If there is one month that defines basketball recruiting it is July. The summer month is typically the time when a majority of evaluations happen and when defined lists for prospects really begin to form. For instance, a season ago, the Gonzaga staff headed into July with a number of prospects that looked to be serious. Names like Skylar Spencer, Tyrone Wallace, Richard Longrus, and others were all listing the Zags and some, specifically Spencer, appeared to be Spokane-bound. When the dust settled after July, these prospects slowly went to the wayside. While one, Demarquise Johnson stuck on the Zags radar, the vast majority were no longer prospects following the July period. This season, the Bulldogs are once again being mentioned by a number of top prospects from around the country. And while Max and I have certainly caught wind of things and formed our 'best guess' lists, the July period will assuredly shake things up a bit.
With that said, here is an update on a couple guys you can expect to hear more from this summer...
- I think if Max and I had to list one prospect that we hope winds up in a Gonzaga uniform, it would be Jordan Mathews. The talented shooting guard from California has been on fire this summer and has garnered plenty of recruiting interest. He recently performed at an extremely high level at the Kevin Durant Skills Academy and he is one of the stars of the perennially strong California Supreme AAU team. Mathews had listed the Zags along with VCU as the two teams recruiting him the hardest a month or so ago and now it appears that he is being courted by a number of new programs. From Rivals:
Mathews now counts offers from Gonzaga, USC, Colorado, Indiana, VCU and Wyoming along with interest from Kansas State, Marquette, TCU St. Mary's, Miami,Washington State and UCSB.
"I'm going to cut down my list after July," said Mathews. "I'll sit down with my parents and my coach after the push. As long as I get a chance to play in March, that's where I want to go."
If you are looking for a quality comparison for Mathews, we think one of the better ones is current Zag, Gary Bell. He's a long guard that has really turned it on as an offensive player and he is one of the few guys you will see on the AAU circuit that works has hard on the defensive end as he does on offense.
The Zags will have a visitor on campus this weekend, read on for more...
- One of the positions that we are looking at as a need in perhaps both 2013 and definitely 2014 is at point guard. It would be great for the staff to lock up a point guard to learn under Kevin Pangos and then take the reins upon his departure. One guy that has come up quite a bit lately is Arizona's Casey Benson. The 6'3'' guard has been quietly gathering a lot of attention lately. From Scout:
Previously holding Boise State, Saint Mary's and an Arizona State offer - the school Benson grew up rooting for - the rising junior has added offers from Colorado, USCand Boston College.
"I'm going to Gonzaga at the end of June for a visit; they're recruiting me pretty hard," Benson said. "They fit my style pretty well. They've always had guards come out of there."
You can expect that Benson will receive an offer from the Bulldogs upon his visit to Spokane and it will be interesting to track his recruitment. Arizona State, reportedly his childhood favorite, offered him early but I have to imagine Few selling the point guard tradition at GU (led by his current star, Kevin Pangos) pretty hard. As recruiting tools go, it is going to be pretty hard for other programs to match that.