Luck isn't always guaranteed when you make a trip to Las Vegas. However, the Gonzaga staff must be feeling like it has a Royal Flush, soon after winning the WCC Tournament, they received the news that Top 2016 big man, Zach Collins, was ready to make his commitment to Gonzaga.
Following his visit to Spokane, it took Zach a little while to realize where he wanted to attend school.
"His mom and I were a bit frustrated, because we hoped he knew where he was going, because we knew where we thought would be a good fit," Mike Collins said with a laugh. "There was a day last week where I was talking to Coach Few, just updating him on everything, and at the end of the call he said that he was going to call Zach. After that phone call, I think things changed a bit for Zach, and that level of trust that was already fairly strong, was cemented. He wasn't promising anything, that's not how Coach Few is, but he let Zach know that he wasn't going into a situation that he was currently in high school. I think he always knew how good the fit was and would be, but his conversation with Coach Few was the final brick that led to the decision."
As we have chronicled, Collins has long been a priority for the coaching staff, so it shouldn't be a surprise that they were excited when the news finally came through.
"Zach gave Coach Few a call when the team was on the bus after the championship game," recalled Mike. "Zach was on speaker phone and Coach Few told Zach that he made a great night even better. He was ecstatic and promised Zach that he would do right by him."
Ultimately, there were two big factors that led to the choice being Gonzaga.
"Number one was the way they play," Mike explained. "That's exactly how Zach wants to play. They play high intensity basketball that is all about the team. When you look at the players, they are so highly-skilled, but everything they do is so team-oriented, which is really hard to find."
"Number two is probably the relationship side of things. At some level you have to trust what you are hearing, and that level of trust probably put Gonzaga over the top. Gonzaga has been recruiting Zach for more than a year. When you talk to coaches almost every single day, the trust is built on a solid foundation. And it's not to say that Zach didn't trust other coaching staffs. I think his relationship with other coaches was very good. It just wasn't the same. A lot of schools admittedly said they don't have anybody like Zach, but the question in my mind was always, are you going to change your system and the way you play just for Zach? In the end, it was what Zach was comfortable with. He could picture himself on the floor for the Gonzaga."