The Gonzaga Bulldogs enter the 2015-16 college basketball season as heavy favorite to win the West Coast Conference, but will have their sights set on much more.
Likely beginning the season around the top 10, the Bulldogs just need to wade through the most difficult part of their non-conference schedule that includes opponents such as the Pittsburgh Panthers, UCLA Bruins and Arizona Wildcats, and they could easily finish the season undefeated.
However, the real key to a successful season for the Bulldogs will be how well they can replace their star point guard, Kevin Pangos, who is now with Gran Canaria in Canada. Pangos led this team in assists as well as steals and was the player through which the offense found success.
With guards Gary Bell Jr. and Byron Wesley gone as well, the Bulldogs must have a young player step forward and make an immediate contribution. Highly-touted recruit Josh Perkins missed almost all of last season due to an injury, but could step onto the court from day one and lead this team to great things.
The good news for Mark Few’s squad is that leading scorer Kyle Wiltjer is returning. The former Kentucky Wildcat dominated last season, averaging 16.8 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. With returning big-men like Domantas Sabonis and Przemek Karnowski, the Gonzaga frontcourt is arguably the most talented in the nation.
The Bulldogs won’t get much love next season due to the overall weakness of the WCC, but this team is hands down one of the best in the nation. Few is a borderline elite coach, the Bulldogs’ talent is undeniable and their depth is perfect for a run to the Final Four. Watch out for Gonzaga in 2015-16.