Gonzaga’s opening in the backcourt remains open.
The Zags have been looking to add another veteran guard but it won’t be USC graduate transfer point guard Derryck Thornton.
Thornton has committed to Boston College, according to numerous media reports.
Thornton visited Gonzaga in late May and the Zags were hopeful at the time he could add experience and ball-handling to their backcourt along with Texas A&M graduate transfer Admon Gilder.
Thornton instead opted for Boston College and possibly a more prominent role in the mold of former Eagles’ guards Jerome Robinson and Ky Bowman.
Robinson averaged 20.7 points as a junior before becoming the Los Angeles Clippers’ first-round pick in 2018. Bowman averaged 19 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4 assists last season and he’s No. 70 on ESPN’s best available list in the NBA Draft, seven spots below Gonzaga’s Zach Norvell Jr.
Thornton made 31% of his 3-pointers and averaged 6.4 points and 2.8 assists in 93 career games at USC and Duke.
Boston College has had one winning season – 19-16 in 2018 – since finishing 21-13 in 2011. The Eagles’ last NCAA Tournament appearance was 2009.
Thornton’s decision likely leaves the Zags scouring the grad transfer market but there aren’t many names available. The top guard prospects who haven’t committed appear to be North Texas’ Ryan Woolridge and Tennessee State’s Donte Fitzpatrick-Dorsey.
The 6-foot-3, 175-pound Woolridge has career averages of 11.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.7 steals. He made nearly 49% of his field-goal attempts, including 33% beyond the 3-point line, in three seasons. Oklahoma State, Minnesota and Arkansas reportedly have shown interest in Woolridge, who is 41st on ESPN’s graduate transfer rankings.
The 6-4, 191-pound Fitzpatrick-Dorsey, No. 48 on ESPN’s rankings, averaged 14.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists last season. He made 38% beyond the 3-point arc. The Memphis native played two seasons at Mississippi before transferring to Tennessee State.
The Zags have been searching for experienced guards after losing senior starter Josh Perkins and senior back-up Geno Crandall. Gilder is a versatile guard that played point guard and shooting guard during his career at Texas A&M. He sat out last season with a blood clot in his arm but he’s been cleared to return to the court.
Gilder would seem to be the first option at point guard if there are no additional changes to the roster. Incoming freshman guard Brock Ravet should be in line for playing time, along with rising sophomore Joel Ayayi, who saw limited minutes last season. Junior wing Corey Kispert could be an option as a secondary ball-handler.
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