THE CHEAP SEATS with STEVE CAMERON: Well getting drier in GU guard quest

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Can you dribble with either hand?

Have at least one year of collegiate eligibility remaining?

Not frightened by the pace and pressure of playing for a team that is routinely gunning for the Final Four?

Already graduated from an accredited university, and hoping for a shot at the NBA — that chance you missed with a fractured elbow last season?

Finally, are you willing to jam some graduate work into a schedule that includes big-time hoops?

Well...

If you’re packing all those qualities in your gym bag, and think Spokane is just ideal for the quality of life you most enjoy, here’s a suggestion...

Ring up Gonzaga Coach Mark Few.

He’s looking for you.

OK, maybe not you specifically, but someone who checks all those boxes we just mentioned.

Here’s the deal...

For the first time in what seems like ages, Gonzaga may not have a terrific point guard to fill out a roster full of potential stars.

FEW AND his staff are not used to this sort of scrambling.

Having a career point guard who is both a player and leader (Josh Perkins) on campus for five years is one super way to play in the national championship game.

Using savvy backups when your point man needs a few minutes rest (Silas Melson, Geno Crandall) works out remarkably well.

Even finding a spectacular combo guard and using him in two positions (Nigel Williams-Goss) is a sure-fire winner.

In case you haven’t noticed, all the athletes mentioned just now have plenty of experience facing top Division I opponents.

With some top-level wings and big men coming back next season (Killian Tillie, Corey Kispert, Filip Petrusev) and an incredibly talented class of recruits coming aboard, the Zags could be putting another really special team on the floor.

Except...

The incoming freshmen are, with one exception, wings or post players.

The lone possible point guard is Brock Ravet, who is a gifted kid but played small-school basketball at Kittitas High.

IN ALMOST any other year like this, Few would pull a point guard out of his hat like a hoops magician.

He’d find a transfer, or a 26-year-old wizard from Outer Somewhere who was the best point guard in Europe before taking a three-year sabbatical to work as a librarian.

Who knows how assistant coach Tommy Lloyd and his army of contacts would find the player needed — but they’d get it done.

Unfortunately...

This might be the year they don’t.

A couple of possible transfers chose to go elsewhere, a rarity since it’s a general rule that if the Zags want you badly enough, normally you’re hooked.

Yet this week, USC transfer Derryck Thornton said no thanks — and headed to Boston College.

If that sounds odd, um...

Yeah.

The transfer the Zags truly could have used was Max Hazzard, a grad from UC Irvine who, also a bit strangely, chose Arizona’s troubled program — and almost certainly a year of postseason probation for his lone season in Tucson.

Gonzaga likely wasn’t counting on these setbacks. You’d think a talented point guard would love to be surrounded with the athletes the Zags will suit up this fall.

THERE IS one more transfer floating around in the now-famous portal, former North Carolina backup Seventh Woods.

I know, you can’t help but wonder if he has six brothers called...

Never mind.

Woods turned down South Carolina out of high school — despite growing up nearby in Columbia — and now he’s giving hints as though he’d like to stay at home.

Still, he stated for the record that his three finalists are South Carolina, Michigan and Gonzaga.

We don’t know exactly why Woods never turned into a key player at UNC, nor how much the Gonzaga staff wants him.

But right now...

The point guard options (unless Few has one in his hat) would seem to be Ravet, redshirt sophomore Joel Ayayi and transfer combo guard Admon Gilder from Texas A&M.

Sooooo...

Give Gonzaga a call, you point guards.

Operators are standing by.

***

Steve Cameron’s “Cheap Seats” columns for The Press appear on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Steve also contributes the “Zags Tracker” package on Gonzaga basketball once monthly during the offseason.

Email: scameron@cdapress.com

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