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Thursday Zags Around the Web - Of course leading off with Gary Bell Jr.

Even though the season is a few short days away, it is hard for EDZ and me to not focus on the future of recruiting.  We began the blog to cover the future of Gonzaga basketball so when recruting tidbits come along, we have to jump.  Without further is the news for Thursday... 

-- Pre-Season All-Area Teams " Puget Sound Prep Hoops

It's been a while since we've had some recruiting nuggets but this fantastic piece by Puget Sound Prep Hoops outlines the upcoming season of Seattle-area basketball.  With such a wealth of talent in the area, I was initially surprised to see Gonzaga prospect Gary Bell Jr. listed as their MVP but with Tony Wroten out for the year, Gary Bell could really steal the show.  Here is a blurb below but the whole article is worth a read.

MVP: Gary Bell, Kentridge
Yes, Gary Bell is our preseason MVP.  With respect to Josh Smith, there is no smarter, tougher player in the state than Gary Bell.  Bell is a lone soldier this year with the Chargers, but he did help lead them to the final four last year when many were considering whether the Chargers could even make the playoffs.  Look for Bell to have a HUGE year and also look for the Chargers to have  a better year than people think.
BEST SHOOTER: Tie - Brett Kingma and Gary Bell.  Both are absolute flame throwers from deep.

-- College Sports | Zags have a lot of new players, but same old goal: NCAA tournament | Seattle Times Newspaper

But Withers, the leading and potentially only Gonzaga supporter in the Seattle Times newsroom, checks in with his season preview. A well written piece with some good quotes but, like most previews when the season is so close, it doesn't offer much of anything truly newsworthy to Zag diehards but it is a fun piece.

-- College Sports | 5 keys to Gonzaga's season | Seattle Times Newspaper

Kind of an appendix to Bud's preview article. These are his five keys for Gonzaga this year: Dumb it down, feed the post, hit the glass, give it to Gray, and keep the faith.

-- Preseason Musings: Expectations - The Only Colors

Our SB Nation partners that cover Michigan State have some lofty expectation for their Spartys this season.  They play a ridiculous nonconference slate for a big time program which is great to see.  That Michigan State/Texas game could be one for the ages.  Here's what they had to say about their nonconference aspirations: 

A 12-1 nonnconference record.  That means beating two good, but clearly less talented, teams (Gonzaga/Florida) in home/neutral settings and then knocking off one of two equally-talented teams (North Carolina/Texas) in more hostile settings.  I'll say we beat a very young UNC team on their home court but lose to Texas in Austin.

-- Michigan State men begin basketball season with patchwork lineup | MSU Spartans - -

Like we said in the fanpost about the banged up Spartans, they are going through some injury issues. Four Spartans have been injured, three will play in their opener but Raymar Morgan will be out. 

-- Sideline Chatter | Q&A with new Seattle U. basketball coach Cameron Dollar | Seattle Times Newspaper

After the whole Josh Heytvelt recruiting scandal, the relationship between Mark Few and former UW assistant Cameron Dollar has been icy at best.  Dollar is now the head coach at Seattle who is making the push into division one basketball.  Here's what Dollar had to say when asked if there was a chance for a future GU/Seattle series.  Much more positive than I expected

Q: Would SU consider a series against Gonzaga?

Dollar: I have had talks with Gonzaga ever since I got the job about starting a series with them. In the future, we will definitely play.

That's all for today! We'll have our open thread in the late morning/early afternoon and run in through the night so make sure to stop by and share your thoughts!!!