Drew Timme Gonzaga
(Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Drew Timme Has Returned To Gonzaga

Gonzaga’s season ended a month and a half ago in agony. Baylor bullied the undefeated Bulldogs and at the end of regulation, national semifinal hero Jalen Suggs was crying in the arms of his teammates and All-American Drew Timme was in utter disbelief that the year-long title favorite Gonzaga Bulldogs had been routed by 16 points in the national championship game.

Now, the 6-foot-10 power forward, with his distinctive mustache and fiery persona, will return for his junior season in Spokane.

Timme’s confirmed return elevates Gonzaga to the national title favorites for the 2021-22 college basketball season. Alongside him in the frontcourt will be the nation’s #1 recruit: Chet Holmgren. Holmgren is a 7-foot-1 center who moves and shoots like a guard while protecting the paint as well as any big man – he averaged 4.7 blocks per game as a senior at Minnehaha Academy.

Gonzaga had reloaded with talent and depth regardless of Timme’s potential return. With him, they have three 5-star freshmen, a 16 ppg scorer in Iowa State transfer Rasir Bolton, and key role players Andrew Nembhard and Anton Watson back in a squad that is going to be hunting for the Zags’ first national title.

Not only did Timme find himself in early foul trouble in the game against Baylor, but his inability to keep up with the pace of the game was evident. He seemed uncomfortable, forcing things inside even though Baylor was trapping him every time he touched the ball. The struggle with last year’s team, however, was that Timme did not have a frontcourt teammate who could alleviate some of the pressure when he was doubled inside. Holmgren immediately solves that problem.

Mark Few’s squad will once again run up and down the court, press high, and take a lot of shots, but this year’s team has the depth in all the areas that last year’s team lacked. Timme and Holmgren will form the nation’s best frontcourt, and expect every possession to come through them. Five-star freshmen point guard Hunter Sallis will likely pair up with Nembhard in the backcourt, and expect Bolton to get the final starting position on the wing as another scoring threat.

Ultimately, this team is deep, explosive, and full of playmakers. They will contend for another national title and run through the West Coast Conference once again. Skeptics will undoubtedly still exist, but this team will be strong, wise, youthful, and most importantly, vengeful. They have talent on all fronts and although history does not favor the preseason number one – Tyler Hansbrough’s 2009 UNC squad was the last to win it after being ranked first to start the season – do not be surprised if Mark Few gets his deserved national title and Timme is on the other end of “One Shining Moment”.

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