Can Hunter Sallis Replace Jalen Suggs As Gonzaga Bulldogs’ Star Guard?

Published 04/14/2021, 7:30 PM EDT
Mar 8, 2021; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Jalen Suggs (1) is defended by St. Mary’s Gaels forward Matthias Tass (11) in the second half of a West Coast Conference tournament semifinal at Orleans Arena. Gonzaga defeated St. Mary’s 78-52. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


The Gonzaga Bulldogs just had a dream run to the finals of March Madness. However, the dream soon became a nightmare when they were dominated by the Baylor Bears. Gonzaga was undefeated and riding the momentum of one of the best buckets in March Madness history scored by Jalen Suggs to help them beat the UCLA Bruins.

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But Suggs will now be on his way to the NBA, alongside many other key starters. It is time to rebuild for next season in Gonzaga, and it seems they have done that by bringing in the #6 ranked prospect in the nation in Hunter Sallis.

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“Absolutely he can come in and be impactful. But he’s going to be a different kinda player. He’s more of a combo guard and won’t be on the ball as much as Suggs was. But he’s a perfect guy to pair someone with, Nembhard will be back next year. But he can get out in lanes, do things in transition. Kind of a shifty guy. If you’re going to make a comparison to a pro player, maybe a Shai-Gilgeous Alexander type player.”

Gonzaga Bulldogs: Hunter Sallis looking to fit into a culture of winning?

The Gonzaga Bulldogs have found a good one in Sallis. While he doesn’t have the same playmaking ability as Suggs, Sallis can impact the game in a number of ways. He is a true modern combo guard, who can run either the point guard or shooting guard position.

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It looks like Sallis would benefit from being a two-guard in the long run due to the skill-set that he has. He is a versatile defender with a 6’10” wingspan and a great shooting touch. He can finish fast-break opportunities with ease and can get to the rim at his own accord. However, his playmaking and shot selection may be the big concerns for him.

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Playing under a coaching staff of Mark Few and Tommy Lloyd means that Sallis will definitely have room to mature. Whether he is a one-and-done like Suggs is unknown, but the Bulldogs are lucky to have him for the next season.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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