Friday, January 25, 2013
Nation's best frontcourt
By Matt Giles
It is becoming more evident that Gonzaga is the team to beat in the West Coast conference this season, and there is a very solid chance that Mark Few's squad will take both the WCC title and tournament crown. In a recent tilt against BYU, Gonzaga coasted to a 20-point win, enjoying a boost from the duo of Elias Harris and and Kelly Olynyk, otherwise known as the nation's best frontcourt. Gonzaga's bigs completely bullied the Cougars; individually, Olynyk had a near-perfect stat line, scoring 26 points and grabbing nine boards, but combined, the Harris-Olynyk duo was much more damaging: 51 points, 19 rebounds, and connecting on 17 of their 21 free throws.
Though Kevin Pangos has played very well, snapping out of a non-conference slump that hindered his perimeter performance, the emergence of Olynyk (and the revival of Harris) have given Few a pair of bigs he can depend on in March. The two have offensive ratings over 120, and in conference play, Harris and Olynyk have been offensive unstoppable. Gonzags's interior is converting 66 percent of their attempts within the arc, and are shooting a combined 10.4 free throws per 40 minutes. Add their ability to crash the glass and defend opposing bigs well, and the Bulldogs are going to be difficult to beat in WCC play.