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Gonzaga Basketball

Gonzaga’s Josh Perkins patiently waits for the prime opportunity to throw one down

Gonzaga guard Josh Perkins starts a fast break to teammate Zach Norvell Jr., against Pacific, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in the McCarthey Athletic Center. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Josh Perkins might be lacking a few inches in height, but he can certainly hang with the bigs.

“They know I’m the best dunker in practice,” the Gonzaga guard joked.

But Perkins has yet to dunk in a Gonzaga jersey. Don’t be mistaken – the 6-3 junior has had quite a few opportunities to dunk over the last few seasons, but the situation has never been perfect, according to Perkins.

Last year when the Zags took on Xavier in the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight game, Perkins stole the ball and raced to the other end of the court to get his first dunk of his collegiate career. His opportunity was squandered when Perkins ran into an unexpected player – a woman sweeping the floor inside the key.

Perkins settled for a layup.

“I slowed down when I saw her,” Perkins said after the game. “… She was doing her job, but I was a little fast.”

In Gonzaga’s 81-48 win over Pacific on Thursday, Perkins had at least two more opportunities to finally jam the ball, and this time, there were no sweepers in the way.

Midway through the first half, Perkins stole the ball from Pacific and ran away with it down the court. He had a good 10 feet of space from the nearest defender, but decided to lay the ball in.

Perkins found himself alone on the opposite end again in the second half when he took a feed from junior guard Zach Norvell, Jr., and broke down the center of the court. He slowed as he reached the basket and tipped the ball in to give the Zags a 33-21 lead.

“Both times I thought I was going to get a little higher than I did, and I didn’t, so I had to lay it in,” he said.

It’s not nerves, Perkins said, that get the best of him, it’s just not having the perfect setup. The guard is adamant that he will get his dunk when the right time comes along before he hangs up his Gonzaga jersey for good.

“It will happen for sure,” Perkins said. “It’ll be crazy, too.”