"The boys are back in town."
Late Wednesday night, the reigning All-American and WCC Player of the Year withdrew his name from the NBA Draft to return for his senior season at Gonzaga. Drew Timme kept things short in sweet in his tweet announcing his return: "I'm back".
While Timme's return instantly vaults the Zags back into national title contention next season, it was only the third big return over the past few days. Earlier in the day, wing Julian Strawther took to Instagram to announce he's coming back for his third season in Spokane.
I’m back— drew timme (@drewtimme2) June 2, 2022
But the man who started the parade back to the Kennel was guard Rasir Bolton, who made it known on Tuesday that he would use his extra year of eligibility (everyone got an extra year because of COVID) to suit up for the Bulldogs one more time.
spokane let’s run it back ! 🏃🏽 pic.twitter.com/E4BNCKqwC2— The Source (@JulianStrawther) June 1, 2022
Essentially, the 2022-23 Gonzaga Bulldogs will return everyone from last campaign except big man Chet Holmgren (possibly the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft) and point guard Andrew Nembhard (who is also likely to get drafted). Timme, Strawther and Bolton will be joined once again by intriguing young guards Hunter Sallis and Nolan Hickman, overqualified glue-guy Anton Watson, and young bigs Ben Gregg and Kaden Perry.
Gonzaga will also have a couple of fresh faces in four-star freshman forward Braden Huff (Illinois' Mr. Basketball) and LSU transfer center Efton Reid (a former five-star prospect). There are also rumblings that the Zags could land Chattanooga guard Malachi Smith (who won Southern Conference Player of the Year) and Spanish prospect Baba Miller.
Regardless of any further additions, Gonzaga is once again a Final Four frontrunner. Time to start counting down the days until Kraziness in the Kennel...