Four Corners notes: Opponents heap praise on Gonzaga
Mark Few has taken a wait-and-see approach when asked if this is his best team at Gonzaga, but Few’s WCC coaching counterparts aren’t waiting around.
Loyola Marymount coach Max Good, whose team entertains Gonzaga tonight, in his pregame comments sounded much like San Francisco’s Rex Walters after the Dons’ 66-52 loss to the Bulldogs on Saturday.
“I believe this is the best team in our league in my five years and I’ve talked to a lot of other people that think it’s the best team in our league in the last 13 years,” Good said. “I think (junior forward Kelly) Olynyk is the best player in the league in the last five years.”
Good didn’t stop there.
“If you put (David) Stockton, (Kyle) Dranginis, Guy (Landry Edi), (Przemek) Karnowski and (Sam) Dower out there, they’d be in the top two or three in the league,” Good said. “I know every single one of those five would start for some, and probably several, of the teams.”
Gonzaga senior forward Guy Landry Edi, who missed the San Francisco game Saturday with an ankle injury, has practiced this week and should be available against LMU. Edi stepped on a teammate’s foot during the BYU game and sprained his ankle.
Edi has started 13 games, but his playing time has dropped to 6 minutes per WCC contest. Senior Mike Hart is averaging 18 minutes in conference games.
Redshirt freshman Kyle Dranginis made his first start versus USF.
The NCAA chose to uphold its ruling that Washington State freshman Demarqusie “Que” Johnson will not be allowed to practice this season.
Johnson was ruled ineligible to play or practice prior to the season, though he is enrolled in school and is on athletic scholarship. WSU coach Ken Bone had hoped that after Johnson attended school for a semester, the NCAA might clear him to at least practice with the team.
But it didn’t.
“Very unfortunate,” Bone said. “Disappointing.”
The ruling isn’t expected to impact Johnson’s eligibility for next season, Bone said.
Count on him
If consistency is the key to winning, Eastern Washington can look no further than freshman forward Venky Jois.
Entering Monday’s game against Portland State, Jois ranked 21st in NCAA Division I in double-doubles, 33rd in rebounding and 37th in blocked shots, while leading the Big Sky Conference in all three categories.
“Venky has been our most consistent player,” coach Jim Hayford said. “He is a great leader even though he is only a freshman. The biggest compliment (I can give him) is that I expect him to play that way.”