Gonzaga’s 2019 recruiting class is, on paper, the best they’ve ever had. It’s going to have a hard time living up to the 2016 class of Zach Collins, Rui Hachimura, Killian Tillie, Zach Norvell, and Jacob Larsen. But if it comes anywhere close to that, we’re in for several more tremendous seasons of Gonzaga basketball.
The 2019 class is currently ranked fourth in the nation and there are still rumblings of Oumar Ballo committing, and they are on the tail of Zach Harvey, who could reclassify in 2019. Which is to say, Gonzaga may not be done quite yet.
And they’re going to need all of the replenishment because, at minimum, Gonzaga will be losing Josh Perkins, Geno Crandall, Jeremy Jones and Rui Hachimura. There’s a strong possibility that Killian Tillie also leaves and I would be very surprised if Zach Norvell and Brandon Clarke didn’t at least test the NBA draft waters. We are looking at a legitimate scenario where Gonzaga loses seven of their nine main rotation players.
Over the next couple months, we will try to provide some updates on how the class of 2019 is performing in their high school seasons. If the first couple weeks are any indication, they are going to terrorize their respective leagues.
Drew Timme (24/7 Sports Ranking: 46)
The 6’10” big man from Texas has led Pearce High School to a 6-3 start. While no stats are available for the full season, he has had games with a triple-double and another with 20 points, 16 rebounds, and six assists. The prized gem of the recruiting class has shown an array of offensive moves, an ability to pass the ball, and remarkable ball handling skills for a man of his size
Anton Watson (Ranking: 33)
Watson and Gonzaga Prep began their season with a bang on Tuesday night. The 6’9” forward scored 36 points on 17-21 shooting and displayed the classic Gonzaga inside-out game we’ve come to know and love. He attacked the rim off the bounce, he posted up inside, and he stepped out and hit both three-point attempts. Oh yeah, he also dunked a bunch. Watson has the ability play the “3” or the “4” next season.
Brock Ravet (Ranking: 92)
With all the headlines of Timme and the international prospects committing, Ravet has kind of been lost in the shuffle. Don’t let the fact that he plays for a small school distract you from his ability. He’s not just a shot maker, he’s a shot creator. And with a clear need at guard next season, Ravet could easily step in and provide quality minutes on the offensive end. He’s led Kittitas to a 2-1 start, that loss being their first since 2016. In three games, Ravet is averaging 31.6 points, including nine three-pointers in a win on Monday.
Martynas Arlauskas (Ranking: 44)
Arlauskas is a relatively unknown commodity to most of us. He has the perfect size to be a great wing at 6’6” and by all accounts has the athleticism and shooting ability to do so. He’s currently injured and won’t play anywhere until the turn of the new year so we will have to wait and see. In the 2016 European U16 Championships, he averaged 9.4 points and 3.7 rebounds along with 1.7 steals for Lithuania. Since then, he’s been playing overseas and averaging just under 10 ppg and shooting 30 percent from deep.
Pavel Zakharov (Ranking: 38)
Both Zakharov and Timme are listed as 6’10” and 235 pounds. If Brandon Clarke returns next season, I would imagine there’s a possibility that Zakharov redshirts. He’s only 17 years old and reclassified into the 2019 class. He’s got good size and has openly said he enjoys playing defense more than offense because of his blocking and rebounding abilities. Like most Gonzaga bigs now, he does have the capability of stretching the floor. He is not listed on Montverde Academy’s roster so I’m not sure what his current situation is. He averaged 7.3 points and five rebounds in the European Championships this past summer for Russia. They lost in the third place game to Joel Ayayi and France.