While Gonzaga suffered its fair share of defections this season, the staff has done an outstanding job of adding talented players to fit various roles. The latest addition is former Memphis Tiger Drew Barham. Barham, who originally went to Southern Illinois out of high school, will be able to play right away for Coach Mark Few and should provide solid depth at the wing position for the Zags. Drew was kind enough to answer a few of our questions so we could all learn a little bit more about how his connection with Gonzaga got started.
After the transfer of Mathis Monninghoff, most Zag fans were loving the remaining talent on the team but questioning if there was enough depth if a injury were to occur. Whether or not the staff knew of Monninghoff's intention to transfer well before it happened or not is still unknown but it does appear they were looking for more help at the wing this offseason.
"I first started hearing from them a couple days after I asked for my release from Memphis. Coach Ray Giacoletti was the main coach recruiting me early on" explained Barham.
Barham's release from Memphis came in early May so the Zags were working Drew and fellow transfer Gerard Coleman all spring and their efforts came up fruitful as they were able to lock up both. For Drew, it was a combination of things that made Gonzaga the right choice.
"The style of play and the need for what I could offer" Barham said. "The people were great! The program was very structured and I loved how everything was so much different than Memphis."
While it wasn't easy for Barham to leave his hometown school, he made it quite apparent that he could not be happier with his decision.
"I believe it was a perfect fit. I loved the coaches, the players, and the city. The way the team played was exactly the type of program I was looking for. God opened the opportunity and it seemed like the right school for me."
Drew had a number of D1 programs looking at him as a transfer possibility along with the Bulldogs. While Gonzaga's recruitment of him slipped under the radar over the past month, there were plenty of reports of other schools pursuing him. Interestingly enough, it appears the Zags may have stolen him from their biggest conference rival.
"Before the visit (to Gonzaga), I was actually leaning more toward St. Mary's as the front runner of my top 5" Barham said.
Many Zag fans are still unsure of what Barham's role will be during his two years in Spokane. He comes to Gonzaga as someone who has been praised for his ability to shoot from distance but he claims that he has made some big improvements in other aspects of his game.
"I think I fit in nicely," Barham said "I love to move without the ball and my midrange game and creating my own shot has improved. I'm ready to play and contribute and have a great season."