Exhibitions. Every year they happen in late October or early November and it seems like every year I read previews like this (link). And then something crazy happens and I read recaps like this (link). Yikes.
Gonzaga will take the court this evening against Carroll College. Carroll will come into Spokane with a shock the world mentality that will hopefully be crushed early on by one of the best frontcourts in all of college basketball. Hopefully no member of that frontcourt has to go deep into double digit minutes tonight as I'm pretty sure Carroll's tallest player skies into the 6'8'' range. My hope is that Mike Hart can play center after seven minutes into the game.
There is very little that we will learn tonight. The guys we all want to see dominate probably will never get into a groove and the guys that probably won't play very much will steal the show. One guy that we won't see any of is Kelly Olynyk. The junior big man from Canada is sitting out due to an apparent concussion. There have been rumors swirling that Kelly is still exploring the option of redshirting this season. It would be an odd case to see it happen. I can't remember a time when I have seen a healthy junior contributor redshirt but taking a look at the depth chart in the post, one can see the merit of sitting out the year as Rob Sacre, Elias Harris, and Sam Dower will assuredly get a bulk of the minutes down low.
For better or worse, all eyes will be on the point guard battle tonight. One has been compared to Steve Nash and one is the son of John Stockton so it is safe to say they are used to having some expectations. Personally, I just want to watch who puts the ball in Rob, Elias, and Sam's hands the best and gives them great opportunities to score. With the talent around Kevin Pangos and David Stockton, I don't think we need to care about much else. I'd almost prefer Mark Few to start the one that turns the ball over least in the previous game and run with it that way.
If I had to pick someone I am most excited about seeing tonight...it would have to be Guy Landry. What can I say, I am a sucker for bouncy junior college transfers. Landry has he built of a prototypical wing and from all accounts, he can be a very solid scorer. Gonzaga has run the gamut in terms of success with junior college transfers. Here is to hoping that Guy can make an impact early on for the Zags.