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Zags ready for Clemson at Old Spice Classic

Not a big fan when the alarm clock goes off at 4-a.m. something. Not a big fan of airports at 5-a.m. something. Not a big fan of hearing the pilot inform passengers that the pilot in the plane behind us noticed an emergency door ajar on our jet. Really not a big fan when I'm sitting in an exit-row window seat. 

And this was actually one of my smoother trips! The door in question was near the back end of the aircraft and we were on our way after a short delay.

Arrived in Orlando and made it to the Amway Center early in the first quarter of the Orlando-Detroit game. I checked in with ex-Zag Austin Daye after the game for an article that will run in the near future. He played the final 3:40 of a blowout Magic win, but playing time has been scarce for the fourth-year pro. 

When I returned to my hotel room, I flipped on the TV to the Maui Invitational and Illinois — GU's opponent Dec. 8 — was putting on another 3-point shooting clinic against Butler — GU's opponent Jan. 19. With Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Baylor and the three games at the Old Spice coming up, Gonzaga has a rugged stretch coming up. 

So, here's my preview of the GU-Clemson game on Thanksgiving Day night (6 p.m. Pacific). That picture of Kelly Olynyk is from his sophomore season. He redshirted last year and he's put on probably 30 pounds and added a combination Adam Morrison/Bill Walton hair style.

Butler has cut a double-digit deficit to 6 in the second half so I'm going to watch the conclusion.

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Jim Allen (@srjimallen) Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jacob Thorpe (@JacobThorpe) Sports reporter Jacob Thorpe covers Washington State University athletics. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Greg Lee (@srpreps) Greg Lee covers high school sports in Eastern Washington and North Idaho. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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