This is one of the best times of the year for sports fans. The NFL season is in full swing. The NHL season is just beginning. The MLB postseason is heating up. There are some prime college football games. College basketball is getting prepped to begin in November.
The month of October is always full of anticipation for NCAA basketball fans. At Gonzaga there is an annual men’s basketball scrimmage called Kraziness in the Kennel. This is the first look that fans get at the team. It pumps everyone up for the season. This year Kraziness takes place on October 25 at 4 p.m.
We are a little over two weeks away from the scrimmage and here are some things I’ll be keeping an eye on.
1. Przemek Karnowski’s continued progression. I know that Karnowski had a great season last year, but I know that he can be better. I’m going to be watching for improvements in his footwork and ball handling. He made such major improvements during the last offseason. I can’t wait to see how he has improved during this off season.
2. Gary Bell Jr. being aggressive. Every season I hope that Bell will be more aggressive. I hope that he will drive to the basket more and even shoot the ball a little more. His defense is often highlighted, but his offense can be just as good. I’m interested to see if Bell will change his playing style at all.
3. Ryan Edwards? Edwards showed some promise last season. He wasn’t able to play much because of the success of Karnowski and Sam Dower, but he was able to shine a little bit. I’ve been hearing rumors all offseason about weather Edwards will take a redshirt year or not. I think that Edwards should redshirt. Gonzaga players have a history of greatness from players coming off redshirt years (i.e. Kelly Olynyk). I know that Edwards will not be what Olynyk once was, but Edwards could really benefit from a redshirt year. He could take a year to really refine his skills while working with the coaching staff and become a force down low. If Edwards redshirted this year his next season of eligibility would be Karnowski’s senior season. Having those two seven-footers in the post would be a defensive nightmare for any team.
4. Josh Perkins. Perkins is in an incredible situation. He’s an extremely skilled guard who is a freshman during Pangos and Bell’s senior seasons. Perkins will be able to observe and learn so much from the two elite seniors. I’m hoping that Perkins will get some playing time this season, but for now I’m just excited to see him play in the scrimmage.
5. Team chemistry. Last season this was a problem. During Kraziness I will be watching for chemistry between players and chemistry for the team as a whole. It will be interesting to see how Mark Few decides to split the teams in the scrimmage. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on the interactions between players to see if any of the chemistry issues have been fixed since last year.