With Gonzaga putting together an outstanding season, the Zags have seen an impact on the recruiting trail. One of the targets the staff identified as a priority heading into the season is local product Sam Cunliffe. The 2016 wing has put together an outstanding season for Bishop Blanchet and remains a priority for the GU staff.
After a slow start to the season for his high school team, Cunliffe and his teammates have really started to show their potential.
"It's going really good," Cunliffe explained. "The team has improved a lot since the winter break. We weren't doing so well at the start and I think it took awhile for everyone to learn to play with each other. We made some changes and everyone is playing together now. We beat some really good teams and we have a tough game against O'Dea on Friday (Editor Note: Cunliffe scored 25 points in a win over O'Dea after the interview)
With his strong play on the court, Cunliffe has continued to hear consistently from the Gonzaga staff.
"Coach Micahelson is still texting me once a day and we still talk consistently," the 2016 combo guard said. "He is still the one I definitely talk to the most."
The Bishop Blanchet star had the chance to see Gonzaga in person earlier in the season when he attended the Battle In Seattle.
"I was really close to the bench, so I was trying to listen to how the coaches and players interact. I was really watching Coach Few and learning how he interacts with everyone. I was watching the players and trying to see how I would fit in. They are a really talented team."
Even with the impressive junior season from Cunliffe, Gonzaga remains the school pursuing the talented guard the hardest.
"There aren't that many new schools I'm hearing from," Cunliffe said. "Cal has started talking to me a little bit more. I'm really just focused on my season, and I'm sure after I play AAU this summer, I will hear from more schools. I do know that I want to take an official visit to Gonzaga right after my high school season ends."
As he heads towards the final couple of months of his junior year, the talented guard has high expectations for the rest of the season.
"I want to be rebounding in the double-digits every game," Cunliffe said of his personal goals. "I want to continue to guard the best player on the other team. As a team, I want to be one of the top teams in Metro. We need to keep going hard and continue to beat the best teams. Hopefully we can figure out a way to keep improving and go as far as we can this season."