I have a question for all my college basketball enthusiasts What is an “home-and-home” series when one team doesn’t have to play in their home? Thanks to John Calipari, we’re about to expand the definition.
The home-and home match with Kentucky and Gonzaga which will kick off in the 2022-23 basketball season Gonzaga will play the Wildcats on the 20th of November.
However, the match won’t be played in the McCarthy Athletic Center, Gonzaga’s arena that seats 6,000, which is also called “The Kennel”. Instead, the matchup between the national champions will take place on the 13000-seat Spokane Arena.
The most absurd of reasons.
This suggests that Coach Cal doesn’t want Gonzaga Bulldogs from Gonzaga, the home team, to have…a home court advantage.
No. 5 Texas did not have any complaints regarding playing in The Kennel last year. Neither did Texas A&M in 2018 or No. 25 Creighton the year before. But then again that all those teams fell to the Zags and maybe they should’ve been thrown into a fit too.
We’re still more than three months from the match which means that there could be some things to may change. Anyone who’s not an avid Kentucky fan would rather watch the team try to complete the task at The Kennel The Kennel, which is one of the most difficult basketball arenas to play in, and also a stunning setting.
It’s unlikely to provide any additional motivation for fans to become more wilder in Spokane for a while.
It’s offseason time but it’s not one for Gonzaga basketball.
In the month that has passed Zags scheduled a double-game game against Kentucky Nigel Williams-Goss made a return to Spokane to lead his annual camp. Former GU stars played in the NBA Summer League and the team finalized plans to play Michigan State on an aircraft carrier.
There’s plenty of time to make our annual effort at understanding Mark Few’s thinking about Gonzaga’s starting line-up and possible rotation with the season’s opener just three months from now.
In some years, it’s pretty certain who is lined up to start the game and who will be in the GU’s traditional seven and eight-man roster. We tried our hand at this before this season and scored 80percent – very good on the field in baseball as well as on the line of free throws however, we didn’t go 5 for 5 with the pitchers.
The Gonzaga coaching team has created the task more challenging by creating one of the most extensive rosters that have been seen in recent times. The Zags are similar to the 12 players who are scholarship students. The Zags have 6 bigs, including Drew Timme, Anton Watson, Efton Reid, Ben Gregg, Kaden Perry and Braden Huff. Gonzaga basketball They also have six guards and wing players in Julian Strawther, Rasir Bolton, Nolan Hickman, Malachi Smith, Hunter Sallis and Dominick Harris.
The show is running
Hickman as well as Chattanooga Transfer Smith are the top alternatives to replace Andrew Nembhard at the point guard position, however Hickman has more than a year’s experience at Gonzaga’s academy and is more of a typical point guard. Smith was a prolific scorer in the past two seasons of the Southern Conference while logging nearly 36 minutes of playing time.
Why wouldn’t they both be in the lineup? Hickman is likely to be the ballhandler of choice, however Bolton, Smith, Strawther and Timme are all skilled off bounces. This is a lot of energy, especially at distances with Bolton, Smith (39.7% in the past 2 seasons) as well as Strawther (36.5 percent) and Timme’s skill from 15 feet and inside. Timme also scored 3s during the NBA Draft Combine in May.
A small-ball team that includes Strawther in the 4′ – similar as Kispert did playing the ‘4’ during his senior year – appears to be in sync with Gonzaga’s love of numerous ballhandlers and their space on the flooring and their fast-paced style. We’re putting into Hickman, Bolton, Smith, Strawther and Timme as the first five players. The last four have played in 364 games at collegiate level with Bolton leading the way with 115. They also made 249 starts.
The Zags are obviously able to adapt, especially when facing an opponent with a large frontcourt such as Kentucky and last year’s player of season Oscar Tshiebwe, Texas or Michigan State. Gonzaga can easily add more bulk on the court and pair with the 6-11. Reid and 6-foot-8 Watson and Timme.
Our bet is that Watson will be the first to be selected in the event that Gonzaga chooses to go with a larger squad to begin with. Watson has a lot of experience in playing alongside Timme. Gonzaga basketball Watson has been consistent between the 15 and 18-minute range during his initial three seasons. He is skilled at defending smaller opponents. It will be difficult for him to stay off the court when Watson dials in his 3-point stroke.
Roles and rotation
It shouldn’t come as a shock that Sallis makes it into the starting five, should Gonzaga employ four guards/wings. Sallis along with Hickman could be the Zags’ top players this season, much like Strawther’s breakout a year ago. It wouldn’t be surprising that Sallis made it into the starting line-up during the season in the same way Joel Ayayi replaced Admon Gilder in the starting team just 10 weeks into the season of 2019-20.
Six-foot Sallis is agile is a top defender who scores on transitions, cutbacks and off cuts towards the basket.
It will be difficult for players on the bench to secure extra time, even if Few increases the rotation’s number to nine. The minutes of Reid and Watson will vary based on the frequency Gonzaga uses four guards. Between them, Ben Gregg appears to be next player to be added. Kaden Perry’s status will not be revealed until the fall when recovering from back surgery. Newcomer Braden Huff is an experienced player, but his playing time may be limited in comparison to Timme, Watson and Reid.
Dominick Harris is determined to be able to play after being absent last season due to foot surgery, however, minutes could be difficult to come by due to the team’s impressive backcourt depth.