Gonzaga Star, Filip Petrusev has signed an overseas contract foregoing his College Eligibility.
It was announced today that Gonzaga forward Filip Petrusev has signed with Mega Bemix in his home of Serbia. Petrusev opted to turn pro but not in the NBA. I thought there was a chance for this, but I thought it would be after this season, he was never going to be an NBA guy it just depended on when he wanted to go overseas. He just never was fitting in today’s NBA, as he’s not a good enough defender, he’s slow, can’t shoot at all. I think this is less of a blow for the Zags than people think, obviously it hurts but I think I think losing Ayayi or Kispert would hurt more.
Let’s get into the lineup.
PG: Joel Ayayi (Testing Waters)
SG: Jalen Suggs
SF: Corey Kispert (Testing Waters)
PF: Anton Watson
C: Drew Timme
Bench: Oumar Ballo, Aaron Cook (Southern Illinois), Julian Strawther, Dominick Harris, Pavel Zakharov, Martynas Arluaksas
Departures: Admon Gilder, Ryan Woolridge, Filip Petrusev, Killian Tillie
Additions: Jalen Suggs, Dominick Harris, Aaron Cook (Southern Illinois), Julian Strawther
Testing Waters: Joel Ayayi, Corey Kispert
This is such a deep team, even without Petrusev filled with talent. Ballo and Zakharov could play a big bench role and be huge names this season for the best team in College basketball.
The guard depth is great, you have Ayayi, who’s really solid all-around. Also an elite scorer and defender in Suggs who is a Freshman, a transfer in Aaron Cook who can eat a few minutes and play a Gene Crandall type role, Dominick Harris a very athletic combo guard. Ayayi is a do-it-all kind of guy super strong inside, can shoot, pass, defend he’s just overall very good and is going to have a great season. Suggs is super talented great scorer and defender, one-and-done talent.
I think the Zags are still by far the #1 team it’s hard to find a team with better depth. This team is still 9 deep at worst, depth over everything in March and the Zags have it. The biggest key though who will step up at the 4 spot? I have Anton Watson starting, he’s a 6’10“ guy who missed most of last season due to injury but was a top-50 recruit, he can score at all three levels and can rebound and defend well enough but his scoring will be big. Julian Strawther is a guy who will be curious on which role he plays at this level. I think he’s a 4-man at this level, and I think he will be big in that role for this team if needed. Then you can go even bigger and have Timme at the 4 and Ballo at the 5, he’s very young he just turned 18 a few days ago and redshirted as a 17 year old last season. He’s a very strong 6’10 260 true Center can defend very well and get rebounds, Timme is the much better offensive player but Ballo will play a role.
Drew Timme I’ll say a few more words about his main issue last season was defense and fouling. I think the foul issues will gradually go away if you get beat, let them score but don’t foul. That’s something he’ll learn as he plays more and gets a better feel for the game. His ability to score down-low is that of a star and he’s so smart offensively. I don’t think he’ll be a shooter at any point but if he could extend his range that would be awesome too, I just think the way he can get to the hoop and get free on screens is something that’ll make him an elite level player this season. They don’t just lose Petrusev, they lose Killian Tillie as well, this will put a ton on Timme’s plate but he can handle it and then some.
The Zags will still be the PreSeason #1 team so long as Kispert and Ayayi return.