Julian Strawther, a talented wing ranked in the top 40 in the 2020 class, celebrated his 17th birthday Thursday by announcing on Twitter he’s “110% committed” to Gonzaga.
The 6-foot-7, 215-pound Strawther picked Gonzaga over Washington, Florida, Florida State, Marquette and UNLV.
The rising senior at Liberty High in Las Vegas joins guard Dominick Harris, who plays for Rancho Christian High in Temecula, California, in the Zags’ 2020 class.
“Every school can offer you a chance to go to the NBA,” Strawther said. “But just being able to be part of a family and something more than just basketball, that’s what I felt when I was up there in Spokane (on his recruiting visit).”
Strawther, who is No. 37 in 247sports’ ratings and No. 36 in ESPN’s top 100, was joined on his recruiting visit by Jalen Suggs, a guard from Minnesota ranked 10th in the 2020 class. They watched Gonzaga throttle Saint Mary’s 94-46 in February at the McCarthey Athletic Center. The two are friends from attending past USA Basketball tryouts.
Roughly a half hour after committing, Strawther tweeted: “ZAG NATION WE STILL GOT BUSINESS TO HANDLE #SuggsToGonzaga LETS MAKE IT HAPPEN !!”
“We’re on Jalen every day, it has to happen,” Strawther said of his and Harris’ discussions with Suggs. “We’re working really hard. We’re the best recruiters around.”
Strawther, a skilled, athletic wing with shooting range, averaged 26.3 points and 8.3 rebounds as a junior at Liberty.
He averaged 12 points and 5.2 rebounds for Vegas Elite on the Nike EYBL AAU circuit last year. He tweeted his commitment after Vegas Elite’s walk-through in preparation for the team’s first game of the season Thursday night.
Strawther described himself as a versatile guard that can score at all three levels and create off the dribble for teammates. Asked what he’s working on, he said, “Maybe becoming a lock-down defender.”
Strawther said he likes Gonzaga’s offensive system and connected with the coaching staff and players on his visit. He was impressed by the fan support and atmosphere inside the Kennel.
“It’s a huge relief,” Strawther said of his commitment. “Playing this summer, I don’t have to look in the stands and see what coaches are watching. Just have fun and enjoy myself in my senior year.”
Strawther immediately becomes one of Gonzaga’s highest-rated additions, but it’s tricky categorizing past recruits because there are numerous recruiting services and many of the Zags’ top international players weren’t included in the rankings.
Zach Collins, at No. 30, and Austin Daye, at No. 34, are considered Gonzaga’s highest-ranked players by 247sports. Josh Perkins was No. 24 on ESPN’s top 100 when he committed and Jeremy Pargo was as high as No. 21 by one recruiting outlet.
By any measure, the Zags have a impressive six-player 2019 class led by No. 40 Drew Timme and No. 44 Anton Watson, and they’re off to a strong start with their 2020 class. Harris is rated No. 50 by 247sports and No. 55 by ESPN.
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