Kelly Olynyk was described by this newspaper in 2009 as “a versatile Canadian capable of playing several positions.” It was but one line in a look ahead to the 2009-10 team after a successful run to the Sweet Sixteen that year. Fast forward to 2012. Olynyk, who returned from a redshirt year, has added 30-plus pounds and a couple inches to his now-7-foot frame. He’s stronger and can jump higher. He’s the West Coast Conference Player of the Year and a candidate for the prestigious John R. Wooden Award. He’s the Zags’ leading scorer with an average of 17.5 points a game, and is second in rebounding. “I didn’t think he was very good,” St. Mary’s coach Randy Bennett said in January of pre-2012 Olynyk. Gonzaga’s 83-78 victory over the Gaels persuaded him otherwise. Said Bennett: “He’s improved more than anybody in college basketball.”
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