With Gonzaga's first preseason game 16 days away, the hype train has kicked into high gear. Last night, Len Elmore said the Zags were his choice to win it all in early April and other preseason rankings have the Zags in the top 10-top 15 range. One things this indicates is that, for a second straight season, there isn't a truly 'great' team in college basketball this season. There isn't a team like Florida with Noah, Horford, Brewer or a North Carolina with Hansbrough, Lawson, Green etc. There will be plenty of parity and the field will be wide open come March.
With that being said, we've seen this show before. For the past few years, it feels like hype and Gonzaga have gone hand in hand. For the most part, you could argue that the product has not lived up to what was drawn up on paper.
I think we can all agree this team has the makeup and now it is time to get down to business and execute.
One thing I try and do each offseason is set my expectations for the team. Now, this tends to change throughout the season but I feel like setting a solid baseline is necessary before play begins
My current expectation for this team is to make it to the Elite 8. Gonzaga has a pair of bonafide stars in Elias Harris and Steven Gray. These two should be the unequivocal offensive leaders on this team. Combine that with a solid supporting cast of Robert Sacre, Kelly Olynyk, Manny Arop, Meech Goodson etc...it becomes a dangerous team to handle. Something that has plagued GU in the past is that there were too many people craving points and limelight. I don't see that with this team. I see Gray and Harris at the top and everyone filling their role below. Can someone breakthrough? Absolutely, but I love the current makeup of this team as it stands.
I'm sure everyone will have different expectations this season. Go ahead and share yours in the comments below!