A sampling from the past week of entries in The Spokesman-Review blog SportsLink at spokesman .com/sportslink.
There was one constant throughout the many ups and downs Gonzaga experienced before rallying for an 80-76 road win over West Virginia: Przemek Karnowski.
Karnowski has played limited minutes in big games in hostile environments, but wasn’t necessarily counted on previously in those situations, assistant coach Brian Michaelson noted. That changed Tuesday and “he delivered in the biggest way,” Michaelson said.
Karnowski has shown noticeable improvement the last few weeks. He’s shared or led GU in rebounding the last five games. He is doing a better job at avoiding the silly fouls that have put him on the bench with foul trouble. He drained 7 of 8 FTs last night, swishing several, and the left-hander made at least two buckets with his right hand.
“He was huge,” guard Kevin Pangos said. “He kept us in during stretches when shots weren’t falling. He was a beast down low.”
The Cougars haven’t usually had a full contingent of coaches available for their bowl practices with many of the coaches on the road recruiting. Assistant coach Ken Wilson recently returned from Southern California where he says he had a warm reception.
“It’s been great. The USC game down there was big for us and the bowl game was obviously big for us. The excitement of us playing on TV has been good for recruiting as well. We’ve been recruiting hard and we’ve had good reception most of the year but obviously those last couple games – the Arizona game and Utah game – and, obviously, the bowl game have all helped. Some of the coaching changes gave us some life with the stability of Coach Leach being here. So things are looking good right now.”
Win or lose, college football teams that play in bowl games don’t come home empty-handed. Bowls are allowed to give up to $550 worth of gifts to each player, and taking a look at the swag has become an annual part of the lore surrounding bowl games.
SportsBusinessDaily.com has a list of what every school receives. Here are a few of the things WSU players will collect:
• 23-inch Toshiba 1080P LED TV
• Blu-ray player
• Fossil watches
• iPhone cases
• Oakley Breadbox sunglasses
• Gildan Stadium blanket