Last season’s Gonzaga basketball team was viewed by many as their weakest squad in years.
That didn’t stop them from winning another West Coast Conference Tournament, securing a 3-seed in the NCAA Tournament, and making a run to the Elite Eight before losing to the eventual champs.
Now they find themselves looking to build another roster that can match the success of that team.
Today they turned to the transfer portal to take a couple of huge steps toward putting together another team that can make a deep NCAA Tournament run.
Jon Rothstein reported this morning that former Wyoming big man Graham Ike would be joining Gonzaga.
Wyoming transfer Graham Ike tells me that he has committed to Gonzaga.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) April 21, 2023
Graham Ike may not be as big of a name as he once was after missing all of last season, but landing him is a huge win for Gonzaga.
The last time we saw Ike in action, he was averaging 19.5 points and 9.6 rebounds while leading Wyoming to the NCAA Tournament.
When Ike and Hunter Maldonado decided to return for another season, there were high expectations for the Cowboys. Without Ike, they ended up as the Mountain West’s worst team.
He should be able to make a big impact for Gonzaga in his return.
The Zags weren’t done with just the one big move today. Ryan Nembhard told ESPN’s Jonathan Givony that he would also be transferring to Spokane.
NEWS: Creighton-transfer Ryan Nembhard, ESPN's No. 2 player in the transfer portal, has committed to Gonzaga, he told ESPN. "Gonzaga is the place for me, I can just tell."
Nembhard will be one of college basketball's top returning PGs next season.
STORY: https://t.co/IjzBylOFaM pic.twitter.com/IOGRGKuHqD
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) April 21, 2023
Last season, Nembhard was a key piece of a Creighton team that was overlooked for much of the season because of some losses while missing Ryan Kalkbrenner.
They reminded the college basketball world how good they were during a run to the Elite Eight that included a dominant win over Baylor where Nembhard scored 30.
Adding Nembhard will address a major area of need for the Bulldogs.
Gonzaga leaned heavily on Drew Timme and their interior game last season. When UCONN was able to limit Timme in the Elite Eight, the Bulldogs quickly ran out of ideas.
Now they’ve had Julian Strawther and Malachi Smith declare for the draft.