Gonzaga basketball: Meet the new Zags

Gonzaga basketball

Gonzaga basketball team (Photo credit: AP Photo/George Frey)

The 2013-1014 Gonzaga Bulldogs will be a very different team from just a season ago. After losing three seniors in Elias Harris, Guy Edi and Mike Hart as well as junior Kelly Olynyk, the Zags have some fresh faces coming in. They will have four new players eligible for this season: two transfers and two freshmen.

After sitting out a year, transfers Gerard Coleman and Angel Nunez will both be eligible; although Nunez, due to transfer rules, is not eligible until the end of December. As far as freshmen there are only two incoming recruits in forward Luke Meikle and center Ryan Edwards.

Lets start with the freshman.

Gonzaga Bulldogs

Ryan Edwards( Photo credit: Patrick Cole/Daily Inter Lake)

Ryan Edwards is a big boy at 7-foot-1, 300 pounds out of Glacier high school in Montana. Edwards was an underrated prospect and could be a steal for the Zags. He will be behind Sam Dower and Przemek Karnowski at the center position and he may redshirt or see limited action. The Zags have been known for developing big men and Edwards could be a valuable player down the road. He has good skills and footwork especially for his size and if he can find a way to slim down into better shape, the Zags could have quite a player.

Luke Meikle is the second freshman at 6-foot-8, 200 pounds from Bellarmine Prep in Seattle. Meikle, like Edwards, was an underrated prospect for the Zags. At only 200 pounds Meikle has some weight to put on. I suspect that he will redshirt this year for the Bulldogs even though they are thin at the forward spot. Meikle can shoot the ball well and is decently athletic; if he can work on his game and get stronger he may be able to make an impact next season.

Now the transfers.

Gonzaga Bulldogs

Gerard Coleman( Photo credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images North America)

Gerard Coleman is a transfer out of Providence College. The redshirt junior averaged 13.2 ppg as a sophomore. At 6-foot-4, 180 pounds, Coleman will add depth and will compete for a starting guard spot.

Coleman is an athletic scorer who can slash and get to the basket. Having played in the Big East, Coleman will also bring experience from a tough conference. He had to sit out last season because of transfer rules but he should have a big impact for the Zags.

The other transfer is Angel Nunez, who is a very intriguing prospect for the Bulldogs. The 6-foot-8 transfer from Louisville will be eligible in December after the fall semester.

Another player from the Big East, Nunez is long, athletic and very talented.  He only averaged 2 points as a freshman in just 12 games, but don’t let that concern you. Louisville had a very deep team last year, made evident by their National Championship run. If Nunez can bring the hard-nosed Big East attitude out West, the Zags could have a wing/ forward for the future.

This season will definitely be a different look for the Bulldogs after losing a few key players from a season ago. I expect transfers Gerard Coleman as well as Angel Nunez to make immediate impact with their experience and talent. Incoming freshman Ryan Edwards and Luke Meikle may play limited roles, depending on their development and the needs of the team. Either way Gonzaga will look drastically different from a season ago, but nonetheless should have a solid team.