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NCAA Basketball Gonzaga BulldogsWCC Basketball

Kevin Pangos Just Another Reason Why Gonzaga Bulldogs Are The Real Deal

James Snook – USA TODAY Sports Images

Kevin Pangos was having a horrible night for Gonzaga in its game against Washington State.

He was 1-of-11 from the floor, a performance that would make a lot of players want to simply wave the white flag and call it a night.

But good players keep pushing forward, they continue to take chances even when logic tells them to give up.

Pangos is a good player, and when the Bulldogs needed him to deliver, he came through, scoring on a layup with two seconds to go to lift. the No. 10 team in the nation to a 71-69 victory.

The Bulldogs are 9-0, their best start in their history as a Division I program, and Pangos walked away thankful he never quit trying to come through for his team.

“It wasn’t my best shooting night, to say the least,” Pangos said in a post-game press conference. “But I’ve struggled offensively before. I forgot about the misses and just kept shooting.”

Pangos is third on the team in scoring, averaging 10.9 points per game. He doesn’t need to be “the guy” night in and night out because Gonzaga has other options.

Elias Harris and Kelly Olynyk are the most notable of those other options. Harris scored 23 in the win and Olynyk pumped in 22 points. Both players stepped up big as the Bulldogs maintained their status as one of the top teams in the nation.

“We gave game balls to both of these guys,” Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said in a post-game press conference. “These two players down the stretch were big for us.”

Pangos, Harris and Olynyk are among five players averaging at least 10 points per outing for the Bulldogs. They have plenty of balance and they can defend as well as anyone. Gonzaga is going to contend for a national title, and perhaps with a little luck, win it.

Only time will tell. But we know this. Gonzaga is the real deal.

“Gonzaga is very good,” Washington State head coach Ken Bone said in a post-game press conference. “There is a reason they are the No. 10 team in the country.”

The play of Pangos in crunch time is one of those reasons.

Brian Lester is a featured Big Ten columnist and college basketball writer for Rant Sports. He is a member of the United States Basketball Writers Association as well.

Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993 or send him an email at collegehoopswriter@hotmail.com.