We’d like to introduce this special guest post from a must follow on Twitter @zagcaldwell for all things recruiting related to Gonzaga. He also runs caldwellzagrecruitingnews.com, which is one of the, if not the, best sources of recruiting news related to Gonzaga on the Internet. Caldwell Zag was gracious enough to offer this comprehensive roundup for The Slipper Still Fits. Show him some love and check out (and sign up) for his site.
I want to start by saying a big thank you to the Slipper Still Fits for allowing me to write a recruiting update for Gonzaga. For those who don’t know me, I run the site caldwellzagrecruitingnews.com and I focus on Gonzaga’s recruiting.
With that said, what a great time it is to be a Zag. We brought in our highest-rated recruit ever last year with Jalen Suggs, are ranked No. 1 in the country, are favored to win the national title, and we have even higher-rated recruits on our doorsteps. So let’s get to the good stuff!
Chet Holmgren — I have been saying this for months now, but Chet will be a Zag. I have very little doubt on this for many reasons, but most importantly that is what I am being told from inside the Zags’ camp. Our offensive system fits him perfectly, he can play any position from the 3-5 for us offensively and be the rim protector on the defensive end. Chet loved his visit to GU during Kraziness in the Kennel last year with Jalen and the rest of the Tricky Trio.
Another huge factor here is the Suggs effect. Jalen has come to Gonzaga and went from a fringe lottery pick to a potential top-three pick in this year’s draft, and, oh by the way, Jalen and Chet are great friends! Jalen talks to Chet weekly and has nothing but praise to say about Gonzaga. If I was putting a percentage on Chet to Gonzaga, it would be 90% at this point. People are thinking that he may explore the G-League, but I just don’t see that really coming to fruition.
Hunter Sallis — So if you follow my site you know how high I have been on Sallis to Gonzaga. About a month ago I went from saying we were the favorite to saying Hunter would be a Zag. Hunter and his family loved Gonzaga on his visit! Hunter has blown up on the national stage and all the national recruiting guys want him to go to a blue blood, but what the national guys don’t understand is Gonzaga is a blue blood of the 2000s.
Hunter fits how Gonzaga likes to play. He loves the uptempo offense and the freedom that he can get within the offense. Pairing him with Andrew Nembhard, Joel Ayayi, and Dominick Harris will give us a backcourt that will rival anyone in the country. Add in Chet, Drew Timme, Julian Strawther, and Oumar Ballo, and who would not want to come to GU? My confidence level on Hunter to Gonzaga is 85% right now. It would be higher if Kentucky, UNC, and Creighton were not the others involved (as two of those three can put a lot of money on the table and one is in his hometown).
So this is one of the most interesting classes there is, as Gonzaga has not had much of an evaluation period (no school has due to COVID) for these kids. That being said, there are some big names that Gonzaga is chasing.
Just a reminder we already have one commitment for this class in Fanbo Zeng from China. Fanbo is most likely to reclassify into the 2021 class, so he probably will end up on campus next fall instead of in 2022. Fanbo is back in China due to COVID. Due to this, Gonzaga was able to work Gonzaga magic with the international recruit and received the commitment.
Right now the other prospects that Gonzaga is after the hardest include AJ Casey, Shaedon Sharpe, Richard Isaacs, and Dylan Anderson. AJ Casey is my favorite of all these prospects, as he is a very skilled wing who can come in and make an immediate impact on the game. Richard Isaacs is a talented point guard who can come in and replace Andrew Nembhard. Dylan Anderson is a typical Gonzaga stretch four who fits our system perfectly.
Finally, the newest name that I broke to those who subscribe to my site is Shaedon Sharpe. Shaedon is a sharp-shooting Canadian and Gonzaga has built a great relationship with Sharpe over the last year. I am predicting that the Canadian pipeline to Gonzaga is back open and Sharpe will be the next Canadian to suit up for the Zags. I believe we are in a great spot with the other three, but as of right now Sharpe would be the one I would say we are in the best position for.
There are a few other guys who come up in my conversation with people in the know, but right now these are the ones who stand out as a high priority.
The class of 2023 is a long ways away, but let me tell you Gonzaga is already in a really good spot with one major recruit—Jeremy Fears Jr. Gonzaga very rarely offers a kid that far out (Dom Harris was one), but I think the Zags will be right in the thick of this, and will most likely land Jeremy Fears Jr. I am more confident about Fears to GU than any kid in the 2022 class. There are more details on my site about this, but let’s just say I like our chances here!
Here is a look at the classes and my percentage ranks of them being a Zag at this time.
Ben Gregg — committed and on campus
Kaden Perry — committed
Chet Holmgren — 90%
Hunter Sallis — 85%
Fanbo Zeng — committed
Shaedon Sharpe — 50%
AJ Casey — 40%
Richard Isaacs — 20%
Dylan Anderson — 20%
Jeremy Fears Jr — 70%
Don’t be alarmed at the low percentages in 2022. It is just a hard class to get a good read on due to the lack of evaluation periods this last year. I am sure after the spring and summer AAU circuits go we will have a better idea.
Again thank you to the Slipper Still Fits for allowing me to be a part of this great page and give a recruiting update to Zag Nation! And as always Zag Up!