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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Iowa State transfer, Big 12 Freshman of Year Tyrese Hunter includes Gonzaga in final six

UPDATED: Mon., April 25, 2022

Iowa State guard Tyrese Hunter drives up court during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Oklahoma, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022, in Ames, Iowa.  (Associated Press)
Iowa State guard Tyrese Hunter drives up court during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Oklahoma, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022, in Ames, Iowa. (Associated Press)

A transfer guard from Iowa State could land on Gonzaga’s roster for a second straight year.

Tyrese Hunter, the Big 12’s reigning Freshman of the Year, is strongly considering a move to Spokane and recently included Gonzaga as one of his six finalists, he told Joe Tipton of On3 Recruiting.

Along with the Bulldogs, Hunter is still looking at Tennessee, Purdue, Texas, Louisville and national champion Kansas.

The Racine, Wisconsin, native is taking an official visit to Tennessee this weekend but plans to visit Gonzaga the following weekend, he told Tipton.

Hunter could sign with the Bulldogs one season after Rasir Bolton joined Gonzaga as a graduate transfer, finding immediate success within Mark Few’s program as a 32-game starter who earned All-West Coast Conference Honorable Mention after averaging 11.2 points per game and shooting 46% from the 3-point line.

The younger Hunter would bring a different set of skills to Spokane after setting Iowa State freshman records for assists (172) and steals (71) after starting in 35 games, the most ever by a Cyclone freshman.

Hunter averaged 11 ppg for an ISU team that, similar Gonzaga, lost in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, and the 6-foot, 178-pound point guard also ranked third in the Big 12 at 4.9 assists per game while committing 3.2 turnovers.

Hunter’s 2.1 steals per game ranked third in the Big 12 and he became the first ISU player in 16 years to record at least 70 steals in a season. He scored a season-high 23 points against LSU in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, making 7-of-11 from the 3-point line in that game.

Gonzaga is looking to replace starting point guard Andrew Nembhard, who exhausted his college eligibility by declaring for the NBA Draft for the third time. The Bulldogs project to be talented but also young in the backcourt next season, especially if Bolton leaves school for the NBA. 

Nolan Hickman, Gonzaga’s presumptive starting point guard as the roster stand now, played 17.5 minutes per game for the Bulldogs in 2021-22 while fellow freshman Hunter Sallis logged 13.6 minutes per game primarily playing off the ball. Gonzaga also returns sophomore Dominick Harris, who missed the 2021-22 season after recovering from foot surgery.

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