With six new faces, the Zags, who typically run a multitude of sets, need to keep things simple

Dumb it down

With six new faces, the Zags, who typically run a multitude of sets, need to keep things simple early in the season.

Feed the post

Gonzaga’s best teams have featured solid play down low, from Casey Calvary to Cory Violette to Ronny Turiaf. Without such a player, they’ve recently gotten away from that, but Robert Sacre should help pound inside.

Hit the glass

Last year, Gonzaga had a 3.1-per-game rebounding edge, far below some of its most successful teams. They ought to better that in 2009-10.

Give it to Gray

The Zags have long believed Steven Gray, the junior from Bainbridge, is a star in the making. This would be a good time to emerge.

Keep the faith

The early-season schedule is more demanding than a young team needs. The Zags probably will be schooled some early, but they need to grow from it.

Schedule highlights

• Ready or not, Gonzaga travels to second-ranked Michigan State for a game Tuesday.

• Wake Forest, without NBA draftee Jeff Teague but still featuring forward Al-Farouq Aminu, visits the Kennel as the first part of a four-year deal Dec. 5.

• The Zags, 10-4 all-time against ACC teams, take on No. 9-rated Duke at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 19.

Bud Withers