LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 07: Steven Gray #41 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs appears on the court during the championship game of the Zappos.com West Coast Conference Basketball tournament against the Saint Mary's Gaels at the Orleans Arena March 7, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Gonzaga won 75-63. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Updates on Gonzaga's priority recruits are coming more fast and furious today with some news on Darin Johnson and a great video interview with Jordan Mathews. While both these guys are major targets for the staff, they are also two of the fastest risers on the west coast. Here is what we learned today:
-- We'll know much more on his recruitment and interest in Gonzaga over the next few days but Darin Johnson cut his list down to 13 schools today. Included in that list is Gonzaga along with Oregon, Texas A&M, Marquette, Arizona, USC, Colorado, Washington State, Oregon State, Arizona State, San Diego State, Utah and UTEP. It truly is amazing how fast Johnson's recruitment has taken off. Prior to July, the Zags along with USC and Washington State were Johnson's biggest offers and now he is hearing from some of the top schools along the coast and beyond.
Johnson will visit Oregon and that is his only set date so far. He is working to set more officials up in the coming weeks and after he raved about his unofficial to Gonzaga, I would be surprised if he didn't visit again unless he was dying to see some of the new schools that offered. Big picture, if you don't get an official visit, there is likely no chance of getting a commit so you can imagine that staff is working hard to make sure they stand out in that crowd of 13 programs.
-- Fellow 2013 recruit Jordan Mathews had similar success in July. He tore it up for Cal Supreme at Peach Jam and in Vegas and is drawing interest from across the country from schools such as Indiana, Marquette, and others. Gonzaga was one of the schools in on his recruitment early and that appears to be paying off nicely.
In a recent interview with Scout.com, Jordan maintained his claim that he will visit Gonzaga in the fall and that is his only set official at this point. He cited a great relationship with the coaching staff, in particular Donny Daniels, as a big reason for why he likes Gonzaga so much. Donny is best friends with Phil Mathews, Jordan's father. Phil actually replaced Donny at UCLA when he accepted the job under Mark Few.
Securing commitments from these two prospects got a lot harder after their play in July but it does appear the staff is still in good spots with both players. We will update everyone as soon as Darin decides on more visits and when we get a date for Jordan's official.