It has been over a year since Angel Nunez last played basketball, and finally after having to sit out due to transfer rules, Nunez is eligible versus Kansas State. So who is Angel Nunez and how can he help the Zags?
Nunez is a 6-foot-8, 200 pound forward from New York. As a highly touted recruit, Nunez decided to play his college ball at the University of Louisville. After only playing sparingly his freshman year, and not seeing any game action in the first half of last season, Nunez transferred to Gonzaga.
Since he only played limited minutes at Louisville, much of the footage on Nunez comes from high school. The first thing that pops out when you see him play is his athleticism.
Being 6-foot-8, Nunez is able to throw it down and will easily be the most athletic player for the Zags. He has the ability in the open floor to make some incredible plays that will be fun to see for the Zags.
He is also capable of shooting the outside shot. Again because there is not many statistics on him, it is hard to judge how good of a shooter he is, but from the few videos I have seen he has the ability to hit the outside shot.
It is no secret that the Zags are thin inside. Sam Dower Jr. and Przemek Karnowski get the majority of the minutes for Gonzaga, with Drew Barham filling some minutes here and there.
Thus far Mark Few has shown that he is going to have a short bench only playing 7 or 8 players so it may be difficult for Nunez to crack the lineup early on.
Nunez will be called upon to play the power forward position, which is not his natural position by any means, and only being 200 pounds he may get pushed around down there.
He is mostly a small forward, but will need to play down low to give the big guys a rest, and provide those crucial 5 extra fouls. I expect Nunez to take a lot of minutes away from Senior Drew Barham.
Barham has struggled lately to find his shot. He only played 10 minutes against West Virginia going 0 for 3 from the three-point line and 7 minutes against South Alabama where he did not attempt a shot.
Barham is on the floor to play defense and shoot three’s and when he is not hitting his shots he is useless on the floor. Nunez will be a better version of Barham who can do so much more.
Nunez may not be as pure of a shooter as Barham, but his athleticism, ability to create and big play capability does not compare with Barham.
Now I may be getting a head of myself. Nunez has yet to play a game, and I would imagine he would be rusty playing in his first game. He may not be able to hang around the post, and may get pushed around. However, he will be an upgrade and a fresh spark to this team.
Nunez will add depth to a frontcourt that is in desperate need of bodies. I do not know how much Nunez will play tomorrow, and he could turn out to not be the player I thought he could be, but he has potential. He has potential to make eye-dropping plays and become a contributor for the Zags.
I can’t wait to see the long awaited wait of Angel Nunez and I hope he doesn’t disappoint.
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