GU vulnerable to boards deficit
Gonzaga is plus-3.3 in rebounding this season but the Zags were outrebounded in both games last week, including a 44-28 deficit against Memphis, which cashed in with 17 second-chance points.
“That’s one thing we have to really hone in on,” senior forward Sam Dower said.
Gonzaga has been outrebounded seven times this season, including four of the last five games. GU was outboarded in three of its four losses.
“That’s a tough one in the middle of the season,” coach Mark Few said. “You don’t want to go too crazy with physical, football-type drills but at the same time you have to give them a reminder of what it takes.”
Railey requests change in role
Jordan Railey has seen his minutes dwindle throughout Pac-12 play. Expected to provide low-post scoring and a defensive presence, the 7-footer is averaging just 2.9 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. After the win over Washington, Railey ceded his spot in the starting lineup to Junior Longrus.
The demotion was not a punitive move by his coaches, however. Rather it was Railey himself who requested the change.
“I felt like I wanted to do a new approach to things, kind of like let that pressure release and just try something new,” Railey said. “Because I felt like at the beginning of the game I had a lot of stuff racing through my head the last couple games, putting a lot of pressure on myself.”
Stepping up at free-throw line
What a difference a year has made for Eastern Washington at the free-throw line.
Last season, the Eagles were last in the Big Sky Conference in free-throw shooting, hitting just 65.5 percent. This year, they’re in the league’s upper tier at 72.8 percent.
It doesn’t hurt that Eastern guards Tyler Harvey (78 for 87, for 89.7 percent and Parker Kelly (30 for 34, 88.2 percent) are atop the conference charts, well ahead of Aaron Anderson of North Dakota (87.2 percent).