Another day, another preview ranking the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the back end of the top 25. This time, from the folks at CBS Sports. Jeff Goodman, one of the CBS guys that picked Gonzaga to be in the Final Four, put together this previewand he does echo some of the worries that have been voiced by a majority of the fanbase:
Why this team might disappoint: While Robert Sacre seemed to regress on the court, he was still the team's vocal leader. Few & Co. will need someone to step up and fill that role -- and while Sacre wasn't a big-time rebounder, the Zags still will need someone to control the glass. Dower is more of a finesse guy up front, so it'll fall on Harris and Karnowski -- and the big man from Poland is truly an unknown commodity at this point. Is he for real? Gonzaga can go with a huge frontline of Harris, Dower and Karnowski, but the concern there is on the defensive end and how they will be able to guard quicker, more athletic teams. The Bulldogs also lack a big scoring wing who can drive to the basket and make plays. For the 'Zags, it's a disappointment if they don't win the WCC and get a round or two into the NCAA tournament. I'd be surprising if a WCC title and a victory or two in March didn't happen this season.
Replacing Rob's defensive presence will be tricky and it is always hard to replace someone that has been so prominent in the program. That being said, from a skill perspective, you can make an argument that Gonzaga has improved in the post. More minutes for Sam Dower, a fresh and bulked up Kelly Olynyk, and the arrival of Przemek Karnowski should be a very solid front court. Joining them will be Elias Harris who I still think will see a majority of his minutes at the power forward spot with Guy Landry Edi patrolling the wing.
As with the rest of the previews, it is a solid read from Goodman who is definitely very high on the Bulldogs.