Gonzaga Bulldogs nation awoke to some very good news this morning concerning the future of their basketball team which finished the 2012-13 season as the No. 1 ranked team in the country.
Josh Perkins, a 6-foot-3-inch point guard attending Huntington (W.Va.) Prep for his senior year, has selected Gonzaga as his college destination after previously considering UCLA, Minnesota, Kentucky and UConn. Perkins announced his decision via a live stream in his home state of Colorado.
Mark Few set his sights on Perkins and recruited the Colorado native hard. "Coach Few and all the coaching staff, they really showed me that I'm the guy, and I'm the one that they really want," Perkins said. "You got to love what loves you, so I'm loving Gonzaga right now."
Rivals.com lists Perkins as the 28th best recruit in the class of 2014, while Scout.com lists him as the No. 25 overall player and the fifth best point guard, with his strengths being 3-point range, court vision and passing. "More than anything, Perkins is a sensational passer," Scout.com writes. "He makes the difficult ones look easy and can make the easy ones difficult, but his abilities in this regard are indisputable."
Perkins' highest grade comes from ESPN, which lists him as the No. 24 overall player in his class and assigns him a 91 Scout Grade. "Perkins is a strong for his size and athletic point guard that competes on both ends of the floor," ESPN writes. "He has a terrific motor and plays the game with great urgency and pace."
Despite his impressive athletic skill set, Perkins has room to improve in the mental aspect of the game, according to ESPN. "Perkins will need to improve his decision making at times, become more vocal as a leader and attempt not to gamble so much on defense which could result in foul trouble," ESPN writes. "Perkins also must pay attention to his shot selection and have a consistent follow through on his jumper especially from behind the arc."
Perkins is widely regarded as one of the best passers in the country, and he's arguably the most notable recruited landed in Few's tender as head coach dating back to 1999. Former Zags guard Steven Gray (2007-11) was ranked in the low 50s nationally, and rivals.com ranked guard Matt Bouldin (2006-10) as the No. 45 overall player in his class. Local standouts Sean Mallon (Ferris '02) and Adam Morrison (Mead '03) did not receive any national rankings.
Despite a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, the Zags couldn't make it past the second round. Perkins hopes to change that with his addition to the team. "It's a great program. I'm just hoping I can help that program take the next step and actually win the national championship."
Instead of picking between a row of hats with different school's logos on them, Perkins wrote "Gonzaga Bulldogs" on his abs and lifted up his shirt to show the world where he wanted to play ball. "I'm officially committing to the University of Gonzaga," Perkins announced. There is no such thing as the University of Gonzaga, but his intentions were clear.