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Gonzaga Basketball
Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Gonzaga puts four players on Naismith Trophy preseason watch list

UPDATED: Thu., Nov. 19, 2020

Gonzaga sophomore forward Drew Timme slams during last week's Kraziness in the Kennel at the McCarthey Athletic Center.  (By Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga sophomore forward Drew Timme slams during last week's Kraziness in the Kennel at the McCarthey Athletic Center. (By Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Gonzaga led all schools with four players on the Naismith Trophy preseason watch list.

Senior Corey Kispert, junior Joel Ayayi, sophomore Drew Timme and freshman Jalen Suggs made the 50-player list for the award presented annually to the national player of the year. Duke was next with three players. Seven programs had two representatives.

Kispert, named to the preseason AP All-America team, paced Gonzaga in minutes (32.9 per game) and 3-pointers made (78) while averaging 13.9 points last season. He was a finalist for the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award.

Ayayi averaged 10.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.27 steals last season. He was named most valuable player of the West Coast Conference Tournament.

Timme, a preseason All-WCC selection, contributed 9.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and hit 62.1% of his field-goal attempts. He blocked 31 shots, third in the WCC.

Suggs, the highest-ranked recruit in program history, averaged 23.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 3.8 steals at Minnehaha Academy. The West St. Paul, Minnesota, native is one of 10 freshmen on the watch list.

The Zags are scheduled to face six players on Naismith list: Jared Butler and MaCio Teague, Baylor; Luka Garza, Iowa; Yves Pons, Tennessee; Marcus Garrett, Kansas; and Colbey Ross, Pepperdine.

The ACC and Big Ten led all conferences with eight representatives each. The Pac-12 has seven.

The watch list will be trimmed to 30 in February.

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