The month of October is filled with Harry Potter marathons, Halloween movies, candy, pumpkin spice lattes, and secret scrimmages. Before the start of the college basketball season, teams often engage in these scrimmage matchups, devoid of wandering eyes from fans, media members, and opposing teams, giving coaches an opportunity to see how their team looks against a real opponent – without risk of suffering an early season loss.
A report from Trilly Donovan, an insider who himself has a secret identity, released a lists of all the known secret scrimmages taking place ahead of the 2023-24 college basketball season, with a matchup between Baylor and Gonzaga in the report.
Rumors of a Zags-Bears matchup had permeated social media prior to this, and considering the relationship between Scott Drew and Mark Few and the frequency with which these teams meet up in the non-conference it is not a surprise to see them link up for a scrimmage.
Additionally, both teams are undergoing pretty massive changes, with Gonzaga looking to replace Drew Timme, Julian Strawther, and Rasir Bolton in the starting lineup as well as key reserves in Malachi Smith, Hunter Sallis, and Efton Reid.
Baylor lost all four of their guards from last season, with Keyonte George and Adam Flagler turning pro while L.J Cryer (Houston) and Dale Bonner (Ohio State) hit the transfer portal. Both teams brought in significant reinforcements, including Ryan Nembhard and Graham Ike for the Zags and transfer RayJ Dennis and freshman Ja’Kobe Walter for the Bears. Seeing how the pieces fit together against a quality opponent will benefit both clubs, and while we won’t get to see the game there is a good chance we will at least hear a result after the contest.
Other future Gonzaga opponents on this list include San Diego State (facing Arizona State) and UConn (facing Virginia).
Gonzaga’s first televised contest will be against Lewis-Clark State in an exhibition on November 3, and their first real game will be a week later on November 10 against Yale at The Kennel.
Andy hosts the Locked on Zags and Locked on College Basketball podcasts, and serves Locked On in a marketing/digital content creator role as well. He lives just outside Portland with his wife Jenna and dog, Tillie.