Recruiting rankings are often debated, never exact, but damn interesting. They are even more interesting when your team has players ranked highly in them. Thus, you can imagine my excitement every time a 2011 class ranking comes out because Gonzaga has a commit from star guard Gary Bell Jr. already and is hot after Oregon's Kyle Wiltjer, who is one of the premier big men in the nation.
Just a few moments ago, Scout.com released their updated 2011 recruit rankings and both Bell and Wiltjer checked in very highly. Bell, who has been traveling the country with Seattle Rotary this summer, was ranked the 49th best player in the nation by the fine folks at Scout.com and Wiltjer, who plays for arguably the best AAU team in the country in the Oakland Soldiers, is ranked 21st.
Getting a verbal commitment from Bell early in the 2011 recruiting cycle was huge for the Bulldogs but the work is nowhere near done. Mark Few personally handled Gary's recruitment and the dividends obviously paid off with the commit. He has also been down to Portland many times to see Kyle and is definitely all over this outstanding 2011 power forward. Max and I have been writing about this "dream duo" since, well, as long as we have had the site. To see them both excel at this level is very exciting and to see Gonzaga get one already and be in the race for another is equally as intriguing.
We've had a lot of discussion on here lately claiming that Gonzaga can't land the premier recruits in this country even though it was just 2007 when Gonzaga landed five-star California prospect Austin Daye, four-star Canadian center Robert Sacre, and four-star Seattle area guard Steven Gray. Mark Few's addition of Donny Daniels, ranked by Rivals.com as one of the top 50 recruiters in the country, tells me that he intends to recruit at an "elite" level for many years to come.