Former Gonzaga star Kevin Pangos is busy preparing for the NBA Draft, but that didn’t prevent him from stopping by CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney for a few minutes on Tuesday.
Pangos, who has worked out for the Lakers, Suns and Nets, was on his way to work out for the 76ers when he phoned into the show.
“It’s a great experience,” Pangos said of draft prep. “I don’t really have a lot of knowledge on the stuff yet and how it’s going to go. I’m just trying to work my tail off every day, just show what I can bring to the team. Nothing’s guaranteed in this. I’m just trying to enjoy the process and impress someone along the way.”
Pangos, a 6-2 point guard, helped Gonzaga to its second Elite Eight in program history this season. The Zags, however, lost to eventual national champion Duke with a trip to the Final Four on the line.
“It was a great season,” Pangos said. “It’s not going to be perfect. And in the tournament, it’s a one-game elimination. So when it’s like that, you play one not-so-sharp game, then you’re in trouble. We faced a really good Duke team and just fell a little short, but overall we felt great about our season. It was a lot of fun. A great team to play with.”
Gonzaga, once seen as a mid-major Cinderella, has become one of the top programs in America.
“We’ve been so consistent in the last decade, decade-and-a-half,” Pangos said. “I think we have a great shot at making the Final Four pretty soon. We’re right on the border – obviously Elite Eight this past year. I think we can get over the hump pretty soon. We got a great team coming back, young guys stepping in, really experienced front court – I hope they can make that big step. The fan base is ready to do it. The team’s ready to do it. But it’s not as easy as it seems. I just hope the best for it. It’s a great program. I love that place. I’m just going to keep on helping out and supporting them whenever I can.”
Pangos, 6-2, isn’t exactly the biggest prospect in this year’s draft, but he has a skill that’s very transferable to the pros: he can shoot. In fact, Pangos could carve out a role similar to that of former collegiate rival Matthew Dellavedova, who starred at Saint Mary’s.
“He was really talented,” Pangos said. “He just didn’t get the same attention at a smaller school. I knew he could play. He’s been great on the Cavs. He’s really helped LeBron (by) spreading the floor and knocking down shots.”
Pangos doesn’t subscribe to the theory that Dellavedova is dirty, either.
“I wouldn’t say dirty. I’d say he’s a competitor and he’ll do whatever it takes to win, but I wouldn’t label him dirty,” Pangos said. “He’s always been physical and tried to get that upper hand, but he’s just trying to compete. Especially being undersized and not as athletic as the other guys, you got to do what you go to do. I think he’s just playing really scrappy.”