SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga kicks off the 2009-10 basketball season Monday night in front of a sold-out crowd at the McCarthey Athletic Center. For those without tickets to the main event, it can be seen live on KHQ at 6 p.m.
Alberta comes into Monday night's contest with a 4-4 record after sweeping a pair of games over the weekend with Lethbridge University to open Canada West play. The Golden Bears are playing the first year without longtime coach Don Horwood, who retired after 26-years with the program. This year, the head coach is Greg Francis, who also happens to be Canada's junior team coach.Francis could have a slight advantage over Gonzaga's head coach Mark Few in scouting the opposition in preparation for the game. As head coach of the Canadian Junior National Team, Francis has played a role in the development of four players on Gonzaga's roster this year, including freshman Kelly Olynyk and Mangisto Arop, who played in the U-19 World
Gonzaga on KHQ!
Monday, Nov. 2
For its part, Gonzaga comes into Monday's game with a new look at feel. After losing four of their top five scorers to graduation, the Zags weren't even included in the AP Top 25 preseason poll.
Senior Matt Bouldin, who appears on the John R. Wooden Award Pre-Season Top 50 Watch List this year returns after averaging 13.6 points per game last season. He was a first team All-WCC selection in 2009.
Also returning for the Zags will be junior guard Steven Gray, who averaged 9.1 points per contest and sophomore Demetri Goodson, who hit the layup against Western Kentucky in the tournament last season to send the Zags to the Sweet 16.
Redshirt sophomore center Robert Sacre returns to the lineup this year after battling foot problems last year. Will Foster, who towers over everyone at 7'5" will also be back.
The Gonzaga-Alberta basketball game will take the place of KHQ Local News at 6. Monday evening's episodes of Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune will be aired in their entirety Tuesday afternoon beginning at 3 p.m.