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Bouldin expects to be ready for Duke

As mentioned in the prior post, I went to media day Wednesday and put together a notebook that you can access below. The first topic is Matt Bouldin's health. He's optimistic he'll be back in the lineup for the Duke game Saturday.

Read on for more.

By Jim Meehan

Staff writer

Gonzaga senior guard Matt Bouldin can’t say for certain he’ll play in Saturday’s showdown with No. 7 Duke at Madison Square Garden, but he’s optimistic he’ll be back in the lineup.

Bouldin sat out the Battle in Seattle on Saturday because he was still feeling the effects of a head-to-head collision with Augustana’s Troy Rorer three days before. With this being finals week, the Zags have had a lighter practice schedule and Bouldin has been able to participate. He was expected to go through a full practice Wednesday.

“I feel a lot better,” Bouldin said prior to practice. “It really gets down to as long as I’m feeling better, I’m sure I’ll be able to go.”

Bouldin was averaging over 18 points per game, but that figure dropped to 16.8 points when he was limited to 11 minutes against Augustana.

“He wasn’t showing the symptoms Saturday, but he just felt a little off,” head coach Mark Few said. “He wasn’t nauseous or dealing with the pronounced headache.”

Garden party

The last time Gonzaga and Duke collided in Madison Square Garden, Duke was ranked No. 6 and Gonzaga was No. 22. The Blue Devils won that defensive-minded contest 61-54 in Dec., 2006.

“I watched the film last night from the last time we played them and they’re definitely a better team now,” said Gonzaga assistant coach Tommy Lloyd, who has the scout for Saturday’s game. “I like them a lot.”

In the 2006 meeting, Duke’s Greg Paulus scored 20 points and freshman guard Jon Scheyer limited GU’s Derek Raivio to four points, 16 below his average. Jeremy Pargo scored 17 of his 21 points in the second half.

Scheyer, now a senior, leads Division 1 in assists-to-turnover ratio. He was at an astounding 8.4 prior to last night’s easy win over Gardner-Webb, but he dropped to 6.4 after a stunning 36-point, nine-assist, three-turnover performance.

“The beauty about that is everybody says he’s not a real point guard, you need to pressure him,” Lloyd said. “He’s a senior, who cares what position he plays. His assist-to-turnover ratio is phenomenal. He’s playing with a lot of confidence and he’s a savvy veteran. You can’t speed him up.

“It starts with their guards. (Six-foot-8 Kyle) Singler and Scheyer, they’re both All-Americans, (Nolan) Smith and (Andre) Dawkins … those four guys are a handful, probably as good as anyone in the country.”

Smart addition

The Bulldogs recently made a technological upgrade to their locker room. It’s called a SMART Board, an interactive 84-inch whiteboard the team uses for posting scouting reports, pre-game and halftime X and O sessions, and viewing video of upcoming opponents. Think John Madden’s Telestrator with a much wider range of applications.

“Tommy (Lloyd) got it and played around with it, but he didn’t bother to learn how to use it and he told me it was my responsibility,” joked administrative assistant Chris ‘Bubba’ Filios, who coordinates GU’s video scouting. “I haven’t had a lot of time to play around with it. Basically we got it and then we went to Maui and then to Seattle so it’s been kind of crazy. It’s pretty neat and we’ve been able to do some cool stuff with it.”

Filios said the picture quality is outstanding, especially compared to the old system. Because the projector is mounted at the top and not somewhere in front of the screen there are no shadows when coaches are at the board.

“It’s neat to be able to stop the video and then draw something (by fingertip or with a no-ink pen) on the board,” said Filios, indicating a player cutting, etc. “It saves me about 15 minutes a day. All you need is a computer and the quality is big 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.

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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.