March. 2, 2013; Spokane, WA, USA; Members of the Gonzaga Bulldogs mens basketball team celebrate after a game against the Portland Pilots at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Gonzaga won 81-52. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Meet the Freshmen: Gonzaga's Silas Melson

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After a weekend visit to Gonzaga after finishing his junior year of high school, it only took Silas Melson until the next Tuesday to verbally commit.  On June 18, 2013 his oral commitment made him the first player to join GU’s 2014 class, as initially reported by Jim Beseda of the Oregonian

According to sources, the combo guard sported offers from Oregon State, Washington, Colorado, Colorado State and Drake, with interest from Oregon, Memphis and Tennessee but promptly vowed his services to GU naming their persistence as a key factor in his decision.

The 17-year-old Melson is currently in Spokane with the team partaking in summer workouts, honing in on translating his game to be effective at the next level.

 

At Jefferson High School

The 5A Democrats (Oregon goes up to 6A) have made a name for themselves claiming five of the last seven state championships.  The juggernaut program saw through former college stars and current NBA players Terrence Jones and Terrence Ross, who brought home three state titles. In the rebuilding wake after their departure a talented class of freshman, including Melson and four-star Michigan Commit Kameron Chatman, the talented youth found little success in comparison with their predecessors.

After an freshman exodus following Melson’s freshman season, he stayed loyal to a program he pictured himself leading–And that he did.

Melson lead the charge winning two state titles, and being recognized as both the 5A player of the year and the Oregonian’s player of the year for all high school basketball.

As a senior, he lead the Democrats in scoring with 24.3 points per game, highlighted by 52-point outing against conference foe Franklin.

This past April Melson torched the Northwest Shootout, an Oregon vs. Washington high school All-Star game, for 40 points leading all scorers.

 

Impact at Gonzaga

Playing next to GU’s highly touted incoming point guard Josh Perkins, the second unit backcourt duo of Melson and Perkins heeds explosiveness. In a May feature on Melson by the Portland Tribune,  Few complimented his game on both sides of the ball calling him “an excellent on-ball defender,”  adding to the strength of the second unit.

Here is what I wrote about Silas back two months ago:

“An off-guard with a jumper to compliment Perkins, and a member of the backcourt of the future, Melson is a 5A state champion, and Oregon Gatorade player of the year. The 6’3” scorer was a part of the talented wave of Jefferson High School players that came directly after now NBA players Terrence Ross and Terrence Jones left their stamp. Melson was not highly recruited,  receiving offers from Oregon State, Washington, and Portland, so Few may have stolen a diamond in the rough of his own. Melson will likely be in the rotation and should serve well as a combo guard in the second unit.  On Apr. 26, Melson stole the show representing the Oregon all-star team at the Northwest Shootout torching the Washington all-stars for 40 points, 5 dimes, and 5 steals.”

Melson expects to play very early on.  Though GU’s non-conference schedule features a great deal of competition playing SMU, Memphis, UCLA, Arizona, and Washington State early on, Melson will likely see action in the second unit backing up shooting guard Gary Bell Jr.

Bell and Melson are both combo guards, snipers from beyond the arc with a quick release, and both scored a lot of points in high school.  In the 2011 NW shootout, Bell scored 27 points on five threes–Melson left those numbers in the dust, not to mention Bell was overshadowed in the game by current Washington State scorer DeVonte Lacy.

Silas Melson has a bright future ahead of him at GU.  It is easy to envision him starting in upcoming years once Bell graduates, but he has an experienced guard in Bell to learn from in the meantime.

 

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