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Chattanooga guard Malachi Smith announces transfer to Gonzaga

The reigning SoCon Player of the Year will head to the Pacific Northwest to join the powerhouse Zags.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament First Round - Chattanooga vs Illinois Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Chattanooga guard Malachi Smith announced his transfer to Gonzaga on Thursday. The decision comes just one day after the reigning SoCon Player of the Year officially withdrew his name from the 2022 NBA Draft.

The Belleville, IL, native is coming off an excellent redshirt junior campaign last winter where he averaged 19.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, and three assists. His career year earned him SoCon Player of the Year accolades, and he served as the primary catalyst behind the Mocs conference tournament victory, and near upset of Illinois in the first round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament.

The acquisition of Smith is good news for Gonzaga, who is just 24 hours removed from news that All-American Drew Timme will be returning for another year in Spokane. The Bulldogs are an early candidate to be ranked No. 1 in all of the preseason polls, and currently have +1000 odds to win the national championship next year at DraftKings Sportsbook.