Reactions from Kraziness in the Kennel


Last Saturday the Kennel was rocking once again!  It was great to be back in the McCarthy Center with a roaring crowd.  Kraziness in the Kennel is an annual scrimmage at Gonzaga University where the fans get their first look at the new team.  This is a great tradition that was done a little differently this year.

The main events at Kraziness this year were a three point shootout, a dunk contest, and of course the scrimmage.

The three point contest was encouraging.  It showcased many of Gonzaga’s great shooters including Kevin Pangos, Gary Bell Jr., Kyle Wiltjer, and Josh Perkins.  All four are great shooters.  Gonzaga has been great at shooting well from behind the arc, but this season should be even better.  Pangos, the eventual winner, looked like he was back to his old self when shooting from deep.  This was a great sign.

March 8, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Angel Nunez (2) dunks against the Santa Clara Broncos during the first half in the quarterfinals of the West Coast Conference tournament at Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The dunk contest then commenced and was awesome!  This is something that I had always hoped would happen at Kraziness and this was the year.  Angel Nunez had an incredible alleyoop between the legs dunk, but somehow didn’t end up winning.  Freshman, Silas Melson channeled his inner Dwight Howard by donning a superman shirt and cape and making an impressive dunk from a surprising length.

The main attraction of Kraziness was the scrimmage.  There were so many positives to take from the scrimmages.  Here are some of the aspects that I thought were most important.

1. Improved defense: The defense looked good.  After many defensive woes at Gonzaga, the D finally looked good.  Adding height with Kyle Wiltjer and Domantas Sabonis and speed with the freshmen guards helped immensely.  Gonzaga is known for its prolific offense, so the fact that the defense stood out is really saying something.

2. The freshmen can make an immediate impact: Josh Perkins, Bryan Alberts, Silas Melson, and Domantas Sabonis are all great players.  Perkins is in a great position to learn a lot from the senior guards, Pangos and Bell.  I think that Perkins will get quite a bit of playing time this season, especially since David Stockton has graduated.  Melson and Alberts are quick guards.  Their speed will be especially helpful when it comes to the transition game.  I’m going to be expecting more fast break points when they are in the game.  Sabonis is impressive.  He was going head to head with Przemek Karnowski for the whole time.  Sabonis definitely held his own.  He made some nice shots and played pretty impressive defense.  I don’t think that anyone in the conference will be able to contend with Gonzaga’s big men this year.

3. Byron Wesley: This guy can really play.  He should be the starting small forward for Gonzaga this year.  He is a slasher who can shoot.  He remained under control during all of his drives.  He seems to be the perfect fit for Gonzaga at the three.

4. Depth:  This team is deep.  Every position has very talented players at it.  Kraziness gives a great glimpse into the future of Gonzaga basketball and after seeing the scrimmage I would say that Gonzaga is set to have another great season.  There is a buzz around the university and around the city of Spokane.

5. High expectations: With all the excitement there are even higher expectations than usual.  I think that the team will live up to these expectations, but it will be interesting to see how long it takes for all of the talented players to mesh.  After the first few games there will be a better idea of how this team will look this year.