By Catherine Van and Peter Tormey
SPOKANE, Wash. – Gonzaga University freshman guard Kevin Pangos from Newmarket, Ontario joins 7-foot centers Kelly Olynyk, a junior, and senior Robert Sacre to give the Zags a trio of Canadians with international experience and scoring firepower to put a world of hurt on opponents.
Pangos’ firepower was on display in the Zags’ second game, an 89-81 win over Washington State on Monday (Nov. 14) night when he tied Dan Dickau’s school record by draining nine 3-pointers to finish with 33 points to lead Gonzaga. Dickau had hit nine 3-pointers on two occasions.
Pangos, Gonzaga’s newest Canadian import, is a 6-foot-1-inch, 185-pounder with a coach’s mentality. After all, his father, Bill, is a basketball coach – the women’s coach at York University in Toronto, where Kevin’s sister Kayla plays. Adding to his basketball bloodlines is mother, Patty, a former hoopster at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
Pangos is one of five highly touted freshmen to join the Zags this season. The others are guards 6-foot-5 Kyle Dranginis from Nampa, Idaho, 6-foot-1 Gary Bell, Jr. from Kent, Wash., 6-foot-4 Chris Sarbaugh from Spokane’s Gonzaga Prep; and 6-foot-8 forward Ryan Spangler from Blanchard, Okla.
Pangos said all five freshmen – they call themselves the “fast five” – get along well and are supporting each other. At the Division-I level, the most competitive in college, the game looks somewhat different for all five freshmen than it did in high school. Pangos said it would take some time to adjust.
“The pace is a lot faster playing with a lot bigger and stronger guys, so I’m trying to hold my own that way,” he said. “Gaps that used to be open in high school and lower levels aren’t there anymore; people recover a lot faster.”
Nevertheless, Pangos hopes to continue seeing significant playing time, as he has early on in the season. A selfless player, he plans to continue working hard in whatever his role becomes.
“I just want to do what I can to help the team,” he said. “I try to play as much as I can and work hard for the minutes, but whatever it takes to help the team that will be my job.”
View Coach Mark Few’s comments below — courtesy of GoZags.Com — about Pangos and the Zags after their victory over WSU.