Losing to San Diego State was absolutely not a reason to panic and even losses in upcoming games in the CBE Classic Championship Rounds won't be reason for fatalistic thinking about the Bulldogs season.
Beginning tonight with a 6:30 p.m. PST meeting with #4/4 Kansas State, #18/22 Gonzaga will get a real test of where they stand on the national landscape. And while losses aren't the end of the world for fans, Zach Bell of SBN's Slipper Still Fits suggests that it is a good opportunity to see how the Bulldogs respond to adversity.
Gut check time: Zags take on Kansas State
With that said, it's time to take a look at what could be one of the games that defines this season. I know that's early, but learning how this group will respond to adversity is going to be interesting to watch. If people thought that San Diego St. was a tough group that could dominate on the boards, then prepare to be blown away by Kansas St. This is a team that defines toughness in everything that it does, and will certainly be planning to come out and try and bully what appears to be a soft Gonzaga frontcourt. The onus is on guys like Rob Sacre, Elias Harris and Sam Dower to respond with toughness and an edge of physicality that I'm not sure they have.
So it shouldn't take much explaining to understand why the expected return of Elias Harris is important: the Bulldogs will need to be at full strength to contend with KSU tonight and Harris is obviously a major part of that.