BOISE – Mark Few wouldn’t win many low-post duels with Gonzaga forward Johnathan Williams, but the Bulldogs coach likes his chances against the 6-foot-9 senior on a yoga mat.
It’s well-known that GU players, and a few of the braver coaches, occasionally partake in the exercise together – perhaps one minor ingredient contributing to the success of a program that’s appearing in its 20th consecutive NCAA Tournament this week in Boise.
Big man Przemek Karnowski added yoga to his excercise regimen after a back injury cost him most of the 2015-16 season and stretching out can be a useful tool for Few and his aids, who are often looking for a way to relieve the tensions that come with GU’s prolonged basketball seasons.
Many, but not all, of the GU assistants join Few on the mats.
“Donny Daniels isn’t a full participant, which is probably a good thing,” Few laughed. “And Tommy Lloyd is a nonparticipant, too.”
Williams isn’t shy, though.
The Zags’ scoring and rebounding leader, who’s averaging better than 11 points and 7 rebounds this season and recently nabbed All-WCC First Team honors, often tags along, even if it comes with the embarrassment of not being able to keep up with his head coach – and said coach rubbing it in.
“I can say this, there are some stretches that I can do slightly better than J-3,” Few said. “J-3 is not the most flexible guy you came across. Sometimes J-3 and I do some solo stuff with (strength and conditioning coach) Travis (Knight). I always feel good when I’m in there with Travis and J-3. It’s good to not be last in the class.”
So who’s the best in the group?
“I don’t know if you could have the best when you’re the worst, you know what I’m saying?” Few said.
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