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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Zags Basketball Insiders Podcast (episode 2): Talking Yale, adjustments after Steele Venters’ injury, and Big 12 rumors

From staff reports

From staff reports

With the first official game in the books, Spokesman-Review reporter Jim Meehan and TV analyst and former Gonzaga center Richard Fox discuss plenty of topics in the latest Zags Insiders Podcast, talking GU’s adjustments without injured wing Steele Venters, looking back at Friday’s win over Yale and looking ahead to the Maui Invitational.

The two also discuss the ongoing rumors of Gonzaga heading to the Big 12 Conference.

Catch the episode here. It’s also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts.

Below are some highlights (edited for brevity):

Fox, on adjusting after the Venters injury: “It certainly opens it up for Dusty (Stromer) to step in … Everyone’s trying to figure out what he is right now. I’ve heard (Corey) Kispert and (Richie) Frahm for those old-school Zags, (but) I think he’s more creative with the ball than either one of those guys. I think a great comp is a (Joel) Ayayi. You saw that he did a little bit of everything in the game. They didn’t run anything for him, (but) he just took advantage of his scoring opportunities when they presented themselves.”

Meehan, on playing big against Yale: “I thought it was very effective (with) three bigs together, that combination of (Braden) Huff, Graham Ike, Anton Watson and Ben Gregg, usually with Anton playing the 3 guarding the wing-type or big-guard type player. And they stretched the lead with those guys on the floor in one segment. They they ran the floor which surprised me that’s three big guys going up and down and the offense looked OK, not clunky at all.”

Fox, on whether last year’s matchup with Purdue’s Zach Edey will help prepare GU for the matchup next week: “It doesn’t help. A guy like Edey, the first time you see him, you’re like ‘wow he’s enormous and he’s really good.’ Second time you see him, you’re like, ‘he’s still enormous and he’s (still) really good.’ The one thing it does do – you’re not quite as amazed at his size. I mean the guy is enormous so the second time around, you’re not quite as in awe of that.”

Fox, on persistent rumors of Gonzaga going to the Big 12: “Look it’s one thing to play a Big 12 team once, twice, three times in a season and win those games. But if you’re going to be a member of the Big 12, you cannot recruit the same way, you need a different type of player, it is much more physical, it’s a long conference schedule (and) you need real depth. Gonzaga has won (a different) way, we want highly skilled players, we want freedom of movement offensively (and) we want to we want to guard you not necessarily with our physicality, but more of our game plan. … You go the Big 12, it’s a wrestling match every night. If you’re a Gonzaga fan and you’re a proponent of going to the Big 12, spend time this year really watching. Don’t just watch Kansas play Texas. Watch the random game – Kansas State against Oklahoma State – it is still just a fist fight. Our program hasn’t had that identity. It’s not a criticism of our program. I think the way we’ve done it is way more enjoyable to watch, easier to recruit to, all those things.”