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‘Balance,’ ‘Fun,’ ‘Scary’: Gonzaga players take simple approach to describing this year’s team

UPDATED: Thu., Jan. 23, 2020

By Justin Reed The Spokesman-Review

Finding the right way to describe a subject can be tough, especially one that is complex with multiple layers.

Gonzaga basketball players and staff were presented with this question: If you had to choose one word to describe the 2019-2020 Bulldogs, which would you choose?

Almost everyone narrowed it down to one word – outside of Joel Ayayi and manager Mac Graff, who struggled to pick one as they racked their brains for the ideal word.

While some focused on the team’s on-court abilities, the theme of team bonding was at the front of most players’ minds.

Killian Tillie

Senior forward

Word: Balance.

Reason: Everybody can score, everybody can guard. Each night it is going to be a different guy catching fire and getting shots. If someone is playing really good, we’re going to go to him.

Matthew Lang

Sophomore guard

Word: Goofy.

Reason: We have a lot of jokes, a lot of inside jokes that most people wouldn’t even get. We just goof around with each other. Killian (Tillie) gets them going, Drew (Timme) and Joel (Ayayi) probably. But it is really everyone, everyone has their own moments, their own jokes.

Joel Ayayi

Sophomore guard

Word: Resilient/Brotherhood.

Reason: I think we are really resilient as a team and I think we are just a bunch of brothers playing together and enjoying each other.

Filip Petrusev

Sophomore forward

Word: Talented.

Reason: Everybody can score, everybody can do many things. But also talented (to describe this team) because we sometimes rely on it too much that when we need to put (forward) effort or something that doesn’t require talent, like energy or defense, it costs us sometimes.

Will Graves

Sophomore guard

Word: Togetherness.

Reason: On the court, brothers. Off the court, brothers. We hang out off the court, just a big family atmosphere.

Drew Timme

Freshman forward

Word: Family.

Reason: When everyone scores the ball and everyone gets excited every basket, it is just something special that we have and our chemistry really shows.

Corey Kispert

Junior forward

Word: Fun.

Reason: These guys are a lot of fun, a lot of young guys that bring a lot of energy to the team – guys like Drew (Timme) and Martynas (Arlauskas) lighten things up. And Killian (Tillie) still has a lot of energy left in him too, so we have a lot of fun together.

Ryan Woolridge

Senior guard

Word: Exciting.

Reason: Watch us, we’re an exciting team.

Admon Gilder

Senior guard

Word: Scary.

Reason: We are so scary because we have so many pieces that can score. The way we play together, the way we move the ball and the way everyone can make shots and get their own shots is scary. I think when we are able to play at the level we are playing at, we are scary.

Mac Graff

Senior manager

Word: Resilient.

Reason: They just never quit, they keep going. Bouncy and very skilled, very tough.

Tom Hudson

Radio broadcaster

Word: Together.

Reason: You don’t have four guys who are going to be signing NBA contracts in a couple months. You have a collection of guys that play together who are understanding the message that when they play together, they are really, really good. When you see the group together collectively, it is a really good unit.

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