Gonzaga's Perkins undergoes shoulder surgery - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Gonzaga's Perkins undergoes shoulder surgery

SPOKANE, Wash. -- In an offseason overflowing with unexpected good news, Gonzaga men's basketball caught a bad break on Friday when Josh Perkins had to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder.

"I'm excited to return for my senior year stronger," Perkins said in a statement through the team.  The shoulder injury had been bothering Perkins before the offseason, and the surgery is expected to put him on track to rejoin the team for the start of his final season of collegiate basketball, though he will not be able to participate in offseason workouts for the next several months.  No timeline has been released by the team.

"We have a good group of guys coming back, and we're poised to have another great season in front of the best fans in the nation," Perkins said.

Perkins will be a redshirt senior next season and joins a lineup that includes returning juniors-to-be Rui Hachimura and Killian Tillie, who both recently passed up opportunities to participate in the NBA Draft process to return to Spokane.  Gonzaga is coming off its fourth straight Sweet 16 appearance, and is projected as a preseason Top-10 program for 2018-19.

Perkins helped lead the Bulldogs to a 32-5 record last season while being named First Team All-West Coast Conference, averaging 5.3 assists per game and a WCC-best 3.3 assist-to-turnover ratio.  He also averaged 12.3 points per game and a team-high 1.2 steals.

Gonzaga was thin at the point guard position last season, with Perkins taking the lion's share of minutes as a redshirt junior.  Silas Melson also had ball-handling responsibilities while Perkins was on the bench, but is gone to graduation.  Zach Norvell Jr. played primarily off the ball as a redshirt freshman last season, but could be an option.  Backup Jesse Wade was bothered by a shoulder injury during his freshman season and played sparingly in 20 games.  Redshirt freshman Joel Ayayi is also expected to be in the mix at point guard in 2018-19.  The team already has commitments for the next three years in high school point guards Greg Foster Jr. (2018), Brock Ravet (2019), and Dominick Harris (2020).

The Zags are also one of three reported finalists for top-40 recruit Brandon Williams, a 6-foot-2 point guard from Encino, California.  Williams originally committed to Arizona, but re-opened his recruitment in the wake of reports that Wildcats head coach Sean Miller was part of an FBI wiretap that was tracking payoffs to land top recruits.  Williams is still considering Arizona, along with Oregon, for college in 2018.

Perkins has won 101 games in a Gonzaga uniform, appearing in 116 games, while scoring 1,154 points in his collegiate career.  He ranks in the top-10 in career assists (478 - 6th all-time at Gonzaga) and three-pointers (198 - 9th all-time).

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