Now that we have finally recovered from the events of Kraziness in the Kennel, TKR has decided to answer some major questions about Gonzaga's upcoming season. There is no doubt that the hype is there for Gonzaga; hopefully they can live up to it.
Please, feel free to leave comments and answer these questions if you disagree with one of us or just want to share your thoughts. We greatly appreciate it. Hope you enjoy!
Q: Who was the most impressive player last night at Kraziness in the Kennel?
ZagBell: Josh Heytvelt. His play was excellent and even though the shots did not always fall, he looked very confident in his post moves, especially the hook shot. The thing which made me most excited about Josh is the fire he was playing with. I think that he was the only player taking the scrimmage seriously every second. He was going nuts on the bench when Gray was knocking down threes and even had a couple hard fouls. He seems to be playing with a major chip on his shoulder which I absolutely love to see.
MaximumZag: I have to go with Josh Heytvelt. This is the healthiest and most focused I have ever seen Heytvelt. He has put on at least 20 pounds of muscle since the end of last season, and you can see the confidence exuding from him whenever he touches the ball. If Josh can stay healthy, I think we will see one of the top big men in the country on a nightly basis.
Q: Gonzaga has a lot of players that are expected to have big seasons. What player are you looking for to have a breakout year?
ZagBell: It could come from a number of players. My expectations could not be any higher though for Steven Gray. I think he’s going to absolutely explode this season. He showed what he is capable of last season especially against Davidson. I would not be surprised if he leads the team in scoring.
Q: Should Gonzaga red shirt anyone, if so, who?
ZagBell: Andy Poling more than likely will be red shirted. I’ll be interested to see if Sacre is red shirted. I really think that he should sit out this season because of the time of recovery and what happened with Josh and his foot problems. I don’t see many positives from Rob playing because he will likely hurt the foot again if he forces himself to go too soon.
MaximumZag: Although Poling impressed me last night, I would still suggest that he is red shirted this season. The talent that he has is very evident to anyone that watches, but I don’t feel that he can contribute this season because of his lack of strength. Poling needs a year to put on weight, and really work on his game before he can be counted on for 10-15 minutes per game. But as I mentioned in the beginning, Poling has a great sense of position for rebounding, and has a good looking jumper with range out to the 3 point line.
Q: When the year is over, what will Josh Heytvelt’s stat line be?
ZagBell: See Josh Heytvelt’s 2006-07 season. 16 points and 8 boards a game. He was absolutely phenomenal in his sophomore season and I really think he will return to that form this year.
MaximumZag: 16 points and 8 rebounds per game. I believe that Josh could have even better stats then this, but because of the numerous offensive weapons, I don’t think any player will get to that 20 point per game level. But Josh now has the strength to dominate on the boards, and has the athleticism and skill set to score on any defender in the country. If you can’t tell, I am incredibly excited to watch Josh play this season.
Q: What lineup combination are you most excited to see?
ZagBell: I’m a sucker for speed and freak athletic ability. Pargo, Meech,
MaximumZag: Pargo, Gray,
Q: What has to happen for Gonzaga to be in the Final Four?
ZagBell: We’ve got to show that we can win a “Big-10” type of game. When a team slows the game down, we have to be able to combat that and play good half court offense. Mark Few has built a run and gun team but there will be games when the pace is not in our favor (see the Wazzu game last year). We have to show that we can win a game 60-57. Otherwise the season will be a disappointment.
MaximumZag: Obviously avoiding injuries is important for any team, but I think that establishing an 8-9 man rotation and sticking with it is the most important aspect to the Zags success this season. Last year, there was no consistency to the rotation, and many times some of our most talented players would only play 5-10 minutes per game. Establish a rotation of Pargo, Gray, Bouldin, Daye, Heytvelt,
Q: Will Bol Kong ever wear a Gonzaga uniform?
ZagBell: In a perfect world yes. I feel terribly for the kid but I just don’t see it happening. I’m sure the staff is working their tails off to get him here and I pray for it every day but I don’t think it’s going to happen.
MaximumZag: I can’t explain why I think this, but for some reason I fell like we will see Bol Kong at GU next season. Gonzaga has put much time and money into the situation, and obviously Kong believes there is hope as he is training in
Q: What will be the defining game of the season?
ZagBell: Gonzaga has a chance to make waves in the NCAA early on this season. I think the potential match up with
MaximumZag: Gonzaga @
Q: And finally, for all the marbles, how does the season end for Gonzaga?
ZagBell: I need a 30 win season. The season games that scare me the most are
MaximumZag: With a spot in the Final 4. This team is as deep, talented, and athletic as any team in the country. With a healthy Heytvelt dominating the paint, and one of the top PG’s in the country in Jeremy Pargo, this team is built for a historical season. As long as they don’t look past their opponents during the first week of the NCAA Tournament, then the sky is the limit. I have no idea what other teams will be at the Final 4, but I believe that no matter who else is there, GU has the talent, coaching, and leadership to win a national championship.