#8 Gonzaga Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Gonzaga Bulldogs

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #8
Conference Rank:  #1 West Coast

Gonzaga Team Page#8 Gonzaga Men's Basketball 2013-2014 PreviewBuy Gonzaga Basketball Tickets

Mark Few’s Bulldogs will never sneak up on anyone again after a magical season last year.  Gonzaga lost only three games during the regular season en route to a Number 1 seed in the NCAA tournament last year.  The season ended in a disappointing way to eventual Final Four participant Wichita State.  But what the Bulldogs accomplished is truly a testament to what Mark Few has built in Spokane.  Key members of that team return to try and dominate the WCC once again.

2012-2013 record:  32-3, 16-0
2012-2013 postseason:  NCAA
Coach:  Mark Few
Coach Record:  374-92 at Gonzaga, 374-92 overall

Who’s Out:
The loss of Kelly Olynyk and Elias Harris are huge for this team.  Make no mistake; they were one and two on the Zags leading scorer list.  They were also the team’s best rebounders.  It is going to be a difficult task replacing both post players.  They constituted an elite duo in college basketball last year.  They made the backcourt better by their dominant play.  Their backups last year are expected to step up this year and hopefully the production is duplicated.  These were two athletic guys that could be counted on to perform game to game.  

Who’s In:
A huge addition to Gonzaga’s squad this year is Providence transfer Gerard Coleman.  He was fourth in minutes and scoring while on the Friars roster in 2011-2012.  He averaged 13.2 points per game and two assists and will help bolster the backcourt and take some scoring pressure off of Kevin Pangos.  Gonzaga also has two freshman frontcourt players coming in to replace Olynyk and Harris on the roster.  Ryan Edwards, a very good center prospect, comes in from Montana.  The 7’0” adds size behind Przemek Karnowski.  Luke Meikle is a local power forward who helps add rebounding ability to a team that dominates on the glass.

Who to Watch:
Karnowski is going to be the go-to front court player this year.  He flashed at times last season and now he is expected to get bigger chunks of minutes.  He is going to have to play well consistently to back up his all-freshman conference honors last season.  It is a lot to ask one guy to replace two, but Karnowski has the ability to be a dominant five in the middle for the Zags.  Eyes will also be on senior point guard Kevin Pangos.  He seems to slip under the radar sometimes when discussing the best point guards in the country.  He is a scoring point and is the returning leading scorer for Gonzaga.  He has value all over the place for Few’s squad.   

Final Projection:
The biggest surprise in all of college basketball this season would be if Gonzaga does not repeat as WCC champions.  Yes, they lose star players in Olynyk and Harris.  It is always a blow to a program to lose that sort of talent but they still have a star point guard in Kevin Pangos, and they have improving players in Karnowski and Sam Dower.  Both played ample minutes last season.  The lights should not be too bright for these guys.  Add to that Gerard Coleman coming over from Providence and this team appears to be very strong yet again going into 2013-2014. Will they win as many games as last year and secure a number one seed?  It’s doubtful, but the Zags will most certainly be dancing.

Projected Postseason Tournament:  NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Kevin Pangos, Junior, Guard, 11.9 points per game
Gary Bell Jr., Junior, Guard, 9.0 points per game
Gerard Coleman, Junior, Guard, 13.2 points per game (2011-2012 with Providence)
Sam Dower, Senior, Forward, 6.9 points per game
Przemek Karnowski, Sophomore, Center, 5.4 points per game

By the numbers:
Scoring Offense: 77.0 (13th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 59.9 (31, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 49.7 (3, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 38.5 (12, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.5 (133, 4)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.1 (49, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.5 (136, 4)
Rebound Margin: 7.6 (9, 2)
Assists Per Game: 15.1 (31, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.2 (31, 1)

Madness 2014 NBA Draft Rankings:
#78 Przemek Karnowski


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