Gonzaga recruit not a star yet

Yesterday, Canadian point guard and class of 2011 recruit Kevin Pangos verbally committed to the Gonzaga Bulldogs.

Wait: Who is Kevin Pangos?

If you looked only at recruiting rankings, this would be a difficult question to answer. Pangos is an unscouted, unranked commodity. Part of that has to do with his native land; it's harder for recruiting analysts to get a read on foreign players, and Canada is no different. Part of that might just a typical under-the-radar-type situation. Some players just don't get a lot of recruiting hype, no matter where they're from.

But if you look elsewhere -- namely, at the results of the FIBA U-17 World Championships in July -- you might start thinking Gonzaga found a steal. Pangos averaged 15 points per game in that tournament. He was named the tournament's top point guard and was a member of the all-tournament team, which also included high-profile 2011 recruits like James McAdoo and Bradley Beal. He was the youngest Canadian ever to participate in a senior men's international game. Some have (inevitably, it seems) compared him to fellow Canadian point guard Steve Nash.

So, wait: Did the next Steve Nash just commit to Gonzaga? Why aren't we more excited?

It might have something to do with the difficulty in recruiting foreign players; even top-flight schools have to limit their recruiting focus somehow, and if the top schools weren't looking at Pangos, it's easy to see why he could slip through the recruiting tracks. And it's not as though Pangos ended up at a nowhere school. He was recruited by plenty of high-major programs (Michigan, UNLV, Cincinnati, Portland, Boston College, Temple, Virginia, and Notre Dame among them) and he chose one of, if not the, best. (Not to mention one with several fellow Canadians and a good mix of European players. Mark Few is awfully good at recruiting outside the states.)

Despite all that, it feels a little like Pangos is flying under the radar. We'll see if that's still the case in two years' time. If those Nash comparisons are remotely true, I guess we can't say we weren't warned.

(Update: Almost immediately after I published this post, Pangos was upgraded to a 93 overall on our recruiting boards. He's now a four-star prospect ranked No. 29 at his position. That didn't take long.)