The Heavy Hitters: Gonzaga, Arizona, Kansas, and Villanova

The Heavy Hitters: Gonzaga, Arizona, Kansas, and Villanova


This part is featured in SLAM’s 2022 MBB March Madness Preview. Here, we check out a few of the groups which have been dominant all through the season. This part is featured in our Women’s March Madness Preview. Tap in right here.

The Dog House – Gonzaga Bulldogs (26-3)

Simply put, this Gonzaga staff is completely different. They’re led by an unlikely duo — a mustache-donning junior from Texas and a seven-foot unicorn freshman from Minnesota. That duo is Drew Timme and Chet Holmgren, who’re each John R. Wooden Award candidates.

Timme, the 2022 WCC Player of the Year, averages 17.5 factors and 6.3 rebounds per recreation. He’s made it clear that he needs to win all of it,

“I came back [to Gonzaga] to win a championship and get better,” he mentioned. “That’s all I’m focused on.” 

Holmgren averages 14.2 factors, 9.6 rebounds, and three.6 blocks per recreation, good for fourth within the NCAA. He initiatives to be a top-three choice within the upcoming NBA Draft as a consequence of his distinctive ability set for his bodily stature at such a younger age.

However, it’s not totally the Timme and Holmgren present. After all, you don’t lead the nation in factors per recreation (87.8) with simply two elite gamers. This Bulldogs staff has a number of threats. Sophomore Julian Strawther is an excellent participant, averaging 12.3 factors and 5.5 rebounds per recreation whereas capturing the lengthy ball at a 39.6 % clip. Strawther’s backcourt companion Senior Andrew Nembhard averages 11.7 factors, 5.7 assists, and 1.6 steals per recreation. Then there’s the sharpshooter Rasir Bolton who’s capturing a ridiculous 46.7 % from deep.

This Bulldogs staff is well-rounded and harmful. They will tackle No. 16 Georgia St within the first spherical.

Top of the Pac – Arizona Wildcats (31-3)

It’s not typically {that a} first-year head coach leads a staff to be so dominant in school play. Arizona’s Tommy Lloyd has finished simply that in his first season as a Division I coach. Of course, Coach Lloyd didn’t placed on a jersey himself, however he was in a position to direct some top-tier expertise in the precise course. Two gamers come to thoughts relating to Lloyd’s teaching potential.

Pac-12 Player of the Year and a possible excessive lottery choose within the upcoming NBA Draft Bennedict Mathurin and Pac-12 Defensive and Most Improved Player of the Year Christian Koloko.

Mathurin — a product of the NBA Academy Latin America in Mexico City — averages 17.1 factors and 5.6 rebounds per recreation, whereas Koloko averages 12.1 factors, 7.1 rebounds, and a couple of.7 blocks per recreation. Those two are the first anchors on this well-rounded Wildcats staff with few weaknesses. Other large contributors are Azuolas Tubelis (14.5 factors, 6.4, and 1.1 steals) and Kerr Kriisa (10.1 factors and 4.9 assists).

In the opening spherical, this dynamic Arizona staff will face the winner between Bryant and Wright State.

Flying Above the Competition – Kansas Jayhawks (28-6)

The hard-nosed Kansas Jayhawks staff is able to make a run at a title. The lead man for the Jayhawks is Big 12 Player of the Year Ochai Agbaji, who’s at the moment projected to be a lottery choose within the upcoming NBA Draft. Agbaji averages 19.7 factors and 5.1 rebounds per recreation whereas capturing 40.5 % from three-point vary.

Aside from Agbaji, Kansas additionally has homegrown Christian Braun (14.6 factors, 6.3 rebounds), Jalen Wilson (10.9 factors and seven.0 rebounds), and David McCormack (10.1 factors and seven.0 rebounds). This staff is loaded with a roster of skilled gamers, with nine-time Big 12 Champion Coach Bill Self on the helm, trying to win their first NCAA crown since 2008.

In the primary spherical, this examined Kansas staff will face the winner between Texas Southern and Texas A&M Corpus Christi.

Leaving the Den – Baylor Bears (26-6)

At this time of 12 months, inexperienced is related to St. Patricks Day. However, the Baylor Bears will want no ‘Luck of the Irish’ to compete deep into this 12 months’s NCAA event. The defending National Champions will look to repeat their success, with their loaded offensive unit on the forefront.

Baylor has a formidable seven gamers that common eight or extra factors per recreation, showcasing their well-rounded offensive prowess. While Baylor places up 76.5 factors per recreation as a unit, they’re led by a couple of standout gamers. Big 12 First-Team choice James Akinjo averages 13.4 factors, 5.6 assists, and a couple of.1 steals per recreation, whereas his backcourt companion Adam Flager averages 13.4 factors, 3.0 assists, and 1.1 steals per recreation. LJ Cryer is averaging 13.5 factors per recreation largely as a consequence of his elite 46.8 % clip from deep.

The defending champions will face No. 16 Norfolk St within the first spherical.

The publish The Heavy Hitters: Gonzaga, Arizona, Kansas, and Villanova appeared first on SLAM.





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