For the third consecutive day, Gonzaga fans received encouraging news relating to the 2022-23 roster.
Less than 20 hours after Drew Timme announced his return to Gonzaga, the Bulldogs got another commitment from someone named a conference player of the year in 2021-22.
After various recruiting outlets speculated Malachi Smith would transfer to Gonzaga, the reigning Southern Conference Player of the Year and Lou Henson National Player of the Year made the move official on Thursday, announcing his commitment to the Bulldogs on social media platforms.
“I want to thank UTC (Chattanooga) and my coaching staff for everything they have done for me! I will always be grateful!” Smith wrote in a Twitter post that also included a graphic of him wearing a No. 13 Gonzaga jersey. “With that said I will be committing to Gonzaga! blessed to be a Zag! Thank you GOD.”
Smith’s commitment caps a monumental 72-hour period for the Bulldogs, who learned Tuesday starting shooting guard Rasir Bolton would return to Gonzaga for an additional season before getting similar announcements from Julian Strawther and Timme on Wednesday, the final day for players to withdraw from the NBA draft.
“I wanted to have a chance to play for a Hall of Fame coach in Mark Few,” Smith told ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, “to be a part of a winning culture, for a team that has a family feel.”
As a sophomore at Chattanooga, the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Smith averaged 19.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.7 steals, helping lead the Mocs to a Southern Conference Tournament championship.