Then and Now

Kelly Olynyk

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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Image One Jesse Tinsley The Spokesman-Review Image Two Tyler Tjomsland The Spokesman-Review

2011 photo—Gonzaga’s Kelly Olynyk leans in for the floater off the fast break, but gets called for the offensive foul on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011, at the McCarthey Athletic Center in a game against San Francisco.

2013 photo—Gonzaga forward Kelly Olynyk shoots over San Francisco guard Tim Derksen during the first half of a college basketball game on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, in Spokane, Wash.

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