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We're less than two months away from the start of the season and multiple Gonzaga opponents are facing off the court issues that could severely impact their season.
Over the past few weeks, things have been very quiet for Gonzaga basketball. To be honest, the trick shot video made by Kevin Pangos and company may have been the biggest news maker out of the program in quite some time. Luckily for us (knock on wood) the Zags have not been the subject of any major off-the-court story this offseason. Some of the Bulldogs' future opponents, however, have not been so lucky. Let's take a look around the great SB Nation network and recap some of the major off-court issues faced by future opponents.
Reggie Moore Dismissed From Washington State
Just yesterday, this news broke which was a big shock to many as Moore was one of the very few returning contributors to an already thin Cougar team. To my surprise (and maybe there is some denial going on here) the great WSU blog Coug Center doesn't seem terribly worried.
The man who finds his way to the top of the podium is Royce Woolridge. He sat out last season per NCAA transfer rules after making the journey from the flat, wheat covered lands of Kansas to the rolling, wheat covered hills of the Palouse. With Moore gone, Woolridge is now the team's best ball handler and although it remains to be seen how effective he'll be scoring, he's the best option the Cougars have to run the point.
While Moore was rarely described as an efficient player, his loss is a tremendous blow to the program. As the post on CougCenter indicates, Ken Bone is likely going to need to be creative at the point guard spot as there really isn't a proven, pure point guard on the roster. It will be very interesting to see how WSU copes with this loss. It isn't their first piece of bad news this offseason as back in August, the NCAA ruled prized recruit Demarquise Johnson ineligible for the 2012-13 season.
Saint Mary's In Hot Water With The NCAA
Following this breaking story last week has been a whole lot of nothing. Rumors have been flying around all weekend but there has honestly been nothing coming from sources or out of the Saint Mary's administration. In case folks did not hear, SB Nation Bay Area summarizes the current situation at SMC:
What is apparently known is that former St. Mary's assistant David Patrick was one of those interviewed by the NCAA. Patrick left the Gaels to become a Houston Rockets scout in 2010 and was the main recruiter for the Australian pipeline for the Gaels. Australia has produced several successful players for St. Mary's like current NBA guard Patty Mills. Patrick has been in trouble with the NBA for working out players in violation of lockout regulations and spent much of the last year under suspension.
All the rumors are circulating around the recruitment of various Aussie players and former assistant David Patrick. The interesting part of the story is that several WCC coaches said they did not see head coach Randy Bennett on the recruiting trail this summer. SMC has a very solid 2013 class on the hook so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
Chrishawn Hopkins Dismissed From Butler
Washington State wasn't the only future opponent to lose a starter over the past few weeks. Brad Stevens and the Butler Bulldogs dismissed junior guard Chrishawn Hopkins earlier this month for a violation of team rules. Similar to Reggie Moore's case, information is very limited at this time but the impact could be pretty large. Dave Ryan of SB Nation outlines below:
A number of inexperienced youngsters will now be forced to step up with Hopkins no longer in the fold, which should also help to make Stevens's first season in the Atlantic 10 Conference even more difficult. Sophomore Jackson Aldridge from Australia is expected to get the first crack at the team's point guard job, but this is clearly a devastating blow for Butler's program with the season less than two months away.
While Butler does have more depth on the surface that WSU does, this is a pretty big blow. Hopkins was likely to start alongside Arkansas transfer Rotnei Clarke and while many expect this offense to revolve around Rotnei, Hopkins showed some true flashes of excellence.