Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Gonzaga’s Gerard Coleman (0) attempts a layup against Pacific's Ross Rivera (20) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, in Spokane, Wash. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
West Notes: Illnesses, injuries can’t slow WCC leader Gonzaga
Men’s basketball » Short-handed Zags plow through Saint Mary’s
First Published Jan 07 2014 11:43 am • Last Updated Jan 07 2014 11:19 pm

Well, that didn’t take long.

Four games into the West Coast Conference basketball season, No. 22 Gonzaga has already served notice that it is still the king of the league. Heck, it isn’t even close.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Sure, the Zags (4-0, 14-2) have yet to leave the McCarthey Athletic Center for a WCC game, but they are the league’s only unbeaten team.

More remarkable is the fact that Gonzaga won all four games by double digits, including a 73-51 rout of Saint Mary’s, when it wasn’t at full strength.

"This has been a really, really hard week," Gonzaga coach Mark Few told The Spokesman-Review. "They really responded, with significant injuries, significant guys out, guys sick and guys injured playing a lot of minutes. I couldn’t be prouder of a group."

Starter Gary Bell Jr. is still out with a broken hand. Stars Kevin Pangos (turf toe) and Sam Dower (bad back, food poisoning) are battling ailments but still playing, and playing well.

David Stockton had the flu, but still went 5 for 5 from the field and had 15 points and five assists in the 86-64 win over WCC newcomer Pacific on Saturday.

The four wins came when GU students were still on the holiday break, so The Kennel was not at full-strength, but that hardly mattered.

Help on the way

story continues below
story continues below

BYU’s roster will look better now, if not the actual product coach Dave Rose puts out on the floor. Monday, Rose announced that 6-foot-6 UNLV transfer Jamal Aytes and 6-foot-10 center Isaac Neilson have been added to the Cougars’ roster.

Neither player will play for the Cougars this season; Aytes cannot due to NCAA transfer rules, but he began practicing with the team on Monday.

Neilson, who returned from a two-year church mission in Alabama in December, is from Mission Viejo, Calif and originally signed with BYU in 2010. Neilson is redshirting this season and working on strength and conditioning, but will not immediately participate in practice.

Last week, Rose said that another possible solution to BYU’s thin front line, Bronson Kaufusi, won’t happen because Kaufusi has decided not to play basketball so he can concentrate fully on football.

Oregon’s offense

Oregon is still one of nation’s highest-scoring teams, tied at the top with VMI and Northwestern State at 89.4 points per game, but it is no longer unbeaten after falling 100-91 at Colorado on Sunday in a highly entertaining game at the Coors Event Center.

The Ducks (13-1) were able to squeak past BYU and Utah in overtime, but weren’t able to move their record to 14-0 for the first time since 1937-38.

"Very disappointing," said Oregon coach Dana Altman after Colorado shot 56 percent from the field. "We just didn’t give ourselves a chance."

Despite its shooting woes against Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine after getting 96 points against Oregon, BYU is tied with Oklahoma as the fifth-highest scoring team in the country, averaging 87.3 ppg.

Next Page >

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.