The “hey, hey, hey, goodbye” chants began with 15:20 left in the game, but the game was over far before that.
The fans, coaches, and players got what they expected out of an exhibition match against a division II school.
The bigs swallowed up the paint and dominated the glass for the most part, the guards were solid, Gerard Coleman was perfect, the bench players showed promise, and the kennel was alive as the Bulldogs brought home the 103-68 win Friday night against opponent Simon Fraser University at the McCarthey Center.
Simon Fraser did not score until there was 12:34 remaining in the first half.
Depth at the guard spot looks to be a strong-suit for Gonzaga this year, which surprised no one due to the fact that the Zags return star point guard Kevin Pangos, shooting guard Gary Bell Jr., and David Stockton who now steps into a starting role. In addition, transfer guard Gerard Coleman, who redshirted last year due to NCAA transfer regulations, made his debut as a Zag and provided insane numbers off the bench flashing an innate ability to cut to the basket with 16 points shooting a perfect 7-7 from the field and 2-2 from the free throw line.
“Gerard is very adept in the open floor, he can really finished and make plays,” head coach Mark Few said. “I thought he did a good job in the half court too taking what the defense gave him and setting guys up; he looked good tonight.”
While the returning star power for the zags is at the guard positions, the story was the play of the frontcourt. It is yet to be seen whether the Bulldogs’ lack of depth in the post will pose issues when they face a legitimate division I opponent, but against Simon Fraser they showed positive signs, out-rebounding the Clan 51-33.
Senior forward Sam Dower had no trouble securing the post on both sides of the ball scoring 20 points and snagging 12 rebounds in only 20 minutes as the game’s leading scorer. The other low post presence, senior center Przemek Karnowski also chipped in 13 points and nine rebounds.
The aggressive play of the big men was defined with 5:48 left in the first half.
Przemek Karnowski picked the pocket of Simon Fraser point guard Sango Niang at half court, somehow beat Niang to the hoop and finished the lay-in giving Gonzaga the 16-point lead and it was full throttle from there.
Most of the Clan’s points came off three pointers, hitting 13 as compared to Gonzaga’s three, highlighting the interior defense of the Zags. The Clan defense could not even stop seven-foot-one true freshman Ryan Edwards from scoring 13 points off the bench.
Edwards being the only legitimate backup center, delivered efficient offensive numbers in his first collegiate game. Edwards admits that he was nervous, but that his first basket with 1:46 to go in the first half was pivotal, even giving him goose bumps.
“I thought he did a nice job,” Few said. “He scored on plays, got to the basket with both hands, and plugged the lane decently; this was nice to see getting him minutes.”
Gonzaga opens their regular season with a pre-conference matchup against Bryant University on Nov. 9.