Gonzaga Recruiting Update

Coaches have visited them at their schools and now it's time they gear up for a summer of hoops that will ultimately help decide where they'll play college ball. Gonzaga hopes to get one of these top guards.

Ryan Appleby is a 6'2" point guard from Stanwood, WA, and has been drawing rave reviews from his performances at a large tournament in Houston. Ryan will take his game overseas to Austria from May 14 to May 21, then return to take the SAT on June 1. Meanwhile, he and his AAU Emerald City Pioneers team will be hooping it up at several high profile tourneys across the country. Ryan says Gonzaga head coach Mark Few stopped in for a school visit and it went very well. Appleby has been compared to Luke Ridnour, Brett Nelson (Florida) and, yes, even John Stockton. And it's showing. So far, Billy Donovan of Florida, Ernie Kent of Oregon, Ritchie McKay of New Mexico, Washington and Stanford have visited Ryan. If Gonzaga's coaching staff can convince Appleby to be a Zag, it would be huge. Ryan says he won't necessarily wait until the end of summer to decide, that if the right school offers and it feels right, he could commit at that time. Ryan carries a 3.3 GPA

Mikel Watson is said to have the most upside potential of any point guard in the west. Already ranked by prepwesthoops at #2, any improvement will be frosting on the cake. The biggest, most physical point guard (combo guard, actually, as Mikel likes to slide over to shooting guard) on the Zags' list, Mikel is playing in the San Diego Super 60 League. The 6'0" Watson has been averaging an impressive 30 points per game with a season high 44 on one occasion. Coach Bill Grier stopped into El Camino High School to visit Mikel and his father Malcolm, and Malcolm says it went extremely well. But Gonzaga has stiff competition for Mikel as numerous schools have either visited or are scheduled to visit soon. Gonzaga was the first school to visit Watson. Other interested schools are New Mexico, Pepperdine, Oregon, Colorado State, Nebraska and a slew of others. Mikel plans to follow Coach Grier's advice and work hard and keep mproving this summer, knowing he'll be watched by GU and good things will happen if he keeps improving like he has been. Watson will likely decide after the summer tournaments and after visiting campuses. He would be a great get for GU. He carries a 3.0 GPA and plans to take the SAT on June 1.

Aaron Brooks is 5'11" and prides himself on his sticky defense, but he just had himself a blow up tournament on offense in California and the Franklin High School (Seattle) point guard is getting looks from coast to coast. Gonzaga coaches Mark Few and Bill Grier stopped in to visit Aaron and tell him how interested Gonzaga is. Aaron said the meeting went well and he might be visiting GU's campus soon. Aaron has been to Gonzaga before, as has Ryan Appleby, but it was for basketball camp, not to tour the campus. Aaron says his AAU team, Seattle Rotary Select, will hit one of the big Memorial Day Tournaments in either Indiana or North Carolina where he'll get even more nationwide exposure. Besides Gonzaga, UCLA, Oregon and Washington, among others, have visited him in his school. Aaron has been playing hard and lifting weights, adding a few pounds. Brooks would be a great asset to Gonzaga. He carries a 2.8 GPA and has already qualified for college with a 980 SAT score.

All three of these point guards can hit from 25 feet or drive the lane to the basket. Ryan Appleby can dish out assists to the tune of double digits every game while Mikel Watson has more of a scorer's mentality. Aaron Brooks prides himself on his defense with cat-quick reflexes. All are high major prospects. Stay tuned for another update this summer.

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