Josh Perkins (Photo credit: Marla R. Keown/Aurora Sentinel)
After a dismal 2013 recruiting class, the Zags have hit a homerun (or a slam-dunk) with the commitment of five star point guard Josh Perkins. The 6-foot-3, 185 pound Perkins is a highly touted guard who narrowed his list to UCLA and Minnesota respectively before choosing to head to Spokane.
His signing is yet another big milestone for Gonzaga. The Bulldogs have only had four top 100 players in the past commit to the Zags: Austin Daye (25th), Matt Bouldin (45th), Steven Gray (64th), and Gary Bell Jr. (75th). Perkins is ranked 28th in the 2014 recruiting class.
Perkins, who will be playing his senior season at famed Huntington Prep, will be the point guard of the future. He is a huge building block for Gonzaga, who will be thin at the guard position in the coming years.
In the 2014-2015 season when Perkins is a freshman, starting point guard Kevin Pangos and shooting guards Gary Bell Jr. and Gerard Coleman will be seniors. That means that only one guard, Kyle Dranginis, will be left on the roster for the 2015-2016 season.
With a load of guards departing, the 2014 recruiting class will be a crucial one for the future of the Zags. Only two players are currently signed for 2014: point guard Josh Perkins and shooting guard Silas Melson.
Melson is a three star guard from Portland, Oregon. At 6-foot-2 and 170 pounds, Melson is undersized for the shooting guard position but nonetheless could be a very successful player at Gonzaga.
The Bulldogs are going hard after guards in this class with offers to point guards Riley LaChance from Wisconsin and Jordan McLaughlin out of California. They also have their eyes on shooting guards Trey Kell out of San Diego and Isaiah Bailey from Compton. With the signing of Perkins, the potential of landing LaChance and McLaughlin definitely takes a hit. Silas Melson is a solid shooting guard but may not be ready to fill a starting role in his first year. If Gonzaga can grab Kell or Bailey they should have two very talented starting freshman leading the way.
While the Bulldog coaching staff is hard at work recruiting in the states, they may also have a few dark horse international players. Currently only one international player is on the radar for 2014, Domantas Sabonis; but that number could increase.
Domantas Sabonis is a 6-foot-9 forward out of Lithuania, but was born in Oregon. According to Eurohopes, he has taken visits to Gonzaga, Arizona State and Oregon.
Gonzaga has had more success from Canada with star players Kelly Olynyk, Kevin Pangos and Robert Sacre; but the Zags have also been known for bringing unknown players from international waters. In recent years, several players have come from overseas. Elias Harris and Mathis Mooninghoof were both hailed from Germany. Przemek Karnowski came from Poland and Mathis Keita came from France. There is always international talent and like in years past, the Zags could land a gem.
Perkins makes the future of the Zags a little clearer. If Gonzaga can find a way to grab some undervalued talent, and possible international additions, the Zags could have themselves quite a class of 2014. Perkins will be the next star guard for Gonzaga and lead the charge of what I expect a very good 2014-2015 team.