Last night, Zach Collins and Nigel Williams-Goss both heard their names ring out during the NBA draft, marking the first time in a long while that Gonzaga has had two players drafted in the same year.
What is even more interesting about it all, from a Gonzaga perspective, is both players were leaving the school early—and in the case of Zach Collins, quite early.
Which means it is time to turn our attention to the 2018 NBA Mock Drafts, where, low and behold, we are seeing another Gonzaga player on the list.
Yahoo!’s mock draft has Killian Tillie going at No. 24. NBADraft.net has him at No. 16. So far, luckily for us college basketball fans, that appears to be it. But remember the Zach Collins syndrome for a lot of the nation—most no one knows who Killian Tillie is.
Part of the reason is simple: Tillie only averaged 12.2 minutes per game last season. But, like his buddy Collins, Tillie was rather efficient in that limited time, averaging 13.7 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 2.4 steals per 40 minutes.
But, just like Collins, Tillie is exactly the big man product that excels in the NBA right now. He is a wiry 6’10, weighing just over a couple of hundred pounds, but he can run the floor like his life depends on it.
Next season, there is a huge opportunity for Tillie to make his mark. With the departure of Przemek Karnowski and Collins, the front court responsibilities now lie with Tillie, Johnathan Williams, and Jacob Larsen. There will be plenty of opportunities for the young forward from French to make his mark on the national stage.
For that reason, we shouldn’t be too surprised to see Tillie appear on more mock drafts as the season progresses. Remember, a lot of pundits who mock drafts are primarly NBA writers. Meaning, players that aren’t on the national stage very much (e.g. Zach Collins, who wasn’t appearing on any 2017 draftboards at the beginning of the year) take some time to show up—especially young bench players. Tillie may not be on a lot of mock draft boards now, but its probably a safe bet he is starting to appear on many more as the year goes on.