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Gonzaga vs. Eastern Oregon game preview: The long drought is finally over


Color Kyle Wiljer excited.
Color Kyle Wiljer excited.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

I have the urge to write this entire game preview with the caps lock on, because in reality if someone were to ask me how excited I am about this season I would only be able to yell in return. But I've heard trying to read something written in all caps is much harder, so I'll stick with normal font sizes.

You know who isn't going to stick with normal sizes? Mark Few! That is who. In reality, this being an exhibition game and all, it is a good chance that we see that big three lineup that we have heard so much about. We will also see some of our unknowns brought to light, like Eric McClellan being the best defender, and who the hell is Bryan Alberts and what role does he have on this team, if any?

Back to the matter at hand and a little bit about our hapless opponent. The Eastern Oregon Mountaineer's are a member of the NAIA and play in the Cascade Collegiate Conference, alongside such schools as Evergreen State College and Southern Oregon University.

Realistically, the Mountaineers have no shot, and as this is an exhibition we will forego our normal bout of diving deeper into the opponent, comparing KenPom stats, etc, and instead will just take a look at what we should look for in this game.

What to watch out for

Will Few release the three-headed hydra?

We need a new name for the lineup that might come out if Kyle Wiltjer, Domantas Sabonis, and Przemek Karnowski all take the floor at the same time. This is, of course, the most interesting thing about this game, because there has been excessive amounts of chatter on the issue -- and that is it. We will finally get to see it in action (hopefully). Unfortunately, the level and the quality of the opponent will make it hard to judge how much of a success a frontcourt the size of the Great Wall of China functions.

Who gets the major minutes for the guards?

Perkins is expected to get the lion's share of the minutes at point guard, but the two-spot remains a bit more up in the air. Eric McClellan, Kyle Dranginis, and Silas Melson can all lay claim to that throne. Once again, as an exhibition, I would expect to see Few distribute the minutes a bit more evenly. Assuming this game goes as expected, we should also get to see a bit of time from Alberts.

Did Ryan Edwards enrollment in the Gonzaga Redshirt Program For ChampionsTM?

Again, assuming all goes according to plan, Edwards will see the floor, and that is another big question mark we can start to put to rest. There is a lot of excitement rolling around Edwards after his redshirt year, because of the success of Kelly Olynyk and Wiltjer. Does the Gonzaga coaching staff really work magic on each and every redshirt, or did the stars align a couple times in a row to make it all seem better and more effective than it really is?