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NCAA tournament star Drew Timme will return to Gonzaga next season

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One of the stars of this year’s men’s NCAA basketball tournament will be back in 2021.

On Wednesday, Gonzaga announced that big man Drew Timme will return to the Bulldogs for the 2021-22 season. Timme was a second-team All-American last season and helped Gonzaga reach the national title game, a game it lost to Baylor. It was the team’s first and only loss of the season.

The 6-foot-10, 235-pound Timme was a sophomore during the 2020-21 season. He averaged 19 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. During the NCAA tournament, he posted four games with at least 20 points, including a 30-point, 13-rebound effort in the Round of 32 against Oklahoma. In the Final Four against UCLA, Timme scored 25 points on 11-of-15 shooting. He earned all-tournament team honors for his efforts.

"After reviewing options with my family, I've decided to return to Gonzaga," Timme said in a statement. "I am excited to come back to Spokane and continue my collegiate career. I appreciate everything I've learned so far from the Gonzaga coaching staff, and look forward to growing my game more. I love playing at GU, being a part of the program, and can't wait to play in front of the best fans in the country again."

Gonzaga forward Drew Timme waves to fans after beating Creighton 83-65 in a Sweet 16 game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Sunday, March 28, 2021. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
Gonzaga forward Drew Timme waves to fans after beating Creighton 83-65 in a Sweet 16 game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Sunday, March 28, 2021. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

Gonzaga should be national title contender again

Though three starters from last year’s team — Jalen Suggs, Corey Kispert and Joel Ayayi — are moving on to the NBA, Gonzaga will be loaded with talent once again next season. Timme and Andrew Nembhard, the other two starters from the 2020-21 team, will be back. On top of that, Gonzaga has added five players from the top 100 of Rivals’ 2021 recruiting rankings. That group includes Chet Holmgren, the No. 1 overall player in the class and former Kentucky commit Nolan Hickman, the No. 20 player in the class.

Both Holmgren and Hickman are five-star recruits while Hunter Sallis (No. 33), Kaden Perry (No. 52) and Fanbo Zeng (No. 99) are rated four-stars. The Bulldogs also signed Iowa State transfer Rasir Bolton, who averaged 15.5 points per game last season.

With that collection of talent assembled, Gonzaga should be right back in the national championship conversation again next season. 

In fact, Gonzaga is currently the betting favorite to win it all next season over at BetMGM. The Bulldogs are currently listed at +550, ahead of Michigan (+800), Baylor (+1200), Duke (+1200), Kansas (+1300), UCLA (+1400), Villanova (+1400) and Alabama (+1400). 

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