With plenty of holes to fill for next season, the Gonzaga Bulldogs will look to the transfer portal for reinforcements. Here are the top five targets they should consider.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs 2022-23 season started a few weeks ago. After the Zags were eliminated in the Sweet 16, head coach Mark Few knew he was losing Chet Holmgren, Rasir Bolton, and Andrew Nembhard.
Drew Timme was more than likely headed to the NBA Draft, and he declared a few weeks later. Joining the rest of the starters, Julian Strawther announced his intentions for the draft last week.
With no returning starters, Gonzaga needs to reload. Fortunately, they have three guards who should be able to step in. Nolan Hickman, Hunter Sallis, and Dominick Harris will be a formidable backcourt trio.
Among the current players, only Anton Watson has extensive playing time. Kaden Perry and Ben Gregg should help, but they are far from enough. The best place to fill their openings is via the transfer portal. Here are the Zags’ top-5 portal options. All are forwards
Honorable Mentions: Kenneth Lofton Jr., 6-7, C/F, Junior, Louisiana Tech, and K.J. Williams, 6-10, C/F, Redshirt Senior, Murray State.
5. Jaiden Delaire, 6-8, F, Redshirt Senior, Stanford
2021-22 Stats – 10.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.1 assists per game.
Jaiden Delaire is an experienced forward from a major NCAA power. Last season, he started in 26 of 32 games for the Cardinal. On a young team, he could be the veteran leader Gonzaga lacks.
#Pac12Hoops Most Improved Player of the Year, presented by @Nextiva: Jaiden Delaire.
Full release ➡️ https://t.co/ddzpUS5ToV#GoStanford | @StanfordMBB pic.twitter.com/JDdm5NKAL9
— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) March 9, 2021
4. Terrence Shannon – 6-6, SF, Senior, Texas Tech
2021-22 Stats – 10.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists per game, .384 three-point shooting.
Last season, Terrence Shannon took a step back for the 12th-ranked Red Raiders, dropping almost two points per game. He’s a former four-star recruit who is poised for a breakout. A change of scenery would do Shannon good.
3. Johni Broome – 6-10, C, Junior, Moorhead State
2021-22 Stats – 16.8 points, 10.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 3.9 blocks per game.
There’s plenty to like about Johni Broome. He’s a two-time All-Ohio Valley Conference selection, the 2020-21 OVC Newcomer of the Year, and 2021-22 OVC Defensive Player of the Year. Broome put on a show in the OVC Tournament Finals, with 32 points and 8 boards.
2. Emoni Bates – 6-8, SF, Sophomore, Memphis
2021-22 Stats – 9.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists per game.
Emoni Bates was a five-star star recruit last year for head coach Penny Hardaway. His freshman season didn’t go as planned due to a lower back injury that limited him to 18 games. If healthy, Bates is a game-changer who can dominate in the frontcourt.
1. Fardaws Aimaq – 6-11, C, Senior, Utah Valley State
2021-22 Stats – 18.9 points, 13.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists per game, .435 three-point shooting.
Number one on this list is center Fardaws Aimaq, the 2020-21 WAC Player of the Year. Not only can the big man score he was also selected to the WAC All-Defensive Team in both his seasons at UVSU. He also worked hard to improve his three-point shooting last season to the tune of 43.5 percent.
Aimaq has the Gonzaga Bulldogs among his top five schools. He would be the ideal replacement for Holmgren.
Which of these pending transfers do you think the Gonzaga Bulldogs should pursue? Let us know in the comments section below.
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