After the sun set on April 3, 2017, it was painful to think how long we had to wait for the next page to turn in the annals of the Gonzaga Bulldogs mens’ basketball program. The wait is finally over. It is time to put the most successful season in school history behind us and look to the future. And that future starts with an exhibition game against the College of Idaho.
Meet the opponent
The College of Idaho Yotes are a Division II school with a rather successful program. They took part in the NAIA Tournament last year, losing in the second round by one point to the eventual champs. The game appears to be nicely scheduled thanks to proximity, and a swing through Boise State University for an exhibition game as well. In the past three years, the College of Idaho has played Oregon State, Utah, and Arizona.
The Yotes finished 24-10 last season, and lost three starters from last year’s squad.
What to watch out for
How do all these new folks look?
Jesse Wade, Corey Kispert, Jacob Larsen, Zach Norvell Jr., Jeremy Jones and Rui Hachimura are all players we really haven’t seen too much of (if at all) that we will see this season. Granted, you can’t take too much away from their game play against a Division II opponent, but you can gleam some insight in how they operate on a team level. There are plenty of questions going into the season, and much of it starts with the new players on the squad.
Where is all the offense going to come from?
As Keith pointed out yesterday, the Zags lost A LOT of offensive production last season. There are a lot of qualified players who can step up to shoulder some of that balance (Norvell, Hachimura, and Josh Perkins to name some of the key guys off the top of the head). Again, someone dropping 30 points on the College of Idaho is as meaningless as it gets. But, will we see Josh Perkins open up and shoot a bit more? Will we see Norvell be the primary scoring option from the backcourt? These are all little bits we can build on.