Gonzaga Bulldogs add Ryan Nembhard and Graham Ike

Nembhard should be a key to joining Tommy Lloyd in Arizona, but instead he will follow in his brother Andrew’s footsteps and join Gonzaga.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Mark Few and the Gonzaga Bulldogs issued a clear and definitive statement Friday morning: They’re not going anywhere.

Despite losing Drew Timme, Rasir Bolton and Julian Strawther to the pro ranks, and Hunter Sallis, Efton Reid and Dominick Harris to the transfer portal, the Zags pulled off an exceptional heist on the transfer portal by taking pledges from former Creighton point guard Ryan Nembhard and secured Wyoming center Graham Ike Friday morning.

Almost everyone thought Nembhard would be a lure to join former Gonzaga assistant coach Tommy Lloyd in Arizona, but instead he’s following in the footsteps of his brother Andrew and joining the Zags, where he’s immediately cast in the role of starting point guard will hatch.

Nembhard and Ike are both likely to start for the Zags, along with their other transfer portal, former East Washington wing Steele Venters.

Locked on Zags host Andy Patton believes the trio of newcomers alongside Nolan Hickman and Anton Watson will give the Zags a fast-paced offense reminiscent of last year’s run-and-gun offensives.

“This addition to point guard allows the Zags to be more run and gun, high pace and high octane on offense,” Patton said. “It’s what Gonzaga has been known for for so long, and it’s what we’ll be returning to soon.”

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Nembhard averaged 12.1 points, 4.8 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game for Creighton last year, leading them to an elite 8 and 30 points in the second round matchup against Baylor.

He will push junior Nolan Hickman into an offball role that should allow Hickman to better play to his strengths as a catch-and-shoot specialist.

Ike missed the entire 2022-23 season with a foot injury but averaged 19.6 points and 9.6 rebounds for Wyoming in 2021-22. Alongside Watson and Ben Gregg, Ike will give the Zags a consistent low post-scoring threat and a plus rebounder.

Gonzaga had a lot of work this offseason to replace Timme, Strawther and Bolton on the starting lineup, but the group they have now should keep them in contention as a top-10 team next season.

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Zack Zwiezen

Zack Zwiezen is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Zack Zwiezen joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing zackzwiezen@ustimespost.com.

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