What better way to introduce a new signee than to be in the front row of the McCarthey Athletic Center, soaking up the Kennel Club’s rendition of “Zombie Nation” and witnessing a clutch winning shot from one of the top players in the country?
That’s exactly what 2019 recruit Drew Timme observed in his first Bulldogs basketball game.
Moments after Rui Hachimura’s 15-foot jumper sealed Gonzaga’s 81-79 win over Washington on Wednesday, Timme was still trying to comprehend the time he spent in the sold-out McCarthey Athletic Center.
“Man, the atmosphere is crazy here,” Timme said. “They kept me on the edge of my seat keeping the game so close, but it was awesome that (Hachimura) was able to hit that last-second shot. I am excited about the atmosphere. This is the kind of stuff I love to play in. There is no place like this place. I have been to a ton of games around the country and this place is special. I love it.
Timme, the 60th-ranked prospect on ESPN and the 43rd on 247Sports, chose the Zags over programs such as Arizona, Ohio State, Michigan State and Louisville.
Assistant coach Brian Michaelson did the homework on Timme before GU officially submitted its offer, but he wasn’t the first to recommend the J.J. Pearce (Texas) High School product to Mark Few and the rest of the staff.
The Zags’ current director of basketball operations, Stephen Gentry, first introduced Timme to the Bulldogs’ staff last year. Gentry, a former GU walk-on, worked on the Oklahoma State staff as the director of player development for the 2016-2017 season before returning to Spokane last year. Gentry and the Cowboys were the first to offer Timme a scholarship before the Zags won over Timme.
“I owe a big thanks to coach Gentry for that,” Timme said.
This was Timme’s third visit to campus and the second official one after being on hand to observe Kraziness in the Kennel in October. He couldn’t believe the euphoria around an intrasquad game a month before the preseason kicked off.
It was something he had never seen and something he is excited to share with fellow recruit Anton Watson, who introduced himself to Timme pregame.
“We were just talking about how we can’t wait for that to be us next year out here playing together,” Timme said.
Next year alongside Watson, Timme plans to display his fiery passion to Zags fans, which makes him such a fascinating recruit.
“I think that is why I fit in, because my energy, my spark,” he said. “I’ll do the dirty work and even talk trash a little bit, bring some grit to the team and get the fans involved. I like getting the crowd hyped when good things happen.”
Michaelson said having that energy and fight is one of the biggest adjustments for players to make when they start their college careers.
“He’s got a competitive streak, a swagger to him, and he’ll bring that here. And as he matures, I am sure that it’ll become even greater,” Michaelson said.
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