Welcome to the 2019-2020 Gonzaga men's basketball season.
We know the 2018-2019 season just came to a close but it's time to look forward. Vegas certainly is.
Caesar's Palace has already released their 2020 national championship odds and Gonzaga currently has the fourth best in the country at 10/1. This lies only behind Virginia at 5/1, and Duke and Kentucky at 8/1.
Honestly, I saw this and wondered if Vegas knows something I don't because that seems way too high if Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke leave like we think they will.
If you're a Gonzaga fan, get ready for an entirely different team next season. This is an off-season filled with more questions than any other in Gonzaga basketball's recent history.
We're going to operate under the assumption that Killian Tillie is coming back.
That still only leaves three players in this year's rotation back for next year: Tillie, who was marred by injuries this past season; Zach Norvell, who overall had a good year but has some things to work on as evidenced in the last few weeks of the season – mainly his streaky shooting and some ball handling woes; and, finally, Cory Kispert, who had some bright spots during the tournament but overall has not nearly reached his potential yet – although this is understandable due to the fact that he's been surrounded by a lot of high-level talent.
Norvell this year averaged 15 points per game, Kispert 8 points per game and Tillie 13 points per game last season (we're taking that season because it's the last full season he's played). That combines to 36 points together.
The question remains: how will Gonzaga fills the gaps?
Thankfully, Gonzaga has their best ever recruiting class coming in.
Some of the names will be familiar with our viewers: Anton Watson and Brock Ravet, for example. In classic Gonzaga tradition, you have a few names from other countries: Big man Omar Ballo from Mali, fellow big man Pavel Zahkarov from Russia and wing Martynas Arlauskas from Lithuania.
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There is Drew Timme, too, the Texas forward who also is a highly-touted recruit.
Someone from this group will make an immediate impact on the court. It remains to be seen who that will be, but this group will be asked to do a lot – maybe more quickly than other incoming classes maybe ever have.
WHO'S PLAYING POINT GUARD?
Here is the biggest issue for Gonzaga: there is no heir apparent for the point guard position.
Brock Ravet is new, and both Greg Foster and Joel Ayayi saw limited playing minutes this year, most of which came during garbage time of games.
The transfer market doesn't look fantastic right now either. The best point guard available who can play immediately is UC Irvine's Max Hazzard. Now, the transfer market is very young so we shall see.
Norvell dabbled with the point guard position a few times this season, but he is definitely a more natural shooting guard.
Basically, the biggest question for Gonzaga is if they can get a capable transfer PG. If they can't, this may be a season filled with a lot of growing pains.