Two Gonzaga Bulldogs selected in 2017 NBA Draft


(BY GONZAGA ATHLETICS)

ZACH COLLINS

Former Gonzaga standout Zach Collins was selected the 10th pick of the 2017 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings Thursday.

Following the selection, the Kings traded Collins to the Portland Trail Blazers. The Kings received the 15th and 20th picks in the draft, in exchange for the No. 10 selection.

Collins was the highest Bulldog draft choice since Adam Morrison was the third overall pick by the Charlotte Bobcats in 2006.

Collins joined Dan Dickau, Kelly Olynyk and Domantas Sabonis as other Bulldogs who were traded on draft night. Dickau was the 28th and final pick of the first round by the Sacramento Kings, and was traded to the Atlanta Hawks before the 2002 NBA Draft was over. After being selected 13th by the Dallas Mavericks, Olynyk was immediately traded to the Boston Celtics. Sabonis was selected 11th by the Orlando Magic last year, before being traded to Oklahoma City.

Collins averaged 10.0 points and 5.9 rebounds per game during the 2016-17 season. He made 65.2 percent of his shots from the field, which ranks as the third best percentage in a single season in program history. It not only topped the West Coast Conference, but also ranked eighth in the country. His 69 blocked shots (1.8 per game) ranks second at GU all-time, one shy of matching Austin Daye's program record.

Collins was named Second Team All-West Coast Conference and to the WCC's All-Freshman Team after averaging 10.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks (2nd in the WCC) per game during conference play. He made 60.4 percent of his shots from the field in WCC action, which ranked third in the league, while his 78.1 percent shooting from the free-throw line during conference play ranked seventh.

Collins reached double-digit scoring 20 times during the 2016-17 season. He scored a season-high 21 points versus South Dakota, going a perfect 9-for-9 from the field in the win. He recorded his lone collegiate double-double in the Bulldogs' national semifinal victory over South Carolina, scoring 14 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. He also blocked six of the Gamecocks' shots.

A Second Team NABC All-District selection, Collins ended his fantastic freshman season helping the Zags reach the program's first-ever Final Four. At the Final Four, he was named to the All-Tournament Team after averaging 11.5 points and 10 rebounds in the two games in Phoenix, Ariz. He made 10 of his 16 shots (62.5 percent) from the field and added a total of nine blocked shots in the pair of games inside University of Phoenix Stadium.

Collins was the first-ever McDonald's All-American to commit to Gonzaga after a stellar career at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas.

Collins was the seventh Zag to be drafted in the first round, joining John Stockton in 1984 (16th overall pick, Utah Jazz), Dickau in 2002 (28th overall pick, Sacramento Kings), Adam Morrison in 2006 (3rd overall pick, Charlotte Bobcats), Austin Daye in 2009 (15th overall pick, Detroit Pistons), Olynyk in 2013 (13th overall pick, Dallas Mavericks) and Sabonis last year (11th overall pick, Orlando Magic). Ian Mahinmi was a first round pick and 28th overall by the San Antonio Spurs in 2005. Mahinmi had signed a letter-of-intent to attend Gonzaga for the 2005-06 season, but never enrolled in school.

Collins is the 21st GU player selected in the NBA Draft all-time. Sabonis was the last Bulldog drafted. 

NIGEL WILLIAMS-GOSS:

Former Gonzaga standout Nigel Williams-Goss was selected the 55th pick of the 2017 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz Thursday.

Williams-Goss was the second Gonzaga player taken in the draft, which marks the first time since 1971 that two Zags were selected in the same NBA Draft. Zach Collins was taken by the Sacramento Kings with the 10th overall pick, before being traded to the Portland Trail Blazers. Howard Burford (11th round, 171st pick Portland Trail Blazers) and Bill Quigg (15th round, 219th pick, San Diego Rockets) were the only other Bulldogs to achieve the feat. Dan Dickau and Mario Kasun were both selected in the 2002 draft, but Kasun did not suit up in a game for GU.

Williams-Goss became the first player in West Coast Conference history to be named the league’s Player and Newcomer of the Year. His 16.8 points per game ranked fifth in the conference, his 4.7 assists per game was fourth, and his 1.7 steals per contest and 86.7 free-throw percentage topped the WCC. He ranked fourth in the league with a 2.2 assist-to-turnover ratio. The Happy Valley, Ore. native added 6.0 rebounds per game.

Williams-Goss’ 64 steals in 2016-17 ranks fourth for most takeaways in a single season in program history. His 179 assists are ninth on the GU all-time list, while his 640 points scored is 10th. He finished his three-year collegiate career with 1,536 points, 396 assists and 133 steals.

Williams-Goss started all 38 games he played in this season at GU, reaching double-digit scoring 32 times. He scored 20 or more points in 10 games and had three double-doubles. He was named the Most Outstanding Player in the WCC Tournament and to the All-Tournament Team at the Final Four.

After being named the conference Player of the Week four times during the season, he was named a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award and a semifinalist for the Naismith Trophy. He was named to the Wooden Award All-American Team, and First Team All-American by Sports Illustrated and the USBWA. He was tabbed Second Team All-American by NBC Sports, The Sporting News, USA Today, the NABC and the Associated Press.

Williams-Goss boasted a 3.84 GPA and received a degree in Psychology. For his success off of the court, he was named First Team Academic All-American by CoSIDA. He was also selected as the Men's Scholar Athlete of the Year by the DI-AAA ADA and received the Mike Gilleran Scholar Athlete of the Year honor by the West Coast Conference.

Williams-Goss was singled out for academic achievements at the Final Four and was given the NCAA’s Elite 90 Award, which recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 90 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s championships.

Williams-Goss is the 22nd GU player selected in the NBA Draft all-time.

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