Rarely does a college basketball team get through a season without making a change or two in the starting lineup.
The same can be said for the announcing team that presents Gonzaga’s home games, no matter what channel it is on.
Saturday night, in a West Coast Conference matchup with visiting Pacific that was presented in Spokane on Fox 28, the crew featured a substitute.
Tom Glasgow, a familiar face on Seattle Mariners broadcasts, was sitting in the play-by-play seat, replacing Greg Heister for GU’s 92-59 rout of the Tigers at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
Next to Glasgow, offering a couple of friendly faces, were Dan Dickau and Richard Fox, the usual pair of analysts.
What they saw …
Yes. And he played well right from the opening tip – though he knocked it out of bounds.
He attacked Pacific’s thin 7-footer, James Hampshire, inside early, scoring four quick points and making his presence felt.
He got into double digits before the first half was halfway over and his 11th and 12th points came off a dribble drive as the shot clock wound down, banking home a runner from straight on.
Petrusev finished with 15 points and six rebounds.
• No matter who is broadcasting the game, the season-long free-throw woes of the second-ranked Zags (21-1, 7-0 in West Coast Conference play) will be mentioned. Maybe more than once.
Glasgow wasn’t any different. He asked Fox in the second half if the success GU has experienced recently has answered the question about its free-throw shooting.
“All seven players who play are really skilled,” Fox said. “That should lend itself to a team that does a nice job from the free-throw line. I don’t think it has anything to do with ability.
“I think it’s something going on mentally when they get to the line.”
Fox’s theory, one of about a half-dozen shared by analysts this season, makes as much sense as anything.
Gonzaga was 17 of 29 from the line, with Petrusev the biggest offender, hitting just 3 of 7.
What we saw …
• The announcing team’s big man, Fox, was also a game-time decision. Probably. The way his voice sounded, it was obvious he wasn’t 100%.
The first time Fox chimed in, the scratchy notes jarred. The message was the same, the delivery just a bit off.
The announcing crew didn’t ignore Fox’s issue, with Glasgow praising him for playing through it and Dickau calling him a “gamer” but also throwing in a, “I feel for the listeners out there.”
Fox’s voice improved as the night wore on, something Glasgow noticed – and commented upon.
• The Zags had a new player on the court. Well, sort of. Drew Timme shaved.
The freshman looked a bit younger and, with the wide shoulders Pacific’s inside players exhibited, smaller as well. He didn’t play like one, though he didn’t score until there were less than 7 minutes left.
“It’s difficult to come into a program like Gonzaga as a freshman and come in seamlessly,” Fix said. “He’s done that. I’m surprised with that. I thought you would have seen a little more of a struggle.
“He plays very much like a junior would.”
The key matchup …
• Pacific’s leading scorer, Jahill Tripp, might have been surprised by who started the game guarding him. The Zags put the 6-10 Killian Tillie, who Mark Few likes to refer to as a Swiss Army knife, on the Tigers’ leading scorer.
Tripp is listed at 6-5, though his 220-pound build allows him to play larger. Add in his aggression, something Dickau and Fox mentioned often, resulted in a team-high 21 points. But he was the only Tiger (15-8, 3-4) in double figures until late in the game.
Tillie was even more effective on the offensive end, scoring 22 points but only needing 11 shots to get there. He also received more help, with five other Zags in double figures. And the senior had a game-high four blocks.
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