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Silas Melson: Attention to detail

Gonzaga sophomore guard Silas Melson. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga sophomore guard Silas Melson. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

The Portland native was pressed into duty last year as a true freshman when Josh Perkins was sidelined. Roughly two minutes into his first game against St. John’s in the NIT Season Tip-Off championship at famed Madison Square Garden, Melson drained a 3-pointer. He made 34 percent beyond the 3-point line and averaged 3.2 points in limited playing time.

Melson, an explosive jumper who is more athletic than Gary Bell Jr., has the potential to be a defensive standout.

“Their attention to detail,” said the 6-foot-4 Melson, when asked what he learned from Kevin Pangos and Bell. “A lot of guys in college don’t really pay that much attention to detail the way they did and it was one of the reasons they were so good and we were so good.

“I like to take defense kind of personally. I don’t want my guy to score on me and I want to help my teammates’ back.”

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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.