Gonzaga's Next Big Three - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Gonzaga's Next Big Three

Josh Perkins is the highlight of Gonzaga's recruiting class. Josh Perkins is the highlight of Gonzaga's recruiting class.

by Gonzaga Athletics

Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few announced the addition of three guards to the Bulldog roster next season as letter-of-intent signing day was Wednesday.

Silas Melson, a 6-2, 170-pounder out of Jefferson High in Portland, Ore.; 6-3, 186-pound Josh Perkins from Huntington Prep in West Virginia by way of Regis High in Denver, and Bryan Alberts, a 6-5, 200-pound combo guard from Northridge, Calif., who attends Valley Christian High, were signed by Few.

“These three guys are the future of our backcourt here even though our guys (Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell Jr.) are still juniors. That’s the plan, to be able to have excellent mentors around them that first year and then it will be their turn. They totally understand and value the culture of this program and what it’s all about,” Few said of the newcomers for next year.

Silas helped lead the Democrats to a 24-4 overall record in 2013 and the Oregon State 5A Championship, their fourth state title in six years.

“Silas is a guy who will remind people of Gary Bell Jr. a lot. He can really shoot, he’s already an excellent on-ball defender and he’s only 17. He’s got a lot of potential and somebody who will have a real bright future here. He has a good feel for the game and is another guy with a good stroke who is a very good athlete,” Few noted.

Melson averaged 20.2 points, 3.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists last season as a junior while playing both guard positions as Jefferson ran the table in Portland Interscholastic League play (12-0) to win the regular-season title by four games and finished the season with a 17-game winning streak that extended through the State 5A Championship. He was named the PIL Player of the Year as well as to the 5A All-State team.

Jefferson downed Willamette 85-62 in the first round, downed West Albany 55-52 in the quarterfinals, topped Silverton 67-58 in the semifinals and claimed the title with a 59-53 win over Churchill as the top seed from each half of the bracket met in the finals. Melson averaged 11.3 ppg and 1.0 blocks/game in the tournament.

His sophomore year Jefferson went 15-11 overall and 11-4 for second place in the PIL.

In the 2013 Rose City Showdown last June Melson’s ICP Elite club team downed Oregon’s I-5 Elite 67-64 to win the championship. Melson scored 25 points in the quarterfinals, 22 in the semifinals and 11 in the title game as well as getting six steals over the three games.

He’s is ranked 148th overall in the 2014 class by Rivals.com. ESPN.com rates Melson as the 40th best shooting guard and the top player in Oregon in 2014.

He also had offers from the University of Washington and Colorado State University.

Perkins will join the Bulldogs after transferring to Huntington Prep in West Virginia for his senior season. He previously attended at Regis High in Denver.

He led the Colorado 5A ranks in scoring last season at 25.2 ppg, added 6.5 assists/game and went 202-for-274 from the free throw line for 74 percent for the Raiders. Regis went 21-5 overall, 10-1 in the Continental league. Regis downed Boulder 56-52 in the opening round of the Colorado 5A State Tournament, stopped Grand Junction 67-42 in the third round and lost to Eaglecrest 64-57 in the quarterfinals. He earned 5A All-State honors.

“Josh is probably one of our highest rated, if not highest rated, recruits we’ve been fortunate to sign here. He has a ton of potential at the point guard spot in that he can already shoot, he’s an excellent passer, is athletic enough and strong enough to get into the lane and make plays and finish at the rim. He’s a guy we have some high expectations for and somebody that should be ready to play next year,” Few said.

He was the sixth-rated point guard by ESPN and the 24th-rated recruit overall in ESPN’s Top 100.

As a sophomore he averaged 18.6 ppg, 5.2 assists and went 112-for-137 for 82 percent from the charity stripe.

He also had offers from UCLA and the University of Minnesota.

Alberts averaged 17.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 3.3 assists/game and 1.6 steals/game last season and 18.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 4.3 assists/game and 2.9 steals/game as a sophomore. Valley Christian won the Division V state title in 2012 with a 22-3 record but was eliminated in the second round last spring to finish the season 27-5. Alberts scored 17 points in the title-game victory as a sophomore, and had 28 points in the 2013 tournament opener but was held to 10 points in the second-round setback.

“Bryan is a bigger guard, kind of what we’ve had in the past with Steven Gray and Matt Bouldin, that body type. He’s a good athlete, had some knee problems this summer but I think those are behind him now. He’s somebody who can shoot, drive and pass,” Few said.

Oregon State University, the University of Wisconsin, Tulane University and Arizona State University also tendered offers to Alberts. Stanford University also expressed an interest as Alberts carries a 3.6 high school grade point average.

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