Feb 8, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans guard Byron Wesley (22) celebrates after a 3-point basket in the first half against the UCLA Bruins at Galen Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Meet the Transfers: Byron Wesley

Jan 22, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; USC Trojans guard Byron Wesley (22) reaches for a rebound in the second half of the game against the California Golden Bears at Galen Center. USC Trojans won 77-69. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Well folks, the upcoming season is Byron Wesley‘s swan song.

As a fifth year senior, Wesley landed himself at Gonzaga a la USC. Overall, the Zags have recently welcomed key transfers that could piece together something special. Zeroing in on Wesley, as reported by West Coast Convo shortly before his decision, his highest priorities were winning, and playing a significant role in the ensuing success.

The former Trojan went through a process growing in popularity, yet still rare to the college player: He experienced the recruiting process twice: once as a high schooler, and again as a college senior.  After announcing his plans to transfer he was a desirable commodity, and eventually narrowed his decision down to Pitt, Oklahoma State, and Gonzaga.  Able to play immediately having been on track to graduate from USC this summer, the buffet of winning programs presented themselves to Wesley, Gonzaga eventually winning out.


Time at University of Southern California

A three year contributor, Wesley experienced three losing years–two of them in the gutter of the Pac-12.  Recruited by former USC coach Tim Floyd as a defensive minded wing, it just so happened Wesley could put the ball in the cup: a skill desperately utilized last year by first year-coach Andy Enfield, as Wesley led the team in scoring.

The tandem of Wesley, senior guard Pe’Shon Howard, and a promising freshman big man Nikola Jovanovic sufficed to muster an 11-21 season–a decline from a 14-18 record the prior year.  A big loss for Enfield, Wesley decided to transfer after finishing at the bottom of the Pac-12 two out of his three seasons playing for the Trojans.

He shot 46.7% from the field and 33.8% from beyond the arc this past season.


Impact at Gonzaga

Bar-none, Wesley clearly wants to… needs to win.

Averaging 17.8 this past season, Wesley’s offensive numbers raise eyebrows but rather his defense more likely will turn some heads in a Zags uniform.  With a guard core as well-established as Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell, Wesley will join forces to make one of the most dangerous backcourts in the country.  In order to do so, he will provide immediate relief for the once lone perimeter defender in Bell, and embrace more of a role than what was expected of him at USC.

The biggest assets he brings to GU are athleticism at the wing position, experience, and the ability to excel on both sides of the ball.  Undoubtedly his transfer provides a great amount of depth, as the previously assumed started Kyle Dranginis will play an amplified version of his role last year.

The newly acquired Zag is a key piece to a team that’s talent has improved tenfold.

Tags: Basketball Byron Wesley Gonzaga Bulldogs WCC

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