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Friday, May 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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GU notes

I was at GU's media day today, but the full-fledged notebook won't run until Wednesday, when the Bulldogs entertain Augustana.

In the meantime, read on for a couple of items.

Asked his opinion of Elias Harris’ ejection after watching the play on video, GU coach Mark Few said, “It’s unfortunate you can’t factor in intent or knowing the player. I do, so I know there was no malicious intent. … In the course of our season, there’s been 50-100 of those types of blockouts in the Michigan State and Cincinnati games. Was it too high? Yeah, it was too high. I think his intention was to hit the guy in the chest and it just got too high.

“I’ve coached a lot of kids over the years and it’s unfortunate it happened to Elias because it’s not something he intended to do. If you’re going to get kicked out of a game, you should probably intend to do it -- that would be my theory.”

Few said Harris will be in the starting lineup against Augustana. He added that he was “more concerned” by his team’s reaction after Harris’ ejection.

GU coaches compare Harris’ temperament to ex-Zag great J.P. Batista, the soft-spoken forward who put up prolific scoring and rebounding numbers in 2005-06.

Harris said he’s not surprised by the amount of attention the play received because it happened in a nationally televised game.

Asked if he would change anything he did or said about the play in the post-game, Harris said, “No, because I just stepped back and boxed him out. I didn’t want to hit him or hurt him. Just play basketball like I always do.”

Few said on his Monday radio show that Wake Forest’s Chas McFarland, who was on the receiving end of Harris’ forearm to the neck, told Harris while the two were lining up for the free throws: “Hey, I just got you kicked out of the game.”

Harris' reaction? “He said something like that, but that’s OK. Trash talk, that’s part of the game.”

Harris said he won’t change the way he plays. “No way. We have to get back to the things we did before, rebounding harder, be more focused and stop dreaming around and just play basketball, and we will be successful again.”

--Bol Kong said he’s not yet in tip-top shape, but his conditioning is improving. Kong battled sickness and an ankle injury prior to the season.

“I’m just starting to get more comfortable and understanding the sets. It took a little time, but it’s coming together,” he said.

Kong has more learning to do than most because he’s seeing time at ‘3’ and, more often, at ‘4’.

“We just have a lot of sets,” he said. “You have to stay dialed in and pick ‘em up quickly.”

Is it complicated? “Some positions it’s really complicated,” Kong said, “some it’s pretty much basic, cuts, flex offense.”

In comparison to his freshman year at Douglas College in B.C. two years ago, Kong said, “I think mentally I’m better now. Playing at this level, you have to use your mental skills more than just natural ability.”

--Rob Sacre, Robert Sacre, Bob Sacre or Bobby Sacre? I'm sure I've used Rob and Robert interchangeably in articles, but I chuckled when I watched the replay of Saturday’s game and ESPN announcers referred to Sacre as ‘Bob’ or ‘Bobby’ during the second half. Turns out Sacre was just having some fun with the broadcast crew.

“It was a joke,” Sacre said, laughing. Sacre was asked about the pronunciation of his last name. “Sack-ray,” he said, fairly convincingly. “I’ve never even thought about it, until people started making me think about it.”

--Back tomorrow with another set of notes.

 




Jim Meehan
Jim Meehan joined The Spokesman-Review in 1990. Jim is currently a reporter for the Sports Desk and covers Gonzaga University basketball, Spokane Empire football, college volleyball and golf.

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