Jim Meehan files a “day after” blog post after every GU men’s basketball game, giving readers more insight from the coaches and players and a statistical breakdown. The following is a sample of Meehan’s post after the win over Colorado State. For more on the Zags and all the local college teams, visit www.spokesman.com/sportslink.
Gary Bell Jr. hit eight 3s and scored a career-best 24 points, but he didn’t take the night off defensively. He was often guarding Daniel Bejarano, who had a miserable night (3 of 14 FG, 9 points, 3 turnovers).
Sam Dower Jr. made all 4 of his FG attempts and finished with eight points and nine rebounds. He, too, had a tough defensive assignment, J.J. Avila. Avila managed just two points on 1 of 5 shooting. Avila, Bejarano and Jon Octeus (27 points) will likely be CSU’s top three scorers.
• An interesting stat from The Coloradoan’s game story: Only nine of CSU’s 56 field-goal attempts were high-percentage looks.
“I thought we were good (defensively) against a physical team,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “We want to get in the gaps a little bit and stay in there and make plays and I thought we did a nice job. The best thing, I thought, was we were physical on the boards.”
• Gonzaga won the glass 39-33, led by Przemek Karnowski’s 10 and Dower’s 9. No CSU player had more than five. The Rams were the nation’s best rebounding team last year, but they graduated five players and don’t have a lot of bulk inside.
“I was focused on the rebounding for sure because the first game didn’t go as I wanted,” said Karnowski, who had just one board vs. Bryant in 12 minutes. “Me and Sam did a really good job at first.”
• GU’s offense was wildly efficient last night. The Zags made 34 of 59 shots (57.6 percent), 14 of 31 3s (45.2 percent). CSU was content to pack the paint with defenders and Gonzaga made the Rams pay with precision perimeter shooting. Bell’s shots didn’t touch the rim very often.
Wednesday, former Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell was interviewed by RedRaiderSports.com, and recalled an interesting halftime phone call made by then-TTU coach Mike Leach.
“I can remember in the third quarter, he’s pulling his cell phone out. He always talked to me between series, so he’s talking to me and he pulls his cell phone out and he called the Big 12 commissioner. He’s like cussing out the Big 12 commissioner, telling him like, ‘These refs are screwing us. You better watch my post-game press conference because I’ve got some stuff to say.’ ”
Leach, now the head coach at Washington State University, says that while the gist of Harrell’s comments were correct, some details were not. Leach told The Spokesman-Review:
“I never called Dan Beebe in the middle of a game. There was a game that had some questionable calls and so I did call the head of officials and pointed it out, that’s what that was. It wasn’t Dan Beebe, I know Dan really well. I talk to Beebe a lot, I talked to him after that one, too.”
In this week’s Canadian Hockey League top-10 poll, Kelowna (14-2-0-2) is the highest-ranked team from the Western Hockey League, at No. 3. The Spokane Chiefs, an honorable mention last week, didn’t receive a notice. Spokane was ranked for five consecutive weeks earlier in the season, rising as high as No. 3, but the Chiefs are 5-5 in their last 10 games.