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Spangler leaving Gonzaga

I've spent most of my morning getting confirmation that Gonzaga men's basketball player Ryan Spangler has decided to transfer to a school closer to his home state of Oklahoma.

My short article is below. Check back later for more.

UPDATE: Back with an expanded article on Spangler's departure. Gonzaga sent out a release late this afternoon which contained quotes from Spangler and head coach Mark Few. I left a couple of messages for Spangler but I haven't heard back from him. He did speak to the Oklahoman. He reiterated that the main factor in his decision was his desire to play closer to his family in the Midwest. He also confirmed the list of four interested schools that appears in my article.

Shortly after this article was posted on the S-R Website, Few returned my earlier phone message. He declined to be quoted beyond what was in the release, but he acknowledged he was surprised when he heard Spangler was considering leaving. I also asked about Harris' situation and Few said the staff is trying to provide him with accurate information from reliable NBA sources to help Harris make a decision -- similar to the process several Zags have gone through the last 3-4 years.

The NCAA has an April 10th deadline, but the NBA's April 29th deadline is the one being recognized by many prospects/coaches.

Gonzaga men’s basketball forward Ryan Spangler has been granted his release and is expected to transfer to a school closer his home state of Oklahoma, multiple sources confirmed Wednesday morning.

Spangler appeared in 22 games as a true freshman last season. The 6-foot-8, 232-pound Spangler made 56 percent of his field-goal attempts and averaged 2.5 points and 2.4 rebounds.

Spangler’s exit cuts into Gonzaga’s front-court depth. Elias Harris, Sam Dower and Kelly Olynyk, who redshirted last season, are expected to return. The Bulldogs hope to add at least one forward/post in their next recruiting class. Harris, who requested feedback from the NBA draft advisory committee, hasn’t announced his intentions, but sources close to the program believe he’ll return to Gonzaga for his senior season.

When Spangler missed four WCC games with a broken pinkie finger, Mike Hart and Guy Landry Edi also saw limited minutes at the ‘4’ position.

Spangler, who is from Blanchard, Okla., was a football and basketball standout at Bridge Creek High. He finished the season strong with career highs in points (12) and rebounds (10) against Longwood. He also had one of his better games with four points and eight rebounds in an NCAA tournament win over West Virginia.

Guard Mathis Keita, who played sparingly as a sophomore last season, is also expected to transfer. Keita made four starts and played 217 minutes as a freshman. He played just 67 minutes in 16 appearances last season.

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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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