The transfer market has been good to Gonzaga in recent seasons but the Zags came up short again Tuesday.
Former Duke forward Chase Jeter, one of the top recruits from the 2015 class, announced on twitter his commitment to Arizona, posting: “I’m heading to Tucson.”
Jeter, a high school teammate of ex-Zag Zach Collins at Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, visited Gonzaga a couple of weeks ago. The 6-foot-10 Jeter visited Arizona the following weekend.
Gonzaga has been a finalist for a few top transfers, including Jeter and New Mexico grad transfer Elijah Brown, who picked Oregon. Jeter, who had a preliminary list of eight western schools, will have two seasons of eligibility but is required to sit out next season under NCAA rules.
The Zags are searching for frontcourt replacements for Przemek Karnowski and Collins, who declared for the draft and is projected as a lottery pick. Ryan Edwards, who saw limited time as a reserve center in three seasons, has opted to graduate and find a job instead of playing his senior season.
Gonzaga is awaiting word on forward Johnathan Williams, who is testing the NBA waters without hiring an agent so he has the option of returning for his senior season.
Williams, who averaged 10.2 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, was named most outstanding player of the West Regional in San Jose after victories over West Virginia and Xavier.
The deadline to withdraw from the draft is May 24.
Gonzaga’s returning frontcourt players are 6-10 forward Killian Tillie, who was in the rotation as a true freshman; 6-8 forward Rui Hachimura, who figures to assume a bigger role after seeing limited minutes last season; 6-11 center Jacob Larsen, a native of Denmark who sat out last season with a torn ACL; and 6-6 wing Jeremy Jones, who played 88 minutes in 24 games last season.
Incoming freshman Corey Kispert, a 6-foot-6 wing, had foot surgery and missed the latter part of his senior season at King’s High School in Shoreline, Washington.
The Zags are in the running for Cal grad transfer Kameron Rooks. He plans on completing his degree this summer to become eligible immediately.
The 7-1, 265-pound Rooks, who missed 10 games with a knee injury, averaged 4.9 points and 4.5 rebounds last season. He averaged 3.6 points and 4.8 rebounds as a junior.
The Zags probably have a pretty good scouting report on Rooks from Jordan Mathews, who played his senior season at Gonzaga after transfering from Cal.
Rooks’ list reportedly includes San Diego State, Connecticut, St. John’s, Georgetown, Illinois, Iowa State, Saint Louis and Clemson.
Jeter started six games and played in 16 last season, averaging 2.6 points and 2.7 rebounds. He missed time due to back and ankle injuries. He played in 32 games as a freshman, averaging just 7.9 minutes.
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