it’s leading to casual passes and silly turnovers. We were really efficient, if we didn’t turn the ball over.
“Sixteen turnovers -- that’s too many. Jeremy has to quit turning the ball over. He’s just turning the ball over too much.”
Gonzaga has had more turnovers than assists in four of its last five games.
--Dons first-year coach Rex Walters has gone to a relaxed dress code. Walters and his staff wear bright yellow polo shirts during games for the last month or so because Walters wasn’t comfortable in a suit and tie. To complete the casual look, Walters didn’t tuck in his shirt.
--Gonzaga’s bench outscored
“Meech was terrific,” Few said. “And I thought Ira gave us some good minutes.”
Brown had four rebounds and a blocked shot. The block came with GU leading 55-51 and Brown capped the sequence on the other end with a transition bucket while getting fouled. He missed the free throw.
--Micah Downs returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Dec. 31 (
“I’ve played hard with a lot of passion and coach recognized that and rewarded it by putting me back in there,” said
--Gonzaga wore its new black uniforms for the second straight road game.
“We’re 2-0 (wearing them),” Daye said. “You gotta love them. It’s something different. I like it.”
“It’s kind of nice to have a change of colors from the blue and white,” Matt Bouldin said. “I like them.”
“It’s kind of tough getting into a rhythm on offense,” Bouldin said. “A lot of teams have been packing it in like that. It basically gets us out of rhythm if we’re not hitting from the outside.”
Gonzaga made 9 of 17 3s (52.9 percent).
“I think that’s six (games) in a row,” Few said. “It’s just one of those years.”
Few said Gonzaga’s intention was to take away 3s.
“Believe it or not, the plan was not to let them get 3s,” he said. “That’s all we covered in practice (Friday) and shootaround (Saturday). This group needs to do a better job of sticking to the plan. For most part, they have done that, and that’s why our defensive field-goal percentage has been low. But it seems like we’ve lost our way a little with that, with
--For the first time this season, Josh Heytvelt didn’t have a free-throw attempt. For just the second time this season, he didn’t have a 3-point attempt.
Pargo on USF’s 3-point shooting: “Anytime you have to deal with a team making 14 of 22 3s, it’s going to be a tough day. To their credit they played with a lot of energy. They didn’t have a lot of (crowd) support, but they created their own energy. They did some things we weren’t able to stop; they ran some shuffle cuts and some down screens that hurt us.”
Pargo on GU sticking together through various USF runs: “One of the things we could have done is break up and blamed each other for letting guys hit open shots, but we stuck together. That’s been one of the goals of this team, to stick together and not splinter. Sometimes we did that last year, and we did a good job of not letting that happen tonight.”
“We were kind of over-helping on defense. Guys would drive to the basket and we were helping on them too much and leaving their 3-point shooters open.”
Daye on Gonzaga’s 16 turnovers: “At one point our assist-to-turnover ratio was very good and now we’re struggling. We definitely have to get back on track, including me. I had a lot of turnovers I shouldn’t have had.”