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UC Riverside transfer Zyon Pullin includes Gonzaga in top five

While Gonzaga fans were anxiously waiting to learn whether Anton Watson and Malachi Smith would withdraw their names from the NBA draft, the Bulldogs emerged as a potential transfer destination for a talented mid-major guard Wednesday .

Zyon Pullin, a 6-foot-4, 195-pound transfer guard from UC Riverside, simultaneously removed his name from draft consideration and revealed a top-five list that included Gonzaga, Michigan, LSU, Xavier and Florida.

ESPN’s Jeff Borzello and’s Joe Tipton reported Pullin’s finalists after the senior withdrew his name from the draft approximately five hours before the 8:59 p.m. deadline.

Gonzaga’s Watson and Smith had yet to reveal their plans for next season when Pullin’s list came out at about 4 p.m.

Pullin, who’s appeared in 109 games over four seasons at UC Riverside, is able to play a fifth college season using a COVID-19 waiver and will have one year of eligibility remaining.

He entered the transfer portal approximately two weeks ago, after submitting his name to the draft.

The Pleasant Hill, California, native and College Park High product scored 1,312 career points at UC Riverside, averaging 18.3 points , 4.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game last year as a senior.

Pullin has made strides as a 3-point shooter during his time with the Highlanders, connecting on 39.4% last season after making 31.1% the year before and 28.6% as a freshman.

He shot a career-high 48.6% from the field as a senior, made 77% of his free throws and averaged a career-best 0.9 steals per game.

Pullin finished with 24 points, five assists and four rebounds in his final game at UC Riverside – a 92-87 loss to UC Santa Barbara in the Big West Tournament semifinals.

The Zags have made three additions via the transfer portal, signing Creighton point guard Ryan Nembhard, Wyoming forward Graham Ike and Eastern Washington wing Steele Venters.

Gonzaga’s backcourt depth took a hit this offseason with the loss of Rasir Bolton to graduation and the departure of reserve guard Hunter Sallis, who transferred to Wake Forest. Dominick Harris, a former four-star recruit, also entered the transfer portal before committing to West Coast Conference foe Loyola Marymount.