Feb 07, 2012; Villanova, PA, USA; Providence Friars guard Gerard Coleman (1) is defended by Villanova Wildcats guard Maalik Wayns (2) during the first half at the Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Gerard Coleman Leaving Providence for Gonzaga

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Providence transfer Gerard Coleman, who last season formed a dynamic three-guard look for the Friars, is on his way to Spokane after choosing Gonzaga as his new school.

The 6-foot-4 guard will have to sit out the 2012-2013 season due to NCAA transfer rules, but will have the chance to form another game-changing backcourt the following season.

Mar. 2, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Providence Friars guard Gerard Coleman (1) waits to shoot a free throw in the first half against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at the Purcell Pavilion. Notre Dame won 75-69. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE

Coleman, a double figure scorer in each of his two seasons in the Big East, averaged 13.2 points and 5.0 rebounds as a sophomore last season. Adept offensively, his presence was also felt on the defensive end of the floor, where he augmented a Friars defense that improved by leaps and bounds under first-year head coach Ed Cooley.

Like his backcourt mates at P.C.—Vincent Council and Bryce Cotton—Coleman excelled in the open floor. He is a gifted athlete with a natural feel for getting to the rim. Though his perimeter jump shot is still yet a work in progress, the lefty Coleman showcased an above average midrange game and an effective pull-up 12-footer when help defenders cut off his penetration.

The addition of the Providence transfer adds another layer of athleticism to a Gonzaga program replete with more solid athletes than head coach Mark Few has ever had at his disposal.

By the time Coleman is eligible to play in games, gifted forward Elias Harris will have graduated—and likely matriculated on to the NBA. But Coleman will team up with rising sophomore Kevin Pangos, the scintillating point guard who turned heads during his freshman campaign.

Coleman and Pangos, who will be a junior once Coleman is ready for game action, together will have two years to wreak havoc on the rest of the West Coast Conference, plus a third season—this one upcoming—to practice against each other. Throw in high-upside guard Gary Bell Jr., another sophomore-to-be who, like Pangos, excelled as a freshman, and the long-term future is ever-bright in Spokane.

The Bulldogs have dominated the WCC for the better part of the last 15 years without especially athletic teams, relying mostly on a mix of outside shooting and a physical interior presence. Now, over the next few seasons, Coach Few will be armed with perhaps his most athletic teams to date. And that doesn’t bode well for rival conference members.

Better get those track shoes shined and polished.

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Tags: Big East Bulldogs Ed Cooley Elias Harris Friars Gary Bell Gerard Coleman Gonzaga Kevin Pangos Providence Transfer Wcc West Coast Conference

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