The 2013-2014 Gonzaga basketball season has officially begun. After the long offseason, Gonzaga opened at home with a 100-76 victory over Bryant University.
Gonzaga had a huge size advantage and it showed.
Sam Dower Jr. led the charge with 21 points on 8-13 shooting and an impressive 17 rebounds. Dower was able to get several low post touches that turned into easy baskets. Other than Przemek Karnowski, Dower was the biggest player on the court and used his size well.
Karnowski ended up with 10 points on 3 of 5 shooting, but struggled. He was the biggest player on the floor but did not assert his body as well as he should have. Every time he had a hard post up, he had an easy look at the basket, but he did not get himself in scoring positions. He also had 2 personal fouls early in the first half which will really hurt the Zags when they play tougher competition.
The Zags also used the size on the defensive end.
Alex Francis was the second leading scorer for Bryant and after a hot start in the first half, Gonzaga sagged off and stayed in front of him to limit his points. Francis finished with 13. The committee of Dower, Barham and Karnowski held him in check.
The big men took control of the paint, while the guards controlled the game.
Kevin Pangos shot an uncharacteristic 1 of 7 from the three point line, but got to the basket several times. He was in complete control of the game and took his defender of the dribble at will. Pangos also distributed the ball pretty well, ending up with 5 assists.
Gary Bell Jr. played very efficient, a trait that Gonzaga fans have become accustomed too. He shot 4 of 5 from the field, 3 of 4 from the three and ended with 14 points. Gary shot the ball in rhythm and was able to get open looks and knock them down. He seemed to move well and no signs of the leg injury from last season.
The bench looked good for the Zags especially, Kyle Dranginis and Gerard Coleman.
I have been very excited to see what type of style Coleman would bring, and it was just as I expected, aggressive. Coleman looked to attack the basket any time he had the ball and he made some good strong moves. He did look out of control at times but was still able to notch 15 points and 4 steals. It will be interesting to see how teams play him. I would expect that most teams will sag off him and let him shoot because of his ability to get to the rack.
Kyle Dranginis looked improved from a season ago. He finished with 9 points on 4 of 7 shooting. Dranginis only made one three pointer, but passed up several open looks. If can become another outside threat, he will see the floor plenty this season.
Gonzaga has a lot to work on, but it was great to get the first win of the year. The size advantage was very noticeable and Gonzaga took advantage of it on the offensive and defensive ends. It was nice to see the ability of Coleman to get to the basket, and Kyle Dranginis looking more comfortable on the court. The Zags won’t have too much time to rest as they host Colorado State on monday.
Freshman center Ryan Edwards is out for the first two games of the season after getting his tonsils removed.
Expected redshirt forward Luke Meikle, played few minutes tonight forgoing his redshirt abiliity.