"Lots of programs -- midmajor, high-major, whatever -- would love to duplicate the model of consistency that Few has built in Spokane. So while the Bulldogs are losing 7-foot senior center Robert Sacre, who was the final pick in the 2012 NBA draft, they will be adding (or should I say, re-adding) Kelly Olynyk, a 7-foot junior center from Canada. Olynyk averaged 5.8 points and 3.8 rebounds in 13.5 minutes as a sophomore, but he redshirted last season because of the glut of frontcourt players. "He improved a ton. Really took a big jump," Few told me. "He got a chance to see things from a coaching standpoint. His strength is his face-up game but at the same time you don't want to be a 7-foot guard. He has really bought in."
Ditto for the sophomore backcourt duo of Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell, which logged a combined 58 starts during their freshman seasons. Few said Bell was the team's "unsung guy. Just rock solid all year." And he said that Pangos' gym rattitude is the best he has had since Derek Raivio. "Pangos is in the gym every night until 10 or 11," Few said. "Now he's starting to drag guys with him."
Sacre's departure opens the door for 6-9 redshirt junior Sam Dower to move into the starting lineup, and Few told me he's impressed with his 7-1 freshman from Poland, Przemek Karnowski. That bodes well for Gonzaga's chances to reclaim the West Coast Conference title it failed to win or share for the first time in 11 years. Moreover, 6-7 senior forward Elias Harris impressed the NBA scouts who watched him work out with the collegians at the LeBron James Skills Academy several weeks ago in Las Vegas. Few cracked a smile when I suggested to him that Harris has had an up-and-down career. "The funny thing is, he dunked a bunch of balls early in his career and everybody ran around saying he was an NBA pick. He never believed that," Few said. "He has really developed a lot. Everybody wants him to be an NBA three man. He's more suited to be a four man, but he has improved his perimeter game two hundred percent."Always nice to get an update from Coach Few on the development of our returning players, GO ZAGS!