First there was the team scrimmage. Then an exhibition game. Now it is the real deal. Gonzaga's season officially tips off Friday with a game televised live on KHQ and SWX.
The Zags host Big Sky newcomer Southern Utah at The Kennel on Friday evening.
"All of a sudden [games] start to count now, so there's been a sense of urgency and I am sure there will be some butterflies," said coach Mark Few. "Guys know that now these things are for real and we need to be at our best."
On display will be the Zags' new big man in the middle, Przemek Karnowski. Surely he will fill a lot of space in the middle. Whether he will be able to effectively defend as a freshman is the question, and fans will demand answers almost immediately after he takes to the floor.
Another question for Gonzaga is whose team is it this year? Last year there was no question that Robert Sacre was the leader. It was his team. This year, will it come down to Elias Harris? Kelly Olynyk? Or perhaps sophomore Kevin Pangos or David Stockton. All of them are probably capable of filling leadership roles. Then again, will it really matter with Mark Few at the helm?
Few questions will be answered definitively on Friday night. As is the case with most seasons at Gonzaga, lineups can change on a dime. Leaders can emerge just as quickly as others fall into the shadows and fill a spot on the bench with the warmup suit on. Take it for what it is: a game to be enjoyed night in and night out until March Madness in the spring.
Happy College Basketball Season, fans!