While the 2014 recruiting class may wind up being one of the best in the history of the Gonzaga program, it looks as though we are going to half to wait another year to see half of it. Today, the Spokesman Review reported that Oregon native Silas Melson would redshirt and that California's Bryan Alberts was leaning that direction, as well. Melson's decision comes somewhat as a surprise as many were expecting him to make an immediate impact but, as we have seen over the past few weeks, the Zags backcourt is insanely deep so the choice was made to have him sit this year.
While many will be disappointed that they won't be able to see Melson and likely Alberts this season, this is a huge positive for the Bulldogs. Staggering this ridiculously talented class will only benefit the program down the line as it secures the backcourt rotation for several years to come.
The Bulldogs will start Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell and then will feature a bench rotation of Josh Perkins, Kyle Dranginis, Connor Griffin, and Eric McClellan once he becomes eligible after Christmas. Starting wing Byron Wesley can also cover ground for the Zags should they need depth at the guard spot.
More than anyone, this speaks volumes about what we can expect from Eric McClellan. The Vanderbilt transfer is somewhat of the forgotten man as he will miss the games prior to Christmas break but these redshirts would not have been possible unless the staff was confident that he could play big minutes when his time comes in January.
Melson and (likely) Alberts join big man Ryan Edwards who elected to redshirt several weeks ago.