Guy Landry Edi, a 6-foot-6 junior forward from the Ivory Coast, was ineligible for Gonzaga's first eight games. But he'll be in uniform Saturday when the Bulldogs play Arizona at KeyArena.
What’s a perennial NCAA-tournament basketball team to do when it’s searching for that elusive marquee victory?
Ah, the waiver wire.
That’s not quite Gonzaga’s tack as it approaches Saturday’s Battle in Seattle game against Arizona at KeyArena, but the Zags (6-2) will unveil a new weapon they hope will aid them in their quest for a 14th straight NCAA berth.
Most Read Sports Stories
- Kraken unveil new mascot, a troll named Buoy
- Mariners clinch first postseason berth since 2001 on walkoff home run
- Inside the Mariners’ clubhouse for a playoff-clinching celebration 21 years in the making
- As if these Mariners could clinch a playoff berth with anything other than dramatics
- No. 15 Washington's rally falls short in 40-32 loss to UCLA
He’s 6-foot-6, 218-pound Guy Landry Edi, a product of the Ivory Coast and Midland (Texas) JC. Landry Edi has been ineligible for Gonzaga’s first eight games because of having signed an agreement as a youth in France and appearing in four professional games.
“I don’t want to be the guy who says, ‘Wait ’til we get this guy back,’ ” said Gonzaga assistant Tommy Lloyd. “But we think he’s going to impact the team. I don’t know how much how early.”
Landry Edi came to the U.S. and attended high schools in the Los Angeles area. He moved on to Midland, and last winter averaged 16.3 points and seven rebounds as his team won the NJCAA title.
“He’s a classic ‘three’ man,” said Lloyd, who compares Landry Edi as a physical figure to former Zags reserve Ira Brown. “He’s really strong, athletic, a very good defensive player and a very good rebounder who plays above the rim.”
Landry Edi’s sit-out was originally decreed as a year by the NCAA. But athletic director Mike Roth says that when Gonzaga asked for a review, the NCAA came back with 20 percent of the Zags’ season (six games) plus two more, the standard 1-for-2 measure for games actually played with professionals.
Arizona coach Sean Miller said Thursday he was unaware of Landry Edi, but added, “They seem to have their rotation pretty much in gear right now.”
Landry Edi will have to crack a fairly deep rotation, but Roth, himself a former college player, says Landry Edi “has shown the ability to knock down shots.”
That would help a Zags team that has sometimes been shy of offense in 2011 as it meshes a young backcourt with a veteran front line. Gonzaga is shooting a modest .451.
In Arizona, the Zags get a team that hasn’t suffered the malaise afflicting much of the rest of the Pac-12. The Wildcats are 7-3 against a relatively rugged schedule, taking Florida to overtime last week on the road before a convincing win over Clemson.
“I’d like to think the best is yet to come for us,” said Miller. “We’ve been hit with some hardships.”
One came in New York, where swingman Kevin Parrom was accidentally shot in the leg in September. Touted five-star recruit Josiah Turner has had some off-court issues that have stunted his progress.
“I don’t think either guy has played his best basketball,” said Miller. “If we keep heading in the right direction, we could be a very good basketball team in January or February, no question.”
Miller says he envisioned a “great transition” for Parrom from his sophomore to his junior year. Then came the shooting.
“He’s really improved (in recent weeks),” Miller said. “But if you bring up his statistics from a year ago to today, you can see he’s not who he once was, let alone better.”
But the Wildcats, led to the Elite Eight a year ago by All-American Derrick Williams, have flourished partly on the basis of their balance. Four players average between 10.5 and 11.7 points.
Bud Withers: 206-464-8281 or email@example.com