I'll admit it, Gonzaga has scheduled some odd opponents in the past to 'warm the engines' in the first game of the season. Every team does it - typically it is a local team that just has to buzz up the road, get shellacked, and then head on home to start their D2 or NAIA season. But then the schedule was released and it was revealed that Gonzaga was playing Thomson Reuters corporation. I can only assume that the Zags will take on their top-flight intramural team which, given the fact that they have 60,000+ employees, will likely be really good. Wait...what's that? Oh, the Bulldogs are playing Thompson Rivers? Oh...heh, well, this is weird.
I couldn't have been the only one to make this mistake, right? The only other explanation for this matchup that I can see was that the staff wanted to give Kelly Olynyk a game against a team from his hometown but just couldn't get Thompson Rivers to Spokane in time. By the time they figured it out and realized it was too late, they just went with it.
As I do more research, it does appear that it kinda worked out that way. Per the Thompson Rivers basketball site (which is actually lovely):
"There is obviously a connection between our institution and theirs," said WolfPack head coach Scott Clark. "I spoke to Ken (Olynyk, TRU Athletic and Recreation Director) and he is responsible for organizing it."
It's actually pretty cool to have this game when you think about it. I know nothing about the league Thompson Rivers plays in but I'm guessing the opportunity to play at the Kennel is just about the coolest thing ever to the guys on the team - even if it winds up being a slight destruction.
In case this is the first time you've been around for an exhibition game, I would get ready to see a whole lot of walk-ons, freshmen, and redshirts. If you are looking to get a sense for Byron Wesley's role this year, this is likely not the time to undertake that endeavor. That said, it is basketball...and basketball is better than no basketball.
Tip time will be 6pm on Saturday, November 1st. The game will air locally on KHQ.