The Gonzaga Bulldogs are poised for another deep tournament run next season as three starters return, and two top recruits make their way to Spokane.
The Zags are coming off a near perfect 2020-2021 season, finishing 31-1, while falling short in the national championship game to Baylor. Despite a heartbreaking finish this past march, head coach Mark Few has three of his starters returning, in addition to landing two five-star recruits. As he enters his 23rd year with the team, next season’s potential roster could be Few’s most talented.
Andrew Nembhard – Guard (SR)
As Jalen Suggs and Joel Ayayi depart, Andrew Nembhard will be headlining the Zags backcourt. He is playing in his second season under Mark Few after transferring from Florida nearly a year ago. The 6’5, soon to be senior played a major role in the team’s successful march madness run. During his first stint with the Bulldogs, Nembhard averaged 9.2 points per game and 4.4 assists per game while playing 29.9 minutes per contest. While these numbers aren’t staggering, his contribution on the floor was substantial.
Drew Timme – Forward (JR)
Arguably the most important piece from the Bulldogs last season, Drew Timme is back again for his junior year. At 6’10, He is a without a doubt one of college basketball’s most dominant forces at the rim. He can stretch the floor while also being a nightmare for defenders in the post. This was seen both on the floor and the stat sheet, as Timme led the team with 19.0 points per game, and 7.0 rebounds per game. With his return, the Zags are bound for another big season.
Anton Watson – Forward (JR)
Another junior returning for the Zags is Anton Watson. At 6’8, he was a key piece in the lineup who helped balance the work load of the seven man rotation, while being another player who’s impact went beyond the stat sheet. Despite only averaging 6.9 points per game and 3.3 rebounds per game, he added depth and talent through his athleticism and decision making. When you think of the stardom that spreads across this team, Watson is not the first name that comes to most people’s minds. However, his presence and contributions on the court do not go unnoticed.
Chet Holmgren – Forward/Center (FR)
The biggest news for Zags fans this off-season has been the addition of the nation’s number one high school prospect, Chet Holmgren. At 7’1, he gives the Bulldogs more size at the basket. But what makes him the top player in the 2021 class is his ability to play in the post and be a spot up shooter off the pick and roll. He also becomes the highest rated recruit in program history. With the winning culture that Mark Few has established in Spokane, and Holmgren having a close relationship with Jalen Suggs, this commitment seems to be a match made in heaven. His acquisition puts Gonzaga on track to reach another final four.
Hunter Sallis – Guard (FR)
Another major commitment for Mark Few’s program is Hunter Sallis. He is ranked as the number fourteen overall prospect in the class of 2021. At 6’5, he gives the Zags size and help at the point guard position. Sallis is the second highest rated player to come through Gonzaga. His talent as a guard and elite shooting ability furthers the team’s chances of another deep run postseason run. A backcourt of Sallis and Nembhard is bound to be a matchup problem for every opponent they face next year.
While the season is still months away, this potential roster will surely be the favorite to win it all. Will this Zags team be the one to deliver the school its first national championship in program history?
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