It was such a wonderful feeling to hear “Zombie Nation” once again in the McCarthey Athletic Center and to have the taste of banana split flavored Dippin’ Dots in my mouth. This was my fourth and final Kraziness in the Kennel as an undergraduate. As sad as that sounds, I have had a lot of great memories watching this event over the years and this year’s event was just as entertaining. Another added memory that happened yesterday was when the Gonzaga team received their Maui invitational surfboard in what should be a thrilling tournament from November 19-21, right before Thanksgiving.
Nothing quite like having the Kennel back in action. pic.twitter.com/J6s6riUOR6— Gonzaga Basketball (@ZagMBB) October 7, 2018
3-Point Contest Winner: Zach Norvell Jr.
“Snacks” beat Josh Perkins in a one-shot sudden death matchup after both hitting 13 threes in a 45-second contest. Killian Tillie and Filip Petrusev lost in the opening round of the event. This is the second time that Norvell won the 3-point shootout after winning in his first season as a Zag back in 2016.
Dunk Contest Winner: Brandon Clarke
Clarke, the San Jose State junior transfer, won this contest for the second year in a row with a 360 windmill on his last dunk. Greg Foster Jr. and Corey Kispert also competed in the dunk contest. Two things that I was a little mad about, Kispert didn’t jump over his mom this year and Rui Hachimura didn’t compete in the event as advertised (he sat out due to a sore knee but still played in the scrimmage?). I definitely would have picked Rui to win it all.
You're looking at half of this year's Slam Dunk Contest field for Gonzaga Kraziness in the Kennel (+me)— Sam Adams (@SamAdamsTV) October 4, 2018
Saturday's contestants are:
Corey Kispert (left)
Brandon Clarke (center)
Greg Foster Jr.@corey_kispert and @brandonclarke23 found out when we told them tonight pic.twitter.com/aut2QdtWzO
The blue squad beat the red squad in the final event of the day but what really stood out to me was how much Hachimura (red) struggled while going 2 for 9 from the field but did pull down 9 rebounds. Norvell Jr. led the blue squad with 12 points and Josh Perkins, who is coming off shoulder surgery, led the red squad with 10 points. I was very impressed with these two backcourt players as Perkins was gliding to the rim with ease and Norvell looked very comfortable playing alongside Brandon Clarke who finished with 8 points and 6 rebounds (plus 6 blocks while guarding Rui most of the scrimmage). Jeremy Jones (blue) also had a sweet block and was putting the locks on players at the defensive end.
As much as I like watching Gonzaga basketball, I would much rather watch the players scrimmage without the constant whistle from the referee. Plus, their had to be three or four timeouts during the 15-minute scrimmage. When you see Kansas, Duke, and Kentucky host their Midnight Madness events, they just let the kids play and they put on an entertaining show for the home crowd. Constant alley-oops and fast break dunks. I would much rather see that type of play for the scrimmage at Kraziness in the Kennel.
After watching the 3-point contest and dunk contest, it struck me that Jacob Larsen was nowhere to be seen. It seems that Larsen is stepping away from the team this season due to “personal reasons” and to focus on school. Larsen didn’t see a ton of minutes last season and he wasn’t really going to see his minutes increase this season with the loaded frontcourt of Rui, Clarke, and Tillie as well as Petrusev off the bench. He still has the opportunity to rejoin the team next year so I want to wish Larsen the best of luck going forward.
Former Zags big man Jacob Larsen has stepped away from the team. https://t.co/EpBw5ZOfSS— The Gonzaga Bulletin (@GonzagaBulletin) October 7, 2018
Geno Crandall also wasn’t at the event as he works toward completing his credits and graduating from North Dakota. Crandall is still expected to join the team in mid-October and be on the floor for the first game against Idaho State on November 6th.
Although I didn’t see him, Drew Timmie (4-star 2019 recruit; 59th ranked player in the ESPN100) was in attendance as he took his official visit to Gonzaga this weekend. Lets hope he liked what he saw. Brock Ravet, Gonzaga 2019 commit, was also at Kraziness and checking out his future team.
Also, (sorry if it sounds like I’m complaining a lot, just looking for ways to improve this event) when are we going to get Kraziness in the Kennel on TV or at least available for streaming on the Internet? I know our Gonzaga fans across the world would want to see that.
*Arden Cravalho is a senior at Gonzaga University... Follow him on Twitter @a_cravalho