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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Day-after Alberta

I was going to make one long post, but we’ll break it up. First up is the day-after post from Monday’s exhibition win over Alberta. I’ll be back in a bit with some updates from the WCC coaches conference call that took place during the noon hour.

Read on.


--Alberta came out and hit its first five 3-pointers and led 22-21 with 11:46 left in the first half, so it took roughly eight minutes for the Bears to score 22 points. Alberta scored just 21 points over the next 25 minutes and 45 seconds.

“We had to adjust and get out on their shooters,” freshman forward Sam Dower said.

--Talked briefly with Bol Kong and he said he expects to be on the court again by today or Wednesday. He’s been sidelined by an ankle injury.

--Robert Sacre is wearing No. 00 this year after two seasons with No. 21.

“21 is done. Double-zero is for a double dose of this hero,” he said, cracking a big grin. “I wanted it to be like a Phoenix, to be re-born again. 21 wasn’t a good number for me; Dan Dickau probably put a curse on it. I just wanted to go with something different.”

--Sacre, held without a field goal in the Kraziness in the Kennel scrimmage, was 4 of 5 against Alberta and also got to the foul line six times.

“My thing wasn’t about points,” Sacre said. “We needed to get the ball inside and I needed to do what the coach wanted me to do – be a banger and go inside and get the shots up. If I’m close to the basket, that ball needs to be up in the hoop.”

Sacre is a tad thinner than last season. He weighs 247 pounds, same as his listed weight of a year ago, but he acknowledged that he was up to 265 or so when his foot was in a walking boot and he kept up his weight-training program.

“I just lifted, even if I couldn’t walk,” he said. “I feel a lot stronger and more agile now.”

--Several memorable plays off the top of my head: Will Foster’s reverse layup. G.J. Vilarino’s tip-in, which dropped in after touching the top of the backboard, in the closing seconds of the half. Sacre’s steal and three-quarter court drive for a two-handed dunk. Kelly Olynyk’s pump fake, drive and one-hand jam. Sam Dower’s put-back dunk of Elias Harris’ miss. Sacre retrieving two offensive rebounds, which led to a Olynyk layup. Matt Bouldin’s layup on an Olynyk pass threaded between two defenders.

--Stats of concern: GU was 17 of 29 at the foul line, 3 of 19 on 3-pointers.

--As mentioned, every available body saw playing time. Foster was the first sub less than 3 minutes in. He was followed by Manny Arop and Kelly Olynyk at the 13:54 mark. Andy Poling didn’t enter until 2:09 remained in the first half. David Stockton came on with 1:44 left.

--One of the coolest sights of the night was from the Stockton clan seated several rows up from the scorer’s table. John’s wife, Nada, was filming David during pre-game warm-ups and she snapped pictures on her cell phone camera of her son during the game. She handed the video camera over to a younger Stockton to film when David played in the game. John, who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame recently, was on the cover of the game program.


Mark Few: “We have enough bodies that everybody who steps out there has to play with great energy and effort. We can get you a blow. Hopefully that was evident tonight.”

Arop: “I probably knew about 10 (Alberta players), guys I grew up with. It was special being on the same court, playing at the university level. It’s rare for Canadians to come (to the U.S.) and play. It was awesome to play against my friends."

Arop on Alberta coach Greg Francis (who also coaches in Canada’s National Elite Development Academy and the Canadian Junior National team): “He’s a guy that helped me so much. I went there (to NEDA) my junior and senior year and he changed me from (playing) against not such good competition to playing on a world stage. He just developed me for my last two years.”


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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