The Gonzaga Bulldogs have only secured one commitment in the class of 2023, although at least a few more could be on the way shortly. Mark Few and his staff are out on the recruiting trail looking to add to a class that already features combo guard Dusty Stromer, and with summer showcases in full swing there could be movement soon.
Two players the Zags are known to have interest in are Kaden Cooper, a 6’5 wing from Alabama, and 6’10 forward Xavier Booker out of Indiana.
Cooper is an extraordinary athlete who oozes potential, but he hasn’t quite escaped the reputation of dunker according to Sports Illustrated’s Jason Jordan, who called him the best dunker in 2023.
“He hates the dunker label,” Jordan said on the Locked on Zags podcast. “He gets to his spots on the court, [he’s] versatile, definitely tenacious on both ends of the floor, can guard multiple positions, and he’s tough. He’s an impact player. With him it can mean a lot of different things.”
Cooper comes in at No. 47 on the 247Sports composite rankings, and Rivals already has him at over 30 confirmed offers.
Cooper did speak with Jordan about his visit to Spokane, which took place back on June 24, and offered some hopefulness regarding Gonzaga’s chances of landing the quick rising prospect.
“He talked about [his visit to Gonzaga] and said it was amazing,” Jordan said. “One of the things that really stood out to him was how the fans are in awe of the players….you guys made quite the impression. You’re definitely strong with him.”
Next up is Booker, another quick rising prospect who has made a name for himself by performing well at the elite camps – which is similar to the progression of Stromer.
While Booker is a long way away from making his college decision, according to Jordan, it’s not hard to see why Gonzaga is interested in him – he has drawn the same unicorn label that continues to follow Chet Holmgren around as he heads into his rookie season.
“He’s the unicorn of this class, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard about a unicorn before,” Jordan said with a chuckle. “He’s 6’10, can handle the ball like a guard, he’s knocking down shots like a sharpshooter. His offensive skill-set is pro level. He has a pro game.”
Booker comes in at No. 4 overall in the class of 2023 by 247Sports, and if Gonzaga were able to add him alongside Stromer they’d instantly replenish a roster that is likely going to lose Drew Timme, Julian Strawther and Malachi Smith next year, as well as Rasir Bolton and Anton Watson.
Neither Cooper or Booker are expected to commit anytime super soon, but they are both high level players for Gonzaga fans to keep an eye on in the coming months.
Andy hosts the Locked on Zags and Locked on College Basketball podcasts, and serves Locked On in a marketing/digital content creator role as well. He lives just outside Portland with his wife Jenna and dog, Tillie.