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Gonzaga men ranked 13th in first coaches poll

Gonzaga's Przemek Karnowski (24) battles Loyola's Marin Mornar last season at the McCarthey Athletic Center.  (Tyler Tjomsland)
Gonzaga's Przemek Karnowski (24) battles Loyola's Marin Mornar last season at the McCarthey Athletic Center. (Tyler Tjomsland)

The Gonzaga men’s basketball team will begin the season ranked 13th in the preseason USA Today coaches poll, released today.

Kentucky checks in at No. 1 to start the season with 24 first-place votes, followed by Arizona in the No. 2 spot. GU and Arizona will face off in Tucson, Ariz., on Dec. 6 this season. The Zags will also face SMU, who enters the season ranked No. 22, on Nov. 17 at home.

The highest preseason ranking for Gonzaga was 12th in the 2010-11 season.

The Zags return three starters and seven lettermen from last year’s squad that finished 29-7. Senior guards Kevin Pangos (14.4 points a game last season) and Gary Bell Jr. (11.0) return along with center Przemek Karnowski. Bell (10.4 points, 7.1 rebounds).

Gonzaga opens the season with an exhibition against Thompson River College on Nov. 1 at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Tip is scheduled for 6 p.m. and will be televised on KHQ. The first regular season game is at home against Sacramento State on Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. It will be televised locally on KHQ.

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