The Gonzaga Bulldogs will open the beginning of the season a bit beat up, as JIm Meehan of the Spokesman Review detailed in brutal paragraph after brutal paragraph.
The Zags were already heading into the 2016-17 season minus Jacob Larsen, who suffered a season-ending injury in October. Now, the roster of the Zags is beginning a war of attrition before the season has even begun.
Meehan reported Jeremy Jones suffered a high ankle sprain in the exhibition game against Baylor and will be out for a while. Przemek Karnowski is dealing with the flu, on top of still getting into playing shape after his back surgery last season.
“He’s very much a work in progress, shape wise, basketball timing wise,” Few said. “I don’t know about a (minutes) restriction but his lungs and legs are putting him on a restriction as far keeping up with the game. Hopefully he’ll keep getting better and better.”
Zach Norvell, who wasn’t absent for much of Kraziness in the Kennel, is still recovering from knee surgery he had three months ago. According to Mark Few, he still hasn’t recovered how everyone was hoping.
“It’s kind of a mystery, frustrating to him, frustrating to us,” Few said. “He’s just not moving the way he was before surgery.”
Add all of that to the mystery of what will happen with Josh Perkins following his arrest, and a team that once seemed to have not enough minutes to around for everybody doesn’t have much of that issue anymore.
At the same time, we all knew that Karnowski was going to be a work in progress, and it isn’t the first time the big man has battled the flu during the basketball season. No one also had any idea what role Jones was going to play with the team yet.
The combo of Perkins and Norvell is the big one, however. Realistically, with both players out, that leaves the Zags with Nigel Williams-Goss, Jordan Mathews, Bryan Alberts, and Silas Melson as your lone guards. If both Perkins and Norvell are out for an extended amount of time, that depth at guard becomes awfully thin.
With both Perkins and Norvell out, it makes it hard to cover all the bases. Sure, you can start Williams-Goss, Melson, and Mathews at the one, two, and three spots, but that means you have Bryan Alberts to spell relief for all three. Most likely, a Perkins/Norvell-less team means we might see Killian Tillie or even Rui Hachimura at the three spot, which in itself lends a different set of problems. The rumblings have been the Zags would like to perhaps redshirt Hachimura this year, who has needed a lot more work just on the English language end than his fellow international counterparts.
One thing seems a bit more clear out of all of this muck, and that is hidden in Few’s comments about Perkins’ arrest: “There’s going to be a part where he’s going to have to pay a price but I’m big on the learning part of it, remorse and repentance and moving forward.”
It seems that Few has essentially said Perkins will be suspended, just in different words, and for how long, no one knows.