The Zags’ 2019 recruiting class received a big addition Wednesday morning before many Gonzaga basketball followers were reaching for their first cup of coffee.
Texas big man Drew Timme announced his commitment Wednesday just after 6 a.m. Pacific time in front of friends and family at J.J. Pearce High School in Richardson, Texas.
“I thank all the schools for recruiting me, but I’m going to be a Zag,” said Timme, who placed a Gonzaga cap on his head and revealed a GU shirt after unzipping his jacket.
Timme walked over and embraced Pearce coach Marc Johnson, who emceed the proceedings.
“This is breaking news right here,” Johnson cracked a few minutes earlier, “Drew is reclassifying to 2023. He’s going to stay at Pearce four more years.”
Johnson called Timme “a special player, one that comes along probably once in a lifetime to most programs.”
“He owns all the records here,” said Johnson, pointing out that Timme is closing in on the assists record, a rarity for a 6-foot-10 post.
The 215-pound Timme is ranked No. 29 by Rivals.com, No. 41 by 247sports.com and No. 59 on ESPN.com’s top 100.
Timme joins Gonzaga Prep’s Anton Watson, Kittitas High’s Brock Ravet and Lithuanian Martynas Arlauskas in the Zags’ 2019 class. Gonzaga moved to No. 5 in 247sports.com’s team rankings with Timme, Watson and Arlauskas inside the top 50 individually and Ravet at No. 167.
The foursome signed National Letters of Intent Wednesday, the first day of the signing period.
Timme is a versatile big who can score, pass, rebound and handle the ball. He didn’t attempt many 3-pointers in AAU games, but the Zags believe he can develop that aspect of his game.
“The style of play,” Timme told stockrisers.com. “It made the most sense for me. They’ve developed some great bigs to the NBA.”
The Zags since 2012 have had a run of frontcourt players who have played in the NBA, including Robert Sacre, Elias Harris, Kelly Olynyk, Kyle Wiltjer, Domantas Sabonis, Zach Collins and Johnathan Williams.
Timme averaged 27.7 points, 17.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists as a junior at Pearce. He had a strong summer on the AAU circuit with Drive Nation, averaging 14.9 points and 8.8 rebounds in 20 games.
Timme picked Gonzaga over Texas A&M, Alabama, Arizona and Illinois. His 10 finalists included Michigan State, Louisville, Oklahoma, Purdue and Texas Tech.
Gonzaga’s frontcourt could have a new look next season. Rui Hachimura has been projected as a lottery pick, Killian Tillie is on numerous mock drafts and Brandon Clarke also could draw NBA attention. Freshman forward Filip Petrusev is averaging 18 minutes per game.
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