Gonzaga has established itself as one of the elite programs in college basketball, and a big reason for that is the ability to recruit outside of the states. This trend continued yesterday, when the Zags officially secured the commitment of Joel Ayayi, a four-star guard who currently plays for INSEP in Paris.
While we have read some reports on Ayayi, he isn’t a guy we have seen a ton of outside of highlight videos. For a more thorough breakdown of his game, we caught up with veteran International scout, Vedran Modric, who had a lot of positive things to stay on the new commit.
The first question we had for Modric was around a tweet where he describes Ayayi as super-talented. Not surprisingly, that immediately caught our attention.
“By super talented, I meant that he has great combination of size, length and skills,” Modric explained. “Basically he is a combo guard but with huge potential to be a point guard down the line. Incredible body because he has a lot of room to improve (fill out).Very quick and athletic. Deadly in transition. And unlike many French guards at that age, Ayayi is a very very good shooter. Ball-handling skills are not great at the moment but he has point guard vision and good attitude to be a floor general. On defense has the potential to be an elite NBA defender. Lateral quickness is great.”
There has been some debate around whether Ayayi will be a candidate to redshirt, but it sounds like his talent might be tough to keep off the court.
“Well, Joel is still a very young (born March 2000) player but experienced on the international level and even in his freshman year he should have some kind of impact on the team.”
With that said, Modric did discuss some of the areas he really wants to see the new Gonzaga commit improve on.
“He needs to improve his body because he is still a little bit skinny and when he fills out he could absorb contact a lot better,” explained the veteran scout. “And also, his ball-handling skills. Has to work on his handle.”
According to Modric, his long-term position is a point guard, and the long-term comparison he has should have Gonzaga fans quite excited.
“This is a tough question because Ayayi is not a finished product and he is still developing as a player,” Modric explained. “But if I have to, maybe George Hill from Utah Jazz at the moment. Spot-up shooting ,defense and similar frame are the things that stand out.”