Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


Day after Augustana

Back with the day after post from Gonzaga's 79-40 rout of Augustana.

A few links here -- S-R gamer that was posted last night, Colin Mulvany's photos and a recap from the Quad-City Times -- and the rest of the post below.

--One quick fix before we go forward. GU had 13 players score (not 12, as mentioned in my game story). The bench, by the way, scored 45 of the 79 points.

--It’s 'dead week' on the Gonzaga campus as student prepare for next week’s finals. It was a little sleepy in the MAC on Wednesday, too. The Kennel Club filled maybe 3/5ths of their usual seating allotment and a sluggish start for both teams produced a quiet setting. It was so quiet at one point when G.J. Vilarino was shooting the second of two free throws that his ‘awwwwww’ was probably heard in the last row. Vilarino was thinking he missed the shot, but it went down.

“It wasn’t tough to get going,” Vilarino said. “You just have to motivate yourself, play hard and do what the coaches tell you.”

--Bouldin was woozy after his inadvertent collision with Augustana’s Troy Rorer. He went to the bench with about 7 minutes left in the first half and didn’t return. That happened to be about the time Gonzaga put Augustana away with a 20-1 spurt.

Anyone who has ever had a concussion knows that ‘there-but-not-there feeling’ you experience. Bouldin said he’s had more than one concussion and was certain he suffered another one. His status for Saturday’s Battle in Seattle will depend on how he progresses over the next 48 hours and the results of additional tests. In the last 5-10 years, programs from high school to the pros are taking extreme caution, rightfully so, when athletes suffer concussions.

“He got hit pretty hard,” guard Steven Gray said. “I was hoping he as OK. To see him get up and on the bench talking was good to see.”

--Turns out there were more connections between the two teams than just the friendships of the coaching staffs. Gonzaga assistant coach Leon Rice found out that he had something in common with Augustana freshman guard Kameron Norton, grandson of heavyweight boxer Ken Norton Sr. Norton broke Muhammad Ali’s jaw in a 1973 bout. The two fought three times with Ali winning twice.

“My uncle, Jim Rondeau, was a boxing ref and we had a picture in my house (growing up) of Norton-vs.-(George) Foreman and my uncle pulling them apart. He did Duran-Leonard,” Rice said. "Small world, no kidding."

Rice visited with Norton for a few minutes. “He was a really neat kid,” Rice said. “He said, ‘You should give me that picture and I’ll have my grandpa sign it.’ ”

I searched Rondeau’s name on the Internet and found this article on his passing in 2003.

--Small world, part II. Grant Gibbs was a high school standout at Lin-Mar High in Marion, Iowa, where his team won a state title in 2007 and won the consolation championship during his senior season. He broke his wrist in January of his senior year, but returned a month later.

Gibbs’ team beat Bettendorf High, which featured Augustana’s Rorer, 61-41 in the 2007 4A state title game. Gibbs scored 15 points in the title game, Rorer 10. Game story here and box score here.

--Gonzaga was satisfied with its defensive effort. Augustana shot just 27 percent and made only 1 of 21 3-pointers.

“One thing we really wanted to do was not give them open looks from 3,” Few said. “I know they missed some open looks, but we contested a lot of them, too.”

Vikings leading scorer Matt Pelton (14.8 ppg) had just two points in the first half. He finished with eight and missed all five of his 3s.

Augustana was patient, spread the floor and ran the shot clock down repeatedly in search of open looks. Five minutes into the game, nine Vikings has already played. GU blocked seven shots, two by Will Foster. Augustana had three blocks, including Brian DeSimone’s rejection of Elias Harris on the Bulldogs’ first possession.

The Vikings snagged 18 rebounds and hung fairly close on the boards (GU 45-41).

“That’s not what we were looking for, but that team is a very good team in their league,” center Rob Sacre said. “We knew that was what they were trying to do and they were successful on that. That’s what they’re known for, for outscrapping (the other team).”

--Bol Kong’s minutes continue to grow. He logged 19 minutes and started in Bouldin’s place in the second half. He entered near the 13-minute mark and immediately found himself open on an inbound pass. He missed the 3-point attempt, but drew a charging foul at the other end. He drained a 3 on the ensuing possession and finished with 10 points and three boards.

--Gray was the only starter to play more than 18 minutes. He played 24, in part because of Bouldin’s absence. Harris played 15 minutes and had four points, four boards and four fouls.

Forward Andy Poling, who hadn’t played in the last five games, scored five points in five minutes, drawing one of the louder ovations when he scored a transition basket .

--Augustana spotted Gonzaga a 2-0 lead before the opening tip. The Vikings were called for a technical foul for dunking in warmups. Bouldin made both free throws.


Few on his team’s play: “We went into (the game) wanting to establish that we could play as hard as a team like Augustana. (Vikings coach) Grey’s (Giovanine) teams over the years play extremely hard. We had a simple goal to play a little harder than they did.”

Few on Bouldin: “We got bonked in the head pretty good. He was kind of woozy so we held him out the rest of the game.”

Bouldin needling Gibbs, who had been needling him: “What’s your name?”

Gray: “Coach has been telling us they’re going to play really hard. Coach told us just play harder than the guy across from you every possession. That’s what we’re going to have to do on Saturday.”

Sacre on Augustana: “They ran their offense for a loonnggg time.”



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.

Follow Jim online:

Looking for a Grip on Sports?

Vince Grippi's daily take on all things regional sports has been moved to our main sports section online. You can find a collection of these columns here.