Although Gonzaga returned a lot of familiar faces this season, there are also a great deal of new ones. This afternoon, the Gonzaga men’s basketball program showcased the 2013-2014 version of the Bulldogs in its annual “Kraziness in the Kennel” inter-squad scrimmage. I was lucky enough to attend this year’s event, and take down some observations I made during the scrimmage as well.
In case anyone was curious, here is how the team was divided into the red team and the blue team:
Red – Meikle, Griffin, Draginis, Karnowski, Nunez, Pangos, Baskar, Barham
Blue – Triano, Edwards, Bakamus, Wiltjer, Coleman, Bell, Stockton, Dower
Two transfer players impressed; Gerard Coleman and Kyle Wiltjer. Coleman looked athletically superior to most of the players on the court, and with his long wingspan and quickness he terrorized the red team all game. Coleman, as expected, will be someone that the Bulldogs can rely on to score and defend on the wing.
Wiltjer showcased an impressive offensive skill set that looks improved from the last few seasons. The first thing that stood out to me is that Wiltjer looked a lot more assertive and wasn’t afraid to take the ball to the rack or do work on the block.
Despite reinjuring his foot in last year’s NCAA tournament, Gary Bell Jr. did not miss a beat in this contest. He looked comfortable out there and just as explosive as before, if not more so. Bulldogs fans that were worried about Bell coming off an injury should rest easy; because Bell is back and appears to be here to stay.
Kevin Pangos had a decent scrimmage as well, particularly at the start when he drained two threes. Throughout the duration of the scrimmage he pushed the ball well in transition and did a phenomenal job of finding the open shooter.
And last but certainly not least, Przemek Karnowski played particularly well, especially down low protecting the rim. Przemek had two blocks; one on Meikle and another monster one on Coleman. Karnowski also looked like he was in much better shape than he was at the start of last season.
Some intriguing players
The first player to check-in to the game was freshman walk-on Connor Griffin from Lake Oswego, Ore. From the moment he checked in, Griffin displayed an intensity that was reminiscent of Mike Hart. I am not saying he is the second coming of Hart, but there are certainly some similarities. Griffin made a number of hustle players, and played great defense on the likes of Gary Bell Jr.
Luke Meikle is an intriguing player as well. Although he struggled going against Karnowski and Dower in the post, he looked comfortable on the perimeter and knocked down a three. A redshirt season would do him some good so he can put on some weight (he is a rail).
*Rumor is that Meikle will redshirt. No comformation on that though.