Zach Collins is the first member of Gonzaga's 2016 recruiting class. The 6-11 1/2, 230-pound Collins, who just completed his junior season at Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas, on Monday orally committed to Gonzaga.
Kyle Wiltjer and Przemek Karnowski are juniors and freshman Domantas Sabonis has been listed on some NBA mock drafts as a late first-rounder so Gonzaga needed to reinforce its frontcourt.
I spoke with Collins and his father, Mike, an assistant coach with Bishop Gorman, earlier tonight. My unedited article is below.
By Jim Meehan
Zach Collins, a 6-foot-11½, 230-pound center at Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas, has orally committed to Gonzaga, becoming the first member of the Zags’ 2016 recruiting class.
The 17-year-old Collins had more than 30 scholarship offers. He took official visits to Gonzaga, Utah, Cal, New Mexico and San Diego State. His final three were Gonzaga, Utah and San Diego State.
“It was the relationship I established with the coaches,” Collins said of picking Gonzaga. “They’ve been recruiting me since last year when nobody really knew about me. Definitely how they play and it’s all about team. And also their player development.”
Bishop Gorman has won four straight state titles. Collins averaged 9 points and 7 rebounds on a talented Gaels’ frontcourt that included 2015 Duke commit Chase Jeter and 7-0 Stephen Zimmerman, who hasn’t announced his college plans. Jeter and Zimmerman are McDonald’s All-Americans.
“It did help,” said Collins, who should take on a bigger role as a senior with the departure of Jeter and Zimmerman. “I got a lot better in practice from playing against those guys.”
Collins, who has a 3.5 grade-point average, earned All-Sunset Conference honors. He averaged 18 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks last summer on the AAU circuit. Mike Collins, Zach’s father, is an assistant coach at Bishop Gorman who works with post players.
“It’s a good day and we’re very proud of him,” Mike said. “I think he made a good choice.”