OK, back with a short notebook that will run in Saturday's S-R. And at the bottom more items to complete my day-after Santa Clara post. The links: S-R gamer early edition and late edition, San Francisco and Contra Costa Times. Find recaps of the four WCC games Thursday here.
FIRST, THE UNEDITED NOTES FOR FRIDAY'S S-R:
Matt Bouldin, Steven Gray and Elias Harris have been the cornerstones of Gonzaga’s offense most of the season, but they’re carrying a heavier burden through six West Coast Conference games. All three have raised their scoring averages in Gonzaga’s 6-0 conference start. They’re responsible for 69.1 percent of GU’s WCC points compared to 53.1 percent in 14 non-conference games.
In Thursday’s comeback victory over
Still, there’s room for others to contribute. The next opportunity comes tonight when Gonzaga faces
“It kind of has been (those three),” head coach Mark Few said. “Rob (Sacre) has to get going here. We’re trying to get him some touches. We need to stick with him and I think he’ll break out pretty soon. We’ve been looking. We tried Bol (Kong), we tried ‘Meech’ (Demetri Goodson), Manny (Arop), and (Thursday) it was Manny.”
It was Grant Gibbs chipping in eight points and six rebounds against Loyola Marmount last Saturday. All of Olynyk’s six points and three rebounds came in the second half of Thursday’s win. He also had seven points against LMU.
Arop was effective at both ends of the court against
Sacre, who delivered a key jump hook in the closing minutes, has yet to reach double figures in a WCC game after averaging 12.3 in the non conference. Goodson’s non-conference scoring average of 6.9 has dropped to 5.2 in the WCC. Kong has scored three points or less in five of six conference games.
Gonzaga had 12 turnovers in the first half against the aggressive Broncos. The Bulldogs were better in the second half, finishing the game with 17 turnovers while making 48.1 percent of their shots.
“I need to quit talking about stuff like that the prior week,” Few said. “I told the guys we’re shooting 50 percent, eighth best in the country and the only thing that stops us is when we get careless with the ball. So we promptly went out and turned it over 12 times. Part of it was silly, not making easy plays, and the other part was just not being tough. We were kind of panicking against double teams. We were getting shoved around and they were just physically taking the ball from us.”
AND MORE DAY-AFTER NOTES...
--Just before tip-off a moment of silence was observed for Dan Fitzgerald, the former Gonzaga basketball coach who died last week. Fitz played baseball at
--Saw Matt Bouldin in the hotel lobby this morning and asked him how he was doing. “Sore,” came his reply.
Bouldin took everything but a standing eight count on Thursday night. He was knocked off his feet on a breakaway late in the first half. He eventually made both free throws. A few minutes later, he was popped in the mouth.
“I feel like I’ve never got hit that many times in my life,” he said.
Bouldin played 40 minutes for the third time in six WCC games.
--Steven Gray got poked in the right eye and was temporarily seeing double.
“It was weird,” he said. “I tried to squint, (but) I was seeing two baskets. That’s first time that’s happened. Jen (Nyland, GU trainer) said we’ll rinse it out and give it a little time and it should get back to normal.”
One minute of game time later, Gray was back on the floor. A minute after that, he drained a 3-pointer as GU closed within 64-63.
--As mentioned in one of the two game stories I filed (the one filed just after the final buzzer and not the one about an hour later), strange is the norm for Gonzaga when it plays at the
Thursday’s game had its share of odd occurrences, from Gray’s double vision to Gonzaga’s rally from a 14-point second-half deficit. GU outscored the Broncos 18-3 in the last 9 minutes and 12-0 in the final 5-plus minutes.
“They come out and play hard,” Bouldin said of SCU in the
--Stats of note: Elias Harris had 14 rebounds; nobody else had more than 3. Gonzaga won the glass, 32-26. Bouldin had 19 points, six assists and four steals. GU made 18 of 24 free throws (75 percent).
Bouldin on what he was thinking in the final five minutes: “Really just make the right play. We were thinking about getting stops and scoring, close that gap and keep the lead when we had it. I was just thinking win.”
Few on what he expects at
Gray on the defensive turnaround in the second half: “We really focused on getting stops because we were in the bonus on offense. If we just continued attacking the basket, we’ll be fine there. It was a matter of not allowing them to score, making it tough and hitting the boards hard.”
Gray on GU’s first-half turnovers: “The coaches warned us what it was going to be like. A few of the guys who have played in these types of games here understand
Few on crazy games at the
Few on Harris, who tweaked his ankle: “I’m sure he’ll be sore (Friday), but the fact that he got back in and played on it, that helps.”