For most Gonzaga fans, it is going to be a long, long offseason as we await the 2011-12 season and the arrival of the 2011 recruiting class. Featuring three scholarship guards and a forward that have all received plenty of praise as high school athletes, many are expecting big things from the class. Tonight, we all have an opportunity to get a glimpse of a quarter of the fresh crop as Kevin Pangos will participate in the Nike Hoops Summit. The Summit, which has become the premier USA vs. the world competition, pits the United States Junior National Select team against a select team comprised of players around the globe.
The United States team is obviously loaded. Basically every player on the roster sits atop the Rivals or Scout rankings and they will likely all be names you hear next year as "Diaper Dandies". It is hard to decide who headlines the American team but names like Austin Rivers, Michael Gilchrist, and Anthony Davis are guys we (read: recruiting junkies) have been hearing about since they were freshmen in high school.
While those guys will all be fun to watch tonight, it is safe to say that all Zag fans will be watching Kevin Pangos. The 6'1'' guard is still a relative unknown in the states but on the international scene, he has made a big name for himself. From playing on the Canadian senior men's national team at 16 years old to being named top point guard at the FIBA U17 Nationals last summer, Pangos has excelled against some outstanding competitoin.
While all those accolades are extraordinary, tonight will be most fans' first chance to see Kevin in action (not counting two minute clips on YouTube). Not only will a broader base get to see Kevin, but they will get to see him against the top competition in the United States. If there has been one knock against Pangos, it has been his struggles against elite athletes. With the roster that America is trotting out on the court tonight, we will definitely get a first hand idea of his game and how it translates against American competition.
Here is the official website for Nike Hoops Summit. The game will tip at 7 PM pacific and will be broadcast on FSN but check your local listings as some markets will have a tape delay.