Johnathan Williams III Headed to Gonzaga


Gonzaga has become quite the hot commodity in recent years on the transfer market, landing and developing impact players like Kyle Wiltjer (Kentucky), Byron Wesley (Southern California), and Eric McClellan (Vanderbilt) to name a few.

On Saturday, it was revealed that Mark Few’s already-impressive resume of new additions received another colossal boost when Johnathan Williams III announced he had committed to the Bulldogs. The 6-foot-9 sophomore power forward from Mizzou had made his announcement to transfer back in March, and most recently declared that his decision was between SMU, Georgetown, and the Zags.

Coming out of high school, Williams III was a top-50 national recruit, and it’s easy to see why. Last year, Johnathan was a monster on the stat sheet, leading the Tigers in both points per game (11.7) and rebounds per game (7.1). He was often the lone bright spot for a Missouri team that finished dead last in the SEC in the 2014-15 season, going 9-23 overall and only 3-15 in conference play.

What’s most important about this addition, though, is the depth that Johnathan will bring to the Zags’ front court. Williams III will have to sit out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer rules, taking the year to be a part of Gonzaga’s hallmark redshirt program with coach Travis Knight. That means that when he is finally eligible, Kyle Wiltjer and Przemek Karnowski will be out of the picture.

Which means the front court will consist of 7-foot-1 behemoth Ryan Edwards and the highly-skilled Domantas Sabonis (assuming Domas doesn’t leave for the NBA, because let’s be honest, scouts will be all over him soon).  Either way, this illustrates what an important pickup this is for Gonzaga. We all knew the Zags would need to find talent to replace Przemek and Kyle, but landing someone as skilled as Williams III is tremendous.

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Johnathan is the second talented transfer to join the Bulldogs this offseason, as Mark Few landed highly-touted Washington guard Nigel Williams-Goss just last month. Like Williams III, Nigel led the Huskies in points last year and made himself known on a national scale when he led Washington to an incredible start to the season. Both of these guys were extremely coveted and sought-after while they were making their decisions, and both will make a monumental impact when they are eligible.

Mark Few continues to string together quality teams, Zag fans are becoming increasingly excited for the season to start, and the future of Gonzaga basketball is looking bright. Welcome to Gonzaga, Johnathan. We can’t wait to see you’ve got in store.