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ZagNative
02-05-2015, 02:21 PM
This is a nice story about Silas' first year as a Zag (http://portlandtribune.com/pt/12-sports/249389-117618-ex-demo-makes-bulldogs-job-easier).

Ex-Demo makes Bulldogs' job easier
Created on Thursday, 05 February 2015 06:00 | Written by Andy Buhler

SPOKANE — When Gonzaga recruited Silas Melson, his résumé fit the mold as a long-term program pillar, but the Bulldogs did not have immediate need for his talents on the basketball court.

The plan — even after he won the team’s preseason dunk contest wearing a Superman cape — was for him to sit out this season, take a redshirt freshman year, and work on his game.

Two weeks and five games into the season, the Zags went to Plan B.

And since Melson made his college debut Nov. 28 against St. John’s, the 6-4 guard from Jefferson High has been a regular reserve for Gonzaga, which is 22-1 and ranked No. 2 in the country behind Kentucky.

Melson has played in all 18 games since coach Mark Few and staff decided they needed him in the rotation to help fill in for injured freshman point guard Josh Perkins.

Melson is averaging 12.2 minutes per game, with 4.6 points, going into Gonzaga’s games this week — Thursday at Santa Clara and Saturday at San Francisco — as the Zags try to build on their 10-0 West Coast Conference record.

The former Democrats star, who led Jeff to the 2013-14 Class 5A championship, has quickly gone from his starring role in the “Kraziness in the Kennel” dunk fest to logging meaningful minutes on a team that could reach the NCAA Final Four or even win a national title.

The coaches assured Melson all along that he was ready for the college level, but the feeling was that the Bulldogs boasted enough backcourt depth that they could afford to bring him along slowly, as a redshirt, and that by playing him they might in essence waste a season of his eligibility.

To Melson, Bell and Pangos are role models.

“Those are two great guys to follow behind, two great winners,” Melson says. “They’ve been a part of the Zag culture for four years, and this year they’re being great leaders for the team, sacrificing what they want so we can win. That’s something me and Josh can look up to.”

Melson’s new role is a switch from his days at Jefferson, when he often carried the team offensively.

“Silas hasn’t had to be kind of a pinch-hitter,” Few says. “He’s been in a situation where he’s going to play predominantly the whole game (at Jefferson), so I think that’s been his biggest adjustment.”

In the grand scheme, adjusting to his role on the court is second to familiarizing himself in Spokane and in the classroom, where he is leaning toward declaring as a psychology major.

But his adjustment to college student-athlete and that lifestyle has been seamless, on and off the court. He keeps in touch with former Jefferson teammates and friends such as Kameron Chatman, a top recruit out of Columbia Christian High who is a freshman on the University of Michigan basketball team. He’s made only two, quick trips home, but being away hasn’t been a major challenge.

And he is adapting to the more limited role of a backup guard.

“It’s a mental thing,” he says. “I don’t get mad about the minutes. I don’t get mad when the coaches take me out.

“I know for the team I have to play my role. The only thing I try to do when I’m out there is hold my own, do what the coach asks, and don’t try to do too much.”

Zagdawg
02-05-2015, 02:28 PM
Sounds like he has a good head on his shoulders-- very happy that he is a Zag.

MDABE80
02-05-2015, 04:06 PM
Nice kid. Give him another year .......he's got all the tools and size to go far. I hope he does. He's a gem.

Hoopaholic
02-05-2015, 04:10 PM
going to be a star studded zag

DixieZag
02-05-2015, 04:40 PM
I recall his interviews in high school and the importance of both team and education. He was a Zag before he even got here.

Thx for posting.

SWZag
02-06-2015, 07:27 AM
Great article, thanks for sharing. Proud to have such a gentleman represent the university. Several exciting years ahead for us fans!

cjm720
02-06-2015, 07:36 AM
Love his attitude almost as much as his game.

Zagceo
02-06-2015, 07:45 AM
The special bond and respect for one another this team has is IMHO because of Gary and Kevin's unselfish Senior leadership.