Busting Brackets

Gonzaga Basketball: Takeaways from pickup of Arkansas transfer Khalif Battle

Vanderbilt v Arkansas
Vanderbilt v Arkansas / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages
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When looking at the early “offseason winners” Gonzaga Basketball should be included as one of them. Mainly because of the little roster turnover they’ve dealt with. The only main departure from the rotation was Anton Watson, who ran out of eligibility anyway. Outside of a couple of freshmen who didn’t play much, everyone was set to return.

With the transfer portal deadline having come and gone, the Bulldogs already were off to a good start. They landed Michael Ajayi, a 6’7 combo forward from Pepperdine, who averaged 17.2 ppg and 9.9 rpg this past season in his first D-I season as an all-league performer. But with a few open spots on the roster still, they looked to fill them with another key piece.

While many top scorers were coming off the board, one transfer target Gonzaga Basketball was looking at is Khalif Battle, one of the top pure-scoring guards in the country. The 6’5 guard from New Jersey averaged 14.8 ppg this past season at Arkansas in just 24 mpg. He had a huge final month of the season, averaging nearly 30 ppg in the final nine games which includes a 42-point effort against Missouri.

Other teams that were in the mix for Battle included TCU, Villanova, and Kansas State, with both Wildcat programs being in the final cut. Ultimately, he ended up picking the Bulldogs, giving them a boost for next season. How big? Here’s a closer look how, as well as what the team needs.