After a solid win over Arizona this past weekend, the Zags were looking for another quality win to bolster their nonconference resume. While this is definitely not a Butler team of years past, the Zags took care of business tonight and really dominated the opposing Bulldogs by a score of 71-55. Gonzaga was paced by Elias Harris and Kevin Pangos, who both finished with 19 points on the night.
Elias Harris nearly locked up another double-double but finished one rebound shy of the mark. He was a force early in the game and continued to provide a spark as the game continued on. It was pretty clear from the start of the game that Mark Few's strategy was basically to unleash Harris on Butler in similar fashion to the Arizona game. Harris got the ball in good position, drew fouls, and played very efficiently. He is potentially playing his best basketball in a Gonzaga uniform; especially when you factor in his rebounding contributions and his defensive improvement.
Harris' partner in crime tonight, and for most of the season, was Kevin Pangos. While Pangos captured the hearts of Gonzaga fans everywhere after his incredible shooting display against Washington State, the most impressive part for me is that Kevin continues to blossom into a very good looking young point guard. He was 7-11 from the floor tonight, had four rebounds, and two assists in what I think was his best all around performance. Although Kevin had three turnovers, he had a number of nice looks in the interiors that simply weren't converted. It is pretty clear now what he was praised so much before arriving at Gonzaga.
While Harris and Pangos were exceptional, the most enjoyable part of the game for me was seeing the efficiency of the rest of the squad. First of all, Gary Bell and Guy Landry Edi both had great all around games. Most notably, both were great on defense as their length really does cause heartburn for other teams. Bell was also efficient on offense, going 2-3 from the floor and finishing with nine points. Most importantly, zero turnovers for Bell on the night. Landry Edi is simply fun to watch. He is a prototypical wing with a monster frame and he has no fear. He attacks the rim, flies around on defense and is just always around the ball. Honorable mention to Sam Dower and David Stockton who were also pretty darn near error free tonight. Sam's confidence continues to flourish as the year continues.
Mark Few's Bulldogs now sit at 8-2 as we inch closer and closer to West Coast Conference play. Up next, a date with the Falcons of Air Force on Thursday at the MAC.