Coleman picks GU over Xavier

Gonzaga picked up a commitment today from Providence College transfer Gerard Coleman, a 6-foot-4 guard who averaged 13.2 points and 5 rebounds last season for the Big East Conference Friars.

I talked with Marcus O'Neil, Coleman's prep coach at Tilton School, and several of his thoughts are in the article posted below. A couple other tidbits from O'Neil: He mentioned that Coleman played on a powerhouse Tilton team with Alex Oriachi, who earlier this spring transfered from UConn to Missouri, and Jamal Coombs-McDaniel, who left UConn for Hofstra. .

Asked what Coleman needs to work on, O'Neil said, "He's a long, slim kid and he'll continue to build up his strength. He needs to improve his perimeter shooting, but he was a pretty decent shooter for us."

More below.

Gerard Coleman, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound guard who played two seasons at Providence College, has decided to transfer to Gonzaga.

Coleman will sit out next season under NCAA transfer rules and then have two years of eligibility remaining. He visited Gonzaga and Xavier before choosing the Bulldogs. He had scholarship offers from both schools, according to Marcus O’Neil, Coleman’s coach at Tilton School, a private school located about 85 miles north of Coleman’s hometown of Boston.

“He texted me with his decision (Monday) and he’s excited,” O’Neil said. “We’ve been talking a lot. He felt like it was the right place for him. They’re all basketball and academics out there. It’s a serious environment where guys work hard and he liked that.”

Coleman averaged 13.2 points and 5 rebounds as a sophomore. He made 21 starts and played 34 minutes per game. He made 42.3 percent of his field-goal attempts. He led the Friars in free-throw attempts (164), was second in steals (34) steals and third in assists (63).

“He’s a gifted athlete, he’s got an incredible first step, good instincts for how to play and he’s an outstanding finisher and rebounder for his size,” O’Neil said. “He has extremely long arms and loves to play basketball. He’s in the gym all the time.”

Coleman joins 7-foot Polish center Przemek Karnowski in GU’s 2012 recruiting class. Karnowski will be eligible immediately.

Coleman became the first freshman to start a Providence season opener since the 2005-06 season when he scored 17 points against Dartmouth. He started 29 games and averaged 10.3 points and 3.1 rebounds as a freshman.

Coleman left Providence for “personal reasons,” head coach Ed Cooley said in a school release in early April.

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Jim Meehan
Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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