LA area forward Skylar Spencer will likely be big on Gonzaga's 2011 radar.
With a little break in the 2010-11 season, it seems like the ideal time to take a quick peek into the direction of Gonzaga recruiting. As we all know, Mark Few has signed a very talented 2011 class consisting of three guards and a forward. That class is spearheaded by Gary Bell Jr., a combo guard from the Seattle area. Kevin Pangos and Kyle Dranginis are the other skilled guards and Ryan Spangler is the lone frontcourt addition of the class. With Bell, Pangos, and Dranginis entering next season, the Zags will have eight guards on the roster, five of which will be sophomores or younger. Doing that math, it seems likely that the 2012 recruiting class will focus in more on the frontcourt. While there hasn't been much concrete information to this point, we have been able to piece together a few things about what is lookin like a "big" class in 2012.
At this point, Mark Few will have three scholarships to hand out to 2012 prospects as Robert Sacre, Demetri Goodson, and Marquise Carter will all be graduating from Gonzaga University. While we always have to leave room for transfers or any other situation, those three are definite scholarships available for the class.
A couple things to keep in mind is that it is very likely that Tommy Lloyd will continue to build his international pipeline, likely overseas. Lloyd has apparently been making trips to Europe to scout the international talent and judging from what we have picked up on the domestic side of things, Lloyd is seemingly looking at pure centers. Tommy has had great success recently as Elias Harris has obviously starred for the Zags and Mathis Monninghoff and Mathis Keita look to be solid contributors for years to come....
More after the jump...
While it is obviously difficult to get a clear picture on the international recruiting scene, more and more is coming around regarding the Zags' presence here in the states.
One name you will likely be hearing a lot, especially around here, is Skylar Spencer. Spencer is from the Los Angeles area and is one of the best power forward prospects on the West Coast. Skylar is an outstanding fit for the type of offense employed by Mark Few. A guy with an endless motor and an innate ability to block shots and pull down rebounds, Spencer boasts a wingspan of about 7'5'' although he stands 6'8''. Gonzaga has offered Skylar a scholarship and this is one of those guys we expect Donny Daniels to have a big impact on. Daniels has a reputation as a solid recruiter in the LA area working for so long at UCLA. Like most long and athletic forwards in the prep game, Spencer will have to spend time in the weight room and on the offensive end but as an elite shot blocker and rebounder, he'd be a very welcome addition at the D1 level as a freshman.
Another California forward recruit that has recently been mentioned in connection with Gonzaga is Oakland's Richard Longrus. Greg Hicks reported yesterday that Longrus has been offered a scholarship from Gonzaga along with outstanding offers from UCLA, Utah, Colorado, and Santa Clara. He's also hearing from a host of other schools across the country. Similar to Skylar Spencer, his biggest asset is what he is willing to do on the court. He is a tremendous rebounder for his 6'6'' frame and has the strength to guard the post as well as step out and play on guards. His offensive game needs work and it will be interesting to see how he translates to big time college basketball as he doesn't exactly have a set position as to whether or not he'll see most of his time insider or on the perimeter. With his rebounding ability and strength, he would likely be able to contribute the most immediately as a power forward but he has time to develop an outside game at the prep level.
These two California prospects are surely just the tip of the iceberg for Mark Few and co. as they look to follow up what appears to be an outstanding 2011 class. As always, we'll keep you updated on all the Gonzaga recruiting news as we learn about it.