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exclusivelee
10-14-2013, 09:08 AM
ESPN's 2013-14 Gonzaga Men's Basketball Preview

http://insider.espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/9749682/2013-14-college-basketball-preview-gonzaga-bulldogs


Gonzaga Bulldogs

2012-13: 32-3 (16-0)
In-conference offense: 1.21 points per possession (1st)
In-conference defense: 0.91 points per possession (1st)

Projected starting lineup
Pos., Name, Year
C Przemek Karnowski, So.
F Sam Dower, Sr.
G Gerard Coleman, Jr.
G Gary Bell Jr., Jr.
G Kevin Pangos, Jr.

Despite losing two players to the NBA, reloaded Zags are again WCC favorites. Sophomore center Przemek Karnowski is poised to have a big season for the Bulldogs.

Gonzaga will be coming off the best regular season in program history, one in which it earned a No. 1 overall ranking and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Though a round-of-32 exit colors how the campaign is viewed, without question the Bulldogs reached startling and unexpected heights last season. But this season offers more promise of success.

Losing the dominant interior tandem of Kelly Olynyk and Elias Harris will leave a massive void on the inside -- both are now in the NBA -- but head coach Mark Few has capable replacements in 7-foot-1 sophomore Przemek Karnowski and senior big Sam Dower.

Karnowski made the conference all-freshmen team and is expected to take on an even greater role after logging just 26 percent of available minutes last season. Dower made the most of his 16 minutes per game, posting a 115 offensive rating and a block rate of 3.2 percent. Both big men will be expected to produce offensively and form an active interior wall on the defensive end. Louisville transfer Angel Nunez will be eligible in December and could provide support on both ends of the floor with his 6-foot-7 frame.

And though the frontcourt received the lion's share of the acclaim in 2012-13, Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell Jr. were excellent as well. The junior duo will form what will likely be the best backcourt in the WCC and one of the most efficient in the country. Last season, Pangos made the All-WCC team and posted an offensive rating of 121.5, good for top 50 in the nation. He connected on 42 percent of his 3-pointers and nearly 81 percent of his free throws. Bell is a solid shooter and will become a double-digit scorer while maintaining solid shooting percentages. He's also a strong defender.

They'll be joined on the perimeter by Gerard Coleman, a 6-4 Providence transfer who sat out last season and who could provide immediate impact after averaging double figures in the Big East in 2011-12. Likely slotted at the small forward position, Coleman can slash inside and is a strong finisher at the rim. David Stockton will once again contribute off the bench, especially as a distributor.

Though 16-0 in WCC play won't be replicated this season, the Zags are still the favorite to win the conference and should consider a Sweet 16 appearance a realistic goal.

Projected conference finish: 1st

2013-14 West Coast Projected Standings

Gonzaga
BYU
Saint Mary's
San Francisco
Loyola Marymount
San Diego
Pacific
Santa Clara
Pepperdine
Portland


ESPN also previews the rest of the WCC teams. Must have insider to read each of them.

Zagger
10-14-2013, 10:10 AM
Fair writeup. I'm betting on some surprises though - easy to make that bet in college basketball. I have a hunch that Dower will really shine this season and that Pacific will do better than 7th.

sittingon50
10-14-2013, 10:13 AM
Agree with you on both counts, Zagger.

MDABE80
10-14-2013, 12:50 PM
Not to be negative but does any one wonder if Karno will replace Kelly or Dower will replace Elias??? I do hope so but I'm also hoping for the 1-3 kids ascend. We're going to need them shooting like magicians. I've got butterflies in my gut:(....just like the beginning of every season.