Coming off the run to the Elite 8, a feeling started to emerge that the talent level at Gonzaga could be making a jump to a different level. With so much success over the past three years, Spokane has really started to become a destination for some of the top prep talent around the world, as well as a premier program for elite transfers.
While most fans were worried about who the coaching staff was checking out on the recruiting trail, Mark Few and the team were focused on bringing in arguably the most coveted transfer available. After announcing his transfer from UW, former McDonald's All-American, Nigel Williams-Goss, started to really consider what he wanted in his next destination.
"The most important factors for me when I started looking at schools were the style of play, the track record of the program on the court and their development of players," Williams-Goss revealed. "I really looked at what each team had on their roster, the success of the coaching staff and whether they won at a high level. Playing on the big stage and in big games is something that I am really looking for."
After Williams-Goss announced his transfer, there was some buzz that Gonzaga might be in the picture. According to the talented guard, the relationship with Mark Few really made the Bulldogs a factor.
"It was a few days after my release had gone public, probably like three days after that," the Cousy Award finalist mentioned as when he started hearing from GU. "Coach Few was on the road recruiting and had actually wanted to talk to the team and get their feedback on how I'd fit. They have a really tight knit group and good character guys, so when I heard that I knew it was I place I'd be interested in.
"After he talked to the team, we had the in-home visit and that is when they started to stand out. Coach Few and I had a really good connection and he recruits guys with high basketball IQ's. We started to talk basketball and different sets and how I could fit in during the visit. Coach Few is one of the best and brightest when it comes to X's and O's and we really got into deep conversation about how they play."
The official visit to Spokane only reinforced the feeling that the fit between Gonzaga and Williams-Goss would be impossible to beat.
"I wasn't going on any of my visits to really look at the facilities or how pretty the campus was," he explained. "Obviously, I made sure that the academic situation was good as far as my credits transferring over, but it was really about being around the team and sitting down with the coaches to see how I would fit in. Both of those were home runs with Gonzaga. The team did a great job of embracing me and was very receptive and you could tell they were family-oriented."
Even before the conclusion of his visit, the talented PG and his family knew that he was ready to make a choice.
"I actually committed the night before I was supposed to leave," Williams-Goss revealed. "We all had been together watching the fight, and I had already talked to my parents about committing, and they gave me their blessing. So after the fight, I told Coach Few and he was really excited."
In the end, there were four key factors that made this the perfect situation for the future Zag.
"I would say it really had the combination of everything I was looking for. Gonzaga has the proven coaching staff, a track record of winning, great player development and it is close to home."