Gonzaga’s Matt Bouldin is a Cool Dude


By Paul M. Banks

For an exclusive interview/profile of Steven Gray click here

I caught up to Gonzaga’s Matt Bouldin while he and his teammates were borrowing the Luvabulls’ (Chicago Bulls Dance Team) locker room for their United Center game vs. Illinois. We both joked that this interview would have been a lot more fun if some of the Luvabulls were there with us.

“It’s unreal; it’s one of those places like the Garden, or Boston Garden, a few other places that just have so much basketball history it’s unbelievable,” Bouldin said about the chance, to play and win at “the House that Michael Jordan built.”

Bouldin was named to the Wooden Award, All-American Team, and Player of the Year Pre-Season Top 50 watch list after being named All-West Coast Conference First Team for the second straight year last season and a National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District 9 first-team pick. His national acclaim despite coming from a small school is yet another example of how today Gonzaga is Mid-Major in name only. “I don’t think we look at ourselves as a mid-major especially on a basketball level. Obviously in school size we’re a lot smaller than some of these big state schools but we don’t look at that, we just consider ourselves up there competing with the major programs…That (being a premier national program) is probably a reason a lot of us come here, we play some of the best teams in the country every year, and in some of the greatest arenas. That’s huge for recruiting, that’s huge for us and it doesn’t get better than that as far as college basketball goes,” the 6’5”, 224 pound senior guard said.

Last year down the stretch, Bouldin might have been the Zags most important player as he averaged a team-high 35.0 min, 13.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 3.7 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.38 assist/turnover ratio in the NCAA Tournament. Former Bulldog stars like Adam Morrison have been a great influence on him. “Casey Calvary in terms of toughness, Dan Dickau in terms of just getting it done,” Bouldin said.

Can Bouldin be League?

“Cutting down turnovers, and execution,” that’s what Bouldin tolds me he needs to improve upon in his game. Currently he projects as a second round NBA Draft pick, but it is possible his stock could rise as his specific strengths might fit in very well with what certain teams usually do offensively.

Bouldin’s shooting mechanics are solid, and his development during his career is mostly due to all the extra time he’s spent in the gym. He has good defensive fundamentals to deny spacing for opposing shooters, but he’s clearly not the fastest guy on the court. At the collegiate level, he possesses excellent athleticism, but he projects to average or below in this department at the NBA level. But he can compensate for this with his great ability to get open looks off the dribble.


  1. Bouldin’s ability to run the point at times adds to his chances of being “league”… he could a potential second round steal or undrafted guy who finds a spot on a roster due to his versatility… ala my boy Wesley Matthews

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