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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

‘This guy makes it easy on us’: Gonzaga’s Drew Timme, Chet Holmgren take turns praising Andrew Nembhard during postgame exchange

March 17, 2022 Updated Fri., March 18, 2022 at 9:09 a.m.

Gonzaga guard Andrew Nembhard finished with 11 assists Thursday.  (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga guard Andrew Nembhard finished with 11 assists Thursday. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

PORTLAND – Drew Timme and Chet Holmgren supplied many of the highlights during Gonzaga’s 93-72 victory over Georgia State.

That didn’t stop when the All-American frontcourt duo addressed the media for a postgame news conference.

But unlike most of the other highlights involving Timme and Holmgren on Thursday, Andew Nembhard couldn’t take credit for the assist on this one.

Sandwiched by both of Gonzaga’s big men – the 7-foot Holmgren sitting to his right and the 6-10 Timme on his left – Nembhard was asked by a reporter what it’s like to watch the Bulldogs’ frontcourt players produce night in and night out.

Nembhard started to deliver praise to both teammates before Timme cut in. Then Holmgren. Then Timme again. Playing off each other much the way they have throughout Gonzaga’s 27-win season, both big men took turns applauding Nembhard on a night when the point guard’s contributions flew under the radar.

“But let’s not take away from (Nembhard),” Timme interjected.

“Let’s not forget about this guy,” Holmgren said. “He’s the one who makes it easy on us.”

“He’s the one that runs the ship, gets us going, gets everyone in the right position,” Timme said. “Ya’ll don’t give him enough credit for what he does. Without him, we wouldn’t even be here. I mean, 11 assists?”

“Eleven assists,” Holmgren confirmed after reviewing the box score.

“How many dudes are doing that?” Timme said. “Come on, give him some more credit. Golly.”

“Yes sir,” Holmgren said.

Nembhard’s production – 11 assists, nine points, six rebounds and only three turnovers – was understandably overshadowed by double-double performances from both of GU’s big men. Timme had 32 points and 13 rebounds while Holmgren turned in 19 points and 17 rebounds while also blocking seven shots and dishing five assists.

But Nembhard, as he’s done all season, steadied Gonzaga’s offense when the Bulldogs needed it and frequently whipped passes into Holmgren, Timme and Anton Watson, helping the Bulldogs pile up 58 points in the second half and 62 total points in the paint.

It marked the fourth time this season Nembhard had double-digit assists and improved his season average to 5.9 per game. The senior is committing just 1.8 turnovers per game.

After Timme and Holmgren took turns showering Nembhard with praise, Gonzaga coach Mark Few couldn’t pass up the chance to chip in.

When asked for his initial thoughts on the Bulldogs’ upcoming Round of 32 test against Memphis, Few opened by saying, “First, I totally, totally echo what Drew and Chet are saying.

“Andrew’s had just a phenomenal year for us. Literally, we wouldn’t even have made the NCAA Tournament or even been close without – I mean, it’s unbelievable how comforting and reassuring it is going through a preparation week and even putting your head on the pillow the night before a big game like this knowing you have the best point guard in the country.

“So that is how these guys end up scoring it so well. Obviously, they have incredible skill and talent, and they’re able to make moves and deliver, but they’re right, Andrew sets the table.”

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