By Peter Tormey
Gonzaga basketball star Matt Bouldin, a senior, says this year’s edition of the Bulldogs has the best chemistry of all four Zag squads for which he has played. The 6-foot-5 guard from Highlands Ranch, Colo., says the influx of talented newcomers mixed with the wily veterans has proven to be an ideal alchemy.
“I think we probably have the best chemistry of all the teams I’ve been on,” Bouldin said. “There are a lot of young guys and they stick together a lot, and they kind of band with the upperclassmen and there aren’t too many of them. The upperclassmen are really tight and really get along well. Collectively, it all kind of melded together. It’s pretty sweet.”
The Zags’ 7-foot sophomore center Robert Sacre agrees.
“I think we’ve had the best so far since I’ve been here,” said Sacre, who was injured last season. “It is a total different team but guys are just wanting to work for each other to get better. We’re just a closer unit I feel.” That chemistry, says Sacre, “Just makes me want to win more games with this group of guys.”
The Zags are off to a 12-3 start overall before battling Saint Mary’s College on Thursday night in Moraga, Calif. (ESPN2 @ 8 p.m. PST).
Bouldin is among the top 31 candidates for the John R. Wooden Award, the nation’s most coveted college basketball honor. Last week, he also was named one of 20 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award sponsored by Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The honors are nice, Bouldin says, but winning matters most.
“It’s special, but you don’t think too much about it,” he said. “I’m just trying to win games and to go deep in the tournament.”