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Gonzaga lands Chattanooga transfer Malachi Smith

Smith was the Southern Conference Player of the Year in 2021-22.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament First Round - Chattanooga vs Illinois Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Gonzaga Bulldogs just struck gold in the transfer market again, landing the services of Chattanooga redshirt senior Malachi Smith.

A 6’4, 205 pound machine, Smith is the reigning Southern Conference Player of the Year. He averaged 19.9 points and 6.7 rebounds per game last season and was largely considered one of the best remaining players in the transfer portal.

Smith is a smart, tough-minded defensive player, who rarely makes mistakes. He committed just 1.4 fouls per 40 minutes last season, the 24th-lowest mark in college hoops last season.

Smith joins what has rapidly gone from a somewhat thin backcourt to one that is completely loaded. With Rasir Bolton coming back for one more year, Smith helps supplement a backcourt also including Nolan Hickman, Hunter Sallis, and a healed Dominick Harris.

Considering the roster churn the Zags faced, many expected Gonzaga to hit big on the transfer portal. To a certain extent, they did, with Smith joining former LSU big man Efton Reid on a new trek to Spokane. One doesn’t just replace the services of Chet Holmgren and Andrew Nembhard, but it helps lessen the impact, especially considering the returns of Julian Strawther and Drew Timme.