Malachi Smith commit to the Bulldog

Malachi Smith from Chattanooga, the top available transfer in the portal, has committed to Gonzaga, he announced on social media Thursday.

Smith told ESPN that he wanted to play for a Hall of Fame coach in Mark Few, be part of a winning culture, and be part of a family.

Almost all schools in need of a guard have contacted Smith since entering the transfer portal in late April, including Louisville, Texas Tech, DePaul and Stanford.

Last season, Smith averaged 19.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game and shot 40.7% from three-point range, making him one of the best mid-major players in the country. 

He also tested out the NBA draft waters before withdrawing at the NCAA deadline, and says he got valuable feedback from teams regarding how he can improve his professional prospects.

"They want to see that I can be a versatile defender against NBA talent while also displaying my offensive skills as a point guard." "They want to see that I can compete at this level."

With several key players returning, Gonzaga is considered the top team in the country, along with North Carolina. 

The team is led by Drew Timme, a potential National Player of the Year candidate, and two other players. Both Rasir Bolton and Julian Strawther scored double digits as fifth-year seniors in last year's NCAA tournament.

In addition to LSU transfer center Efton Reid, Anton Watson, a senior power forward, and Nolan Hickman, a sophomore point guard, will return.

Despite returning so many talented players, Smith says he cannot guarantee he will be the focus of an offense that has national championship aspirations.

"Many championship-contending teams have great players," he said. "Kansas has four or five guys who could have been the man on different teams. 

" Gonzaga had four or five NBA players on their Final Four team. Everything works out just as it should as long as we win." It's great to be part of such an amazing team."