New Look Gonzaga Ready To Hit The Court - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New Look Gonzaga Ready To Hit The Court

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The leaves are changing, the temperatures are dropping and basketball season is right around the corner.

The Gonzaga men's basketball team is on the home stretch of preseason practices with an exhibition opener against Simon Frazer University slated for Friday, October 25, at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

With last season's disappointing finish firmly in the rear view mirror, this figures to be an early season full of change and adjustment for Gonzaga. Gone are three vital members – Elias Harris, Kelly Olynyk and Mike Hart -- from last year's squad that reached unprecedented heights as the number one ranking late in the season.

Now the challenge for the Zags becomes identifying who will fill those voids. Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell, Jr. return to anchor a backcourt that, when clicking, can go head-to-head with nearly any other in the country. Head coach Mark Few and company are hoping that guard duo can replicate last season's performance from three-point range (nearly 41 percent) to create space inside for a fairly green frontcourt.

Sam Dower is the only major contributor returning for the Bulldogs in the post. The redshirt senior forward averaged 16 minutes, 6.9 points and 2.7 rebounds per game last season, but will be expected to improve on those numbers across the board with the absence of Olynyk and Harris.

Beyond Dower, expect a drastically improved role for Polish native Przemek Karnowski. Gonzaga will rely on the 7-foot-1 Karnowski to provide an intimidating post presence both offensively and defensively as he continues to develop his game.

While Gonzaga will get its first chance to see how all the pieces fit in the exhibition game against Simon Frazer, the season gets going in earnest on Saturday, November 9, when Gonzaga hosts Bryant University at the McCarthey Athletic Center.  

 

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