Gonzaga basketball roster: Beginning lineup prediction, bench rotation, depth outlook for 2022-23 season

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After two straight seasons with one-and-done freshmen stars on the roster in Jalen Suggs and Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga is returning to one thing just a little extra acquainted for the 2022-23 season. Whereas there’s nonetheless loads of expertise on the roster, together with star senior Drew Timme, this model of the Bulldogs will not be outlined externally by the potential NBA Draft standing of anybody participant.

As an alternative, as coach Mark Few enters his twenty fourth season, he’ll deploy a veteran core flanked by a gaggle of sophomores whose collective growth might decide the ceiling for a program nonetheless in pursuit of its first nationwide title. Gonzaga has at the very least reached the Candy 16 in every of the previous seven NCAA Tournaments, and expectations are excessive once more because the Bulldogs sit atop the CBS Sports activities Prime 25 And 1 preseason rankings.

However Few’s membership does have to switch the No. 2 general choose from June’s NBA Draft in Holmgren and No. 31 general choose Andrew Nembhard, who led the crew in minutes and offered a gradual hand at guard. Holmgren led the crew in rebounds and blocks, whereas Nembhard led the crew in assists. So who’s poised to step in and thrive amid these losses?

Because the 2022-23 school basketball season creeps nearer, this is a glimpse at how Gonzaga’s beginning lineup and rotation may form up.

Projected beginning lineup

1. Nolan Hickman

6-2 | 185 | Soph.

Hickman got here off the bench final season whereas veterans like Rasir Bolton and Nembhard held down beginning roles within the backcourt. He should as soon as once more fend off a seasoned switch in Malachi Smith, however Hickman confirmed sufficient final season to recommend a breakout season may very well be within the playing cards. The previous Kentucky commit posted an almost 2:1 assist-to-turnover ratio in 17.2 minutes per recreation.

2. Rasir Bolton

6-3 | 185 | Redshirt Sr.

Bolton instantly assumed a beginning function final season after transferring in from Iowa State, and he by no means relinquished it. He was one of many crew’s most constant performers down the stretch, capturing 53.9% from the ground in February and March. It is arduous to think about the fifth-year senior being unseated within the beginning lineup, even amid what may very well be a spirited competitors for minutes within the again courtroom.

3. Julian Strawther

6-7 | 205 | Jr.

Strawther spurned the NBA Draft to return for his junior season, and he may very well be in line for a pleasant leap in productiveness. The rangy wing is an environment friendly scorer who improved his outdoors shot to 36.5% as a sophomore whereas contributing considerably on the boards. His measurement and flexibility are good, however he wants to enhance as a defender as a way to maximize his potential.

4. Anton Watson

6-8 | 225 | Jr.

After beginning 17 of 32 video games as a sophomore, Watson returned to a bench function final season whereas nonetheless logging 18.1 minutes per recreation. Now, following the departure of Holmgren, he’ll have an opportunity to reclaim a beginning spot. Although the mix of Watson and Timme is not essentially the most imposing by way of shot-blocking and rim-protection, each are extremely environment friendly inside scorers with good ball abilities who can maintain the Gonzaga offense buzzing.

5. Drew Timme

6-10 | 235 | Sr.

Timme is already Gonzaga’s all-time chief in NCAA Match factors and is coming again for extra after successful WCC Participant of the 12 months final season. Until he begins taking and making extra 3-pointers or immediately improves his later quickness to change into a defensive stalwart, Timme will stay of low-interest to NBA franchises. However he’ll be within the combine for nationwide participant of the 12 months honors within the school recreation and will cap an illustrious profession with the last word exclamation level if he can lead Gonzaga to its first-ever nationwide title.

Bench

Malachi Smith

6-4 | 205 | Redshirt Jr.
Because the Zags bid farewell to Holmgren and the roster’s steadiness of energy naturally shifts again towards the guards, having Smith on the roster can be enormous. He averaged 19.9 factors whereas incomes Southern Convention Participant of the 12 months honors for an NCAA Match crew at Chattanooga final season and completed No. 11 in our rating of the game’s high transfers. He is slotted as a bench possibility right here, however Few has a ton of potentialities together with his again courtroom configuration, and Smith is lots able to cracking the beginning lineup.

Hunter Sallis

6-5 | 175 | Soph.
Like Hickman, Sallis entered as a extremely touted true freshman final season and performed off the bench behind Gonzaga’s more-seasoned guards. The return of Bolton and the addition of Smith might imply {that a} beginning function stays at the very least one other season away. However Nembhard led the crew with 32.6 minutes per recreation final season, and his departure may imply that Sallis is in line for an even bigger piece of the pie after logging 13.6 minutes per contest as a freshman.

Efton Reid

 6-11 | 238 | Soph.

Reid began all 34 video games he performed as a real freshman at LSU final season after ending the 2021 recruiting cycle ranked No. 32 within the class by 247Sports. His size is a welcome addition to the roster because the Zags grapple with the defensive impression of shedding Holmgren’s 3.7 blocks per recreation. Reid is not almost as prolific — he averaged 0.8 blocks in 19.6 minutes per recreation final season — however he is a promising front-line participant who may develop right into a starring function if he sticks round after Timme’s eventual departure.

Ben Gregg

6-10 | 225 | Redshirt-Soph.

Minutes should still be scarce for Gregg, who made 35 appearances over his first two seasons, however the junior may carve out a task in some conditions. He is a stretch huge who may very well be known as upon as foul hassle, damage or particular matchups require.

Depth

Kaden Perry | 6-9 | 225 | Soph.
Dominick Harris | 6-3 | 190 | Redshirt-Soph.

Braden Huff | 6-9 | 205 | Fr.

Perry completed the 2021 recruiting cycle ranked No. 52 within the class, and he appeared in huge video games in opposition to UCLA and Duke as a real freshman earlier than a again damage derailed his season. If he is absolutely wholesome, it would not be stunning to see him competing for minutes once more this season. Huff has the makings of a long-term prospect who will finally have a task on the Drew Timme Substitute Committee. Harris appeared in 25 contests in the course of the 2020-21 season however missed all of final 12 months as a result of damage and faces a tricky battle for minutes at guard.

Gonzaga misplaced some key gamers however does it have sufficient firepower returning to make a run on the nationwide title? Hear beneath and subscribe to the Eye on Faculty Basketball podcast as we focus on the Zags as a part of our Summer time Shootaround sequence.





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