In the almost two years that Zach and I have been writing for this site, I would say that we both have been accused of being homers, realistic, unrealistic and numerous other terms that probably aren't appropriate for this site. However, as Zach and I were discussing Kraziness in the Kennel earlier this week, I realized that I had a completely different approach to this season. I found myself completely unexcited for Kraziness in the Kennel because I knew that all it would do is spark debate based on watching these guys play in a scrimmage setting for 40 minutes.
My opinion is that an event like Kraziness in the Kennel is truly only good for one thing.....Recruiting. Being chosen to be one of the few schools to have this event broadcasted on ESPN U is a tremendous accomplishment and should be a great selling point for all recruits. In fact, Gary Bell Jr. was on campus for the event yesterday and apparently had a tremendous time taking in the festivities. If there were any 2012 recruits that may have been in town on unofficial visits, I'm sure this event made a positive impression and shows the commitment and passion that Gonzaga fans have for the program.
With that said, in terms of what yesterday actually taught us about the team we can expect for the upcoming season, the answer is absolutely nothing.The reason that this event taught us nothing is because it didn't take anyone out of their comfort zone. The key part about any team sport, is that you are challenged by the opposition because they do things different then you are accustomed to seeing. With so much familiarity for the skill set and system between the two teams at the scrimmage, you are not seeing anyone adapt to the opposition or being tested by something they haven't seen.
Another issue is that guys who will be relied upon, like Monninghoff, Carter and perhaps even Keita, haven't even had full practices with this team under the supervision of the coaches. So if a guy like Carter didn't look totally comfortable running the offense, there is a pretty darn logical reason for that. While we know what guys like Elias Harris and Steven Gray are going to bring to the table because we have seen them play at the highest level of college basketball, we certainly can't pretend to know what kind of impact the newcomers will make after a scrimmage.
I hope that everyone had fun watching the scrimmage and it certainly is exciting to know that college basketball is officially back in our lives. However, don't waste your time re-watching the ESPN U coverage, or breaking down what you saw from your seat in the Kennel. We will learn absolutely everything we need to know about this team and what we can expect when San Diego St. arrives in Spokane on November 16. Until then, it's all going to be about getting the newcomers comfortable with the system and integrated into the roles they will have to fulfill this season.