Byron Wesley: Impact Transfer Chooses Gonzaga Bulldogs

Hayden DeitrickFeatured ColumnistMay 18, 2014

January 9, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans guard Byron Wesley (22) moves the ball down court against the Arizona State Sun Devils during the second half at Galen Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gonzaga basketball recently received the commitment of USC transfer guard Byron Wesley, according to Jeff Goodman of ESPN:

Wesley, a 6’5” guard, led the Trojans in scoring last season with 17.8 points per game. He also pulled down an impressive 6.4 rebounds per game.

Wesley had narrowed his decision down to Gonzaga, Pittsburgh and Oklahoma State. He will be eligible to play this next season, and it will be his only year of eligibility.

At 6’5”, Wesley provides Gonzaga with the height at the guard position that it has so sorely lacked in recent seasons. In 2013-14, the Gonzaga backcourt consisted of Kevin Pangos, Gary Bell Jr. and David Stockton, all of whom stand 6’2” or under.

With the graduation of Stockton, it is expected that Pangos will move back into the starting point guard spot. Gary Bell Jr., health permitting, should be the opening day shooting guard.

The question that Wesley presents is whether or not he will beat out redshirt junior Kyle Dranginis for the starting spot. Dranginis proved himself an incredibly versatile member of Gonzaga’s rotation last season, filling in for an injured Bell Jr. and playing in both the frontcourt and backcourt.

Furthermore, Wesley’s transfer explains the status of Gerard Coleman. Coleman transferred to Gonzaga from Providence and was immediately heralded as a potential difference-maker in the backcourt. Coleman, however, never seemed to fit into head coach Mark Few’s rotation, and his lack of playing time, coupled with the arrival of Wesley, explains why he has decided to transfer, as reported by Jim Meehan of The Spokesman-Review.

All of this being said, these are excellent problems for the Zags to have.

Coming off a disappointing season, Gonzaga is eager to jump back into the spotlight, and with an influx of talent from Wesley, Kentucky transfer Kyle Wiltjer, and an impressive recruiting class, Gonzaga’s rotation will have a bevy of different options to choose from.

With the addition of Wesley, Gonzaga looks to be in serious contention for a preseason ranking inside the Top 10.