October 31, 2014

Exhibition Preview: Gonzaga vs Thompson Rivers University

Thompson Rivers University Roster

Finally, at long last it’s here...well sort of. The much anticipated 2014/15 Gonzaga Men’s Basketball season gets underway on Saturday night at 6 p.m. in the comfy confines of the Kennel. It’s just an exhibition, but certainly the Zag players will enjoy mauling someone besides themselves for a change.

The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack (3-2 preseason) hailing out of Kamloops B.C. Canada, will undoubtedly have their hands full when they roll into Spokane and face a team that is ranked preseason Top 10 by several experts. The ‘Pack however, have a ton of experience, with several 5th year seniors on-board including; 6'4 guard Brent Rouault, 6.8 F Tallon Milne with a fgp of .597, and Brett Parker. Another standout leader is senior 6’10 F Josh Wolfram 12.8 ppg 7.6 rpg. Rouault is their most dangerous deep threat. He can torch the nets, hitting 42% last season.

They have experience and they also have a very good coach, Scott Clark, who came over to the Wolfpack from Simon Frazer, where he led the Clan to 10 straight playoff appearances. He also led Thompson Rivers to its very first Canadian West playoff appearance last season. One thing they do lack, and it’s a pretty “big” problem if you are going to be facing Gonzaga, is size in the paint.

In speaking with Coach Clark earlier today it became apparent that he was less than thrilled about the prospect of containing Przemek Karnowski. When I asked him who he had that he could match up with Gonzaga’s Karnowski, he dead panned “No-one.” He then went on to say it would probably be 6'8 senior Tallon Milne. His answer might become fairly common among opponents this season as 7’2 Przemek is indeed going to be a problem for a lot of teams. 

October 27, 2014

Kraziness in the Kennel 2014- What we saw

We didn't get the best seats this year as the lines were longer than usual. I suppose that was to be expected given all the new players and the preseason hype. These are always fun and it’s nice to get a look at the new players but, I can tell you right now you can’t really glean too much from them. It’s hard to get a solid take when you are basically watching a scrimmage/free for all.  That being said… lets take a look.

As I said, the lines were long. It wasn't that I arrived later than usual; it’s just that the lines stretched forever. It was difficult to tell where one started and one ended. But, we eventually made our way in and it was loud. Smoke was everywhere; excitement was in the air as well as the smell of food. Freebies were given out. You could grab magnetic schedules as well as posters and mini-schedules. It was a full house that was packed to the rafters.

The lights were dimmed and player/coach introductions were made to a raucous crowd that appreciated the newly lit party lights and smoke. I would say that Gary Bell received the loudest welcome, followed closely by Pangos, Wiltjer, Sabonis, and Mark Few. (*Wanted to give a shoutout to the new Director of Basketball Operations, John Jakus, who was also announced for the first time. He received a warm round of applause as well. Welcome to G.U. John!)

October 24, 2014

Gonzaga's Gary Bell Jr. Talks Upcoming Season and Kraziness in the Kennel-

Good interview w/ Gary Bell Jr. about his goals for the season and more. He wants everyone to pack the house for the annual Kraziness in the Kennel tommorow...be there! Gonzaga's Gary Bell Jr. Talks Upcoming Season - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

October 16, 2014

Gonzaga #13 in Coaches Poll

The first major poll is out, the USA Today Coaches Poll, and the Zags come in at a very respectable #13. Some will be a tad disappointed it isn't higher, but I feel it's about right.

There has been a ton of preseason hype surrounding this year's team and I for one am happy that this poll has not simply handed the NCAA Crown over to the Zags. This will in most likelihood be a very good team but a pinch of sensibility might be in order folks. It may just be that some over zealous fans should stop guzzling the koolaid (myself included) and come up for air.

To be sure, Gonzaga has some pretty good pieces coming back in Pangos, Bell, and Karnowski. Plus, some elite transfers; Wiltjer, McClellan, Wesley, and Sabonis. Yes, this edition is loaded with talent but that does not always equate to winning. See: Kentucky. They have 9 All-Americans on their roster this year. They've had close to that number before as well, and yet with all of that talent they were bounced in the NIT.

Not saying the Zags will be NIT bound, as we have a pretty good coach, but lets get the season going before we buy the Nat'l Title shirts. A very early litmus test will come on the road vs Arizona, who is ranked #2.

It will be a difficult task to come away with a win down in the desert. If the Zags are undefeated after the 'Zona game, meaning they will have defeated SMU at home and won the NIT Preseason Tourney, we won't be needing anymore koolaid.

Go Zags!!~