Basketball season is finally here after Kraziness in the Kennel took place on Saturday. Zombie nation is playing, students are jumping as Kraziness gave fans a first look at the 2013-2014 Gonzaga Bulldogs. While the day consisted of a three point contests, fan contests, and a how well you know your roommate with David Stockton and Sam Dower Jr., most fans came to see the 15 minute scrimmage between the players.
The season is just getting going and as you can expect the team is not firing on all cylinders quite yet.
Kevin Pangos was impressive. He knocked down three after three, was able to penetrate the lane and opened up several shots for other teammates. He was confident and in total control of the game. Pangos looked as if he was at a different speed then some of the other players. Pangos also participated in the three-point competition and the guy doesn’t miss. He ended up losing to Gary Bell Jr. in the finals but nonetheless was impressive.
Gary Bell Jr. celebrated his 21st birthday at Kraziness in the Kennel and he looked good and more importantly healthy. Bell spaced the floor well, knocked down a good amount of three pointers, and was active, which is good to see after his injury in the last game of the season. Bell and Pangos both looked liked the seasoned vets that they are and looked good.
The Zags are going to need production out of their frontcourt and the bigs were rather unproductive. Sam Dower Jr. looked leaner but didn’t do much on the court. He had a few buckets and hit some open jumpers but was for the most part a non-factor. Przemek Karnowski had a few good moves down low but couldn’t seem to finish, he also added some nice blocks on the defensive end. Ryan Edwards is a big body but seems that he is going to need some time to develop. Unfortunately with the lack of depth in the front court he will most likely will not be able to redshirt this season.
New comers Gerard Coleman and Angel Nunez did little to impress in their Gonzaga debuts. Coleman looked tentative and missed some easy layups, but did have a cool steal when he picked Pangos pocket in the backcourt. Angel Nunez looked tentative as well and didn’t do much to stick out. He is long and athletic that’s for sure but had a few open threes and couldn’t knock them down.
As for the rest of the guards, Kyle Dranginis an Drew Barham were ineffective. Both players had some looks at three but couldn’t make anything. Dranginis hit one open three but Barham was off. It is one practice scrimmage and it is hard to make assumptions based off a scrimmage but as the two key shooters to stretch the floor, their shooting will be needed. David Stockton looks a little stronger this year and ran the offense as he usually does. He made a few nice moves but for the most part facilitated. Luke Meikle hit one three pointer but seemed to be a little lost on the court. He has a good looking stroke but I would expect the coaching staff to redshirt him this season to work on his body and game.
Gonzaga is only a few practices into the season and they have a long way to go until the first game. Players looked as you would expect rusty, but that is why it is October and not March.
The best player on the floor was clear in my opinion and he won’t even be eligible this year. That player is Kyle Wiltjer. Wiltjer the transfer Kentucky was impressive. He posted up well, hit a few outside shots and looked comfortable. The game comes easy to him and he is very versatile at 6-foot-10. Wiltjer is a sharp shooting power forward who has very advanced post moves and a mid-range game. He will have a year to get even better and more physically sound. Wiltjer will be a force next season and fans should be very excited.
Kraziness is always fun to start the season but means very little in the scheme of things. It is nice to see the players out playing again and to get a first look at the team but there is a lot of work to do. Players are still getting in shape and practices are just getting going. While the team looked rusty, they have time to get the rust off. They have their first exhibition game vs. Simon Fraser University on October 25th.