University of North Dakota grad transfer Geno Crandall has committed to Gonzaga on the heels of his visit to Spokane this past weekend. Crandall chose the Bulldogs over Xavier and his hometown team Minnesota. He is immediately eligible to play in the Fall.
The 6’3” Crandall averaged 16.6 ppg last season with North Dakota, including a 28-point performance against Gonzaga in an overtime loss. In terms of advanced stats, Crandall had a player efficiency rating of 20.3 last season and a true shooting percentage of .609. For reference, Zach Norvell had a PER of 20.3 and a TS% of .595. In short, Crandall knows how to score the basketball and is the missing backcourt piece Gonzaga has been searching for all Spring.
Crandall adds another versatile piece to Gonzaga’s rotation next season. He can play alongside Josh Perkins and Zach Norvell in a three-guard set, he can be the primary point guard while Perkins is on the bench, and he can play off-ball with Perkins if Gonzaga goes big. Mark Few will have plenty of options to experiment with when it comes to rotations this season. His core seven of Perkins, Norvell, Hachimura, Clarke, Tillie, Crandall, and Kispert can all play multiple positions.
This also allows another year of development for Joel Ayayi. After redshirting last season, Ayayi will still get some minutes throughout the year, but won’t be required to play the double-digit minutes he might have seen had Crandall not committed. With another year of development for both his game and body, Ayayi should step in right away in 2019-2020 as a big contributor. Along those same lines, it’s now possible that incoming freshman guard Greg Foster Jr. gets the redshirt treatment because of the depth in front of him.
With Crandall’s commitment, the roster is seemingly set and Gonzaga fans can now start hypothesizing starting lineups and their favorite 5-player combinations they want to see this season. Welcome to Zag Nation, Geno!