Joel Ayayi is feeling more at ease on the court and it’s reflected in his impressive stat lines through two games.
Gonzaga’s leading rebounder in the season opener against Alabama State? Ayayi, with seven. Assists? Ayayi again, with seven. Steals? Ayayi, with three.
Ayayi repeated as the team’s top rebounder with 13 in Saturday’s rout over Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
The 6-foot-5 Ayayi scored came up just short of a double-double after scoring eight points and handing out five assists against the Golden Lions.
“I’m feeling more and more comfortable,” the sophomore wing said. “I’m feeling way more comfortable than last year, for sure.”
Ayayi, who redshirted two years ago and saw limited time last season, is the first guard off the bench. He’s hit three 3-pointers, matching his total from last year when he logged 128 minutes in 23 appearances.
Ayayi has a knack for tracking the ball coming off of the rim. He hustled into the lane to snag a couple of offensive boards against UAPB. He had 11 defensive rebounds.
“I just like to be involved,” Ayayi said. “Every time I see a shot go up, I know I always have an opportunity to go get it. Somebody has to go get it. If I’m the one getting it or like Filip (Petrusev), it’s the same thing for the team. Just trying to stay active, and I know it gets me going when I get rebounds.”
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