There is one true sophomore on the roster, guard Corey Kispert. The 6’6″ Kispert claims to be “born a Zag”, having attended King’s High School in Edmonds. Kispert is the only Washington state native on the roster. The Chicago native is a big piece of the puzzle this year in Spokane. Last year as a rookie, Norvell native scored 12.7 points per game. He and Perkins will form a dominating backcourt this season.
There are two red-shirt juniors that saw limited game action last season who are on this year’s squad. Those players are guards Jack Beach, who played in 15 games, and Alex Martin, who appeared in only four contests.
Two other foreign-born returning juniors, Rui Hachimura (Japan) and Killian Tillie (France), should provide the Zags with a continued strong presence in the frontcourt. Hachimura, like Clarke, is listed at six-feet, eight inches tall and possess excellent athletic ability.
Hachimura is projected to be an NBA lottery pick. Tillie, at 6’10”, is a solid perimeter shooter and estimated to be a late first-round NBA pick. The only other Senior on the team at the beginning of this season is wing player Jeremy Jones.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs have been rated in the top 35 for both offensive and defensive efficiency for the past seven seasons. They have that has versatility in the back-court and athleticism in the front-court again this year. It would seem likely that a basketball program with such an established winning tradition should be able to make another deep run in the NCAA tournament; possibly winning it all for the first time in school history.