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The End of An Era at Gonzaga

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With Wiltjer graduating and the possibility of Sabonis declaring for the draft, the face of Gonzaga basketball will change.

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

After Friday's loss to Syracuse, the Gonzaga Bulldogs could be watching almost 1,400 points and over 1,100 rebounds walk out the door.

Graduating is all-conference forward Kyle Wiltjer and possibly moving on to the NBA is all-conference forward Domantas Sabonis. Wiltjer, who played two years with the Zags totaled 1,374 career points and connected 158 times from beyond the three point line. His unique ability to go inside and bomb from outside made him impossible to defend. His career three-point percentage was well over 44% and his free throw accuracy was a shade under 83%.

He is a unique talent and headed for bigger and better things in the NBA, but noted the loss still stings.

"That's the toughest thing about sports," he said. "You never want to be on this side of the game. We put our heart and soul in it, so it's really tough. My family will keep me positive through this. Life goes on. I've got to finish up school here, so we've got a lot to look forward to, but unfortunately, this part of my life is over."

Sabonis could be moving on as well.

The 6-11 sophomore has had a freakish two years in the Great Northwest. His 19 points Friday night, pushed him over the 1,000 point mark and his 17 rebounds, leave hims just short of 700 in his two years under head coach Mark Few. Many say, he has the best footwork of any big man in college basketball. He could be moving on.

If he stays it will be without Wiltjer, whom he called a 'big brother' in the postgame press conference.

The two big men have been through a lot this season. Coach Few says "I literally can't believe what these guys were able to do this year when Przemek (Karnowski) went down, literally we rode these guys hard as anybody has ever been. I mean we didn't even have enough guys to practice. They were getting all the reps in practice, on defense, on offense, on special situations. These guys delivered through it all. The most amazing year I've seen two guys deliver. It's crazy."

Sabonis and Wiltjer. They could both be gone, our one could return, but they will be forever linked to one another.