MOSCOW, Idaho – Perrion Callandret didn’t play much point guard in high school, but he will play a lot of it this season if he continues to perform like he did Friday night.
Callandret provided the slow-starting Vandals with the spark they needed to pull away from Lewis-Clark State in a 75-67 win over their NAIA neighbors from Lewiston in Idaho’s final exhibition.
Tied at 29 with the clock ticking inside 10 seconds remaining in the first half, Callandret received the ball on the perimeter and looked to his right, knowing Connor Hill was running off a screen. Callandret delivered a clean pass and watched Hill drill a 3-point shot to give Idaho a 32-29 halftime lead.
The pass was one of the sophomore’s two assists, to go along with 12 points on 5-of-5 shooting in 21 minutes of action.
“He played great,” said senior Mike Scott, who handles the starting point guard duties. “It’s definitely been confidence (for him), and another thing it’s been his attitude toward the game. In high school, he was a very good player and last year I know he didn’t come in and do what he thought he was going to do.”
Two years ago, Callandret shared a high school backcourt with the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Zach LaVine in an offense predicated on Callandret looking to score before passing. Adjusting to Don Verlin’s methodical half-court approach has taken time, an adjustment Verlin thinks has been made.
“I thought he got us into the places we needed to get to in terms of running our offense,” Verlin said. “ … He got a year older. A year more mature.”
Verlin expects it to take three or four more games into the regular season to have a better idea of what his rotation is going to look like, but it will feature youth. Freshman Arkadiy Mkrtychyan started for the second consecutive game, one of five freshmen to play.
Mkrtychyan may have a claim to a starting forward spot. He had six points, six rebounds and two blocks.
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