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View Full Version : Offseason Discussion Topic: What Was the Best Recruiting Class in Gonzaga History?



Martin Centre Mad Man
09-27-2018, 07:42 PM
Gonzaga recruiting has been improving significantly in recent years, even though the Zag classes rarely seem to catch much notice among the national recruiting rankings. The Zags’ coaches have reloaded year after year with players from traditional and less traditional sources. The Zags have picked up a lot of high level transfers, including at least four AP All-Americans during Coach Few’s tenure. They have recruited a lot of excellent overseas players. They pick up their share of “under the radar” kids who develop into future stars and mix in a few Top-100/ESPN 4-Star recruits.

Is Gonzaga recruiting getting better? To answer that, you might need to compare some recent classes with earlier classes from the Few era. I would rate a recruiting class to include every player who showed up on campus during a single offseason (or midseason, if a Micah Downs shows up halfway through the year). In other words, a player who redshirts during his first year on campus, whether to sit out as a transfer or for other reasons, should be counted in the class when he arrived. Knowing this, I think the following classes stand out as some of the best.

2007: Robert Sacre, Austin Daye, and Steven Gray

2009: Elias Harris, Kelly Olynyk, Sam Dower, Bol Kong, Mangisto Arop, and David Stockton

2011: Kevin Pangos, Ryan Spangler, Gary Bell, Jr., and Kyle Dranginis

2013: Josh Perkins, Domantas Sabonis, Silas Melson, and Bryan Alberts

2015: Transfers Nigel Williams Goss, Johnathan Williams, III, and Jeremy Jones

2016: This was a monster year. Zach Collins, Zach Norvell, Killian Tillie, Rui Hachimura, Jacob Larsen, and Jordan Mathews


What were your favorites? Do you remember another great class? I’ll put some answers into a poll for all of you to vote on in a day or two.

TexasZagFan
09-27-2018, 07:46 PM
2016 gets my vote, with 2011 and 2013 close behind.

VinnyZag
09-27-2018, 08:17 PM
2016 is the best of this list, I think. Followed by 2007. 2019 is gonna be pretty good, too.

kdaleb
09-27-2018, 08:24 PM
I'd have to agree with TZF that it's 2016... but I don't think it's that close. There's not a little recency bias here, but we have the potential for four early entry players out of that class. Plus, the guy who hit the shot that got us out of the sweet sixteen on our way to our first Final Four. And Larsen definitely has the potential to be an impact player here before it's all done.

I can't decide what order to put the other five classes in... they all have amazing players who had a huge impact here.

maynard g krebs
09-27-2018, 11:52 PM
2016 by a mile.

kitzbuel
09-28-2018, 03:19 AM
We may not ever see a class ass good as 2016 for a long time. There are potentially 4 NBA caliber players in that class. It is also unique in how many players are in that class. I don’t see us bringing on more than 4 players in a recruiting class for the next 5 years.

Very unique in its depth, breadth, and quality.

jazzdelmar
09-28-2018, 05:01 AM
Obviously 2016, w four possible NBA players.......but I might exchange that whole class for just the Bonus.

TexasZagFan
09-28-2018, 05:19 AM
We may not ever see a class ass good as 2016 for a long time. There are potentially 4 NBA caliber players in that class. It is also unique in how many players are in that class. I don’t see us bringing on more than 4 players in a recruiting class for the next 5 years.

Very unique in its depth, breadth, and quality.

2019 is showing a lot of potential, particularly if Drew Timme commits. That would give us 4 top 50 recruits.

hooter73
09-28-2018, 08:12 AM
Depends on how you look at it. players is one thing, but none of this would have happened without that first run team, so perhaps the Fraum class. Or do you look at each year for how many stayed four/five years, or concisely, how many left early for the pros, or do you look at our tourney and who got us farthest...

hockeyzag
09-28-2018, 12:34 PM
Great idea for a thread.

I love looking at this stuff, especially because at Gonzaga our recruits aren't usually that high in the rankings coming out of high school. But after they've been coached up in the program they end up out performing so many players who were ranked higher than them previously.

I remember 2007 as the year I really started paying attention to the rankings on Rivals. I was so excited about the Daye (25), Gray (75ish?), and Sacre (100ish?) class rankings that year. It was far and away our best class yet.

But good grief look at 2016, that class is incredible.

I used to think to myself, what kind of teams could we put out on the floor if we were able to get the kind of recruits teams like Duke, Kentucky, UNC got? We've always punched above our weight so to speak. I think we're really starting to see how great Few is as a coach now that we're starting to get NBA level players. We're no longer settling for Sweet 16 or Elite 8 seasons as our barometer, not being able to beat the big boys. We're now looking at teams that are true championship contenders.

LongIslandZagFan
09-28-2018, 01:55 PM
2016... but 2019 is looking seriously like it could contend with it.

zagfan24
09-28-2018, 01:58 PM
1989. The point guard from Creswell, OR.

OntZags
09-28-2018, 02:29 PM
We may not ever see a class ass good as 2016 for a long time. There are potentially 4 NBA caliber players in that class. It is also unique in how many players are in that class. I donít see us bringing on more than 4 players in a recruiting class for the next 5 years.

Very unique in its depth, breadth, and quality.

I'd put money on us having more than 4 players in 2019.

The class is already at 3 with Ravet, Watson & Arlauskas. That covers Perkins, Crandall & Jones leaving.

But it is almost a certainty that 2 of Rui/Tillie/Clarke/Norvell are gone. Reasonable possibility of 3 and even a chance of all 4 gone. Plus they already have an open scholarship.

So that leaves 3-5 scholarships to fill for next season. I'm sure the grad transfer is in play but I suspect they'll get 2 more '19 recruits.

willandi
09-28-2018, 07:10 PM
2019 is showing a lot of potential, particularly if Drew Timme commits. That would give us 4 top 50 recruits.


I'd put money on us having more than 4 players in 2019.

The class is already at 3 with Ravet, Watson & Arlauskas. That covers Perkins, Crandall & Jones leaving.

But it is almost a certainty that 2 of Rui/Tillie/Clarke/Norvell are gone. Reasonable possibility of 3 and even a chance of all 4 gone. Plus they already have an open scholarship.

So that leaves 3-5 scholarships to fill for next season. I'm sure the grad transfer is in play but I suspect they'll get 2 more '19 recruits.

These 4 would be a kick ass start to the 2019 class.

exclusivelee
09-29-2018, 02:42 PM
2013: Josh Perkins, Domantas Sabonis, Silas Melson, and Bryan Alberts

That was 2014 and also included grad transfer Byron Wesley

kitzbuel
09-29-2018, 09:37 PM
I'd put money on us having more than 4 players in 2019.

The class is already at 3 with Ravet, Watson & Arlauskas. That covers Perkins, Crandall & Jones leaving.

But it is almost a certainty that 2 of Rui/Tillie/Clarke/Norvell are gone. Reasonable possibility of 3 and even a chance of all 4 gone. Plus they already have an open scholarship.

So that leaves 3-5 scholarships to fill for next season. I'm sure the grad transfer is in play but I suspect they'll get 2 more '19 recruits.

Good point. Very interested to see how that transpires.

DixieZag
09-30-2018, 07:47 AM
Obviously 2016, w four possible NBA players.......but I might exchange that whole class for just the Bonus.

Wonderful post.

I knew you'd go with any class that had Sabonis, your favorite Zag not named Dickau. And it is a good point.

But, in terms of entire class, 2016 seems to blow it out of the water, especially if they do real well this year.

I really appreciate just seeing the classes lined up. I don't know that I've seen all them lined up and it must have taken a great deal of work. Nicely done on that alone.

spike_jr
09-30-2018, 08:44 AM
This is a great topic and I loved seeing the players in their recruiting classes.

It would be hard to argue against 2016 being the best in terms of talent/potential, but I think that 2009 may have been one of the most important in terms of growth to the overall program. The transformation and development of Olynyk during his redshirt year has paid huge dividends in terms of recruiting.

Martin Centre Mad Man
09-30-2018, 11:39 AM
That was 2014 and also included grad transfer Byron Wesley

That’s right. Thank you. Wesley was a big omission on my part.

Martin Centre Mad Man
04-15-2019, 05:50 PM
Give it a bump. How does 2019 compare?

jazzdelmar
04-15-2019, 05:53 PM
2014 QED

MickMick
04-15-2019, 07:40 PM
2003: Adam Morrison, Derek Raivio, Sean Mallon, Stephen Gentry

Naahh. Just kidding.

2016 it looks like to me.

Very curious about 2020. It is all about the guards.

ZagsGoZags
04-21-2019, 10:50 AM
I remember all the buzz in the seats at the Kennel for Kraziness in 2007. The ooooo'ing and ahhh'ing we all expressed hearing the rumor that Austin Daye was probably NBA material. I felt giddy with joy. Sacre seemed like such a 'get' from Canada. It fills my heart with joy this Easter morning to think the program has progressed to beyond a level I ever really imagined it would go. I do miss somewhat those days when new recruits would probably stay 3 or 4 years with us. In spite of the great family atmosphere our NBA level players jump at the chance to play professional basketball about as quickly as other teams. Can't blame any of them. Ronny T. was special, deciding to stay with zags one more year after his NBA prospects looked good. Were there any others?

gonzagafan62
04-21-2019, 12:39 PM
2030... all 5 star players and routed everyone for the first undefeated national title since Bob Knight

TexasZagFan
04-21-2019, 02:25 PM
2030... all 5 star players and routed everyone for the first undefeated national title since Bob Knight

I’m expecting 2028, unless Big D reclassifies to 2027.

:lmao:

Could be baseball, could be hoops, we’re going through the process.