ANAHEIM, Calif. – Killian Tillie needed the media timeout with 2 minutes, 6 seconds remaining Thursday against Florida State more than anybody on the court.
Not because the 6-foot-10 junior forward was tired or needed a break. It was because Tillie had just experienced a Zion Williamson moment, just not quite as dramatic as when Williamson’s foot broke through his shoe Feb. 20 against North Carolina.
Tillie’s Nike shoe malfunctioned with the Zags leading 63-56 against Florida State in the waning minutes. A small segment of the sole of the shoe came loose and “it was slipping all the time,” Tillie said.
Tillie approached Gonzaga’s bench hollering for help and pointing at his foot. One of the team managers flew into action, sprinting to Gonzaga’s locker room and retrieving another pair of shoes.
“The sole was sticking out, so I had to change shoes,” Tillie said. “(The manager) had to run super fast.”
Tillie said he’d been wearing the shoes for a few weeks and had experienced the problem before. The portion of the sole was reglued and he will continue to wear them.
Asked if he was wearing the same shoes that failed Zion during the regular season, Tillie said, “I’m wearing the new ones, the ones (Zion) is wearing now.”
Tillie no longer wears an insert to support the partially torn plantar fascia in his right foot. He has his foot taped before games.
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