SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura draws a lot of attention with his soaring dunks and slashing drives into the lane.
He found another way into the spotlight Saturday, spending a good portion of the second half defending Santa Clara point guard KJ Feagin. With defensive ace Silas Melson on the bench with four fouls, Hachimura was assigned to the speedy Feagin or picked him up on defensive switches.
Feagin, the WCC’s fourth-leading scorer, managed 21 points, but he was limited to nine in the second half on 3-of-7 shooting in Gonzaga’s win.
“That was the coaches’ idea because I can guard small guys and big guys,” said Hachimura, who scored 16 points. “He’s quick but we have good team defense, a lot of help-side.”
The 6-foot-8, 225-pound Hachimura has made significant strides offensively and defensively in the last month.
“That is what’s great about Rui,” guard Zach Norvell Jr. said. “He’s so athletic and can move his feet so well for a big guy. We need that out of him when Silas is in foul trouble or Perk (Josh Perkins) is in foul trouble.”
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