Killian Tillie to return to Gonzaga for junior season

Gonzaga forward Killian Tillie announced Thursday that he will not pursue any professional options and will return for his junior season. The 6-10, 215-pound sophomore was an All-West Coast Conference Second Team selection and averaged 12.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in 2017-18.

Tillie started in 35 of the Zags’ 36 games. He blocked 37 shots, dished out 60 assists and made 30 steals during the season. The Cagnes-sur-Mer, France native made 45 three-pointers, shooting a conference-best 47.9 percent from behind-the-arc. He was third in the conference shooting 58 percent from the field.

“After reviewing options with my family, I’ve decided to stay at Gonzaga,” Tillie said. “I’m excited to continue my college career. I love playing here and being a part of the amazing culture at GU. I’m anxious to play another season under great coaches with a great group of teammates. And, I can't forget to mention how great it is to play in front of the Kennel Club and all of our Zag fans.”

Tillie scored double-digits in 21 games this past season, reaching 20 points a team-high eight times. The sophomore had a breakout performance during the WCC Tournament in Las Vegas. He was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after scoring 72 points (24 ppg) and shooting 28-of-36 (77.8 percent) from the field during the Bulldogs’ three wins. Tillie made 13 of his 14 three-pointers in the tournament, including a streak of 11 straight.

Gonzaga finished the season ranked No. 10 in the USA Today/Coaches’ poll, after advancing to the Sweet 16 for the fourth straight season. The Zags ended 2017-18 with a 32-5 record, and won their sixth straight West Coast Conference regular season and tournament titles.

The Bulldogs welcome back a talented team in 2018-19. Many media outlets rank GU in the Top-10 in their early preseason projections, including fifth by USA Today, sixth by ESPN, CBS Sports, and the Associated Press, and eighth by Sports Illustrated.

(story & photo: Gonzaga Athletics, KHQ, & SWX.com)

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