Believe it or not, we are about two and a half months away from the start of the 2012-13 season. Until then, actual 'news' is probably going to be very slow to trickle in. We have done a number of prospect and coach interviews over the past few weeks and you can expect more of that as visits begin to take place. As of now, Gonzaga will be hosting Chris Griffin and Jordan Mathews in September. There will likely be several other fall visits but they will likely come from the 2014 class. As always, we will have updates as soon as we get them. For now, here are some of the random news clippings as we run towards the weekend:
-- Speaking of 2014 visits, expect one of those to be from Bryan Alberts, a 6'5'' guard from Sun Valley, CA. We recently spoke to Bryan's AAU coach Robert Icart and he said that Bryan would visit Gonzaga in the fall and Alberts reiterated that desire in an interview with NY2LA Sports:
Alberts wants to visit Colorado, Gonzaga, Oregon State, Stanford, and UCLA this fall. This summer, Alberts was able to take an East coast tour, visiting Boston, Boston College, Georgetown, VCU, and Virginia.
Alberts has a number of high-major offers and it looks like he will accumulate many more before it is all said and done. He's hearing from Cal, Georgetown, UCLA, UConn among others. Wisconsin might be a big contender as they landed a commitment from his teammate, 2013 guard Jordan Hill. The Badgers were one of the first to offer Alberts and you can expect them to be there until the finish.
-- Also coming from NY2LA Sports is news that Gonzaga is showing interest in 2014 PG Dominique Collier. The Denver, CO standout is sure to be one of the top prospects in the nation in 2014 and he already claims an impressive offer list. At this point, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas State, Minnesota, Purdue, Tulsa, and Wyoming have come through with offers and there are endless others showing interest.
Gonzaga is one such program showing interest at this point. The 2014 cycle, as we have said numerous times, is extremely crucial for the staff. The eventual replacements for Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell will likely come from this class so Gonzaga really needs to hit this class out of the park and lock up some major talent. Collier and Alberts seem to be ideal candidates.
-- Jay Bilas at ESPN wrote a piece about who his 'surprise' teams of 2012-13 are. As Bilas notes, it seems like each year someone is saying Gonzaga is a darkhorse to run to the Final Four and, I'll bite and say this team is a serious contender but I'm not sure how much of a surprise it would be. From the article:
It seems as if Mark Few's Zags are in this position often. Gonzaga has won in the West Coast Conference like UCLA did in the John Wooden era, yet it has not been able to crack the Elite Eight barrier since 1999. Gonzaga has been good enough but has always seemed to come up against the toughest draws and seeds, not to mention a couple of tough game locations.
That's it for today. As I said, very slow trickle of third party news but keep it tuned here for more interviews and original content.