Is Yannick Atanga Gonzaga's last real option for the class of 2010?
So, EDZ has been doing a great job addressing the summer's biggest questions recently and one of the things that I have learned over the past few days is that this summer's recruiting is not one of those major questions. We've gone over the recruiting situation a lot and we were really expecting to learn a lot about Gonzaga's recruitment of the 2010 class in July but now that the evaluation period is over, it appears that the odds of Gonzaga skipping the 2010 class all together appears to be very likely. Over the past few weeks, players that we thought Gonzaga had interest in have committed elsewhere or left the Zags completely off their lists. Two legitimate targets seem to remain in 2010 but we can never completely count this staff out as the international recruiting scene is something that is hard to gauge.
2010: Who's Out
In the intro I said that their was only two legitimate prospects remaining in 2010 and that is because I, and probably most Gonzaga fans, constantly forget about North Idaho College's Guy Marc-Michel. Before we get to that, here is a list of the guys that are now off of the board as far as we are concerned.
Joe Harris, guard from Chelan, WA: Being that Joe is in Gonzaga's backyard, we thought that Mark Few could have the inside track on Joe but the 2009 class made it clear that perimeter guys were not really a major thing for this class. Joe committed to the University of Virginia today and it seems to be a great fit with former WSU coach Tony Bennett at the helm. Tony's a great coach and Virginia is a first class institution so it's good to see him to go a good place.
Ben Vozzola, wing from Las Vegas: We will be seeing plenty of Ben as he recently committed to the University of San Diego. This is a tremendous get for the Toreros as Ben appeared to be getting some high-major looks after a very impressive July. Vozzola is a guy that we would have loved to see at Gonzaga but Bill Grier should be getting a player that can come in and play right away.
Others: So they may not have committed elsewhere but there are a few guys that we think we can call off as being Gonzaga targets. LaBradford Franklin, the point guard from California just does not fit into what Gonzaga needs in 2010. Franklin has been getting serious interest from Pac-10 programs as well as local California mid-majors. Alex Dragicevich, another wing with major abilities hasn't listed Gonzaga interest in quite some time but absolutely blew up in July. He got offers from Oklahoma State, Xavier, and Notre Dame. Expect him to be a Golden Domer.
continue reading this post after the jump to learn what's next for Gonzaga recruiting...
2010: Who's Left
Yannick Atanga, power forward from California: Yannick's situation is a little interesting because he left for Cameroon on July 19th for a service trip for his school. We checked in with his high school coach, Randy Bertin, in mid-June and he said that Yannick will return at the end of the summer and wants to have it down to five schools so he can make his official visits. Coach Bertin also mentioned that he thinks that Gonzaga will likely be in the mix somewhere. Atanga is a beast at power forward and would answer a need in the middle for Gonzaga. He seems to be the one guy that would make the most sense at this point.
Jordan Railey, center from Portland: Railey is another guy that would fit the bill in the paint as a 6-foot-10 center but his offers don't show a whole lot of promise at this point for him being a high-major type player. The Zags are looking for a sure-thing in 2010 and Railey, while loaded with upside, might not be the answer. He has been getting interest from Oregon and Oregon State recently and he's definitely a guy that we will be tracking but it's hard to tell if Mark Few is. This is what Greg Hicks had to say about him in Las Vegas
Railey showed a very nice touch as he knocked down several shots in the 15-18 foot range. His frame projects very well and he should be a strong kid once he gets in a college weight room
Guy-Marc Michel, center from NIC: We've talked about Guy-Marc's situation time and time again. There isn't much to note except for the fact that the staff is still evaluating him. He was brought to NIC by the staff so he has the inside track but nothing is official yet.
Like we have kind of asserted for quite some time, there has to be some international player out there that the staff is evaluating. The 2010 class, to me, is a class that should only require one scholarship. Like our loyal poster mikesequim says, we need a BIG so Atanga or Railey would be ideal for that. Atanga is definitely the better prospect with more upside but he has a lot of suitors in the Pac-10. As for Guy-Marc, EDZ and I saw him play last year and unless he has improved a ton, I do not think that he is ready for big time division one basketball, especially considering Gonzaga's scholarship situation.
So that is basically the way we see it. The pefect situation would be for Gonzaga to get Yannick Atanga or skip the 2010 class all together. The international prospect could be out there...but we won't know that until it happens. Let us know what you would like to see happen now that July is over and the list of prospects is dwindling.