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Coleman leaving Bulldogs

He looks elsewhere to play his senior season

Gerard Coleman, who saw his minutes dwindle last season, will transfer from GU. (File)
Gerard Coleman, who saw his minutes dwindle last season, will transfer from GU. (File)

Gerard Coleman, a transfer from Providence who played last season at Gonzaga, is transferring elsewhere for his senior basketball season, Bulldogs coach Mark Few said.

Coleman’s playing time diminished as the season progressed. The 6-foot-4 wing scored in double figures in five of GU’s first nine games, including a season-high 21 points in a home win over New Mexico State. He reached double figures just once in his last 16 appearances for the Bulldogs.

Coleman, a Boston native who finished final exams last week, likely will transfer to a school closer to his hometown.

It’s not clear if Coleman will be able to continue at the Division I level. He’s expected to seek a waiver to be eligible immediately because of health concerns with a close relative. He would be eligible immediately if he transfers to a Division II or NAIA school.

“We’re going to do everything we can to try to help him,” Few said. “It just wasn’t working here.”

Coleman averaged 11.9 minutes, 6 points and 1.6 rebounds in 34 appearances. In WCC games, he dropped to 11.7 minutes and 4.6 points. He played in two of GU’s three WCC tournament games, averaging 8.5 minutes. Coleman scored six points in 10 minutes in two NCAA tournament games.

Coleman arrived at Gonzaga after putting up solid numbers in his first two seasons at Providence. He averaged 10.3 points and 3.1 rebounds as a freshman and 13.2 points and 5 rebounds as a sophomore in the Big East.

After sitting out one season under NCAA transfer rules, many thought Coleman would bid for a starting spot at small forward, the “3,” for the Bulldogs. Gonzaga went with a smaller starting lineup with guards Kevin Pangos, Gary Bell Jr. and David Stockton.

When Bell was sidelined with a broken hand, sophomore Kyle Dranginis stepped into the starting lineup and performed well. Bell eventually returned to the starting five but Dranginis continued to see extended minutes and finished at 23.9 per game, trailing only the five starters in minutes per game.

Gonzaga has several options at the “3,” including Dranginis and possibly incoming recruits Silas Melson and Bryan Alberts. The Zags could go bigger at “3” at times with 6-10 Domantas Sabonis or 6-8 Angel Nunez.

Former USC wing Byron Wesley, who led the Trojans at 17.8 points and 6.4 rebounds, visited Gonzaga during the weekend and is reportedly deciding between Gonzaga, Oklahoma State and Pittsburgh. The 6-5 Wesley is expected to be eligible immediately for his senior season.

GU health update

Bell had knee surgery about three weeks ago.

“They went in to take out a loose body and found holes in the cartilage behind his knee cap,” Few said. “It definitely was better than originally expected. I think he’s going to be able to get back and have the bulk of summer to work out.”

Bell wasn’t able to do much off-season conditioning a year ago because of a stress fracture in his foot/ankle.

Kevin Pangos, who battled turf toe and ankle injuries from December to the end of the season, has been resting but his ankle isn’t quite back to normal, Few said. Pangos suffered a nasty sprained ankle in Gonzaga’s NCAA loss to Arizona but returned to score 12 points.

Pangos has returned home to Holland Landing, Ontario, where he will continue receiving treatment on his ankle.

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