June 21, 2013

Zags Land 6'3 SG Silas Melson

In what is their first recruiting commitment of 2014, Gonzaga has received an oral commitment from a Rivals Top 150 rated prospect, Silas Melson. A 6'3 combo guard, he averaged 20 ppg and 5 assists as a junior for Jefferson High in Oregon.

Silas visited GU's campus this past weekend. Apparently, he liked what he saw during his visit as he gave a verbal two days later. He said he felt Gonzaga was "a perfect basketball fit" for him and one of the "best colleges to get a degree from on the West Coast." He also mentioned the fact that Gonzaga was the #1 ranked team in the country "so it was hard to turn that down" as a reason for ending his recruitment early.

There were many schools involved in Silas' recruitment including; Gonzaga, UW, WA State, Colorado, Drake, Tennessee, Oregon, Oregon State, and Memphis. His top two choices going into his visit at GU this past weekend were the University of Washington and Gonzaga. It was rumored he was leaning UW because of his friendship with former Husky Terrence Ross, who also attended and graduated from Jefferson High.

ESPN has this to say about his game: "He has a smooth shooting stroke out to 20-feet and he gets nice lift on his shot. He can explode to the rim and throw down the dunk or attack the offensive glass for offensive tip-ins and follow dunks. … Melson needs to continue to improve his ball handling against pressure, especially while attacking while going left. In addition, he needs to add to his evolving offensive arsenal (runners, pull-ups in transition) as well as getting his teammates more involved."

Silas Melson was very impressive during the recent Rose City Showcase in Oregon where he wowed the crowds with his athleticism, three point shooting, defense, and leaping ability. At 6'3 he can dunk the ball with authority and has the ability to play above the rim. He needs to work on his ball handling skills but other than that this is a solid first 2014 commit  for the Zags.

Welcome to Gonzaga Silas!!~

June 9, 2013

Elite Prospect Josh Perkins on Campus this Weekend...will he commit?

Exciting times as highly touted point guard, Josh Perkins, has finally made it to the Gonzaga Campus this weekend for an official visit.

Although coach Few has been on him for awhile now, it will probably take a minor miracle to get him to commit to being a Zag at this point in his recruitment process. He is a 6-foot-3, 185-pound point guard who is the #22 ranked prospect in the country for the 2014 class on 247Sports.com. He averaged 25 points, 7 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game as a junior while attending Regis Jesuit of Colorado. Perkins is an elite hoops prospect who is transferring to the NBA creating pipeline, Huntington Prep, for his senior season. The thinking is that this move, with the added exposure, will make his recruitment blow up even more.

Gonzaga and UCLA were once considered the frontrunners for his services, but Perkin's recruitment is really starting to escalate. He has at least 30 DI offers on the table and now coach Calipari of Kentucky is taking a look. I will never forget how coach Cal came in at the last second and locked up potential Zag, Kyle Wiltjer. Most prognosticators thought he was a lock for becoming a Zag until coach Cal jumped into the fray. With Calipari sniffing around it gives me a nervous feeling. Some of the other notables we are up against are: Syracuse, USC, Baylor, and Kansas. 

With Pangos and Gary Bell set to become upperclassmen next season (wow, that was fast!) obtaining Perkin's commitment would be a huge success and bode well for the programs future. It's doubtful that he will commit during his visit as he plans on taking more official visits, but we certainly hope the staff and players roll out the red carpet and show him the love!
He recently tweeted:

June 6, 2013

The X-Factor 2012 Revisited

Last year we brought you a first hand look at Kelly Olynyk as he returned from redshirt season. He was seen as an enigma, someone who had extreme talent but up to that point had largely disappointed. Well 2012-13 has come and gone and Kelly O went on to have a spectacular season leading GU to many first time achievements such as a #1 ranking and #1 seed in the NCAA tourney. The impact Kelly made last season took a team with lots of promise to a team that looked poised to go to the Promised Land.

Rewind back to that gut wrenching loss at the hands of the Wichita State Shockers and all the pain and heartache. Despite a 26 point 9 rebound performance from KO, the Zags exited the tourney in the 2nd round…again, for the third straight season. Kelly was obviously the star, however when we needed him most he shot just 36% from the field. Now fast forward a few weeks later to the most nerve-wracking announcement of the offseason thus far and Kelly jumps ship, he’s headed pro.  Obviously no one is surprised, Kelly is a lock as a mid 1st rounder, and will probably be chosen higher than any Zag since Adam Morrison, but you have to wonder did the sting of that 2nd round defeat seal the deal? Did the thought of coming back and having another underwhelming NCAA tourney on the team everyone else thinks is soft come into play? We may never truly know.

I sit here on a muggy early summer night in the bluegrass state wondering what could have been for Kelly in his senior season. I’m left with visions of nets being cut down, and more Harlem shake videos. What could have been will forever fill my mind. Perhaps we should view Kelly as just another immensely talented Zag that broke our hearts when we needed them most, or maybe I’m being too melodramatic. Whatever your opinion of the matter might be, we can still reach back and remember that incredible 31-2 regular season. The perfect West Coast Conference slate. That All-American season KO put on for us. We can think back to what the staff saw when they drove to Kamloops to watch a shaggy headed, lanky, and somewhat uncoordinated player absolutely destroying his local competition.  I will always remember this season for its ups and downs, from the botched inbounds pass at center court in Indianapolis, to the heights of seeing my Zags silence Matthew Dellavedova and co. in the WCC tourney. Above it all, I will always remember Kelly.