The Gonzaga Bulldogs class of 2019 got even better after 6’10 Pavel Zahkarov signed his letter of intent on Monday. Zahkarov is a 6’10 Russian native currently playing at Montverde Academy, the same school FIlip Petrusev attended.
According to 247 Sports, Zahkarov is rated No. 40 in the nation, giving the Zags three top-50 prospects alongside Drew Timme and Anton Watson. Add in Brock Ravet and Martynas Arlauskas, and the Zags are hitting a recruiting fever pitch we have never seen before.
This is only good news, considering that most likely after this year, the current Gonzaga front court as we know it will be decimated by early departures. Rui Hachimura will most likely be a lottery pick. Killian Tillie will most likely depart for the NBA draft. With the added airtime for Brandon Clarke, hell, who knows, maybe he will find a reason to depart early as well.
But, just assuming Hachimura and Tillie leave, that gives a 2019 frontcourt of Petrusev and Clarke. Now, with the additions of Timme and Zahkarov, the Zags, although more youthful, shouldn’t skip too many heart beats when it comes to March.
With the signing, the Zags currently have the No. 4 ranked recruiting class of 2019. Without a doubt, we can say that this class will probably go down as the best in history, when it comes to hard rankings. The class of 2016, which featured Zach Collins, Tillie, Hachimura, and Zach Norvell, is going to be hard to beat when all is said and done.
For right now, we are in the beginnings of a season with high expectations running abound. Mark Few and company clearly aren’t missing one step, and this program is set to hit the ground running next year.