Feb 07, 2012; Villanova, PA, USA; Providence Friars guard Gerard Coleman (1) is defended by Villanova Wildcats guard Maalik Wayns (2) during the first half at the Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Technically, Gonzaga guard Gerard Coleman is not a newcomer. He was enrolled at Gonzaga for the entirety of last season, but had to sit out the 2012-2013 basketball season because of NCAA transfer rules. Coleman will make his highly anticipated debut for the Bulldogs in Gonzaga’s first game, whenever that may be and whoever that may be against (Gonzaga has not released its non-conference schedule). Here is West Coast Convo’s introduction of Gonzaga guard Gerard Coleman.
Coleman hails from Boston, Massachusetts, and played his high school ball at the Tilton School in Tilton, New Hampshire. Below is a scouting report on Coleman from an ESPN.com recruiting analyst:
"The long lefty is a pure scorer that should be able to put points on the board immediately upon arriving at Providence. He is exceptionally smooth going to the rim, virtually unstoppable in the open floor, and very good in the mid-range area. He’s a very disruptive full court defender, at his best in passing lanes, and capable of being a good on-the-ball defender. He’s clearly spent time working to address his two biggest deficiencies, his perimeter jumper and lean frame, and while he has improved in both areas they remain works in progress. He now shows more muscle through his chest, but must continue to add strength to prepare for the Big East. Similarly, the release on his jumper is cleaner and more consistent, with improved loft on his ball to match, but he still must make a higher percentage of open shots."
Between the three major recruiting sites active in 2009 (ESPN, Rivals, and Scout.com), Coleman was a consensus four-star prospect. Scout.com ranked his as the 7th best shooting guard in the class of 2009, and the 38th overall prospect. Coleman had offers from Clemson, Miami (FL), Louisville, and UConn, but opted to go to Providence University, where he played for two years before transferring to Gonzaga.
Freshman Year at Providence
Like most of the experts had expected, Coleman made an immediate impact during his first year as a Friar. The freshman started 29 games for Providence, and averaged 29.6 minutes per game. He provided instant offense whenever the Friars needed it; Coleman averaged 10.3 points throughout the 2010-2011 season. The rest of his statistics did not really take anyone’s breath away: 3.1 RPG, 1.4 APG, 0.9 SPG, 41.9 FG%, and 23.5 3P%. Coleman struggled at the charity stripe during his debut season in college basketball, shooting a lackluster 53.7%.
Sophomore Year at Providence
Coleman improved in nearly every statistical category in his sophomore season. His scoring average jumped from 10.3 points to 13.2 points per game, and he averaged 5.0 rebounds per game in his second season, an improvement from the 3.1 rebounds he averaged in 2010-2011. Coleman also got much better from the free throw line in 2011-2012. His free throw percentage leaped up to 67.1% from 53.7%. For a shooting guard, this is not the best percentage, but the improvement is worth noting. He continued to struggle from the three point line during his sophomore year; Coleman hit only 23.8% of his shots taken beyond the arc that year.
Transfer to Gonzaga
Sometime after his sophomore season, Coleman notified the Friars of his Intent to transfer. Coleman’s main reasons for leaving Providence were to play for a perennial winner and avoid an increase in competition for playing time, with highly touted prospect Ricky Ledo entering the program (coincidently Ledo never played a game for the Friars). He picked Gonzaga in June of 2012, over the Xavier Musketeers.
By all accounts, Coleman’s year off went smoothly. He fit in well with most of the roster and continued to work on his game. Coleman is eager to get on the court and finally suit up for the Bulldogs.
Expected Impact at Gonzaga
Coleman will provide yet another scoring option on the perimeter for the Bulldogs. Coleman will likely start at the 3 for the Bulldogs, giving Gonzaga a three guard lineup. Although the Zags will miss the specialness that was Mike Hart, Coleman certainly will be a more all-around productive player for the Bulldogs. Coleman is rangy and athletic, and can physically match up with most wings in the nation. Coleman also rebounds very well for someone who is 6’4”, which is apparent by his 5.0 rebounds per game as a sophomore. Coleman will be a key player for the Bulldogs this season, and could help continue their streak of NCAA tournament appearances.