Make that a long day after San Diego.
Adventures in travel, part 9,635: Up before 5 a.m., bumped off one flight for mechanical issues only to board another flight that was delayed 30 minutes by, you guessed it, mechanical issues. So I worked my way home through
Read on for more from Gonzaga’s businesslike 68-50 win over
--Gonzaga coach Mark Few didn’t mind saying he “feels really good” after sweeping three road games to open the WCC campaign, not to mention how his team stocked with newcomers has handled the season to this point.
“What I’ve thrown at them, I thought it was going to be overwhelming when we saw how young we were on Oct. 15th,” he said. “Just the basic structure of our transition game was overwhelming for some of our new guys. Usually we just blow into that and we’re into our sets by the third practice. When you’re teaching help-side defense and ball-you-man in the third practice and staring at
“But that can change in a week, so check back with me.”
--Demetri Goodson had one of his best offensive outings of the season. He scored 12 points, dished out five assists and even swatted a shot. He made his first 3-pointer in nine games (
The Toreros’ Matt Dorr backed off Goodson, who nailed the 3 from the right wing.
“I was trying to look for (open) guys, but also just cut and make it hard for guys to sag off me,” Goodson said.
Said Few: “Meech was great. We knew (
--I was sitting probably 20 feet from Elias Harris when he fell hard to the court with 5:44 remaining in the contest. Harris’ right hip and lower back took the brunt of the fall and he was clearly in pain, grimacing as trainer Jen Nyland and Few came onto the court.
Harris limped to the bench and sat for two minutes before returning. He quickly made two field goals to finish with 20 points.
“They asked me if I could play and I said, ‘Yeah, it was still warm,’ ” he said.
Harris said he was tightening up a bit in the locker room afterward.
--Matt Bouldin had one of his quietest offensive nights of the season. He finished with six points and three assists. His season low was four points against Duke and Augustana (he suffered a concussion in the latter and didn’t seem quite at full speed in the former).
His lone first-half field goal was a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left that boosted GU’s lead to 33-22. His only second-half field goal was a reverse layup with 90 seconds remaining.
“He can hurt you in a lot of ways,” Few said. “We didn’t get to post him as much as we’d like, but with his passing and the way he’s been shooting the ball … he’s a great play-maker.”
--Harris had two assists, equaling his season high, and Sacre had a career-best three assists. The two were generally effective against USD double teams, either scoring or finding open teammates
--All five starters logged at least 30 minutes. Bouldin played 38 minutes after not missing a second in GU’s first two WCC games. Bol Kong led the bench minutes with 20. He had five rebounds and his 3-pointer extended Gonzaga’s lead to 10 with 13:05 left.
The Toreros struggled to score inside and outside. They made just 1 of 15 3s. Their interior players had a couple of putbacks, but not much else against Sacre, Harris, Kong and Kelly Olynyk.
“We’ve had several games where we shot over 50 percent, it’s just been a while,” said Grier, the former GU assistant. “The shots we took, a lot of them were tough and they had a lot to do with that. I thought two things really hurt us: Defensive transition and shot selection. Brandon (Johnson) and De’Jon (
Added Grier: “Gonzaga’s length and size inside, we just had a tough time, other than penetration occasionally. Our bigs really had a tough time in there.”
--Few had some fun when a San Diego-area reporter phrased a question by saying Gonzaga had already defeated the main contenders (
--The potential for a letdown was obvious after Gonzaga had defeated
“They’re a scrappy team and they do everything to stop you,” Harris said of
Goodson wasn’t worried. “The guys were jumping around in the locker room ready to play,” he said. “We knew this was big for our team. In practice (Friday), guys were focused.”
Goodson on Harris’ fall: “I was kind of scared. Hopefully he’s not hurt. He’s a tough kid.”
Few on Gonzaga’s offensive execution through 17 games: “Through the whole journey we’ve been on we’ve spent a pretty good percentage of that time being efficient offensively. It’s just those bouts with turnovers that have hurt us.”
Goodson on returning to play in the
Grier on GU’s transition offense: “They are so good in transition if you don’t concentrate for 40 minutes, they’re going to make you pay at some point in the game.” The Bulldogs did that twice in a 60-second span as Goodson found Steven Gray for open 3-pointers.