After transferring to Gonzaga, Nembhard has had a close-up view of the highest ranked classes in program history – No. 6 in 2020 and No. 3 in 2021. “This one is very special,” Nemhbard said of freshmen Chet Holmgren, Hunter Sallis, Nolan Hickman and Kaden Perry after Kraziness in the Kennel last Saturday. “I’ve been telling my dad when he calls, this is a very talented group that we have this year. The sky is the limit as long as we buy in and mature at a quick rate. I think we’ll do that.”
Kelly Graves sat behind Gonzaga’s bench, roughly a mid-range jumper from the McCarthey Athletic Center sideline he patrolled for 14 years as GU women’s basketball coach. But coaching was the last thing on Graves’ mind Saturday. Graves, now in his eighth season as Oregon’s head coach, was taking advantage of a rare in-person chance to watch his son, Will, a GU senior walk-on.
With five newcomers on Gonzaga’s 17-man roster, it seemed inevitable that someone making their debut in a Bulldogs uniform would leave a memorable first impression during Saturday’s Kraziness in the Kennel showcase.
Mark Few’s citation for driving under the influence has been unquestionably the biggest storyline around Gonzaga’s basketball program since early September, but there’s no evidence that it’s been a disruption or distraction inside the Bulldogs’ locker room.
Gonzaga’s coaches have already spent months trying to lure Anthony Black to Spokane. On Saturday, a rabid Gonzaga student section briefly took the baton and made its best recruiting pitch to the five-star combo guard from Duncanville, Texas.
Dominick Harris was on Gonzaga’s bench Saturday afternoon at Kraziness at the Kennel, but it may be awhile before the sophomore guard is once again able to contribute to what the Bulldogs are building on the court.
Gonzaga coach Mark Few, cited for DUI last month near Coeur d’Alene, will miss the team’s two exhibition games and the season opener vs. Dixie State on Nov. 9. Few also won’t attend GU’s annual Kraziness in the Kennel later Saturday afternoon. He’s expected to return for Gonzaga’s likely top-five showdown against Texas on Nov. 13 at the McCarthey Athletic Center.