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What will 2010 Recruiting Bring? Yannick Atanga Update

The impact of Bol Kong finally making it to campus will not only be felt on the court for the Gonzaga Bulldogs, but also in how the coaches recruit the 2010 class. When everything was up in the air with the status of Bol, it seems the staff was looking to use two scholarships on the 2010 class. However, with Bol being on campus and part of the team, that leaves only one scholarship open for 2010. One name that we have become quite familiar with on this site is Yannick Atanga. Atanga plays at Besant Hill high school in California, and earlier this summer we were able to check in with the head coach at Besant Hill, Randy Bertin. Earlier today, we caught up with Coach Bertin again to see where Yannick stands with his recruitment, and if the Gonzaga coaches have kept in touch throughout the summer. The Slipper Still Fits would like to thank Coach Bertin for taking the time for this interview and really giving a great perspective on where everything sits with Yannick.

The Slipper Still Fits:  Since playing very strong during the AAU period and at numerous elite camps this summer, where have you seen the greatest improvements in Yannick's game now that he is back on campus?

Coach Bertin:  I think it would have to be on the offensive end. He has improved on the offensive side and with his understanding of the game.  Experience has always been something that he hasn't had a lot of, but now he is starting to do more things consistently on the offensive end. He is doing things more consistently, and I guess I would say that he has more offensive awareness as well.

TSSF:  Last time we spoke in June, Yannick had just attended the Cal Elite camp. What other elite camps did Yannick end up attending, and how did he perform at those?

CB:  He went to Cal, UCLA, and Santa Clara.  Everybody had high reports and great things to say about him. I still have some of the voicemails saved from the coaches (laughs). UCLA said they were still interested and had to see what they were going to do scholarship wise and how they were going to use their open spots.  Santa Clara was just thrilled since he came and performed so well, and they have an offer on the table for Yannick. 

see what schools are recruiting Yannick the most after the jump...

TSSF:  What schools have been showing the most interest since the end of the summer? Have any other schools extended offers?

CB:  It seems like almost every school in the WCC has offered Yannick.  San Diego, San Fran, and LMU have offered.  Portland has offered and is coming after him really hard. Washington St. is showing heavy interest and URI (Rhode Island) from the east coast is very interested.  UCSB and Coach Williams are recruiting him really hard. Yannick probably has the closest relationship with Coach Williams at UCSB, and even though they are not as big of a name, that will be very important for Yannick.

TSSF:  Have you guys held any open gyms for Yannick since the start of the school year, and if so what schools have stopped by and watched?

CB:  We haven't has any open gyms. This schools does things a little different, so Yannick has been on a backpacking trip with his classmates as part of an outdoor program they do every year.  He loves going on that trip, and this is third year going.  We will try to have an open gym, but classes start Monday, and then the season starts in a couple of weeks.  UNLV is coming to campus to see him soon though.

TSSF:  In terms of Gonzaga, how steady has their interest been since the summer? Have the Gonzaga coaches been in contact and continuing to show interest in Yannick?

CB:  Yeah, Coach Giacoletti has been the guy recruiting him and they were since November. It has picked up during the summer. Then they had the whole (Bol Kong) deal with the recruit from Africa, and they said now they only have one scholarship to offer this year so that was a big thing for Yannick and his recruiting. 

TSSF:  Has Yannick set up any of his official visits yet? Which schools is he considering to visit, and does he plan to use all of his visits?

CB:  He has visits setup to Santa Clara and Nevada-Reno.  I hope and I think he will take all five visits at this point. He is planning on waiting until the late period to commit and sign, so I think he will have time to take all of his visits.