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News from the Nike Global Challenge: Arop Dominating, Zags Stand Out for Wiltjer

Gonzaga's Mangisto Arop is absolutely lighting it up in Oregon at the Nike Global Challenge.
Gonzaga's Mangisto Arop is absolutely lighting it up in Oregon at the Nike Global Challenge.

This is kind of exactly what I was hoping would happen at this year's Nike Global Challenge.  For the past two years, since we have been tracking Mangisto Arop, there was never a resource where you could get boxscores or game recaps to save your life.  Playing at the National Elite Development Academy in Canada, Manny was largely unknown to the rest of the world except when he played in events like the Nike Global Challenge.  It's safe to say now that Manny have definitely made an impression not only on the recruiting services, but also some of the elite players from around the country.

Through two games in this year's Nike Global Challenge, Mangisto Arop has flexed his dominance on the basketball court.  Manny has scored 40 points in the past two games, leading the stacked Canadian roster which features two star Texas commits in Tristan Thompson and Myck Kabongo, and one of the most underrated bigs in basketball, Maurice Walker.  In his first game against Serbia, Manny was slashing himself all over the court for Canada and dropped in 16 points on a smooth 6-10 shooting.  Yesterday against Senegal, Manny had 24 points and 14 rebounds!!!  In that game he also showed his ability to knock down the three-ball, going 3-5 from beyond the arc.  If you are a Gonzaga fan, this is EXACTLY what you want to hear.  A major test will come in the championship game tonight as Canada takes on the very talented USA East squad which features guys like Josh Selby and Will Barton.

In what might be even better news, Rivals is reporting this morning that Manny Arop's Canadian teammate Kyle Wiltjer has a couple programs that stand out for his college services:

Kyle Wiltjer, who is taking advantage of his dual citizenship and playing for Canada, will visit Stanford and California in the near future. He is wide open in his recruitment but did note that Gonzaga, Arizona State, California stand out to him.

What I love about this: First, he is seeing Manny Arop blow up right now on the international scene right before going to Gonzaga.  Second, I know it may be a small detail, but Gonzaga is listed first ahead of schools like Arizona State and Cal.  Another big thing about this list is the fact that Wiltjer does not have any sort of lean to stay in Oregon which means that Gonzaga can play the Pacific Northwest card all day when talking to Kyle.  I can't imagine him going to Arizona State but Cal is a great school with a great basketball coach.  Kansas is always looming and, if they offer, it will be a whole new ball game.  Regardless, this is great news.  Kyle scored 10 points in yesterday's victory over Senegal after struggling in the first game against Serbia.  That was to be expected however; after all he is only a sophomore joining a roster that he has never really played with before.

Kyle Wiltjer and Gary Bell Jr. in 2011.  I'm sticking with it and it's looking good!