HONOLULU – Gonzaga’s impromptu four-year series against UCLA has provided a little of everything. A high-scoring marathon in the Final Four. A 20-point Gonzaga blowout the following season. A tense chess match in last year’s Elite Eight.
HONOLULU – Aesthetically speaking, it’s the most appealing sector of the custom floor at the Maui Invitational. The hardwood rectangle commonly known in basketball terms as the “key” has been transformed into a vibrant mural for this week’s tournament – which features a handful of college basketball’s brand names – with floral patterns and tropical hues splashed across the 16- by 19-foot area.
UCLA has produced some of college and pro basketball’s greatest post players. Sophomore Adem Bona obviously has a long way to go to reach that level, but he’s on track to be the next quality big in the Bruins pipeline.
HONOLULU – Mark Few had roughly 15 to 16 hours between a disheartening loss to Purdue and the tipoff of his Gonzaga Bulldogs’ game against Syracuse in Tuesday’s breakfast bracket of the Maui Invitational.
There is Gonzaga’s offense when it is taking care of the ball and making the right pass. The scoreboard operator stays busy. And there is Gonzaga’s offense when the turnovers stack up, the opponents convert at the other end, and the Zags’ momentum and point totals fade away. Head coach Mark Few stays busy with his vast array of reactions on the sideline when a soft pass is pilfered.