As playoffs in leagues around the world march on, teams are eliminated and fewer and fewer former Zags still have games to play. There were a multitude of Bulldog alums who saw their seasons come to a close this week, including one at the hands of a fellow Zag.
Rui Hachimura: Rui is now the lone Gonzaga product still playing in the NBA postseason, as his Washington Wizards clinched the 8th seed with a win over Domantas Sabonis and the Pacers in their play-in game. Hachimura had 18 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists in the 142-115 victory. He followed that up with 12 points and 5 rebounds in the Wizards’ opening round loss to the Sixers on Sunday.
Domantas Sabonis: Domas had a solid two games in the play-in tournament, including 14 points, 21 rebounds, and 9 assists in the opening win over Charlotte. Despite Indiana’s big loss in the second game against Washington, Sabonis did his part with a 19 point, 11 rebound, 10 assist triple-double.
Brandon Clarke/Killian Tillie: The Memphis Grizzlies advanced out of the play-in and upset the Jazz in their playoff opener, but neither Clarke nor Tillie saw any game action. While this was expected for Tillie, it’s a bit surprising for Clarke, who averaged 10.3 points in 24 minutes per game in the regular season.
Kevin Pangos: Zenit are down 2-1 in the best-of-five VTB League semifinals, with game four taking place today. Pangos was the star in Zenit’s game two double overtime win. He had 27 points and 9 assists, including some clutch baskets at the end of regulation and in the extra periods. He is averaging 21.7 points and 7 assists in the series so far.
Also, I’m petitioning GU to follow the VTB League’s lead and get some above-basket pyro installed in the Kennel for next season.
Nigel Williams-Goss: The hopes of a Zag-on-Zag matchup in the VTB League finals were dashed when Lokomotiv Kuban were swept 3-0 in the semifinals. Nigel did his part, however, averaging 19.8 points, 7.5 assists, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals per game in the playoffs, including 17 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals in the team’s final game. Williams-Goss finished the season with averages of 17.6 points, 3,3 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 2.4 steals in 19 games.
Kyle Wiltjer: Wiltjer and Turk Telekom also saw their season come to an end this weekend, as they fell to Pinar Karsiyaka 2-1 in the Turkish Super League quarterfinals. Wiltjer had 16 points on 6-12 shooting, and averaged exactly 16 points over the three game series. He finishes his fourth pro season with a career high 18.7 points per game on 44.4% three-point shooting and 50.9% shooting overall.
Austin Daye: Daye’s Venezia squad advanced to the Italian Serie A semifinals with a 3-2 quarterfinals win over Sassari. Daye led the way in the series clinching fifth game, with 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists. He averaged 10.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 2 assists per game in the series. Venezia fell in game one of the league semis, but Daye contributed with 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. Game two is taking place today.
Silas Melson: Melson finished the regular season third in the Belgian EuroMillions League in scoring with 17.3 points per game, and continued that momentum into the playoffs, averaging nearly 20 points per game in Limburg’s opening round triumph. His best performance came in the series clinching game three, as he scored 28 points, including 6-9 from three, in a 90-85 victory. Melson and Limburg will take on top seeded Oostende in the league semis, starting on Wednesday.
Ira Brown: While the NBA and Europe garner most of the attention, former Zags are still kicking it on every corner of the globe. Brown’s Osaka squad entered the Japanese B1 league playoffs as the 5th seed with a 35-20 record, but fell to Kawasaki in the league quarterfinals. Brown finished the series with 12.5 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists per game. In the regular season, he was second on the team in scoring at 14.3 points per game, and also finished with 7.3 rebounds and 3 assists.
J.P. Batista: Speaking of Zags in lesser known leagues, Batista recently finished up his season in the Brazilian National Basketball League. His Minas team entered the playoffs with a 25-4 record, good for the second seed. They advanced to the semifinals before being swept by Sao Paulo. Batista finished the year with 11.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game.
*All stats as of the end of play on May 23*