One of the greatest players in the history of Gonzaga basketball is returning to Spokane.
According to Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com Adam Morrison will return to the program as a student assistant, completing his bachelor’s degree while helping out head coach Mark Few. Morrison spent three seasons at the WCC school, averaging 28.1 points per game and winning Chevrolet National Player of the Year as a junior (also sharing USBWA National Player of the Year honors with Duke’s J.J. Redick) in 2006.
Following that season, which ended in heartbreaking fashion in the Sweet 16 against UCLA, Morrison was drafted third overall by Charlotte in the 2006 NBA Draft.
But the path as a professional wasn’t as smooth for Morrison, who played four seasons in the NBA (two with the Bobcats and two with the Lakers) before playing in Europe during the 2011-12 season (Red Star Belgrade in Serbia and Besiktas Milangaz in Turkey).
While Morrison’s professional career may not have been as successful as he or anyone connected to the Gonzaga program would have hoped, his experiences can only help the current players as he takes on this new role.
“It’ll be great,” Few told Parrish. “The players really respect him.”
Gonzaga did lose front court mainstays Kelly Olynyk and Elias Harris from a team that earned the program’s first-ever top seed in the NCAA tournament, but with contributors such as guards Gary Bell Jr., Kevin Pangos and David Stockton, and centers Sam Dower Przemek Karnowski all returning the Bulldogs should once again be a factor both within the WCC and nationally.
In addition to the returnees there’s Providence transfer Gerard Coleman and freshmen Lucas Meikle and Ryan Edwards, with all three helping Gonzaga when it comes to their depth.
Coach Few also brings in two transfers who will have to sit out the upcoming season in forwards Angel Nunez (Louisville) and Kyle Wiltjer. A scout team with those two and Morrison can only help Gonzaga as it looks to fare better in postseason play in 2013-14.
After hanging on to beat Southern in their NCAA tournament opener, the Bulldogs were knocked off by eventual West Region champion Wichita State.