Coming into the season many of us thought that our season would be largely dependent upon the success of Sam Dower, but Tuesday's game at West Virginia may have changed that perception. In what was undoubtedly the best game of Karno's career, he displayed the improvement that many of us had hoped for ever since he was recruited by Gonzaga. Karnowski has always been viewed as a project under-development, but after Tuesday's game we saw Karnowski officially arrive.
Tonight we all witnessed Karnowski display unseen coordination as well as toughness and intelligence under the rim. We saw him knock down nearly every free-throw he attempted; I believe he was 7-8. We saw him alter shots and block shots, we saw him make a ridiculously athletic and acrobatic reverse layup in transition as he was falling out of bounds. On the offensive end Karnowski was simply unguardable. Not only did he set a new career high but he showed true greatness. He could have scored even more points had he not missed a few lay-ups. This was a game where Mark Few and Gonzaga could ill-afford to have Karnowski off the court, and that's something I wouldn't have thought coming into the season.
What may have been the most impressive thing about Karnowski tonight was that he was able to remain a presence under the rim and avoid foul trouble, especially when you consider that Dower was on the bench the whole night in foul trouble. Had Karnowski committed the fouls that he has typically committed in the past, then we may have had to force Meikle or Griffin into the game, which would have weakened us significantly inside.
Karnowki's dominance inside allowed Gonzaga to put 4 guards on the court; at one point Bell, Dranginis, Stockton and Pangos were sharing the court. So in short, I just want to applaud Karnowski and recognize his vast improvement, I am now a believer that he has the talent as well as the size to play onto the next level.