DENVER, CO - MARCH 19: Head coach Mark Few of the Gonzaga Bulldogs gestures from the bench against the Brigham Young Cougars during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Pepsi Center on March 19, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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While we are all waiting with great anticipation for the start of the 2011-12 season, recruiting junkies are hitting their stride right about now as we are knee deep in the July evaluation period. While we have a good idea about the major recruits Gonzaga is targeting in the 2012, the July evaluation period is usually the time when long lists because cut down significantly and the staff begins to dial in on their 'must-haves'.
Thankfully, social media has made tracking down the staff quite easy during this time. It is our pleasure to report that Gonzaga coaches have been spotted across the country scouting some of the top players in the nation. From our vantage point, the 2012 target list is starting to be zoned in on and the prospects are all extremely intriguing. Even though recruiting is constantly in flux, here are a few of the major headlines that have grabbed our attention thus far:
Mark Few is in Akron for the LeBron James Skills Academy: Few, along with just about every other major college head coach in the nation (seriously, look at this list) is in Akron for what has become one of the must see events in the evaluation period. A few days ago, Max rose a very interesting question to me. Is it possible that Katin Reinhardt has become focal point #1 of the staff meaning that the full court press from Mark Few is on. Reinhardt was supposed to be a part of the LBJ camp but was recently injured and had to miss the event. I'd like to think that Few has taken a personal interest in Reinhardt's recruitment because that is what it is going to take for him to come to Gonzaga. The other side of the coin is that the LeBron camp has basically become a can't miss camp for high-major coaches. It is likely that Few is there simply just to be in attendance but I'd like to believe the intent was for him to stay on the heels of Reinhardt before the injury hit. The only prospect with somewhat of a Gonzaga tie to this point is Danuel House but it does not seem like there is any type of relationship at this point.
much more after the jump...
Lloyd's in California...Daniels, Giacoletti in Indy? Did I mention that I love Twitter? Two days ago, Josh Gershon of Scout.com was able to confirm that Tommy Lloyd was in Carson, California for the Double Pump Summer Tipoff. The target at this tournament is power forward prospect Skylar Spencer. Spencer has been one of Max and I's favorite since he burst on the scene a couple years ago. A long, athletic, and defensive minded power forward, Spencer would fit a major need on the Gonzaga depth chart which, at this point, is severely lacking top end athletic ability. While Tommy is in California checking out Skylar, Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports let us know that two Gonzaga coaches were in Indianapolis for the Adidas Invitational. The major prospect there in terms of Gonzaga ties is Tyrone Wallace. Wallace is one of the bigger point guards in the circuit at 6'4''. That sentence alone should clue you in to why Gonzaga is interested. The current stable of GU guards (particularly point) lacks athleticism and, well, size. Wallace is a tremendous slasher and possesses great court vision in addition to his measurables. While the staff needs to address the frontcourt in 2012, the Zags still could use some upgrades to the backcourt and guys like Wallace and Reinhardt seem to be exciting prospects.
But, where's my enormous, space-eating prospect? If you are looking for a big time center prospect within the United States, I don't think you'll have much luck. Rather, we'll have to venture over to Poland to locate what could become the next Gonzaga "BIG". Most of you will remember the name Przemyslaw Karnowski. A while ago, Fran Fraschila tweeted that Karnowski was "Gonzaga bound". This of course sent most fans (guilty) into a tizzy. Not only was there not much information on the 7'1'' Polish prospect, but the limited info was not exactly glowing. Yesterday, a great article from Luke Winn surfaced detailing the best prospects from the FIBA U-19 Tournament and one of his headliners was Karnowski (the other was Gonzaga point guard Kevin Pangos). Winn had this to say about Karnowski:
If he comes to the NCAA, he has potential to be an excellent college post player and perhaps an NBA draft pick. Like Bhullar, he needs to shed additional weight, but Karnowski is in much better basketball shape, and flashes serious skills around the basket. His ability to pass out of double-teams is Kevin Love or Brad Miller-like, and he knows how to use his size to seal off defenders on the block.