Freshman still has jaw wired from getting accidentally kicked by Georgia’s Kenny Gaines in NIT Pre-Season Tipoff.

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This isn’t the NCAA tournament as Josh Perkins would have envisioned it. But the Gonzaga point guard remains positive about a strange freshman season, even as he’s not on the floor experiencing the rush of March.

Perkins, a highly regarded prospect from Denver, was going to get valuable minutes this year backing senior Kevin Pangos. But in the fifth game, in New York at the NIT Pre-Season Tipoff, he drove baseline and in a bizarre sequence, was clipped hard in the face by the extended leg of Georgia’s Kenny Gaines as Gaines jumped.

Perkins’ jaw, broken in the mishap, is still wired, and he said Saturday at KeyArena it will be for at least another month. He’s able to eat some soft, solid foods like chicken and noodles and his weight got back relatively quickly to 185, but he hasn’t been cleared for contact and will qualify for a redshirt season.

“These guys do a great job of keeping my head in it,” said Perkins. “Everything happens for a reason. Hopefully, it’s for the greater good.”

When Perkins went down, Gonzaga instead pulled Portland freshman Silas Melson out of a planned redshirt year.

Says Perkins, “It made me appreciate going hard every day. Any second it can be taken away from you.”

Pac-12 speed-dial

Iowa’s coaching history has a lot of kinship to the Pac-12/10/8.

The late Oregon State Hall of Fame coach, Ralph Miller, took his 1970 Iowa team to an undefeated Big Ten season. A few years later, future Hall of Famer Lute Olson arrived in Iowa City and had the 1980 Hawkeyes in the Final Four.

When Olson departed, ex-Washington State coach George Raveling headed the Hawkeyes for three years from 1983-86. He was then replaced by Tom Davis, who had coached earlier at Stanford. And Steve Alford, whose UCLA team is now in the Sweet 16, coached Iowa with modest success from 1999 to 2007.


• Iowa isn’t likely to be daunted by a pro-Gonzaga crowd at KeyArena. The Hawkeyes had seven true road wins, six in the Big Ten, the school’s most since 1986-87.

• The Hawkeyes have won the only two meetings between the schools, in 1984 and 1986.

• Iowa’s athletic director the past nine years is Gary Barta, who was an associate AD at Washington from the 1990s until 2003.

• Iowa has made one less free throw (531) than its opponents have attempted.

• Iowa coach Fran McCaffrey, asked about his predominant impression of Gonzaga, said, “The thing about them is, I don’t think there is one thing. There’s a lot of things.”