After nearly 7 months without college basketball, it is finally upon us. Well, kind of. The new-look Gonzaga Bulldogs will kick-off the 2013-2014 season with an exhibition game against the Simon Fraser Clan (Yes, that is actually their nickname.)
First off, let’s take a look at Simon Fraser:
The Simon Fraser Clan
Locations: Burnaby Mountain, British Columbia.
Public or Private?: Public
Number of Students: 30,835.
Colors: Red, Blue, and Gray.
Conference: GNAC (Division II)
Record Last Season: 6-20.
Head Coach: James Blake (Not the musician).
Top Returner: David Gebru.
The Clan have not had a lot of success in recent years, and their record last season is a testament to that. However, they return forward David Gebru, who only played in 7 games last season due to a suspension. In Gebru’s abbreviated action last year, he averaged 17.3 points and 7.0 rebounds, and led the Clan in scoring several times. This will be a guy that the Bulldogs have to account for tonight.
Things to Look Out For
There are three things that Zag fans should look out for against Simon Fraser:
The Freshman Big’s
With limited depth behind Przemek Karnowski and Sam Dower, the Bulldogs will need to rely on either Luke Meikle and Ryan Edwards (or possibly both) to contribute significant reserve minutes this season. Although this game will not reveal any redshirts this season (redshirt freshman are eligible to play in exhibition games), it will be interesting to see how these players do against opponents with another jersey on. If the Bulldogs get up early, which is certainly a possibility, expect these youngsters to get a lot of playing time.
Many Zag fans have been patiently anticipating the debut of Providence College transfer Gerard Coleman, and tonight the fans will have to wait no longer. He showcased his elite athleticism in the annual Kraziness in the Kennel preseason scrimmage, but it will be interesting to see what he can do in a game setting. Coleman is expected to be included in the Zags starting lineup this season.
Gonzaga has a reputation for developing walk-ons into players that can contribute big minutes to the program. This season, three new walk-ons, Connor Griffin, Dustin Triano, and Leo Roese, will try and make that same impact on the program. Roese is out indefinitely with an injury, but Triano and Griffin will be suited up tonight. Griffin was a player that impressed in the Red and Blue scrimmage; the freshman showcased some qualities that could be considered “Mike Hart-esque.” Keep an eye out for Griffin to play big minutes tonight (he was the first player off the bench for the red team in the scrimmage).
Triano was not able to showcase himself much in the red and white scrimmage, but with double the amount of game time, he should get an opportunity to do so against Simon Fraser.
Tip-Off: 6 P.M. PT
Radio: 1510 AM KGA
Projected Starting Lineup: Pangos, Bell, Coleman, Dower, Karnowski