Prior to fully delving into this post, let me qualify this by saying that Kraziness is not the best time to make any major judgments on the state of the Gonzaga basketball team. The freshmen will surely appear nervous and overzealous, the veterans will be restrained and quiet, and the transfers will likely draw the most praise. That is typically how these things work from my experience. That said, there will be some fun things to watch throughout the event. Here are a few things that I can't wait to learn more about.
Is Josh Perkins prepared to be the backup PG?
I'm admittedly biased regarding Perkins since he is a fellow Colorado native but this is a huge question in my opinion. For as much as he was questioned, David Stockton was a stellar backup point guard option for Kevin Pangos and, now that he has moved on, the onus falls to Perkins. I continue to think that, much like Matt Bouldin as a freshman, Perkins will make a great impact because he's such an innovative distributor. He sees the court like few other Zags recruits in the past and I think that will be a huge asset as he spells Pangos. Much like Few did with Stockton, if Perkins can run the point from time to time while Pangos plays off the ball and is able to hit deep jumpers, it will be a very dangerous backcourt. The key to Josh's court time, however, will likely be how he adapts to the speed of D1 hoops, particularly on the defensive end.
What will the frontcourt rotation look like?
We obviously won't know this from the action today but it is a very crucial question. The Bulldogs backcourt is so deep but the frontcourt is relatively thin. Thin, yes, but extremely talented. I think most of us would agree that we are confident in what Kyle Wiltjer and Przemek Karnowski can provide. The X-factors are Domantas Sabonis, Ryan Edwards, and Angel Nunez. If two of these three can step up and provide solid minutes, then there will be need for worry. Sabonis is likely the best bet to see immediate time as he has a mature game even though he is just a freshman. Edwards and Nunez have been inconsistent while in Spokane but have shown flashes that they can make the jump. There have been rumors that Edwards may redshirt this season so, if that is the case, then Sabonis and Nunez really need to be outstanding. At this time, any injuries to Wiltjer or Karnowski would be darn near catastrophic so it is very important that someone else steps up.
How does the wing rotation shake out?
Like the frontcourt, this is a wait and see item but it is going to be intriguing to watch. The two main contenders for the SF starting spot for the Zags are likely Byron Wesley and Kyle Dranginis. Wesley is the rumored starter for the season but the veteran Dranginis has shown an amazing ability to be the jack of all trades for this team. The good news is that they do complement one another very well. Wesley is a pure scorer while Dranginis prides himself on doing it all for the Zags, particularly on the defensive end and on the glass. In addition to these two, freshman Bryan Alberts might be a contender to steal some minutes. The last thing to remember is that Mark Few may elect to trot a lineup on the floor that includes Kyle Wiltjer at the small forward with Sabonis and Karnowski in the post. I can't imagine opponents would enjoy seeing a lineup of Pangos, Bell, Wiltjer, Sabonis, Karnowski on the court.
A few special guests
More than anything, Kraziness in the Kennel should be a recruiting tool and that is what Mark Few is using it as this year. 2016 shoot guard prospects Christian Terrell and Sam Cunliffe will be in the house as the Bulldogs are unveiled. Cunliffe hails from the Seattle area while Terrell is from Sacramento. Both are currently in the three to four star range on most recruiting services at this time.