Day after LCSC

Gonzaga’s Kyle Dranginis drives to the basket on his way to 30 points to lead all scorers. (Jesse Tinsley)
Gonzaga’s Kyle Dranginis drives to the basket on his way to 30 points to lead all scorers. (Jesse Tinsley)

You know the drill. Here are the links: S-R gamer, S-R photos, A.P. gamer and a recap by LCSC sports information. (One fix on my game story: LCSC is still 9-0, last night's game was an exhibition for the Warriors, a counter for Gonzaga) .

Read on for more.

--We’ll start with the star of the show: Kyle Dranginis (pictured above). He came in averaging 12.8 minutes, 2.7 points, shooting 35.3 percent FG and 14.3 percent on 3-pointers. After his 30-point effort, he left averaging 15.9 minutes, 6.6 points, 54.5 percent FG and 35.7 on 3s.

“He is capable of that,” coach Mark Few said. “We have been pushing and prodding him to get to that point, to view himself as a player that can do that rather than viewing himself as a backup. He can play like that. It‘s not like he had an out-of-body experience.”

Dranginis made four 3s and 12 of 16 field-goal attempts overall. A couple of the misses rattled in-and-out. He drove to the basket with authority and still managed to hand out seven assists.

“I’m not use to being in the game after that (redshirt year),” he said. “I was way more comfortable when I got out there for an extended period of time.”

--Much like Dranginis, touted as a capable long-distance shooter who had yet to demonstrate it with the scoreboard turned on, Drew Barham seemed to find his stroke last night. The 6-foot-7 transfer from Memphis, sans the protective mask for the first time after breaking his nose in preseason, buried 3 of 4 3s and scored 11 points in a hurry in the second half.

Barham came in 0 for 4 from distance and had played just 19 minutes. Barham has been a knock-down shooter in practice and did the same during Kraziness in the Kennel prior to the season.

“He was having a hard time making them in a game. He was making them in practice,” Few said. “That’s a hard role. It’s a pinch-hit role, that’s what he has to do for us, step up and pinch-hit and make the 3. A). He showed he’s capable of doing that and, B). He has to remember his strengths. He’s putting the ball on the floor and he doesn’t need to do that with these guys.”

--Junior forward Kelly Olynyk had an interesting night. He finished with 11 points, 10 rebounds and three assists. He also had a highlight-reel dunk on a nice feed from Przemek Karnowski and a lowlight-reel missed dunk when he got checked by the rim.

Earlier, he took a hard tumble backwards, hitting the back of his head on the court, but returned after a few minutes on the bench.

“I got tangled up, but it’s good,” he said.

His missed dunk came after his fall and he exited for good a few minutes later. He knows that missed dunk will be a popular topic in the locker room.

“Yeah, they will (give him grief), but it happens,” Olynyk said. “You get a little tired and you’re trying to do too much. It happens. When you do it, you’re really upset and mad. Looking back, you just have to laugh at yourself.”

Guy Landry Edi can sympathize. His missed dunk clanked off the back iron all the way back to midcourt, where Mike Hart wisely let the ball go into the backcourt before retrieving it to avoid an over-and-back call.

Asked who deserves more static for missing a dunk, Edi said: “I think Kelly. I just missed mine. I wanted to punch it so hard, I was kind of frustrated about the game I was having.”

Elias Harris, standing nearby, was quick with the needle: “How about a simple layup, how about that?”

--Sitting out was a new experience for Harris, who has started 106 of 107 games during his career. Harris said he was a little sore from playing three games in four days at the Old Spice Classic. He was slowed by a groin injury and a hip-pointer earlier this season. With big games coming up against Pacific on Saturday and Washington State on Wednesday and bigger ones down the road, Few rested Harris and Gary Bell Jr.

“I’m healthy, just a little sore,” he said. “It was interesting to see the game from a different perspective. You really realize what’s happening on the bench. It’s definitely different.”

--Karnowski became irritated when he was fouled hard and dragged to the ground in the closing seconds. He got up quickly and had to be restrained by teammates. Few quickly counseled the 7-foot-1 Polish center that he’s subject to game(s) suspensions if he’s involved in a scuffle in NCAA games.

“He said, ‘Just calm down, we have more important games Saturday, Wednesday, and a tough week ahead of us,’ ” Karnowski said.

Asked if he knew the rules, Karnowski flashed a wide grin. “They told me,” he said, laughing, “but after the game.”


--Kevin Pangos started, but only played 14 minutes. He had two points and five assists. He his scoring average dropped from 12.2 to 10.7 and he slipped from second on the team to fourth.

--GU outboarded LCSC 44-20.

--Karnowski made 8 of 10 shots, including a nifty 17-footer. He’s shooting 70 percent this season.

--David Stockton made his second career start, finishing with 13 points (3 of 4 3s) and seven assists. He started the season opener last year before giving way by Pangos, who immediately dropped 33 points on Washington State.

--Dranginis’ 30 points was GU’s first 30-point game since Pangos’ 33 vs. WSU.

--GU made 64.2 percent of its shots, but just 46.7 percent of its free throws (second worst of the season).

--LCSC’s local products: Nick Fromm (Lake City, NIC) 6 points, 3 rebounds; Danny Marshall (East Valley, CCS) 7 points, 3 rebounds; Trey Sobotta (Clarkston) 9 points; Tommy Sperry (Clarkston), 4 points.


Harris, on Dranginis: “I knew he had it in him and today he finally showed it. He’s a scoring threat, he plays with confidence, he can pass it and he can rebound it.”

Dranginis: “We’re so balanced. I’m fine with scoring 30 or scoring 2, as long as we get the win.”

Few, on LCSC coach Brandon Rinta (who coached on Ray Giacoletti’s staff at EWU): “Wonderful, wonderful guy. And that’s not a bad looking team. They shoot it real well, those ‘4’s are kind of hard to guard. The one he brings off the bench (P.J. Bolte) who had five games over 20 points.”

Few, on Pacific: “They had a heck of a tournament, just like we did.  They went to Anaheim and beat Xavier.  They beat Saint Mary’s, which has most of its guys returning from the team that won our league last year. Then they gave California a good battle. This is a veteran team and they wanted to come up and play this game. Obviously they know that they have a good club and are ready for this challenge.”

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Jim Meehan
Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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