With the hotly-contested summer hoops season over for the most part, ZagsHoops takes a look at prospective student-athlete recruits... Who is listing Gonzaga, who is Gonzaga listing, what are Gonzaga's priorities, the competition and how each baller is playing as of this date.
It should be noted that never before has so much pressure been placed on coaches as the recruiting process has evolved into a full-time big business where everybody, fans included, keep tabs on their favorite schools and how their recruiting compares to, say, their main rivals'. Every prospect is a battle, there are no "gimmes," and even fewer secrets these days.
We're happy to report that not only do the Zags have their sights on some outstanding and diverse talent, and possibly on course to land one of the best classes in history with elite forward Sean Mallon's early commitment. And we're also happy to report that recruiting at Gonzaga has not reached the ridiculous and silly depths of the Dukes and Carolinas, where 17-year-old kids are scrutinized under critical microscopes and rated on a day-to-day, week-to-week basis by everyone from ESPN to the local yocal "guru."
So, here is a brief capsulization of Gonzaga targets. As you'll see, the future will be in good hands.
BRANDON ROY - A 6'5" WG/WF from Seattle, WA, is the latest target of Gonzaga coaches. Roy is an elite basketball player with NBA skills. Many say Brandon's first step is the quickest in the west, if not the country. He can do it all, from 3-point land to highlight reel dunks to mid-range jumpers and floaters while on the move. Even with a torn meniscus in his knee, Brandon wowed people in Las Vegas at the Big-Time Tournament, scoring nearly 30 points per game. But bringing Roy to Gonzaga will be no easy task with Arizona, Oregon, Boston College and Washington also after him. A team mate of GU target Marcelus Kemp at perennial power Garfield High, Brandon Roy would be a huge catch for Coach Few and staff. Prepwesthoops rates Brandon #2 Small Forward, but we in the Northwest know better.
MARCELUS KEMP - A 6'4" WG from Seattle, WA, who is said to have the purest and prettiest jumper in the state. A wide-framed kid, Marcelus has really come on strong right when it counts, earning praises for his eye-catching performances at the ABCD adidas Camp and TheFinalScore.tv Invitational. Kemp can take it to the rack, drive, stop, take a jumper from anywhere, and he's a sniper from beyond the arc. Athletic with plenty of upside (he has not played varsity ball that long due to being on one of the most talented high school teams in the state--Garfield), Marcelus has star quality and potential for Gonzaga. Gonzaga is competing with other Northwest schools in the Pac-10 and WCC for this silky smooth wing guard.
BRANDON LINCOLN - A 6'5" WG from Portland, OR, who has been highly rated since last year. A member of the West team at the USA Youth Festival with Sean Mallon at Colorado Springs, Brandon was given a strong look by Lute Olson when the Arizona coach went to Portland to watch future Wildcat Chris Rodgers. This smooth-shooting slasher is high major calibre and has received accolades from recruiting scouts from coast to coast. He is the second best player in Oregon, behind only Arizona-bound Rodgers. Oregon and Gonzaga are competing for him with Arizona still looking. Lincoln would be great get for the Zags.
JOSH DAVIS - A 6'5" wing/combo guard from Northern California. Currently rated 3rd in the west by Greg Hicks and Tracy Pierson, this kid can do it all. An excellent ballhandler and shooter, he creates mismatches with other guards and is talented and tough enough to get inside and be effective. In virtually all tournaments his team enters, there are glowing reviews of Josh's game. He is "the man" on his high school team and leads them nearly every game in scoring and rebounding. He is as good a prospect at 6'5" as there is. Gonzaga would strike gold by landing Josh.
CODY BOYD - A 6'8" PF from Ferndale, WA, who is possibly the most exciting prospect on Gonzaga's radar in terms of untapped ability and potential. You see, the Zags aren't competing so much against Bob Bender, Paul Graham, Ernie Kent or other basketball coaches, but rather names like Dennis Erickson, Mike Price and Rick Neuheisel. Cody is a Pac-10 calibre Tight End and/or Defensive End as well as a rising Power Forward on the hardwood. This kid can sprint an 11.2 100 meters (he can run the floor), triple-jump 45 feet (he has great hops), shot put 50+ feet... What has college coaches hungry for Cody Boyd is the incredible way he'll explode in one sport once he focuses solely on that one sport. His first love is basketball and Gonzaga is the ideal program, renouned for developing players to their maximum. He's a diamond in the rough, a tough guy, and already has good, solid skills. A perfect fit for Gonzaga if he choose hoops.
PAUL MEYNEN - A 6'10" C from Redondo Beach, CA, is a solid, steady big man with a big frame. He is not flashy, but is skilled around the rim and a team player. A hard worker, Paul has been a constant presence among top west coast centers. He has been to all of the prestigeous camps and tournaments, and he plays against some of the best talent in the country on a regular basis. Gonzaga began recruiting him early, but other WCC schools have stepped in for his services.
PAUL BUTORAC - A 6'9" F from Medical Lake, WA, is a rising star in the obscurity of a small town in Gonzaga's very own backyard. His skills have impressed the GU coaching staff, enough for Coach Few to check out a game of Paul's in Las Vegas at the Big-Time Tournament where his stock took a healthy jump. He has grown from a 6'3" guard to a skilled big man in one year, effective outside as well as inside. As with any guy who grows that quickly, his weight needs to catch up, but if he maxes at 6'10" and hits the weights, the Zags might find themselves with yet another great local baller.
STEVE COBBLEY - A 6'10" C from Pocatello, ID, is a top big man in the west and has listed Gonzaga. Very good around the rim and has impressed more than a few coaches. Steve would be an asset to any program. Utah State appears to lead as it's rumored that Steve will play a year before going on a two year mission, then returning to complete his hoops career.
JEREMY HAGGERTY - A 6'3" SG from Canyon Country, CA, who has great athleticism and a lot of upside. He has played in relative obscurity and could very well be a steal for any school. He can shoot and penetrate. He'd fit well at Gonzaga if rumors of academic troubles aren't true.
BRANDON ROHE - A 6'4" SG from Los Angeles, CA, who is known as a spot-up shooter who, when he gets hot, can really light it up. Needs to work to become more than only a long-range "gunner deluxe." A solid frame with decent athleticism, but has steadily dropped in ratings, but we all know how worthless ratings are (more entertainment than anything else) and ratings don't measure heart, hard work and desire, all of which Brandon has, plus an ability to put points up in a big hurry.
JOEL SMITH - A 6'5" SF from Lompoc High, CA, has the body and athleticism to excel for the Zags. He has gone almost unnoticed but some very good programs have expressed interest, including Tulsa. Joel just might be one of those sleepers who have come to make it big at Gonzaga.
ASHANTI COOK - A 6'1" PG/SG from a powerhouse LA school, Ashanti is among the finest point guards in the west. He compares with the best in the country. And schools like UCLA and every other top Pac-10 school are showing it by going after him. With Ashanti and in-coming freshman Josh Reisman, GU couldn't go wrong at the point. Zags might be a longshot for him, but he lists Gonzaga and he wouldn't have any more success in the NCAA Tournament than he would if he chose GU.
SHEA WASHINGTON - A 6'7" SF from Oregon is a sleeper to keep an eye on. He was voted MVP at the Big-Time Tournament for Class C and, needless to say, impressed a lot of people. He hasn't received much press/exposure, but he's the real deal.