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2019 Recruiting: Gonzaga in the running for 6’10 center Oumar Ballo

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It’ll be between Arizona, Baylor, and the Zags.

NCAA Basketball: Gonzaga at Creighton Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Oumar Ballo, widely considered one of the top international prospects interested in NCAA basketball has narrowed his list to Gonzaga, Arizona, and Baylor, 247Sports reported on Monday.

The 6’10 center out of Mali is nicknamed Baby Shaq, and with good reason. During the 2019 World Cup, he averaged 20.6 points and 16.9 rebounds for Mali’s U-17 team. Albeit, it wasn’t against the strongest competition, Ballo is still a top prospect. 247Sports reports he will be a five-star prospect once he commits.

There is a reason to get excited here. Many of the pundits are placing Gonzaga as the landing spot for Ballo, adding to an absolutely phenomenal 2019 class featuring Drew Timme, Brock Ravet, Anton Watson, Martynas Arlauskas, and Pavel Zakharov.

The Zags will lose Josh Perkins and Geno Crandall to graduation this year. Rui Hachimura, Killian Tillie, Brandon Clarke, and Zach Norvell have all made appearances on various NBA draft boards this season. Gonzaga will need to fully reload after this season finishes, and the class of 2019 will make any (or all) of those early departures much easier to swallow.

Currently, 247Sports ranks Gonzaga’s 2019 class as the fourth-best in the nation. There is a good chance that when all is said and done, the Zags are finishing with a top three recruiting class. It is a balanced class coming in, featuring homegrown products (Watson and Ravet), hard-fought recruits (Drew Timme), and the Gonzaga special—international flavor (Martynas Alrauskas and Pavel Zakharov).