As we have mentioned repeatedly on Twitter, the tremendous success of the Gonzaga program was going to lead to a huge benefit in recruiting. Coming off an Elite 8 run, the start of the AAU period has revealed some very interesting targets for the staff. With that said, below is a look at where recruiting stands heading into the next couple of months.
Gonzaga made a huge splash in the transfer market when Nigel Williams-Goss committed following his visit to Spokane. Goss is a legitimate NBA prospect who can play both spots in the backcourt when he becomes eligible in 2016. He has a skill set that will thrive in the Gonzaga system, as he is a proficient scorer who is also an outstanding passer. While he had a final list that featured Providence, UNLV, Ohio St. and Gonzaga, this really came down to the latter two schools, with the Zags ultimately landing his commitment.
The big area where Goss needs to improve is with his lateral quickness and developing a bit more consistency with his perimeter jumper. Thankfully, Travis Knight has proven that he can work wonders during a year of physical training with a prospect.
The former UW point guard wasn't the only visitor this past weekend, as Missouri forward Johnathan Williams III took his first official visit since announcing his transfer. We have heard that things went very well on the visit, but the plan is for Williams to take other trips and be very deliberate before making a choice.
Should Williams commit, he would be a versatile 3/4 combo that Gonzaga has struggled to attract. He is a high-level athlete that can defend at multiple positions. Williams led the Tigers in scoring and rebounding during his sophomore season and was a Top 50 recruit coming out of high school. Williams needs to improve his efficiency on the offensive end and continue to develop a consistent jumper. However, he has all the skills to be a really scary weapon for the Zags moving forward.
With scholarships still available for next season, Gonzaga is still in the market for Federico Mussini, the talented Italian guard that is still debating coming to the states to continue his career. Mussini is a high-level scorer, who needs to put on some muscle to reach his potential. While some Gonzaga fans were concerned with his play during the Nike Hoop Summit, it's important to remember that the game is a glorified scrimmage with little fundamental basketball skill being displayed. Mussini is a streaky scorer who would give Gonzaga yet another weapon on the perimeter. If he comes to the states, Mussini would likely choose between Gonzaga and St. John's.
For 2016, the Zags landed their priority target when Zach Collins committed. Collins has put on a show during the start of the AAU season, and he could end up joining Austin Daye as a 5-star commit. The staff was hoping to pair him with fellow big man, Nolan Narain, but the Canadian PF committed to San Diego St. last night. This was a bit of a surprise given the history the program has with developing big men over the course of their career.
One prospect that Gonzaga is really interested in is Jonah Mathews, a Top 100 combo guard from LA. He is the younger brother of Jordan Mathews, who ended up at Cal after being on the radar of the Gonzaga staff. Jonah is a slasher and currently lists Gonzaga in his Top 2, along with USC. Expect Gonzaga to pursue Jonah very hard, as he has some ties to the program that will be very beneficial.
The other name to keep an eye on is Brendan Bailey. The talented SF from Utah is a guy that the staff is looking into. He was committed to Arizona St., but opened up his recruitment after the firing of Herb Sendek. Bailey has a ton of talent and huge potential to improve his game. He reminds us a bit of how Austin Daye played in high school prior to his huge growth spurt.