We’ve reached the Sweet 16 of the 2022 NCAA Tournament and this is typically the part where raw talent starts to win out for the teams left standing.
The teams left in the field all have talented players who player a critical role but every team has that one go-to guy that they wouldn’t be here without. Here, we’ll take a look at the best player for the No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs.
Gonzaga’s best player: C Chet Holmgren, F Drew Timme
A consensus five-star prospect out of Minneapolis, Holmgren has been an immediate difference-maker for Gonzaga as a true freshman and could be the catalyst for the program winning its first National Championship this season. At 7’0”, 195 pounds, his length and wingspan has created a variety of matchup problems for opponents all season long.
Holmgren has averaged 14.2 points on 60.9% shooting, 9.8 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks per game in helping Gonzaga post a 28-3 record up until this point. His play earned him several accolades, including West Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year, WCC Newcomer of the Year, and consensus second-team All-American. His teammate, Drew Timme, won WCC Player of the Year and could also be argued for being the best player on the Zags. However, versatile seven-footers don’t grow on trees and that’s where Holmgren gets the edge.
Timme is a carryover from last year’s runner-up team. The 6’10” forward led the Bulldogs in scoring with 18.2 points per game this season. Timme has been a beast so far in the 2022 tourney, scoring 32 points in the first round and 25 against Memphis in the second round. Timme may not make it at the next level, though he could carve out a niche in the NBA. He’s a decent passer from the post and is a solid rebounder.
From an NBA Draft standpoint, he’ll be one of the first prospects to have his name called this June. Some analysts currently have him going No. 1 overall. Timme may end up helping himself enough to go in the late first round in 2022. Timme is more likely a second-rounder or undrafted free agent who should make a Summer League roster.