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Game still on, more notes

Despite the record snowfall and GU canceling classes today, the Gonzaga-Texas Southern game is still on for 6 p.m. The Tigers arrived at 1:30 Wednesday morning, according to coach Tony Harvey, whom I met in the lobby of the MAC on Wednesday afternoon while many of his players gazed at the snow falling outside the windows.

Bunch of notes below.

--Leaving Gonzaga’s practice Wednesday, I ran into Texas Southern’s team at the front entrance of the MAC. They were getting ready for a late afternoon practice and first-year head coach Tony Harvey was gracious enough to answer a few questions.

Harvey’s team has faced an absolutely brutal schedule (all nine games on the road), but he’s seen some positives. TSU was 7-25 last year and won just one non-conference game. Playing guarantee games has helped Harvey purchase items that are taken for granted at most D-I programs.

“We’re going to play hard and compete and we’re trying to be as physical as we can,” Harvey said. “We’re going to put on a lot pressure. We’re going to try not to shoot ourselves in the foot.

“One of the thing we’ve done is we’ve been able to secure some money and now we can go out and have Scoutware information. Before, we didn’t have those things. I had to go out and buy my own camera and now to be able to have our own DVD players and we can show the guys things on tape,” Harvey said.

--More Harvey: “For the most part, every game we’ve been in. We have to put it together for 40 minutes. When we played Washington, we were in the game in the second half and they kind of wore us down.”

TSU was surprisingly competitive against No. 5 Texas on Tuesday, trailing just 35-34 at half. “We just made a few shots and we rebounded the ball,” Harvey said. “And one of biggest things is we didn’t turn the ball over a lot.”

--Harvey is back in coaching after resigning as an assistant coach at Missouri in 2004. Background stories here, here and a really interesting one here. I bring this up because Harvey discussed it freely in the lobby of the MAC.

"I was accused (as an assistant at Missouri) of giving extra benefits to a young person," he said. "I was exonerated of all charges. At one time I was projected as a top 3-4 assistant in all of college basketball. All things happen for a reason, and this is my first start. I'm blessed and thankful and appreciative to be back in, and the guy that has been the most forthcoming and totally just helpful in my maturation as a coach, in terms of just reaching out to me when I got the job, was Coach Few. I'm thankful that I have guys that say, 'T.Harvey, you're deserving of an opportunity.' "

--In case you missed it, and I'm sure many of you did as we're converting to a new Web site (spokesman.com), here's a GU notebook that ran in Thursday's paper. It has several items, including one on Demetri Goodson and another on the reasons behind Micah Downs' playing time dwindling in the second half against Arizona.  

--Goodson, by the way, is from Spring, Texas, just outside of Houston, the hometown of Arizona’s Nic Wise. Texas Southern’s Timothy Price, who appears to be redshirting, is from Klein High School, which is a rival of Goodson’s alma mater, Klein Collins. Goodson said he’s probably played against Price 10 times in the last four years.

Goodson has had numerous battles with Wise, too.

“We’ve been playing AAU ball against each other since like seventh grade,” Goodson said. “He’s always been a great player. In high school, his team won state twice in a row. That’s saying a lot for Texas basketball.”

Goodson said Gonzaga needs to learn from some of the mistakes it made against Arizona.

“We made some stupid plays down the stretch,” he said. “Me fouling Nic -- coach told me not to and I still did it. It’s the small things like that we’ve been trying to work on all through this week of practice.”

--Goodson and sophomore teammate Austin Daye are still getting used to this white stuff falling from the sky. Goodson lived in New Jersey as a youngster, but he’s been in Texas for a while. Daye is from southern California.

“I haven’t seen snow since second grade,” Goodson said. “I woke up (Wednesday) morning and walked outside and said, ‘What is going on?’ I had to call my mom and tell her what was going on.”

“It was coming down bad,” Daye said Wednesday afternoon at about 1:30, before the majority of the snow hit. “I came back to my car after my final and I couldn’t see the top of my car. It (snow) was nice at first (last season), really cool, but after a week it was, ‘Is it going to be like this for long?’ ”

--Gonzaga hopes to bounce back from Sunday’s loss to Arizona against winless Texas Southern.

“We’re all upset with how we performed,” post Josh Heytvelt said. “I don’t think there was one guy out there that could say they played a really good game.”

Of Texas Southern, Heytvelt said, “They played some tough teams so far and hung in with a couple teams. It (TSU’s competitive game with No. 5 Texas on Tuesday) is definitely going to help with our preparation for them.”

Head coach Mark Few wants to see his team display maturity in handling finals and have the proper approach against an underdog opponent.

“There are a lot of distractions. Finals, it’s always a tough game right after finals, and obviously with UConn coming up (Saturday in Seattle) that’s going to be in the back of their heads,” Few said. “They have to understand it’s a Division I game and Division I players and hopefully we’ll be mature enough to handle that.”

Texas Southern took its finals last week.

 

 



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