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ZagNative
11-09-2012, 10:05 PM
Really good game story from Jim Meehan (http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2012/nov/09/karnowski-powers-gonzaga-opener/):

n a game fully stocked with Gonzaga highlights, one sequence probably stood out.

Przemek Karnowski, the talented 7-foot-1 center from Poland, scored on a pick-and-roll, beat the defense down the court two times in a row for easy baskets, got fouled on the low block, made another field goal and forced a turnover on a Southern Utah guard 30 feet from the hoop.

Karnowski finished with 22 points and five more Bulldogs reached double figures as No. 21 Gonzaga opened the basketball season with a 103-65 rout over the Thunderbirds in front of a sell-out crowd of 6,000 Friday at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

One of Karnowski’s goals when he arrived in Spokane more than two months ago was improving his conditioning level. He’s already dropped 15 pounds and weighs 290.

“It’s helping me to run the floor better,” Karnowski said. “I’ve been working with the strength coach and trying to give my best.”
Gonzaga made 74.2 percent of its second-half shots. Karnowski was 7 of 9 in the final 20 minutes.

“You see him walk into the room and you don’t expect him to be able to move like that,” Stockton said. “It’s been a pleasure playing with him so far. It’ll be neat to see what he can do.
Karnowski had seen highlights of GU’s crowd on YouTube, but it didn’t compare to the real thing.

“I’ve never played in front of so many people. That’s new for me,” he said. “It’s pretty cool.”

ZagNative
11-09-2012, 10:30 PM
GUBulldogs game highlight video on Youtube (http://youtu.be/d_CmqOL9EnM).

CarolinaZagFan
11-10-2012, 06:35 AM
The no look pass from Pangos to Dower at 2:40 was filthy. I'm trying to hold back my enthusiasm until Monday against WV. But wow! What a game. The boys looked good, real good. I can't believe I'm wishing away a weekend, but man I can't wait for Monday haha.

ZagNative
11-10-2012, 09:29 AM
KREM 2 highlight video (http://www.krem.com/sports/gonzaga-bulldogs/Karnowski-Zags-impressive-in-debut-178313331.html)

KXLY Highlight video (http://video.kxly.com/watch.php?id=32305)

ZagNative
11-10-2012, 09:45 AM
GoZags Game Story (http://www.gozags.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=627537&SPID=90846&DB_LANG=C&ATCLID=205731871&DB_OEM_ID=26400):

This Night Belonged To Gonzaga's Big Men In Victory
Courtesy: Gonzaga Athletics

By Matt Breach

Special to GoZags.com

SPOKANE, Wash. - At one point during the second half, Przemek Karnowski dashed down the floor, slipping behind the defense for an uncontested layin. On the very next possession, he ripped down an offensive rebound and flipped the ball into the hoop.

It was all part of a mini salvo generated exclusively by Karnowski. It was also a clear demonstration Southern Utah was no match for Gonzaga's frontline - no matter how the Bulldogs' versatile big men elected to operate.

Paced by Karnowski, a towering freshman who finished with a team-high 22 points, the Bulldogs rolled past the Thunderbirds 103-65 in their season opener Friday night at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

"Just go out there and give your all. That was the message from our coaches," said Gonzaga forward Guy Landry Edi, who added 16 points and seven rebounds, both career highs.

On paper, at least, Southern Utah, the newest addition to the Big Sky Conference, appeared to match up with Gonzaga's size. The Thunderbirds have three players who are listed at 6-11 and another two who are 6-8.

But the Thunderbirds, also playing their first game of the season, quickly discovered this contest would not be decided by how it looked on paper.

Gonzaga dominated the action near the basket, outscoring Southern Utah 66-28 in the paint. The Bulldogs' starting frontline, which included Edi, Elias Harris and Sam Dower, accounted for 43 points and 17 rebounds. Harris also added four steals and a blocked shot.

Southern Utah's starting frontcourt, by comparison, managed just 20 points and 11 boards.

Karnowski, a 7-1 center from Poland who is still figuring out the finer points of the game, showed his learning curve may not be so steep after all. He was 10-of-16 shooting and demonstrated a soft touch and nimble footwork around the basket.

"He's got good feet," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "He's getting there. It's going to be a week-by-week process."

Despite his bulk, the 305-pound Karnowski runs the floor like a player half his size. On back-to-back possessions in the second half, both times following Thunderbird baskets, he cruised by an inattentive defense for easy layups.

Despite his impressive debut and the comfortable victory, Karnowski still identified areas for improvement.

"More rebounds," he said. "We have to box out and get more rebounds and run the floor."

The Bulldogs only outrebounded the Thunderbirds by three, 36-33. But 15 of their boards came on the offensive end, resulting in 23 second-chance points.

That was key in the first half because it limited the number of possessions for the hot-shooting Thunderbirds, who made nearly 52 percent of their attempts, and allowed Gonzaga to build a double-figure advantage.

Gonzaga's post players will surely find a stiffer test waiting for them Monday night when they host West Virginia. The Mountaineers boast four players who hover near the 6-10 mark, including senior Deniz Kilicli, a bruising forward from Turkey.

Gonzaga and West Virginia met last season in the second round of the NCAA tournament, with the Bulldogs claiming a 77-54 win.

"We'll have to play very, very good on Monday," Few said. "It'll be a tough one; we are going to have to be at our toughest level."

Friday night's capacity crowd seem to appreciate the level at which the Bulldogs operated, particularly the guys down low. When Karnowski scored seven consecutive points during a second-half stretch, the student section appeared to bestow him with a nickname, the "Polish Hammer." They chanted it over and over.

The only thing that fired up the crowd more was when freshman walk-on Rem Bakamus, one of the smallest players on the team, drilled a 3-pointer from the corner in the waning seconds.

But make no mistake, this night belonged to Gonzaga's big men.

ZagNative
11-10-2012, 10:08 AM
Jim Meehan's Day-After Post (http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/sportslink/2012/nov/10/day-after-southern-utah/):
—We’ll start with the big man, or as the Kennel Club chanted: “Polish Hammer.” Przemek Karnowski’s GU debut was impressive with 22 points in 20 minutes. Add in the exhibition game against Northwest Nazarene and PK has scored 39 points in 37 minutes.

He had a Sam Dower-like stretch in the second half that I mentioned in the game story. He scored nine points in a five-minute span. The most eye-catching thing was that he repeatedly beat the Thunderbirds down the court. He said afterward that he’s dropped 15 pounds since arriving in Spokane 2-plus months ago.

Karnowski and Dower combined for 37 points and it probably would have been 47, but they rushed several shots from point-blank range. PK was 2 of 7 at the free-throw line.

“You see his feet on a couple of those ball screens, some of the down screens showing out,” coach Mark Few said. “He’s got good feet. It’s going to be a week by week process. This will be a big challenge for him on Monday with the physicalness of that game, just the style of play.

“He runs well and the cumulative effect, Sam running, then ‘Shem’ and Sam and Shem again, that helps, it really helps.”

Karnowski and Dower were able to get early post-up position deep in the lane, which was one of former center Robert Sacre’s specialties.

“He’s made huge progress over the last couple weeks,” forward Elias Harris said. “He came over here not very physical at all. Today he looked way better than he did yesterday in practice. I’m looking forward to how he does against a real physical team Monday night.”
—Wing Guy Landry Edi had career highs with 16 points and seven rebounds. Coaches have praised Edi for his development since last season and Edi appears to be more offensive-minded.

Asked what he’s worked on, Edi said, “My effort in rebounding and running the floor better, trying to guard the best player on the other team. My knee is really better now, so I go out and give it my all.”
It’ll be interesting to see what happens when Kelly Olynyk returns from a three-game suspension for the Old Spice Classic.

“People don’t realize how much better he’s gotten,” Harris said. “He’s going to be another force coming off the bench people don’t know about.”
STATS OF NOTE

—Gonzaga had 18 assists and just nine turnovers.

—The Bulldogs, despite missing a number of shots from close range, scored 66 points in the paint.

—GU made just 17 of 30 free throws (56.7 percent).

ZagNative
11-10-2012, 10:53 AM
ESPN Game Highlight Video (http://scores.espn.go.com/ncb/recap?gameId=323142250)

Birddog
11-10-2012, 11:30 AM
Re Olynyk
Harris said. “He’s going to be another force coming off the bench people don’t know about.”
Telling statement.