Gonzaga Bulldogs: The real deals and a new breed of Bulldogs

Killian Tillie, Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga Bulldogs. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Killian Tillie, Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga Bulldogs. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Gonzaga Bulldogs
Kelly Olynyk, Miami Heat, Gonzaga Bulldogs. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Adapting to Recruit Real Deals

Gonzaga has a long history of recruiting players internationally with players such as Turiaf, Batista, Przemek Karnowski, Kevin Pangos and currently, Killian Tillie and Rui Hachimura. Traditionally, this has been successful for the program.

The devoted fans who wholeheartedly root for their beloved players during their stay in Spokane. However, we are witnessing a change in the traditional recruiting Gonzaga fans have grown accustomed to and I believe it is going to become a trend.

Zach Collins played at Gonzaga for only the 2016-2017 season before entering the draft. Although he came with previous college years at UW. Nigel Williams-Goss also only played the 2016-2017 season with Gonzaga.

The “one and done” philosophy has been widely used in other programs across the nation. I see the future of Gonzaga basketball adapting to the changing tides of college basketball’s new reality. Zags Nation will have to root for our favorites as they transition to the NBA or sign with European teams in order to continue their professional careers.

Perhaps change is good for recruiting and mixing the former with the ladder could produce more NBA ready talent. It could hush the naysayers who consider the Zags to be “overly rated” or just “good for being in the small West Coast Conference.”

It is true Gonzaga has not produced a significant amount of highly successful NBA professionals post-college career. Currently, Zach Collins, Kelly Olynyk, Domantas Sabonis, and Johnathan Williams play in the NBA. Many more of our favorite former Zags can be found on rosters around the world.