SPOKANE -- The Gonzaga basketball program set the bar incredibly high last season. With key returners and some big additions, Mark Few's guys aren't shy about their hopes for the coming campaign.
The Zags got back to work over the weekend, with Tuesday marking day three of preseason practice. Gary Bell Jr. described this year's squad as "scrappy".
Bell is part of a stacked backcourt that includes Kevin Pangos, David Stockton, Kyle Dranginis and Providence transfer Gerard Coleman. They will be expected to carry more of the scoring load as Sam Dower and Przemek Karnowski fill the void left by Kelly Olynyk and Elias Harris.
It's a different configuration than last, but the standard hasn't seemed to change.
"We got a little taste of that and we want to go right back there, take it further," Stockton said. "There's a lot of experience on this team and we know what it takes."
Among the new faces on the court for GU this year is a familiar one on the sideline. Adam Morrison has returned as a student assistant. He said after he got cut by Portland last year he didn't want to play overseas and instead wanted to get into coaching. He asked assistant Tommy Lloyd if they had a spot for him, and said it was a no-brainer to return to the school he loves. Morrison is learning how different players respond to different coaching styles, but says he has a perspective that makes it easy to connect with just about anyone.
"I've seen the highs and lows of basketball so I can relate to the best player and I can relate to the practice player," Morrison said.