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How Drew Timme's Return Helps Gonzaga

How Drew Timme's Return Helps Gonzaga
Drew Timme. Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images/AFP

Gonzaga was one win away from an undefeated season and a national title, but they fell just short against Baylor in the championship game. While they are losing plenty of talent from last year’s squad, they received good news regarding the upcoming season.

Drew Timme decided to return for his junior year with the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Timme was a key contributor last season, and he stepped up during the NCAA Tournament. He averaged 19 points and 7 rebounds after starting every game for the Zags in his sophomore year.

Timme isn’t the only returning player, and he alone won’t make or break Gonzaga’s season. However, he is a crucial returner for the well-coached Bulldogs. He brings an interior presence, leadership and experience to a team looking to finally win a national championship.

Gonzaga Bulldogs. Jamie Squire/Getty Images/AFP

At +600, Gonzaga is easily the favorite in the NCAA Basketball odds to win it all in the 2021-22 season . However, they had solid odds last year, and they failed to do so. How much does Drew Timme bring to the plate? Can he get Gonzaga over the hump as they look to bring home a title?

What Timme Brings to the Table

Drew Timme brings size in the paint. This trait used to be common, but he is now unique with this. With players looking to stretch the floor and win with perimeter shooting, Timme is a bruiser in the paint that helps on both sides of the floor.

Timme is also ridiculously efficient offensively. He rarely takes bad shots, and his turnover numbers are reasonable. He’s not perfect, but he is a reliable option that few teams have in today’s game.

Timme also brings vital experience to a team looking to win it all. It’s rare for young teams to make deep runs in the NCAA Tournament. They need a veteran presence, and that’s what Timme provides.

Gonzaga has an elite recruiting class, but that won’t be enough to win a title. Having someone like Drew Timme to set the standard will help early in the year, but it will be vital if Gonzaga wants to make a deep NCAA Tournament run.

When you look at teams in the past to win a championship, some veteran experience is always the common denominator. Now that Gonzaga has the top-level talent from their best recruiting class ever, they have every piece necessary for a typical championship run.

What Else Does Gonzaga Need?

At this point, Gonzaga appears to have it all. They retain a few key players from last year’s elite team, and they are bringing in a great coach. They have the perfect pairing of experience and young potential, and Mark Few is one of the best coaches in college basketball.

Still, Gonzaga has had great teams before. Regardless of the talent on the roster, they have yet to win a national title. So, what else could Gonzaga need to win it all?

Gonzaga Bulldogs. Jamie Squire/Getty Images/AFP

For this season, all you could ask for is that the younger players live up to the hype. If that happens and everyone stays healthy, the Bulldogs will have a better team than they did last year. That should be more than enough to win a title.

Still, Gonzaga has to overcome the mental hurdle of the national championship. They have been a top team plenty of times, but they have failed to claim the final prize. Does Drew Timme help with this? Only time will tell.

How Drew Timme Helps Gonzaga

At the end of the day, Timme gives Gonzaga another weapon to use along with a veteran presence in the locker room. That is vital, but it’s not what will determine Gonzaga’s success. They’ve had the talent before, and they’ll have it again. It all comes down to whether or not they can live up to the hype when the moments matter the most.

Gonzaga has a great history with great players. If Drew Timme can be the missing piece that brings the Bulldogs that elusive national championship, he will easily be the best player in the history of Gonzaga basketball.