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Kyle Dranginis: Steady contributor with versatile skills

Gonzaga senior guard Kyle Dranginis. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga senior guard Kyle Dranginis. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

The 6-5 senior from Nampa, Idaho, has been a steady contributor the last three seasons. He stepped in as a starter for eight games for an injured Bell two years ago and delivered 12 points and four assists in a rout over Saint Mary’s. He scored in double figures twice in last year’s WCC Tournament. Dranginis had a 30-point outburst in his freshman season against Lewis-Clark State College.

“You lose those three big assets we had last year,” Dranginis said, “but I think everybody is ready to step up.”

Dranginis is comfortable at the ‘2’ or ‘3’, and could see time at point guard in a pinch. His career average is 4.4 points per game, but he ranks higher in assists and steals. He’s a 48-percent career shooter, including 35 percent from 3.

Coaches want Dranginis to be more of a scoring threat, a necessity if he’s going to assume a larger role. “He was comfortable in his role last year,” Few said. “He has to give us more this year.”

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Analysis: Gonzaga holds off late Illinois charge to win opener of Maui Invitational

UPDATED: 12:31 a.m.

Gonzaga did something that defied all odds Monday at the Maui Invitational. The third-ranked Zags committed 14 turnovers in the first half – charges, errant inbound passes, ill-advised drives into traffic, forced passes after ill-advised drives into traffic – and still led by seven points. The Illini cut a 13-point lead to two on three occasions but the Zags held on for a hard-fought 84-78 victory before a packed crowd of 2,400 at the Lahaina Civic Center.