As Gonzaga continues to build off its historic season, bringing in high-level talent continues to be a priority. Elite guards have become the focus in the 2014 class, and one prospect that has really emerged on the Zags radar is Grayson Allen from Jacksonville, Florida.
After coming up just short of a state championship last season, Allen and his teammates were able to reach their goals in 2013.
"Our team was very successful," Grayson explained. "We won 24 straight games and then lost our last regular-season game to Arlington Country day, but I had to sit that out with a hurt ankle. We won seven games in a row after that to win state. We last won it in 2010 when Patric Young was on the team, and then last year, we made it to the semis."
With a season that saw him emerge as a national recruit, the Florida guard credits the extra work he put in for his improvement.
"I think I definitely improved over the season," The Gonzaga recruit said. "I was constantly working out with the assistant coaches and Coach Martin. My ball-handling has improved and it helps having a couple of seasons on varsity to help handle the pressure."
Allen will face an even bigger challenge this summer when he plays for the Southern Stampede on the EYBL circuit.
"I'm going to be playing with the Southern Stampede out of Augusta, Georgia. Last summer I was facing the pressure with only two offers and I didn't have what some of the others guys had. Now that I have the offers, a lot of the pressure is taken off and I can just go play hard."
The interest from Gonzaga came as a bit of a surprise for the 4-star guard, but the level of contact has been high ever since the offer came.
"I first heard from them in late January or early February," explained Allen. "I heard from Coach Lloyd and talked to Coach Few a few times as well. They came down three-to-four times to my high school and watched me play twice."
Coach Lloyd has taken the lead in Grayson's recruitment and has helped build a good relationship with the talented guard.
"I have a really good relationship with Coach Lloyd. We talk a lot and he got to know my parents. That's important. Coach Few and I have talked on the phone a couple of times."
Gonzaga has made Grayson a priority recruit in the backcourt and according to the Florida guard, the Zags are one of the schools coming on the hardest.
"There have been a few that have kind of stuck out, like Florida St. and Gonzaga," Allen said of the schools recruiting him the hardest. "I'd say that every team that has been recruiting me has been come-and-go during the season. They've all been consistent, but Florida St. and Gonzaga have been coming on."
With the AAU season set to kick off in April, the Providence school star is ready to balance the summer season and recruiting.
"I've been talking to my parents and I want to narrow things down with schools and start looking at visits in May. I'm not sure where I will vist, but Gonzaga is definitely a school that I want to make sure I see."