April 11, 2017

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) Gonzaga freshman center Zach Collins on Tuesday declared for the NBA draft, becoming the first one-and-done player in program history.

The 7-0 center said he was exploring his options without hiring an agent at this time, but intends to hire an agent at a later date.

The first McDonald's All-American recruited by Gonzaga, Collins averaged 10 points and 5.9 rebounds per game and helped the Zags advance to the national championship game, where they lost to North Carolina.

Coming off the bench for an average of 17 minutes per game, Collins made 65.2 percent of his shots, eighth best in the nation. His 69 blocked shots rank second in Gonzaga history.

Collins, from Las Vegas, was selected as second team All-West Coast Conference.

''It was definitely one of the most difficult decisions I've ever had to make,'' Collins said in a statement. ''I just want to thank everyone at Gonzaga, especially the coaching staff and my teammates.''

''I'll always be proud to be a Zag,'' he said.

In Gonzaga's victory over South Carolina to advance to the national title game, Collins scored 14 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked six shots.

This season, Collins backed up center Przemek Karnowski and helped Gonzaga put together the best season in program history, finishing with a 37-2 record.

Gonzaga is still waiting to hear if guard Nigel Williams-Goss, a second-team All-America, will return for his senior year.

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