One of the fastest rising prospects in the 2016 class recently took an official visit to Gonzaga. Nolan Narain, the Canadian forward playing at La Lumiere, took the trip to Spokane with his family to watch the Zags take on Memphis. This was the first opportunity Narain had to see Gonzaga in person.
During his trip to Spokane, Nolan was able to really get a sense of how he could fit into the Gonzaga system.
"From a basketball perspective, we got confirmation of what we had already thought," explained David Narain. "Just in terms of style of play, we had watched them from afar, but being in person and seeing the practice and the game was very good to see. We saw the philosophy and it was confirmation of who they are and the style of play they use."
The Narain family was able to take in a great crowd at The Kennel, which added to the whole experience.
"I think he really enjoyed it," David said of Nolan's game experience. "All three of us really enjoyed being there and feeling the energy in the building. We have been to many games and to different campuses, and sometimes you see moments where the fans are wild. At Gonzaga, their fans keep it going all game long. That was very impressive."
The college experience is a key factor for Nolan and he was able to get a good feel of what life at Gonzaga would be like during the visit.
"That was a big part of the visit," David emphasized. "There were questions that we had. His concerns were simple things like where he would live and what he would eat. He was able to spend time on campus with the student body. He visited the dorms and got to see where he would be living. Everything really met his expectations."
A really appealing factor that Gonzaga can offer is the track record they have with skilled bigs like Nolan.
" It's just they have a track record of success and a plan that they have used on players similar to Nolan. It's a holistic plan they use that encompasses the skill and the weakness of the player. They've been able to take players like Nolan, and have a proven format to improve a weakness. They laid out a specific plan for Nolan, which we liked. What one guy needs might not be what another needs. Kelly (Olynyk) is different than Kyle (Wiltjer) who is different than Nolan. They have specifically looked at Nolan and have a feeling for what they need to address and how they would do it."
If Nolan were to come to Gonzaga, he would arrive on campus with a chance at immediate playing time.
"That definitely appeals to him," David explained. "Wherever he ends up, he wants to be a contributing factor. He understands that he is going to be a four-year guy and he wants to help the team when he arrives. Down the line he can see his role grow and be a big contributor."
As his recruiting profile continues to expand, Nolan and his family have started to schedule visits and focus a bit more on recruiting.
"We have one official visit scheduled for San Diego St. on March 7th. Beyond that, we don't have any others scheduled, but we do have some schools in mind. It's busy, so we are probably going to look to schedule the other visits after the basketball season. We'd like to be in a position to wrap recruiting up this summer, so he can be free and clear for his senior year."