LAS VEGAS – Don’t accuse Josh Perkins of being a ball hog.
“I’m not a selfish guy,” he said.
He has the stats to prove it. Perkins has 14 assists in the West Coast Conference Tournament so far, including eight in Gonzaga’s 88-60 win over San Francisco in the semifinals on Monday.
He took just two shots against the Dons, hitting both, and passed the rest of the good looks off to the other Bulldogs on the floor. For the first time this season, Perkins didn’t have an attempt from 3-point range, an unusual stat for a player who is tied for second in the conference with 2.5 made 3-pointers per game.
Against Loyola Marymount on Saturday, he stepped out of the spotlight and attempted just three shots from the field and made one.
“If I need to score, I will score for my team, but right now they need a leader,” Perkins said.
Being the player with all the assists is nothing new for Perkins this season. He leads the team by a landslide with 174 assists, or 5.3 per game.
But his focus isn’t always on creating good looks for his teammates. Perkins has come through with scores over and over again this season, averaging 12.6 points before Monday.
As of late, the guard said he hasn’t been as hot from the field as some of his teammates. Instead of working on his shots in the game, Perkins has tried to find his teammates good looks and let them bask in the glory of their 3-pointers and clutch buckets.
On Monday, it was forward Killian Tillie who had the fans on their feet. Tillie was in a groove all game and finished the night with a game-high 26 points, including five of Gonzaga’s 12 3-pointers.
All eight of Perkins’ assists were saved for Tillie, who had 10 makes from the field. Perkins had a hand in 21 of Tillie’s points, beginning in the first minute of the game.
The duo started with a quick feed inside for Tillie’s layup that got the Zags on the board. Then Perkins started looking for Tillie along the 3-point line. When Tillie’s 3s started to fall, the pair seemed to be unstoppable against San Francisco’s shaky defense.
Perkins set up Tillie for all five of his 3-pointers. Tillie took his remaining two feeds from Perkins and stuffed one and used the other for a jumper.
Perkins finished the night with six points in 27 minutes, including two makes at the line. Against LMU, he had just two points.
It’s not exactly the number Perkins is striving for on the stat sheet, especially in the postseason, but the guard knows better than to evaluate his performance based on the points column next to his name. As long as the other Zags stay hot, Perkins will be sharing the ball as much as he can.
“I don’t care about the points,” he said. “As long as they keep shooting the ball, I’ll keep feeding it to them.”
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