Gonzaga got a commitment late Saturday night from Chinese forward Fanbo Zeng. Jonathan Givony broke the news that the 6’9 stretch big, ranked 33 by ESPN in the class of 2022, is attempting to reclassify to 2021 and wants to arrive in Spokane next summer.
Some highlights of Fanbo Zeng, a 6'9 athletic Chinese forward with a sweet shooting stroke who can handle and pass the ball impressively for a 17-year old that size. Should fit in very nicely at Gonzaga starting next summer. (news story: https://t.co/dxTAeV8iK5) pic.twitter.com/aKLBkjuIns— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) November 22, 2020
Zeng is widely considered the best Chinese prospect in a decade. He moved to the United States when he was 14 and has been playing Prep ball in Orlando, Florida. Last season, the big lefty averaged 15.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks while shooting 47 percent from deep. He chose the Zags over Florida and Florida State, among others.
Gonzaga had been connected to Zeng for a little while now, but with a lot of attention on the 2021 class, the 2022 group hasn’t got much publicity. Because of the pandemic, Zeng is back home in China and will likely not be able to finish his final two years of high school ball. He plans to play this next season in China and attempt to enroll at Gonzaga next Summer. If the reclassification is successful, he will join fellow big men Kaden Perry and Ben Gregg in the 2021 class.
Of course, the main prize is still Chet Holmgren. The recruitment of Zeng should not affect Holmgren’s decision or playing time. Zeng and Gregg are likely development projects in year one. Perry is likely stuck behind veterans Oumar Ballo and Pavel Zakharov. Holmgren, on the other hand, will slide into the “3” or “4” spot with no problem, depending on what the staff decides to do with Anton Watson and Julian Strawther. Gonzaga also remains in the mix for highly-recruited guard Hunter Sallis.
In any case, Zeng projects out to be a lengthy stretch-4 who can drive and complement more traditional big men like Perry. It adds another layer of depth and versatility down the road for Mark Few and his staff, who continue to absolutely own international recruiting.