The Zags were fortunate enough earlier this offseason to get the news that both Przemek Karnowski and Kyle Wiljter would be returning for their senior seasons but the task for the staff is still to somehow replace them after they depart. That task just got considerably easier as the Bulldogs were able to lure star Missouri transfer Johnathan Williams III. Williams was also seriously considering Georgetown and SMU so this is a pretty tremendous get for the staff.
Williams will have to sit out this upcoming season but will have two years of eligibility in Spokane. He will be expected to step in right away for the departing Wiltjer and Karnowski and should be up to the task. We caught up with Williams III a couple weeks ago and he made it clear that Gonzaga's development of other bigs was a huge reason for his interest.
It should come as no surprise that Williams noticed the growth that guys like Kelly Olynyk and Kyle Wiltjer made during their redshirt year in Spokane.
"It matters a lot to me," Williams said of the player development at Gonzaga. "Hopefully my final destination is the NBA and they do a great job of developing players that dominate in college and make it to the pros. My focus would be developing my all-around game. Working on my shooting and ball-handling and also finishing around the basket and getting stronger."
Williams III was one of the lone bright spots in a pretty dismal season at Missouri last year. The 6'9'' forward averaged 12 point and 7 boards in about 29 minutes per game.
Congrats to Gonzaga and Williams III on this decision. It will be a long year awaiting his and Nigel Williams-Goss' first action as Bulldogs.