Keegan Hyland inks with Gonzaga

hyland

What a whirlwind these past two days have been.  Last night it was four-star 2011 guard Gary Bell Jr. and tonight it is 2010 sharpshooter Keegan Hyland committing to Gonzaga.  Unlike the Bell recruitment which was a an ongoing and extended process, Gonzaga's pursuit of Hyland moved in fast forward.  He wasn't even on Mark Few's radar a few weeks ago when he got a tip about Hyland and sent Ray Giacoletti to visit the Maine star.  Giacoletti invited Keegan to take an official visit to Spokane and the rest is history. 

Hyland is the second and final commitment of the 2010 class as Gonzaga has filled virtually every spot on the roster for the upcoming season.  He joins Marquise Carter in the class and both will look to help replace the void left by four-year star Matt Bouldin.  In Hyland, Gonzaga is getting one of the best remaining shooters in the 2010 class and someone that really flew under the radar due to missing a majority of his senior season with a stress fracture in his hip.  Before the injury, Hyland was a terror from beyond the arc and you can bet Mark Few expects him to bring that stroke to Spokane.

Here is a great quote from Keegan about his decision to commit to Gonzaga per Scout.com:

“That whole team is like a family out there. I really can’t pass it up. They’ve had so much success with players similar to myself out there. The campus is beautiful, the facilities but the thing I was impressed with the most was that when you played pick up with them (the players) wouldn’t let you catch it unless you were coming off screens. It felt like great basketball, the way it should be played.”

It sounds like Mark Few knew exactly what he wanted out of Hyland and had him coming off screens all weekend long when playing with the team.  For as much talent as we have had at Gonzaga in the past few years, the one area that has been lacking has been a consistent deep threat.  Steven Gray has shown flashes, Matt Bouldin could hit from time to time, but we haven't had an outstanding pure shooter since Derek Raivio graduated.

From everything we have heard, Hyland has all the ability to be a fantastic college shooter.  He's got a tremendous work ethic and is one of those guys that shoots 1000 shots a day.  He has plenty of work to do getting ready for division one basketball however.  The injury concerns are there and even before the hip problem, Keegan struggled with his quickness and explosiveness on defense and creating his own shot.  If he fails to develop his game in other ways, he will likely not leave a major impact at Gonzaga.  If he does assert himself in the weight room and elsewhere, the sky could be the limit.  We hear all the time about the importance of a dead-eye sharpshooter but the really great ones are able to score in a variety of ways other than just coming off screens and firing. 

I'll be very interested to see how Mark Few uses Hyland immediately.  I suspect he has been brought in this late to make an impact right away.  It's hard for me to imagine Gonzaga taking a flyer on a kid at this point in the cycle if they didn't think he could give quality minutes.  Keegan will likely head to Spokane whenever his school year ends and begin working out with the team.

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