ESPN has updated its class of 2021 recruiting rankings and Gonzaga is involved with at least seven prospects inside the top 40, including new No. 1 Chet Holmgren.
Holmgren moved up a spot after former No. 1 Jonathan Kuminga reclassified to the 2020 class. Holmgren is entering his senior season at Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis and has been teammates with Jalen Suggs, No. 6 in 2020 and the highest ranked recruit in Gonzaga program history.
Others in ESPN’s top 40 who have visited Gonzaga, either officially or unofficially, are No. 3 Paolo Banchero, No. 8 Nate Bittle, No. 18 Hunter Sallis, No. 24 Peyton Watson, No. 28 Ben Gregg and No. 38 Arthur Kaluma.
Holmgren visited Gonzaga last October for Kraziness in the Kennel, along with Suggs and GU incoming freshmen Dominick Harris and Julian Strawther. Holmgren also took an official visit to Ohio State, as well as several unofficial visits.
“That’s my guy (Suggs), and I’m going to be closely tuned in to see his successes – especially because I’ll miss playing with him,” Holmgren told ESPN’s Jeff Borzello.
The 7-foot, 200-pound Holmgren is a unique talent. He has perimeter skills, including ballhandling and shooting range, and is an elite rim protector.
Holmgren told Borzello he’s been in touch mainly with Gonzaga, North Carolina, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio State and Georgetown. He plans on trimming his list in the next few weeks but will take his time before making a final decision.
Borzello considers Gonzaga, Minnesota and Ohio State in Holmgren’s top tier.
Banchero, a 6-8, 230-pound forward from Seattle’s O’Dea High, listed Gonzaga, Washington, Arizona, Tennessee, Kentucky and Duke as his finalists.
“It’s hard to find a true favorite, but Kentucky is in a strong position, while Gonzaga and Tennessee likely make up the next tier,” Borzello said. “I wouldn’t count out any of the six, though.”
The 6-11 Bittle plays at Crater High School in Central Point, Oregon.
“For now, let’s give Oregon the best chance for Bittle, with UCLA and Arizona right behind,” Borzello wrote. “Gonzaga will likely wait and see what happens with Holmgren and Banchero.”
The Zags have a 2021 oral commitment from 6-9 forward Kaden Perry, of Battle Ground (Washington) High. Perry is ranked No. 75.
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