Something about this feels familiar. Don’t be confused if you’re feeling that. In fact, you’d be right to feel that way as Gonzaga gets set to play a rare second exhibition game this week against an opponent in Lewis-Clark State College whom it played in an exhibition to start the 2019-2020 season.
Meet the opponent
Lewis-Clark State College Warriors, 3-0, KenPom N/A
The Warriors make the trip north to Spokane after an undefeated start to their season which saw them win by an average of 44.6 points. Their roster also features a very familiar name to Gonzaga fans in guard Sam Stockton who is the youngest child of John (yes, that one) and whose family has logged a ton of great minutes in Gonzaga jerseys dover the years. He should feel right at home in The Kennel on Friday night.
What to watch out for
I take most of what happens in exhibition games with a giant grain of salt. You probably should too. With that said, however, it doesn’t hurt to watch how the coaching staff utilizes the depth of the rotation and doles out minutes to see if there are any similarities to Sunday’s exhibition and if any signs of a preferred rotation might be emerging early. Gonzaga has a lot of interesting pieces, and how those pieces are used together is one of the key storylines of this time of year, particularly with the slate of games that await the Zags in the month of November.
This has been pegged as an area of weakness for Gonzaga since the summer, and the first exhibition game certainly didn’t allay any of those concerns after a 7-24 showing. Julian Strawther accounted for most of those from the group that is expected to be the core rotation, and it will be important to get more contributions to balance the offense.
The Perry-Gregg Tandem
Kaden Perry and Ben Gregg had good games on Sunday, and demonstrated a nice understanding with one another in the frontcourt. Absent injury, they won’t be leaned on to provide a ton of minutes this year with Drew Timme, Chet Holmgren, and Anton Watson ahead of them on the depth chart, so games like this one will be their best opportunity to pick up in-game experience and grow their chemistry. Their relationship will be an important one for Gonzaga’s future, and watching the early stages of its development should be exciting for fans.