Stop me if you’ve heard this before: a high scoring wing from California is drawing some interest from Gonzaga as a potential Graduate transfer. Gonzaga has struck gold over the past few years with grad transfers Byron Wesley (USC) and Jordan Matthews (Cal), and next season’s version could very well be Southern Utah’s Randy Onwuasor, who was granted his transfer request on Tuesday. The California native led the Big Sky in scoring last year, putting up 23.6 PPG and adding 6.6 RPG and 3.2 APG.
The Zags are one of four teams showing interest in the 6’3 Onwuasor, with Oregon, South Carolina and Texas Southern listed as the others.
Oregon, Gonzaga, South Carolina and Texas Southern have shown interest, per a source. https://t.co/N0niFccf30— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) July 19, 2017
Southern Utah was not the first stop for Onwuasor, who spent two years as a role player at Texas Tech before transferring to Southern Utah and sitting out a year.
It is hard to see an exact fit for Onwuasor on next years’ roster. Whereas Matthews had a clear role as a three-point shooter, and Wesley was predominantly a defensive stopper and get to the rim scorer, Onwuasor appears to thrive as a high-volume shooter, something that may prove difficult in Gonzaga’s offense next year. He took 18.8 shots per game last season, only shooting 40.9% total, and only 30.6% from the three-point line.
Onwuasor’s need for touches and relatively low shooting percentage could cause problems in an offense that looks prepared to run through big men Jonathan Williams, Killian Tillie and Jacob Larsen. With Josh Perkins likely to take on a bigger role as a scorer, and two bench scorers in guards Jesse Wade and Zach Norvell, not to mention the wildcard that is Rui Hachimura, it is hard to see Onwuasor getting enough touches to be productive.
However, if the team decides to use Rui as more of a four, they could play small ball and play Onwuasor at the three, giving them a small but effective scoring lineup.
Onwuasor joins Illinois St. transfer Deontae Hawkins as targets for Gonzaga on the grad market. By all accounts, Hawkins is more of what the Zags need to fill out their 2017-2018 roster. But if the Zags strike out on Hawkins, a high-scoring wing would not be worst thing in the world. In fact, it is all Gonzaga knows when it comes to grad transfers.