Sharp-shooting guard Dusty Stromer on Sunday became the first commitment in Gonzaga’s 2023 recruiting class, roughly an hour after the Zags landed LSU transfer center Efton Reid for the upcoming season.
Stromer, a 6-foot-6, 180-pound guard at Notre Dame High in Sherman Oaks, California, picked the Zags over UCLA and Arizona, the latter coached by former Gonzaga assistant coach Tommy Lloyd.
Stromer listed Houston in his final four in March. He had scholarship offers from numerous programs, including Louisville, Illinois, Creighton, Texas Tech, USC, UNLV and Texas A&M.
“This process has been one of the most amazing experiences in my life and I’m so grateful for all the programs that believed in me,” Stromer said in an Instagram post. “At the end of the day, I could only pick one school.
“I’m excited to announce I’m committing to Gonzaga University.”
Stromer is a quality perimeter shooter on the catch or off the bounce. He’s a smooth athlete with good size at the 2 or 3 position.
The four-star recruit is No. 47 nationally, according to 247sports’ composite rankings, and No. 41 in On3’s consensus rankings. ESPN has Stromer at No. 46 overall and fifth in California.
“I chose Gonzaga because I just felt that it was right,” Stromer told On3. “My connection with all the coaches is something that is rare and I feel that I get along with each coach really well.
“The playing style is perfect for me. I love playing in transition and in the open court. Gonzaga plays to my strengths and I think that I could really help the program right away. I also really like Spokane and had nothing but great experiences with everyone that I met on my two visits to Gonzaga.”
Stromer took an unofficial visit to Gonzaga in November when the top-ranked Zags thumped then-No. 5 Texas 86-74 at the McCarthey Athletic Center. He visited again in February for Gonzaga’s 74-58 home win over No. 22 Saint Mary’s along with Jared McCain, another California standout who eventually committed to Duke.
Those visits to Spokane seemingly made a big impression on Stromer, who also made multiple trips to UCLA on unofficial visits.
“It’s unreal, there’s nothing like it in college basketball,” Stromer told The Spokesman-Review during his February visit. “I’ve gone on a lot of visits and of this is the craziest environment I’ve seen just as far as such a good fan base and the student section is crazy.
“The atmosphere is just unreal. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen and obviously the playing style they have and how fast they play – they get up and down and I really like that.”
Stromer had a big junior season for Notre Dame. He was named Mission League Player of the Year while helping the Knights earn a share of the league title for the first time since 2001. He averaged 20.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.4 steals. He hit 46% of his field-goal attempts, including 38% behind the 3-point line, and 78% at the free-throw line.
“Basketball has been who I am since as young as I can remember,” Stromer said in his announcement post. “It has defined my path, taught me discipline, dedication and persistence through hardship and failure.
“I’ve known since the first time I played the game that I wanted to push myself to the next level. I want to thank my family and those closest around me for believing in the long-haired, scrawny kid that wouldn’t give up.”
The Zags have reportedly offered scholarships to 2023 four-star guard Wesley Yates, of Beaumont, Texas, and five-star forward JJ Taylor, from Simi Valley, California. The 6-8 Taylor is No. 8 in 247sports’ composite rankings and Yates is No. 38.
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