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Gonzaga Basketball

Former Gonzaga players Dan Dickau, Derek Raivio react to Jalen Suggs’ commitment

Gonzaga commits, from left, Jalen Suggs, Julian Strawther and Dominick Harris sit with 2021 recruit Chet Holmgren Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019 at Kraziness in the Kennel at Gonzaga University. (Jesse Tinsley / Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review)
By Justin Reed The Spokesman-Review

There are still a few recruits to decide their 2020 college future, but with No. 6 prospect Jalen Suggs orally committing to Gonzaga on Friday, the Zags have the seventh-best recruiting class in the country, according to 247Sports.

For comparison, in 2013, the Zags had the 149th-ranked class in the country and only the sixth-best class in the West Coast Conference.

While it might not be fair to compare former recruiting classes to those of today, it does show the Zags’ blood turning a little bluer.

“I think the top-tier blue bloods are Duke, Kansas, (North) Carolina, but we’re 1B. They’re 1A and we’re 1B,” former Zag Derek Raivio said.

As the Bulldogs continue to build their brand and show the rest of the country they are moving up into a new echelon, recruits are sure to notice. They also notice when former Zags greats find their way into their Twitter mentions.

Dan Dickau tweeted at Suggs to welcome him to the family and said it was a great decision.

“The fact is that us former players, you know, we want them to embrace (the Zag way),” Dickau said.

“We want them to be prepared and ready for a journey to enjoy being here in Spokane and have a successful career both individually and as a team.”

Suggs was quick to show his love for the Bulldogs as he rocked a new pair of custom Kobe Nikes during Minnehaha Academy’s game Saturday that had a Bulldog on one side and ‘Go Zags’ on the other.

Suggs had a shining performance with those shoes on against Sierra Canyon (California) and LeBron James’ son Bronny. His final line was 23 points, 13 rebounds and six assists in the 78-58 upset.

When Suggs took off his jacket Friday to unveil the “Zag Up” T-shirt he was hiding, he made the next step toward the “Tricky Trio” of Suggs, Dominick Harris and Julian Strawther donning the same uniform next season.

The three will look to continue the family mentality that follows GU players long after they leave.

“You hear it a lot. Gonzaga gets the label – family,” Raivio said. “It’s a large family, a big fraternity. That’s true. And I think you see that with like ex-players that come back and want to be a part of this community.”

Suggs still has the option to play pro overseas, even going as far as to mention the possibility after his announcement.

“I think we’re talking about a guy that there’s a lot of buzz about maybe being a one-and-done and, you know, or maybe even deciding to go play overseas,” Dickau said.

“I mean, that’s the fact of the matter now in college basketball. But, you know, tremendous talent.”

The Bulldogs will attempt to inch Suggs toward the Kennel for next season rather than across the ocean.