June 15, 2024

Arkansas transfer Khalif Battle signs financial aid agreement with Gonzaga

May 17-Gonzaga fans have been imagining all the different lineup and rotation possibilities for next season since transfer Khalif Battle announced a commitment to the Bulldogs last week. Now the former Arkansas guard is officially in the fold for the 2024-25 college basketball season after signing a financial aid agreement with Gonzaga on Thursday, the school announced in a news release.

The 6-foot-6, 185-pound guard is coming to Gonzaga for his sixth and final year of eligibility after spending one season at Arkansas, three at Temple and one at Butler. Battle is expected to provide an offensive boost to Gonzaga’s veteran backcourt, which returns starting point guard Ryan Nembhard and shooting guard Nolan Hickman. During his lone season in the SEC, Battle averaged 14.8 points per game while logging 24.8 minutes per game. The guard saw a major uptick in production near the end of the season, scoring 29.6 points and averaging 6.3 rebounds during the Razorbacks’ final seven games.

Battle, who’s scored 1,343 points over 101 games at his three previous schools, will be one of three 1,000-point career scorers on Gonzaga’s roster next season, joining Graham Ike (1,354) and Nembhard (1,194). During one stretch near the end of the 2023-24 season, Battle amassed 113 points against three SEC opponents, scoring 42 against Missouri, 36 against Vanderbilt and 24 against Kentucky. Battle made a career-high 77 3-pointers during his junior year at Temple and knocked down 48 last season at Arkansas while connecting at a 35% clip. He also ranked No. 17 nationally with 186 free throws made last season and shot 87.3% from the line, a number that ranked fifth in the SEC.

A native of Hillsdale, New Jersey, Battle is one of three transfers who could join Gonzaga’s roster in 2024-25. The Bulldogs have signed Pepperdine wing Michael Ajayi, but the top scorer in the West Coast Conference from last season is also considering the NBA draft and hasn’t indicated which option he’ll choose. Tarleton State transfer Emmanuel Innocenti, an all-defensive and all-freshman selection in the Western Athletic Conference last year, committed to Gonzaga on Wednesday.

 

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