Gonzaga’s #2 ranked recruiting class is going to take a small hit. After Michael Foster Jr made his decision, it seems that Fanbo Zeng has now signed with G League Ignite. A four-star prospect out of Windermere, FL via China, the 6-foot-10 power forward has turned heads for quite some time. It seemed he would be the lastest overseas prospect to go to Gonzaga. Now he will be turning pro and headed to Walnut Creek, CA.
Shams Charania had the scoop.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 24, 2021
According to Shams, the departure of Gonzaga assistant coach Tommy Lloyd played a factor in the decision. Lloyd is now the head coach at Arizona. There is a lot to think about with this decision. Zeng is ranked 71st in his high school class and isn’t seen as a one-and-done by anyone really. However, being the top prospect from China, Zeng has marketing and sponsorship deal possibilities that many American players don’t have, and he wouldn’t be able to take advantage of in the NCAA.
As far as a development standpoint, everyone will say that Zeng needs to add mass to his frame if he wants to compete at a high level. Zeng could have gone to another university to find plenty of playing time, but if the goal is to focus on becoming a better basketball player overall, this is a good route for that. He is eligible for the 2022 NBA Draft next year, but there are some who think he might not be ready even then.
G League Ignite prospect Kai Sotto just signed with the Adelaide 36ers after a year in Walnut Creek, so there are other options outside of the NBA after a year. The obvious thing, Zeng is going to get more development and playing time as a member of Ignite than he would have at Gonzaga. In his class alone are two other big men, Kadden Perry (52nd overall) and the top overall recruit, Chet Holmgren. If Drew Timme is back, Mark Few just wouldn’t have much time to give to Zeng.
On the Ignite, he will receive plenty of hands-on work and get playing time against big, strong guys that have been grinding in the G League, overseas, and elsewhere.