The 2010 recruiting class was one of the most interesting in Gonzaga history. As Zach chronicled in his excellent player preview piece, half the class is made up of European recruits that not many people have seen play. Both Mathis Keita and Mathis Monninghoff are incredibly intriguing prospects who possess a bright future with their athleticism and unique skill set.
The other two recruits in the 2010 class are JC transfer Marquise Carter and freshman guard Keegan Hyland. Carter is more of the typical recruit that we have chronicled the past couple of years, as he received interest from multiple BCS quality programs, but ultimately decided that Gonzaga was the best place to continue his career. Hyland arrives in Spokane from Portland, Maine, where he developed a reputation as an absolute lights out shooter. Hyland was committed to Vermont for a very brief period, before he opened up his recruitment during his senior season. A huge performance on the spring AAU circuit, combined with the Gonzaga staff focusing on finding a shooter in the 2010 class, made Hyland the perfect fit.
With the basics covered, its time to explore what type of role these guys will play in the upcoming season. I know a lot of people on this blog have differing views on both guys, but the one thing I ask is that this story doesn't turn into a forum for basing a certain player that started at PG last season. If you want to discuss the PG situation in a factual and reasonable way, then please go ahead and hopefully we can have a great discussion!!!!
Of the two incoming recruits, I think it's clear that Marquise Carter is the one that will be the contributing this season. Carter comes to Gonzaga from Three Rivers CC, where he led his team to the JC National Championship game. The thing that attracts lots of fans to Carter is the fact that he fits the mold of previous Gonzaga PG's because of his ability to score from the point guard position. All early reports suggest that Carter is a strong leader and has enough athleticism to get to the rim and score. Equally important is the fact that Carter is a capable shooter from the perimeter, which is something that was lacking last season. When it comes to shooting, Carter is much closer to Jeremy Pargo then Derek Raivio, but the important thing is that he has the ability to keep the defense honest on the perimeter.
With that said, I still expect Carter to come off the bench this season at both guard positions. I don't think he will see a ton of time at SG, because Gray, Arop and even Keita will potentially see time there. Instead, I think Carter will strictly play point guard, providing a stronger offensive threat off the bench. Demetri Goodson is better suited for pushing the tempo and providing a true defensive stopper, which fits a little better with the highly-potent starting lineup that we should see this season. I kind of envision the role that Carter will play similar to that of Pargo as a freshman. Carter will play a ton of minutes and will truly be like a 6th starter for this team. There is no doubt that his contributions and ability to pick up the offense will be essential to the early success of this team. If Carter and Goodson can balance each other in a productive manner, point guard will be a position of strength for this team.
While many Gonzaga fans seem to think that Keegan Hyland will immediately contribute because of his ability to shoot the ball, I couldn't disagree more. Of every player on the roster this season, I think Hyland is easily the most likely to redshirt. Both Zach and I have heard that Hyland can shoot the light out of the ball from numerous sources. However, the other thing that has been emphasized is that he doesn't have the strength or quickness to compete at this high of a level yet. Hyland needs to use this year to get in the weight room to build the strength he will need to excel on both ends of the court. At this point, Hyland would be a liability on the defensive end because of his inability to fight through screens and guard pretty much any back court opponent Gonzaga might see this season. I think that Hyland will make an impact at Gonzaga because of his ability to score the ball, but I don't expect that to be until his sophomore or junior season.