History could be made on Monday night when the Gonzaga Bulldogs look to close out an undefeated season with a national championship against the Baylor Bears. But it’s possible you probably didn’t watch a whole lot of Gonzaga basketball during the regular season, though you’ve likely become a whole lot more familiar with their stars during their NCAA Tournament run. Before the game tips off, here’s a look at some of the players to watch for Mark Few’s bunch.
Gonzaga has a three-headed monster at the top with forwards Drew Timme and Corey Kispert to go along with freshman guard Jalen Suggs. Watching the three of these players work in unison together is about as good as it gets in college basketball. Timme and Kispert are each averaging about 19 points per game, and they shoot a high percentage from the floor. Meanwhile, Suggs runs the show and while he does quite a bit of damage scoring, he is also the team’s main facilitator with 4.6 assists per game.
Role Player to watch
If you’re looking for a do-it-all player who doesn’t quite get the recognition as the big three listed above, look no further than junior guard Joel Ayayi. He stands at 6-foot-5 and even though he is only listed at 180 pounds, he gets after it on the glass. Timme leads the team in rebounding with 7.1 boards per game, but Ayayi is right behind him with seven per contest. He does his job as a scorer as well with 12.2 points per game and knocks down nearly 40% of his three-point attempts, so he is another key piece to this team’s success.
Who needs to shine
He has done it all season long, but Drew Timme is the main player who needs to do well on Monday night to ensure the Bulldogs pull off their undefeated season. He shoots at an incredibly high percentage from the floor and if he is slashing to the basket and converting on layups, that likely means Gonzaga’s offense is running smoothly. Timme isn’t going to shoot many threes - if any - but he is shooting 65.4% on field goals this season. He knocks down 69.2% of his free throws, so success at the line could be crucial for Gonzaga in what should be a thrilling national championship game.