The biggest question mark for Gonzaga this season is, as we wrote this week, the point guard spot.
As good as Josh Perkins is and has been, the questions about his ability as a decision-maker, his issues with turning the ball over and whether or not he is good enough to carry a team to a national title are the main talking point with this iteration of the Gonzaga program.
He might be good enough. There’s also a real chance that he’s the weak link on a team that is currently No. 2 in the NBC Sports preseason top 25.
And that is what makes the addition of Geno Crandall, who committed to Gonzaga on Thursday, so important.
The 6-foot-4 Crandall is a grad transfer from North Dakota, where he averaged 16.6 points and 3.6 assists last season. He’s being brought in by the Zags as quality backcourt depth and insurance for Perkins.
The question now becomes whether or not he’s actually a point guard. He can play that position, and he is a capable playmaker -- the 3.6 assists he averaged last year was the lowest of his three-year run in North Dakota -- but he spent the last two seasons playing in a score-first role. As one coach that has played Crandall put it, “he’s just a damn-good combo.”
He’ll also provide Gonzaga with some versatility. He can play in two guard lineups, allowing Mark Few more time to spell Corey Kispert and Zach Norvell. It also gives some of Gonzaga’s other young guards more time to develop.
This is not a season-changing addition for Gonzaga. Crandall is not going to come in and be Nigel Williams-Goss.
But he is a good player that will have an impact on this Gonzaga team and the way that they can play. And he could also be a difference-maker on the nights when Perkins’ isn’t playing like a fifth-year point guard on a title-contending team.