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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Gonzaga trio among players named to preseason Naismith Trophy watch list

UPDATED: Mon., Nov. 8, 2021

Gonzaga’s Drew Timme and Andrew Nembhard defend Lewis-Clark State’s Nathan Fromm during an exhibition game last Friday in Spokane.  (Associated Press)
Gonzaga’s Drew Timme and Andrew Nembhard defend Lewis-Clark State’s Nathan Fromm during an exhibition game last Friday in Spokane. (Associated Press)

Three Gonzaga players are considered to be early candidates for college basketball’s most prestigious individual honor, the Naismith Trophy.

Drew Timme returns to the Naismith Trophy watch list one year after being named a semifinalist for the award and Gonzaga’s junior forward is joined by two teammates, freshman center Chet Holmgren and senior point guard Andrew Nembhard.

A total of 50 players were named to the 2021 watch list and Gonzaga was one of only three schools to land three players on the list, along with Kentucky, Kansas and Baylor. Just one other player from the West Coast Conference, BYU’s Alex Barcello, was named to the list.

Timme is coming off a breakout sophomore season that saw the Texas native win the Karl Malone Award given to the nation’s top forward. He averaged a team-high 19.0 points per game along with 7.0 rebounds per game and 2.3 assists while shooting 65.5% from the field. In Gonzaga’s second exhibition game against Lewis-Clark State, Timme scored 25 points in just 18 minutes.

Holmgren became the top recruit in program history when he signed with the Bulldogs out of Minnehaha Academy in Minnesota, where he won four consecutive state championships – three of those coming alongside former GU guard Jalen Suggs. The 7-foot freshman has already put his tools on display during the exhibition games, scoring 29 points on 9 of 12 shooting to go with 15 rebounds and five blocked shots.

Nembhard returns for his second season with the Bulldogs after transferring from Florida and helping guide GU to the program’s second national championship appearance. Nembhard was one of the national leaders in assist-to-turnover ratio last season and dished out at least eight assists in five different contests throughout the season with a season-high 10 against San Diego.

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