Second attempt at the day after post, hoping this one goes smoother than the first.
Here's the rundown of our coverage of GU's 90-74 victory over WSU last night: My game story, John Blanchette's column and Jesse Tinsley's photos (great snap of Barham wrestling with Jordan Railey for rebounding position).
--Freshman center Ryan Edwards said he won’t accompany the team to Maui, but he’s optimistic he’ll be able to make his season debut vs. Coppin State on Dec. 1.
He’s recovering from a tonsillectomy 2½ weeks ago. He’s dropped some weight, but he looked more bright-eyed and energetic than he did on Sunday. He seems to be on track, according to some guidelines I found online.
--Gonzaga currently isn’t particularly deep, especially in the frontcourt, but its eight-man rotation (it was more like seven last night with Gerard Coleman on the floor for just 5 minutes) has the potential to score at a high clip. The exception being David Stockton, whose job is helping others score at a high clip.
The season is only four games old but seven of those eight have already had at least one double-figures game and Kyle Dranginis has had outings with 8 and 9 points, respectively.
“We knew going into this year that we would be able to shoot the ball from a variety of different spots and different people,” coach Mark Few said. “We knew that last spring when Kelly (Olynyk) chose to leave that we were probably going to have to play that way. If they are going in, life is a lot easier. If they’re not, then we’ve got to get better at finding those post touches, which we can do. I think that’s an area we can improve on.”
--Speaking of which, GU’s guards/wings/undersized ‘4’ Barham ruled the day, but Few was pleased with Przemek Karnowski’s play. The only thing that separated PK from one of the better nights of his young career was 2-of-8 free-throw shooting. If he makes five freebies, he finishes with 15 points, six boards, two big blocked shots and no fouls in 27 minutes.
The guards “are our strength,” Few said, “but I’ll tell you who else competed tonight probably as well as he’s ever competed: Przemek. It’s not pretty, but he battled. He hung with it and he was a presence in there.”
--Pangos, Bell, Dranginis, Stockton and Coleman have all had success with dribble penetration at times this season. Add an unlikely name to that list: Barham.
Known for his 3-point shooting, Barham showed off an impressive drive, pull-up floater from about 7 feet in the second half.
“Hopefully there’ll be a lot more stuff coming,” Barham said. “I’m working my way into it.”
Barham hit 3s from the corner, wing and near the top of the key.
“We’re just running an open set, Stockton is doing great job of penetrating, Kevin is doing a great job, Kyle, Gary,” Barham said. “I just spot-up in the corner. They do a great job of finding me.”
Barham’s finding himself in games earlier and earlier. Absent depth on the interior, Barham is getting the call when the first foul is whistled on a big. Thursday that was 59 seconds after tip off.
“I have to be (ready),” he said. “We don’t want our bigs to get in foul trouble. I’m basically the backup big now so I have to be ready at all times.”
STATS OF NOTE
--GU’s 3-point percentage is trending upward: 37 vs. Bryant, 45 vs. Colorado State, 55 vs. Oakland, 56.5 vs. WSU.
--Coleman was limited to 5 minutes. He had a nice assist, but struggled with turnovers (3) and missed both shot attempts.
--GU’s lowest scoring half this season: 39 vs. Oakland. The other seven have been between 41-51.
--The Zags’ lowest assist total: 16.
--Pangos is 15-of -15 at the FT line this season.
--Barham is 10 of 19 (52.6 percent) beyond the arc.
--Dranginis has 12 assists and one turnover in four games.
--Bell and Pangos are the lone Zags to reach double-figures in every game.
WSU guard DaVonté Lacy on Pangos: “He’s not a cross-over point guard, he’s not going to break you down one-on-one. He’s a solid point guard. He’s going to hit open shots, get his teammates involved and he’s going to make a lot of money (in the future) doing it.”
Bell on WSU freshman guard Ike Iroegbu: “He’s definitely good. He’s going to cause some problems in the Pac-12.”
Few on Barham: “Eight rebounds is the key because Drew can shoot, and if teams are going to go zone like that … I thought David did a good job of finding him a lot. That’s what (Drew) can do. But the thing we’ve been challenging him on is to see if he can fly around and pick up some boards. I thought he did that tonight.”