SPOKANE, Washington (Ticker) -- Dan Dickau will be on the other side of the country on Friday night when No. 22 Gonzaga opens the season against shorthanded Hofstra.
Dickau completed a stellar career with Gonzaga by winning his second West Coast Conference Player of the Year award and leading the Bulldogs to 29 wins in 2001-02. But Dickau was drafted in the first round and now plays for the Atlanta Hawks.
Blake Stepp takes over at point guard and he will have to do better than his 3.6 assists per game from last year. He has plenty of big bodies to throw the ball to since Zach Gourde, Cory Violette and French sophomore Ronny Turiaf all return.
Gourde averaged 13.2 points per game and Violette added 12.8 points. The frontcourt also features former Colorado center Richard Fox.
Hofstra is in its second season in the Colonial Athletic Association and had a rough introduction to the league as it finished last with a 12-20 record. The Pride have five starters back, but two of them - Rick Apodaca and Wendell Gibson - have been suspended for the first 14 games of the season.
Apodaca was the team's leading scorer with a 17.7 scoring average and Gibson averaged 6.4 points as a freshman last year.