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2019-20 Player Preview: Martynas Arlauskas

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The Lithuanian winger has the potential to be a matchup nightmare.

Zalgiris Kaunas v Brose Bamberg - Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Photo by Alius Koroliovas/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

Martynas Arlauskas announced his commitment to Gonzaga about a year ago today, and in doing so eschewed a professional career in Europe for the time being. Despite having the talent to entertain professional options at the age of 18, Arlauskas’ commitment seemed to fly a little under the radar in the college basketball world. Now that he’s in the fold at Gonzaga, he won’t be flying under the radar for much longer.

The Lithuanian winger might not carry some of the hype that his fellow freshmen do in a banner recruiting class, but he does have an intriguing skill set and physical profile that sparks the imagination.

At 6’6” with quick feet, a long wingspan, and the athleticism to make plays like the one above look easy Arlauskas has the potential to be a matchup nightmare for just about every collegian that he’ll face. Regarded as a Top 50 recruit by several outlets, and having played in the Zalgiris Kaunas system that shares connections with Kevin Pangos and the Sabonis clan, Arlauskas has strong pedigree and a well-rounded game.

Will he be asked to take on a significant role in the rotation this season? Most likely not. Part of that is because he doesn’t need to with the depth of options in front of him, and the other consideration is his place on the development curve. He’s not a complete project, but the challenge for him will be achieving a consistently high level of play on a daily basis. I suspect he’ll figure things out quickly as he grows comfortable with playing stateside and practicing against high level talent on a daily basis. You don’t need to look too hard to see what type of force Arlauskas can become under the guidance of Gonzaga’s staff.

Billed as an intelligent player who sees the floor well and has the ability to impact the game in numerous ways on both ends of the floor, it’s pretty easy to get excited about what Arlauskas can bring to the floor. Considering Gonzaga’s hit rate with international players and Arlauskas’ exposure to playing against quality competition for his youth international teams and club team, don’t be surprised to see him making plays sooner rather than later.