I have spent a lot of time talking about the upcoming season. The season is less than a week away and there is a lot of excitement. I have talked about potential lineups, the schedule and player profiles. While the team is set to start the season on Saturday, I have talked the least about the probably the biggest star on this Gonzaga team: Kevin Pangos.
Kevin Pangos is another great Gonzaga guard in the long line of them, and he only is a junior. As a four star recruit out of Canada, in only two seasons, Pangos has managed to be one of the most consistent players for the Bulldogs. He had various offers to choose from out of high school, but was a little bit overlooked being a guard from Canada. Since his time at Gonzaga, Pangos has showed however that he is a big time player, and a very good point guard.
As a freshman Pangos shot 40% from three, averaging 13.6 points per game. In his first ever game suited up as a Zag he knocked down 9 three pointers to tie the school record and finished with 33 points. Pangos has shown that he can not only shoot the ball, but also distribute. He averaged 3.4 assists in his rookie campaign as well.
During Pangos sophomore season we saw more of the same from him. Shooting and even more impressive 41 % from three, dishing out 3.3 assists per game and still averaging close to 12 points per game at 11.9. With the team dominated by the inside presence of Kelly Olynyk, Elias Harris and Sam Dower, Pangos still managed to get his numbers.
Pangos is a knock down shooter with exceptional balance and form. If he is open, most of the time the ball is going in. Over his two seasons at Gonzaga his game has improved. Pangos has a great floater and will get to the basket. The offense this year for Gonzaga should be tailored to the guards more than last year and Pangos will benefit from that.
Last year because the offense was centered on the big men, Pangos averaged a half a shot less per game and almost a full three pointer less per game. He has proven thus far in his career that he will take good shots and make them. I expect this year that Pangos will shoot the ball between 12 to 15 times a game, up from his career average of 9.3 shots per game.
Pangos will be the go to guy for Gonzaga and he has earned it. The backcourt this year is led with several upperclassmen and Pangos will run the show. He is a very confident shooter and player. Gonzaga this season will rely heavily on him to not only score, but also play the majority of the game. So far in his career he has averaged over 31 minutes per game, which will see an increase this season. Besides backup point guard David Stockton, Pangos is the primary ball handler.
I am expecting big things out of Pangos this year. As I mentioned before he has been very consistent in his first two years for the Bulldogs. Coming into his junior season I would expect more of the same and increase in his numbers. I am projecting Pangos to average between 15 and 17 points per game along with 4 assists per game. I think Pangos is good enough to lead the team in scoring this season, and just as former Gonzaga guards have done in the past, Pangos will assert himself to country to let them know how good he is.