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Gonzaga Basketball

Injury limits Gonzaga’s Anton Watson at G League Camp; Washington State’s Isaac Jones nabs NBA Combine invite

Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Anton Watson (22) shoots a three against the Loyola Marymount Lions during the first half of a college basketball game on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, at Gersten Pavilion in Los Angeles, Calif.  (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Anton Watson had a brief opportunity to compete in front of NBA scouts during the first day of the G League Elite Camp, held over two days in Chicago, but an injury dampened the weekend for the Gonzaga forward, preventing him from competing in the second scrimmage at Wintrust Arena.

There were no such obstacles for Washington State’s Isaac Jones and the All-Pac-12 forward played well enough at the G League Elite Camp to extend his trip in Chicago, landing an invite to the more prestigious NBA draft combine.

Jones, who led all scorers with 22 points during a scrimmage on Sunday, will stay in the Windy City for seven more days and participate in another round of drills, agility tests and live games alongside more than 80 other top prospects – among them WSU teammate Jaylen Wells and Gonzaga wing Michael Ajayi – who’ll hope to hear their names called at next month’s NBA draft.

While making his second appearance at the G League Elite Camp in as many years, Watson logged fewer than eight minutes in the opening scrimmage, playing through an ankle injury that appeared to irritate the former Gonzaga standout and Gonzaga Prep graduate at certain points Saturday afternoon.

The G League broadcast team speculated Watson rolled his ankle driving to the hoop and drawing a foul midway through the first half of the scrimmage.

Watson’s only stint in the second half lasted fewer than two minutes and the forward didn’t play in the remaining 14 minutes, finishing 2 of 2 from the field and 1 of 2 from the free throw line for five points. Watson, who officially played 7 minutes, 40 seconds, also had two assists, two turnovers and one rebound.

Watson received a “DNP-Coach’s Decision” in the second scrimmage on Sunday.

Despite being limited in the scrimmages Watson was able to improve in each of the strength and agility tests, relative to his numbers from a year ago.

The 6-foot-7 forward clocked a 3.32 in the lane shuttle left and a 3.26 in the lane shuttle right tests after running a 3.53 and 3.32 last year. Watson improved by .07 seconds the three-quarter court sprint, clocking a 3.45 this year, and he ran the pro lane sprint test in 11.35 seconds after posting a time of 11.42 seconds in 2023.

Watson also saw improvement in both jumping tests, recording a 32.5-inch max vertical and 27.0 standing vertical after registering a 29.0 and 25.0 at last year’s camp.

Jones, a standout at Idaho who transferred to WSU for his final year of eligibility, received a G League Elite Camp invite after starring at the Portsmouth Invitational all-star event a few weeks earlier.

The 6-foot-7 forward who spent three seasons at the junior college level posted double-digit scoring efforts in both scrimmages this weekend, recording 11 points on 4 of 9 shooting while hauling down seven rebounds in just under 23 minutes on Saturday. Jones followed that with 22 points on 8 of 9 from the field in just 22 minutes on Sunday.