canada africa partner reservation Arkansas graduate transfer Khalif Battle commits to Gonzaga

Arkansas graduate transfer Khalif Battle commits to Gonzaga

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Mark Few made another splash in the transfer portal when Arkansas graduate Khalif Battle, a 6-foot-1 guard, announced Sunday that he is committing to the Gonzaga Bulldogs for his sixth season of college basketball.

Battle, who has one year of eligibility remaining, chose the Bulldogs over Villanova and Kansas State after traveling to Spokane during an official visit to Gonzaga this weekend. According to Adam Zagoria, Battle also visited TCU and Arizona State since entering the transfer portal on April 4.

Battle started 13 of 32 games last season and finished second on the Razorbacks in scoring at 14.8 points per game. He shot 35.3% from 3-point range on 4.3 attempts per game.

Battle finished his fifth college season on a high note, averaging 29.6 points and 6.3 rebounds over his final seven games, including a 42-point game in a win over Missouri on February 24. In total, he had 12 games with 20 or more points, including a 21-point performance in an upset win over Duke. Battle shot 35.3% from 3-point range on 4.3 attempts per game.

Battle’s biggest strength was undoubtedly his ability to create false pressure as he attempted the second-most free throws in the SEC last season. By contrast, Battle’s 213 free throw attempts this past season were 79 more than Graham Ike, who led the Bulldogs in that category with 134 attempts at the charity stripe. Battle also applied more raw pressure than Gonzaga’s starting backcourt collectively did in their first season together (161 free throw attempts combined between Ryan Nembhard and Nolan Hickman).

It’s unclear what role Battle will play in the Bulldogs’ backcourt, although on paper it appears Few and the coaching staff have addressed the need for more depth and outside shooting by landing the New Jersey native after the transfer portal window was closed.

Gonzaga still has three open scholarships after Luka Krajnovic and Pavle Stosic entered the transfer portal. Former walk-on Colby Brooks also entered the portal, while Anton Watson exhausted his eligibility after five seasons with the Zags.

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