2013 recruiting continues to be a silly temptress for the Gonzaga faithful.
Scheduled to visit Spokane this coming weekend for Kraziness In The Kennel, Graham Woodward has committed to Penn State. The promising point guard from the Minneapolis area visited the Nittany Lions two weeks ago and, according to 247 Sports, he had an incredible time and it sounds like one factor may have really swayed Woodward:
Growing up in Big Ten country - my parents grew up in Indiana and both went to IU - I've watched a ton of Big Ten basketball, so playing in the conference will definitely be a factor in my decision.
While Penn State doesn't have the richest of basketball traditions in the Big Ten, the idea of playing against teams like Indiana, Michigan State, Purdue, Michigan, etc. has to be very enticing for any player from that area. Another major factor in Graham's recruitment had to be playing time. At Penn State, the point guard position was an area of need whereas Gonzaga still has three more years with Kevin Pangos at the helm and, as we saw last year, he doesn't leave the court very much.
This is definitely a bit of a surprise, particularly after learning that he would be visiting this coming weekend. When you step back and look at some of the factors, whether it be location, conference, or playing time, it is hard to argue with the decision that was made.
I will be curious to see how this impacts 2014 recruiting for the Gonzaga staff. My gut tells me that the direction of the class won't change much. Bryan Alberts was a guest on campus this weekend and from all indications, he had a tremendous time in Spokane. The point guard prospect that most have their fingers crossed for is 2015's Kendall Small but his recruitment still has a long time to develop.
We wish Graham the best of luck at Penn State.