The Gonzaga Bulldogs have been the gold standard among NCAA mid-major programs for more than a decade, but on Sunday, they landed a piece that could make them a legitimate national title contender for 2014-2015. That piece came in the form of former USC Trojans guard Byron Wesley.
Gonzaga has landed a HUGE piece in USC leading scorer Byron Wesley, he told ESPN. Zags are legit Top 10 preseason team.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) May 18, 2014
In addition to breaking the story, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman provided some quotes from a seemingly excited Wesley.
“It starts with the winning culture. They’ve been to the NCAA tournament 16 straight times, and it’s an opportunity for me to play in the tournament in my last year.”
“It’s a team that returns a lot of veterans and will be ranked somewhere in the top 15 or so in the preseason. I built a great relationship with the coaching staff, and one thing they stressed is that it’s a great situation for me because they don’t have anyone like me. It’s a perfect fit.”
Though Wesley has completed three years of his eligibility, he will reportedly be available to play immediately for Mark Few’s ball club, making this an even better acquisition. USC was a bit of a disaster last season, finishing 11-21 with just two wins in the Pac-12, but Wesley was their lone bright spot while averaging more than 17 points and 6 rebounds per game on the wing.
Gonzaga is now utterly loaded for next season, with the ‘Zags bringing back Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell to pair with former Kentucky prospect Kyle Wiltjer and a big-time recruiting class. It will be incredibly interesting to see how Wesley fits in a system with more structure (he averaged nearly 14 field goal attempts per game in LA), but the talent matches up fantastically with what is already on board in Spokane.