Score one for the young pups.
The Gonzaga men’s basketball team capped its annual Kraziness in the Kennel event with a 15-minute scrimmage won by the Red team, which featured four first-year Zags and two sophomores. Freshman point guard Kevin Pangos made all six of his shots and scored 16 points to lead the Red past the more veteran Blue 37-33 Saturday at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
It was the public’s first chance to see the 2011-12 Bulldogs and the newcomers performed well in front of a packed house of more than 6,000, including several hundred fans watching from the concourses.
Forward Guy Landry Edi, a junior college transfer, had eight points and three assists and sophomore forward Sam Dower added six points for the Red. Freshman forward Ryan Spangler chipped in four points and three rebounds.
Pangos was off target during an earlier 3-point shooting contest in which Zags were paired with a teammate. He made just one 3 while falling to eventual champion Marquise Carter and his teammate. During the scrimmage, Pangos hit 3 of 3 from long distance, including the first bucket when Blue defender David Stockton left Pangos to try to make a steal out front.
“I didn’t shoot it as well as I’d like (during the 3-point contest), but it was nice to get in front of the crowd and it was a good way to work out all the nerves because you’re alone out there,” said Pangos, who also had two assists and two steals. “My teammates got me open looks. I buried the first, the second and it just felt great so I kept shooting.”
Head coach Mark Few said he’s encouraged Pangos “to be aggressive and seek his shot.”
Sophomore wing Mathis Mönninghoff made three 3-pointers to lead the Blue with nine points. Freshman guard Gary Bell Jr. and senior center Rob Sacre each had six points and junior forward Elias Harris contributed four points and four rebounds.
“Kevin showed he can play and he has a good feel for the game, (freshman guard) Kyle (Dranginis) was cutting to the basket well and ‘Spang’ was a warrior out there,” Harris said. “Now we have material and we can work on things and see where we’re at.”
Neither team was reading much into the outcome, particularly since they scrimmaged earlier in the week – with the Blue winning – and GU also held a two-hour practice earlier Saturday. Junior forward Kelly Olynyk didn’t play after suffering a concussion in practice this week.
The teams combined to make 9 of 13 3-pointers.
“You’re going to have to guard everybody,” Few said. “You’re not going to be sagging off anybody.”
Few, who watched from a seat at the scorer’s table, likes the team’s work ethic.
“Obviously, I’ve had a lot of teams that were more talented, more physically gifted than this team,” he said. “But this team picks up on things quickly, they understand concepts and they’re good learners. They have fantastic chemistry.”
GU has a home exhibition contest against Carroll on Friday before opening the regular season against Eastern Washington on Nov. 11.