With the high school season complete for most states across the country, and Gonzaga having several days off before they play, we figured it would be a good time to recap what the 2019 recruiting class has been up to. As know, of course, the 2019 class is the highest rated in school history, currently sitting top 10 nationally. The talent coming in the front court is absurd, and they are going to need it, assuming both Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke take off for the NBA and Killian Tillie leaves a year early.
Timme was a double-double machine all season. JJ Pearce High School lost in the second round of the state tournament, but Timme was a star. The thing that excites me most is how strong the kid is already. There are several highlight clips out there of him just bulldozing through players. He’s listed at 6’10, 235 pounds, but can also play light on his feet and has the vision and handles of a guard. He is truly the total package and the epitome of today’s Gonzaga big man. He’s clearly ready to play right away, but will he start with all the talent coming in?
The McDonald’s all-american snub no one’s talking about: Drew Timme.— Jake (@jakeweingarten) January 30, 2019
Gonzaga signee just had 36 points, 21 rebounds, five blocks. He’s without a doubt a five-star talent.
Young Players Listen to this! Moments after playing his last HS Game.— Brad Ballislife (@BradBallisLife) March 5, 2019
After the commitment of Timme, it seemed like a lot of people forgot about Anton Watson. It’s possible, and even likely, that Watson is the best overall player in the class. He is certainly the most athletic and probably has the highest ceiling. He led Gonzaga Prep to back-to-back 4A Washington State titles, defeating 5-star recruit Jaden McDaniels and Federal Way in Tacoma both years. He began his season with a 36-point performance on 17-of-21 shooting. He ended the season with 33 points on 16-of-19 shooting with 8 rebounds and 4 assists in the state title game. The question at Gonzaga is if he will play the 3 or the 4 (probably both).
It's time to WAKE UP if you're still on Anton Watson...who keeps showing why he is one of the best high school players in the country ⚡️#UnitedWeZag@twonster4080 @g_prep @LSInvitational pic.twitter.com/glW6hkXQJI— Who's Next (@WhosNextHS) December 29, 2018
With the lack of guards on the roster next season, there is a legitimate scenario where Brock Ravet is the starting point guard on opening night in November. He led Kittitas to three straight 2B state titles and finished his career with 3,100 points – a Washington state record. His scoring and shooting ability are obviously the calling card, but he has tremendous vision and a really good feel for the game. Don’t let the small school designation fool you. He is going to excel in Gonzaga’s ball screen actions. The biggest question will be how he defends at the next level. He’s not the biggest kid at 6’2 so he may get bullied around by bigger guards at the defensive end.
This kid is probably the most intriguing of the big men prospects. He’s a legit 6’11” and by all accounts has great touch in the post and a wide array of post moves. He also rebounds well and runs the court, the latter being a key in Gonzaga’s success the last few years. He participated in the Basketball Without Borders camp during the NBA All-Star weekend (along with Oumar Ballo and Julian Strawther). He recently took an official visit to Gonzaga and was in attendance for senior night against BYU. With Filip Petrusev having a year of experience under his belt, he’s probably got a head start on a starting spot. The other spot is up for grabs. The competition for minutes between Zakharov, Timme, Ballo, and Watson is going to be fascinating.
Watching IMG Academy PG vs. Montverde Academy CBD and Pavel Zakharov, from Russia, is a tremendous prospect. Runs effortlessly, advanced feel for the game, knows how to use his 6'11 frame & has great touch. Great get for Gonzaga. Mark Few is a recruiting gangsta. Who knew?— Russ Wood (@RussHoops) February 2, 2019
It would not shock me if Ballo redshirted. I mean, he’s only 16 years old for crying out loud. But it also would not shock me if the 6’10”, 245 pound big guy came in and immediately averaged a double double. He averaged 21 points and 17 rebounds at the FIBA U-17 World Cup last Summer. He had a game where he scored 32 points and grabbed 32 rebounds. That is absurd against any competition. Based on highlight videos out there, he is definitely not the quickest guy, which is why a redshirt would not surprise me. But he has pretty nice footwork and touch around the rim, and is a mountain of a man, something you just can’t teach.
To be honest, no one is quite sure what to expect from Arlauskas next season. He’s got the prototypical wing size at 6’7, something Gonzaga has rarely ever had. He’s a strong kid, he’s a fairly decent athlete, and he prefers to drive more than shoot. By looking at film available for him, he looks like a slashing wing, something Gonzaga also hasn’t really had much of in the past. He missed most of the Winter recovering from a stress fracture in his foot. It’s possible that he can come in right away and back up Corey Kispert at the “3” spot, but a lot of it could depend on where they see Anton Watson playing.
I know there’s plenty of season still to be played the next four weeks. But with the lull in the schedule, why not look forward to next season for a day… What do you think will be the starting lineup to begin next season if Gonzaga does not land a graduate transfer point guard? Do you think anyone redshirts? What would your rotation look like? Sound off in the comments.