The Utah Jazz selected Gonzaga guard Nigel Williams-Goss with the No. 55 pick of the second round during the 2017 NBA Draft. Although it is bittersweet to see Williams-Goss go, he made school history tonight. For the first time basically in school history, two Zags were drafted in the same year.
Williams-Goss only played one season with the Zags, but few players have made as instant of an impact as the Washington transfer did. He was the face of the Gonzaga squad that charged past its first Final Four in school history and straight into the championship game.
He was a second-team All-American. He was the WCC Player of the Year. He was a first-team Academic All-American. He was a Zag.
Williams-Goss averaged 16.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game. He is a crafty scorer that has a vicious teardrop floater when he gets into the lane. At 6’3 with a 6’7 wingspan, Williams-Goss will be able to hold his own against many of the guards in the NBA. Although the main knock on Williams-Goss is his defense, West Virginia’s Jevon Carter, and a few other players in the nation, might disagree a bit.
From the completely unbiased viewpoint of a Gonzaga fan, Williams-Goss has the tools to make it work in the NBA. He doesn’t scream pure athleticism across the board, but he more than makes up for it with overall basketball IQ. Williams-Goss rarely has a bad game, and when the shot isn’t falling, he is able to make himself valuable in every other fashion across the board. He is one of the smartest players in this draft, and hopefully Utah will give him a chance to show what he can contribute.