No. 21/22 Gonzaga (0-0, 0-0) hosts Southern Utah (0-0, 0-0 Big Sky) Friday at 6:00 p.m. in the McCarthey Athletic Center.
The Stats - Well… there's not a ton to go on. Here's what we know: the Zags have way more contributors back. Southern Utah lost three of its top five scorers, and return just two starters - senior forward Jackson Stevenett and senior guard Damon Heuir. That's compared to five of GU's six point producers and five guys with significant starting experience (Kevin Pangos, Gary Bell Jr., Elias Harris, Guy Landry Edi, and Mike Hart). In the Bulldogs' exhibition six players reached double figures - led by 17 from Przemek Karnowski.
The Stars - As far as the Zags go - take your pick (see above). Southern Utah has two players listed at 6'11" (Cal Hanks and Jayson Cheesman), and neither has much division I experience. It could be another big night for the Polish freshman. But keep in mind, in last year's season opener against a Big Sky opponent GU seniors Robert Sacre and Marquise Carter combined for 39 points. A similar output from Elias Harris and Guy Landry Edi wouldn't be a shock. As for SUU, Stevenett leads the way. The 6'4" wing was an All-Summit League pick after leading the team in scoring (14.1) and rebounding (5.7).
The Storylines - These teams do have some history - but none of it recent. They've met twice, with each program notching wins. Gonzaga took the first meeting in the 1995-1996 season, with the Thunderbirds returning the favor a year later. Each game went to the home team. That leads us to a more relevant trend: Gonzaga has won eight straight season openers, and 23 consecutive home debuts.