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Gonzaga Bulldogs basketball is back, and here are five reasons Zag Nation has so much to be happy about.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs have already started another winning season. I have five reasons for Zags fans to celebrate.
1. The boys are back in town at Gonzaga
Last season’s WCC Player of the Year, Drew Timme, returned to the Bulldogs at the last minute. Timme has led the Zags to the NCAA Finals once, and he will do it again. The Spokane Stache doesn’t care about any of the accolades. He only wants to win.
Julian Strawther fully intends to enter the 2023 NBA Draft. The 6’7″ Strawther is a wing with a deadly three-pointer who can also play shooting guard.
In the opener, he boasted a 71.4% shooting percentage and scored 16 points with 5 rebounds and 2 assists.
Rasir Bolton has already on the Jerry West Award watch list. Last season, Bolton averaged 11.2 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 2.3 assists, while shooting 46.0% from three-point range. All of which he bought back to Gonzaga.
The return of these three Gonzaga stars almost guarantees a trip to the big dance and possibly a championship.
2. More Power 5 competition for the Bulldogs
This season the Gonzaga Bulldogs will continue with Power 5 play. The schedule has 12 non-conference teams, six of them are from Power 5 conferences.
- Big 12 – Texas Longhorns, West Virginia*, Baylor Bears
- SEC – Kentucky Wildcats
- Big 10 – Purdue*
- Pac-12 – Washington Huskies
The results of these games will go a long way in convincing the naysayers that the Bulldogs belong in the Power 5 conference.
*It has not been decided which team they will play.
3. Inbound Transfers
This offseason, the Gonzaga Bulldogs landed two great players from the transfer portal. First is Efton Reid, a former five-star recruit who came from LSU.
As a freshman, the 7’0″ center averaged 6.3 points and 4.3 boards. Reid could be Few’s special weapon off the bench.
Malachi Smith led the Chattanooga Mocs to the 2022 Southern Conference title. The reigning SoCon Player of the Year averaged 19.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 3.0 assists.
With that duo, the Bulldogs will be in great shape with their second unit.
4. The Gonzaga Bulldogs are already winners
The Gonzaga Bulldogs are one of four teams that received first-place votes in the preseason Top 25 AP poll. Already the Zags have convinced many they can win it all.
5. The Gonzaga Bulldog bench
The Gonzaga Bulldogs have one of the deepest benches in college basketball.
- Efton Reid – 6’10 big man from LSU
- Kaden Perry – Is he ready to play this season?
- Ben Gregg – Gregg has been a bench rider, but it’s a new season
- Hunter Sallis – one of the most athletic on the team
- Malachi Smith – Southern Conference Player of the Year
- Dominick Harris – is the player I want most off the injured list.
All of the above will make this an exceptional year in Spokane. Are you ready? Let’s go!