There’s a lot of pressure heaped on Gonzaga’s bench mob. After all, the walk-on fraternity has a rich history for the Zags, even as they do most of their work out of the spotlight.
For junior guard Matthew Lang, not only is he expected to bring his best to practice everyday and ensure that his scout team cohort of walk-ons and redshirts give the primary rotation the work they need to be prepared for the next opponent, he’s also trying to secure his place in the hearts and minds of Gonzaga fandom alongside the likes of Rem Bakamus, Dustin Triano, and Mike Hart.
Lang is certainly on the right track, inheriting the key role of lead pre-game handshake artist from Jack Beach (who inherited the job from Bakamus—the handshake godfather) while sporting plenty of confidence in his late game cameos to put his smooth jumper on display and let the three-ball fly (particularly when tacos are on the line in The Kennel).
Lang hit four three-pointers last season in 21 appearances, and there’s a 1000% chance that each one of those threes secured tacos for the home crowd (ten made 3’s in a game triggers the giveaway).
Motion to name Matthew Lang the Chalupa Cannon. https://t.co/aY1fPRHsQ1— Keith Ybanez (@slipperyky) December 31, 2019
In addition to his on-court exploits Lang has also been an extremely gracious teammate, particularly to his international teammates. Last Christmas, Lang hosted the French contingent of Killian Tillie and Joel Ayayi at his home in Portland so they could enjoy the holidays while apart from their families.
Culture is a big deal at Gonzaga, and every member of the team plays a key part in creating the type of environment that cultivates community and success. While Lang may not be counted on for 25 minutes per game, he’s still an essential part of Gonzaga’s winning formula. And if you’re lucky enough to find yourself at a Gonzaga home game in the next two years, he might just win you a taco.