Gonzaga is one of three programs with a trio of players on the preseason watch list for the Wooden Award.
The Zags are represented on the 50-player list by junior forward Drew Timme, considered one of frontrunners for national player of the year honors, freshman forward Chet Holmgren and senior guard Andrew Nembhard.
Timme, Illinois center Kofi Cockburn and Michigan center Hunter Dickinson made the Wooden Award All-American team last season. Former Zag Corey Kispert was one of five finalists for the Wooden Award that went to Iowa center Luka Garza.
Gonzaga, ranked No. 1 in the AP preseason poll, No. 2 UCLA (Tyger Campbell, Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Johnny Juzang) and No. 3 Kansas (Ochai Agbaji, Remy Martin and David McCormack) are the only programs with three candidates.
Gonzaga, which faces UCLA on Nov. 23 in Las Vegas, also tangles with Wooden Award watch list selections Marcus Carr (Texas, on Saturday), Paolo Banchero and Mark Williams (Duke, Nov. 26), Jahvon Quinerly and Jaden Shackelford (Alabama, Dec. 4) and Terrence Shannon Jr. (Texas Tech, Dec. 18).
Timme paced the Zags in scoring (19.0) and rebounding (7.0) last season. The 6-foot-10 forward from Dallas won the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award and was named AP second-team All-America.
The 7-foot Holmgren, the highest-ranked recruit in program history, won multiple national prep player of the year awards after averaging 21 points, 12.3 rebounds, 4.7 blocks and 4.5 assists at Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis.
Nembhard was a key addition after playing his first two seasons at Florida. The 6-5 guard averaged 9.2 points and 4.4 assists last season. His 3.59 assist-to-turnover ratio led the WCC and ranked sixth nationally.
Earlier this week, Timme, Holmgren and Nembhard were among 50 players named to the watch list for the Naismith Trophy, awarded annually to the nation’s top player.
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