Timme's college basketball resume? — much like his facial hair — is long and impressive. The 6-foot-10 power forward made the West Coast Conference All-Freshman team in his first year at Gonzaga. He is a two-time consensus second-team All-American. And just last week, Timme earned West Coast Conference Player of the Year honors, sharing the award with Brandin Podziemski of Santa Clara. Timme is just the second player in Gonzaga history to win the award two seasons in a row.
And now, following Gonzaga's 77-51 victory over St. Mary's in the WCC championship game Tuesday night, Timme is the Bulldogs' all-time leading scorer with 2,210 career points.
Drew Timme Sits Atop Gonzaga's All-Time Scorers List
While Gonzaga has won at an incredible clip throughout Timme's career, there is one glaring achievement missing from the big man's resume?. It's the same thing missing from coach Mark Few's tenure, and the one thing dogging all Bulldog fans. We're talking, of course, about a national championship.
Gonzaga was the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament in Timme's sophomore and junior seasons. (The 2019-20 season, Timme's freshman year, was cut short by COVID-19 right before the NCAA Tournament.)
In 2021, the Bulldogs were in contention to go down as one of the best college basketball teams of all time. Led by Jalen Suggs, Corey Kispert and Timme, Gonzaga finished the regular season and WCC Tournament undefeated, and they rolled through their first four matchups in the NCAA Tournament.
Timme averaged 19 points and seven rebounds per game on the season, stepping it up big time in March. Timme was 30 and 13 in their second-round matchup against Oklahoma. In their 85-66 win over USC in the Elite Eight, Timme led all scorers with 23, and he poured in another 25 in the Zags' thrilling 93-90 overtime victory against UCLA in the Final Four.
Unfortunately for Gonzaga fans, Timme and the rest of the Bulldogs had one of their weakest offensive showings of the season in the national championship game, falling to Baylor 86-70. It was a bitter pill to swallow for Zags fans and players, as they fell just one game shy of matching the 1975-76 Indiana Hoosiers' undefeated season.
Last season, Gonzaga once again entered the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 overall seed. But in their Sweet Sixteen matchup against Arkansas, freshman phenom Chet Holmgren got into foul trouble early and Gonzaga's high-powered offense stalled out. The Zags lost to the No. 4-seeded Razorbacks and once again saw a championship-caliber season stall out.
"Me Personally, I Took for Granted Winning."
In his postgame conference after winning the WCC Tournament, Timme was candid about the struggles this Gonzaga team has faced.
Drew Timme on this season and the Zags getting to where they're at now:
"I took for granted winning. I've won so much in my career that it's a shock to me not to win... How the season's gone has just made us appreciate the little things more, the journey more." pic.twitter.com/fFlOQK7gJK
— Brenna Greene (@BrennaGreene_) March 8, 2023
"It made me appreciate what it takes to win night in and night out. I think sometimes we kind of assumed we were just gonna win because we're Gonzaga."
Gonzaga entered this season as the No. 2-ranked team in the AP Top 25 poll, but it has faced an unusual amount of adversity by its own recent standards. Early-season blowout losses to Texas and Purdue made it clear this would not be the same juggernaut of recent vintage. A January home loss to Loyola Marymount truly alarmed the Zags die-hards.
This Gonzaga team lacks a one-and-done freshman stud like Suggs or Holmgren. It lacks the experienced backcourt leadership and playmaking of Andrew Nembhard.
Still, Few's team has a ton of experience in big games. Julian Strawther, Anton Watson and Rasir Bolton have all played deep in March in previous seasons. They'll be prepared for the bright spotlight of tournament play.
For the first time in Timme's career, Gonzaga will not be announced as a No. 1 seed on Selection Sunday. Perhaps the slightly smaller weight of expectations will help the Zags play a little looser as the tournament progresses.
To cement Timme's legacy and place him on the short list of the greatest players in college basketball history, this Bulldogs team needs to do what no other Gonzaga team has done. In a season where there really is no consensus powerhouse contender, maybe the Zags can finally complete a run and bring a championship home to Spokane.
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