The deadline to enter your name into the NBA Draft process was midnight eastern on Sunday night. Gonzaga and Killian Tillie released a statement 10 minutes prior to the deadline saying that Tillie will indeed be entering his name into the NBA Draft. Tillie plans on hiring an agent and will go through the draft evaluation and make a decision from there, much like Zach Norvell.
Killian Tillie I’m declaring for the NBA Draft: “I have informed Coach Few that I wish to take advantage of the new NCAA rules and enter my name into the NBA Draft. Playing in the NBA has been a long term goal of mine and I know I have a unique opportunity to fulfill this dream.”— Jackson Frank (@jackfrank_jjf) April 22, 2019
Tillie becomes the fourth Zag in seven days to declare for the draft. All four players that had the opportunity - Rui Hachimura, Brandon Clarke, Norvell, and Tillie - decided to put their names into the hat. Four players declaring for the draft is the most in program history.
There’s a long way to go in each of their journeys, so it’s not a sure thing that all four will be leaving Gonzaga. By the new rules, college players are allowed to sign agents, go through the process, and still return to school if they cut the agent by May 29.
Mark Few: “We feel horrible for Killian with the bad run of injuries he’s had, but we’re hoping he can get healthy and have a good stretch of workouts and show how talented of a player he is. We will support him and help him make the best decision.”— Jackson Frank (@jackfrank_jjf) April 22, 2019
None of this should come as a big surprise. Most people recognized that all four players will at least go through the process because there is no real downside to it. Now we enter a waiting period. The next month will be filled with uncertainty regarding next year’s roster. Not only are they waiting on Tillie and Norvell’s ultimate decision, but they’re also going after graduate transfers. The number of transfers they can go after are related to the return of Tillie, Norvell, both, or neither.
If all four players determine they want to go pro, Gonzaga will have one of their most inexperienced rosters ever next season. Brock Ravet will join Joel Ayayi, Greg Foster, and whatever grad transfer guard they get to share point guard duties. Corey Kispert will probably slide to the “2” with Anton Watson starting at the other wing spot. The six talented freshmen coming in will all be thrown into the fire immediately. They may take their licks next season if this roster situation were to occur, but they would be set up with an incredibly talented and experienced team in 2020-2021 with a guard-heavy, stellar recruiting class waiting in the wings.