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Fri., May 7, 2010, 6:46 p.m.

Vilarino leaving Gonzaga

Gonzaga's G.J. Vilarino dunks in front of Cal State Bakersfield's Jose Lara during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Wash., Tuesday, March 2, 2010.  Gonzaga won 78-59.
  (Associated Press)
Gonzaga's G.J. Vilarino dunks in front of Cal State Bakersfield's Jose Lara during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Wash., Tuesday, March 2, 2010. Gonzaga won 78-59. (Associated Press)

Gonzaga is losing another guard. G.J. Vilarino (pictured above) has decided to transfer, a few days after Grant Gibbs was granted his release from GU.

More below in a short article that will run in Saturday's S-R.

By Jim Meehan

jimm@spokesman.com; (208) 765-7131

Another guard is leaving the Gonzaga men’s basketball program.

G.J. Vilarino, who played sparingly as a freshman last season, has decided to transfer, his father, Gerry, said Friday night. Guard Grant Gibbs was granted his release from Gonzaga earlier this week and is expected to transfer closer to home. Forward Andy Poling left the team in January and he will play at Seattle Pacific.

Vilarino, who originally committed to Kentucky but he re-opened his recruitment shortly after John Calipari was hired as the Wildcats coach, played in 25 games. He averaged 7.8 minutes and 2.3 points.

“When it’s all said and done, playing time is important, but the most important thing is having an opportunity to compete for playing time,” Gerry Vilarino said. “When that opportunity isn’t there and it’s not clear why, it became a situation he couldn’t live with.”

Gerry Vilarino said his son is receiving interest from Pac-10, Big Ten and Big 12 schools, but declined to name them. Under NCAA transfer rules, G.J. would have to sit out next season and he’d had three years of eligibility remaining if he joins another D-I program.

“It was a difficult time, a difficult year for him,” Gerry said. “Those guys are wonderful guys, (Coach Mark) Few and (assistant coach Tommy) Lloyd, we just had a difference of opinion. That’s how it goes. … He has to be a point guard and they have a lot of kids that play that position. They wanted him to play the ‘2’ more than the ‘1’ (next season) and that’s not ultimately where he needs to play.”

Gerry added, “Gonzaga is a fantastic place, great student body and fans. It couldn’t be any better, but his dream is to play. Everything could be great, but if that part of his life isn’t right, then it’s not the right situation for him.”

Gonzaga returns starting guards Demetri Goodson and Steven Gray. Manny Arop and Bol Kong are wing options. David Stockton will be a redshirt freshman this fall and he’ll be joined by incoming guards Keegan Hyland and J.C. transfer Marquise Carter.




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Jim Meehan
Jim Meehan joined The Spokesman-Review in 1990. Jim is currently a reporter for the Sports Desk and covers Gonzaga University basketball, Spokane Empire football, college volleyball and golf.

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