Gonzaga basketball has already landed two top recruits for the class of 2014.
With the commitment of Josh Perkins, ESPN’s seventh-ranked point guard and 38th-ranked prospect overall, and Silas Melson, a promising shooting guard prospect out of Portland, Mark Few has seemingly found his backcourt of the future.
With a dilapidated frontcourt that needs addressing, though, Few has his work cut out for him as he tries to quickly add size to this Gonzaga roster.
Three prospects Gonzaga would do well to pursue moving forward are Reid Travis, Thomas Welsh and Domantas Sabonis.
Reid Travis is a tough, hardworking power forward prospect whom Gonzaga has been targeting for some time now.
Travis is the 23rd-ranked recruit on ESPN and the fifth-ranked power forward in the nation.
According to ESPN Insider (subscription required), “Travis has very long arms, big hands, and large feet. He is an excellent rebounder and has natural instincts around the basket.”
With the ability to shoot from outside, Travis certainly fits the mold of standout Gonzaga power forward Elias Harris
Harris entered Gonzaga without the necessary skills to excel at the next level. However, after four years of developing his game to match his physicality and athleticism, Harris was signed by the Lakers this summer.
With competing offers from Duke, Minnesota and Stanford, getting a commitment from Reid Travis could prove difficult, but Travis is definitely a difference-making recruit who could reward Gonzaga for seasons to come.
Thomas Welsh, a center from Los Angeles, recently popped up on Gonzaga’s radar.
He is ESPN’s 10th-ranked center in the nation and the 90th-ranked prospect overall.
Welsh fits Gonzaga’s need for greater frontcourt depth. As a 6’11” center, Welsh has the size necessary to dominate frontcourts in the WCC.
Per ESPN Insider, Welsh “has great size, good length, soft hands, and he plays with efficiency at both ends.”
As a quickly improving center, Welsh is sure to continue gathering high-major offers to go with competing offers from the likes of UCLA, Stanford, Cal and USC.
With such little height on the current roster, Gonzaga’s coaching staff would do well to continue recruiting Welsh throughout the season.
A dark-horse candidate who could possibly find his way to Spokane is Domantas Sabonis.
Sabonis is a 17-year-old Lithuanian prodigy who played well in the FIBA U-18 Championship.
The 6’11” big man averaged 14 PPG and 11.4 RPG over the tournament. Contributing to this double-double average was one game against Serbia in which Sabonis posted a 22-point, 22-rebound game.
He is the son of legendary Lithuanian center Arvydas Sabonis, who stood 7’3”. With these genetics in his background, there is a chance Sabonis could add even more height to his frame.
There is little known about Sabonis in terms of his wishes or motivations for the future, and he certainly could explore entering the NBA draft.
If he does, however, decide to play college basketball, Gonzaga could be a perfect home with its extensive experience with international student athletes as well as its proximity to his original hometown of Portland, Oregon.