Those familiar with this blog (and don’t forget about my updates at twitter.com/SRJimm) know the drill. Read on for my day-after Southern Oregon post.
—First chance I’ve had to visit with Elias Harris this season. The sophomore forward told me if GU had been playing
“I fell on my shoulder a little stupid in practice last week,” he said. “It’s a split AC joint, first degree, basically it’s badly bruised is what it is. It’s getting better and I’m starting to shoot again and I’m doing a lot of individual stuff. I just have to wait until that pinching is gone.”
Harris didn’t sound overly concerned. He has had shoulder issues in the past, but he said they were in his right shoulder and “not a big deal.”
Harris used the term ‘first degree.’ From what I found online, the severity of separation is defined by grade (grade 1 mild, grade 6 severe). More here.
—GU’s turnovers, especially in the first half, stacked up. The Bulldogs had 12 by half and finished with 17. David Stockton had five turnovers and nine of the 12 players to see time had at least one turnover. The bigs (Kelly Olynyk, Sam Dower and Rob Sacre) combined for five turnovers, including 2-3 sloppy outlet passes.
“This group has been pretty loose with the ball lately,” coach Mark Few said. “We talked about it and in the second half we did a much better job, until right there at the end.”
“It’s something we’ll be talking about all week, taking care of the ball,” said Manny Arop, who joined Mike Hart and Mathis Keita as the only Zags clean in the turnover column. “That’s the most devastating thing you can do on offense – turn the ball over. That’s very correctable. It’s making simple plays, not making 50-50 plays.”
Said Steven Gray: “Just not getting the angles as guards (to make entry passes to the post).”
—From the Don’t-Read-Too-Much-Into-This Dept., I’m sure it didn’t go unnoticed that Gray, Hart, Marquise Carter, Olynyk and Sacre comprised the starting five. It was an EXHIBITION GAME against an overmatched opponent, so experimentation is part of the deal and Few has said throughout the preseason that he’s trying to find more consistent guard play. He repeated that sentiment following the game. (And remember that Harris will fill one of the starting spots when he returns next week.)
“Mike (Hart) has been working really hard in practice and (Few) told me he wanted to mix things up and he wanted to see how I would respond to not starting,” Demetri Goodson said.
Goodson responded well, finishing with 12 points, seven boards, three assists and a steal. He dialed up the pace of the game and made his only 3-point attempt.
Goodson said the team “is very balanced. It’s not like my freshman year (when) that was a talented team that was going to go out and beat teams. We have to help each other out. Spots are still open and if someone isn’t playing good, then basically they’re not going to play.”
—Dower did what he does best, put the ball in the basket. He scored 17 points on 7 of 12 shooting, equaling Gray’s numbers exactly. The only difference: Gray was 1 of 2 on 3s, Dower 0 of 2.
“The offensive stuff, that’s what I do,” Dower said. “Really what I need to work on is my defense. That’s what’s going to get my minutes.”
Dower would have been a contributor a year ago, but he redshirted because there probably wasn’t going to be enough playing time to warrant burning a year of eligibility.
“Sam’s a scorer, has been since he came in last year,” Goodson said.
Few’s post-game thoughts
On Harris: “He hurt his shoulder probably 10 days ago. Just held him out, he’ll be ready to go next Friday.”
Overall impressions of the game: “There were some positives and some negatives, that’s kind of how exhibition games go.”
On Dower: “He’s had a good fall. There’s still a lot he can improve on, but he has a knack to score the basketball and certainly that’s something this team could use.”
On what GU will work on next week: “We need to get solidified who is going to help us on the perimeter, we need more consistent play out there. Obviously we need to get ‘E’ (Harris) back and that kind of changes the look of our team and who we are. And we have to take better care of the basketball.”
Stats of note
—Gray played the most minutes (24). Keegan Hyland played the fewest minutes (4); he was at the MAC working on his perimeter shot at 10 p.m. when I exited the building.
—GU was 17 of 24 at the foul line (70.8 percent), Sacre 5 of 6. GU made 9 of 11 FTs in the second half.
—Sacre 3 blocked shots, Hart 2.
—Gray team-leading 4 assists and 5 steals.
—GU drew at least four charging fouls (by Dower, Olynyk, Meech and
—Five different Zags made 3s, but the team shot just 26.3 percent from distance.