One more year of Drew Timme will certainly help Gonzaga, but it should also increase Timme’s own NBA draft stock significantly.
The 6’10 power forward is an early favorite for National Player of the Year. Not only will he be Gonzaga’s most consistent returner when it comes to scoring, Timme will also be one of the returners with the best shooting percentages in the nation (65.5%).
Timme had a lot of big moments last season, but he wasn’t projected to be selected in ESPN’s latest NBA mock draft, or many others. However, this will likely be different next year.
NBA Draft analyst Matt Babcock from BasketballNews.com said that if Timme applies himself this upcoming season, there’s no doubt he can reach that NBA dream.
“I really like Timme as a player overall,” Babcock said. “Offensively, he has terrific footwork, touch with both hands, and a knack to put the ball in the hole.”
His talent on the offensive side has been clear since his freshman year, and he is expected to continue getting better.
During the 2019-20 season, the Zags used Filip Petrusev as their lead center. Timme appeared in 33 games, four as a starter, seeing about 20 minutes per game. He put up an average of 9.8 points and 5.4 rebounds while leading his team in shooting percentage at 62.1% from the field. This was enough to make the WCC All-Freshman Team and All-Tournament Team.
Petrusev’s departure the following season allowed Timme to play a more significant role. Timme started all 32 games in the 2020-21 season. He helped Gonzaga wrap up the year with a 31-1 record, averaging 19.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.
Not only did his mustache make national headlines during March Madness, he earned All-NCAA Tournament Team honors after averaging 20.3 points per game during the tournament. He was also named the West Regional Most Outstanding Player and won the Karl Malone Award, which is presented to the nation’s top power forward.
While there is no question that Timme can score, he does have some room to improve when it comes to range. During his freshman year, Timme only attempted two shots from beyond the arc and made one of them. Last season, he attempted 21 but only made six. Adding three-point shooting to his game would definitely be a plus.
The offense overall looks promising, but the other side of the ball could use a little bit more work. Babcock described him as a throwback big who still has some work to do on defense.
“I think Timme needs to work on his body. His biggest issues are on the defensive end,” Babcock said. “Added strength and mobility would help him a lot. If I were Mark Few I’d do whatever I had to in order to keep him in Spokane this summer with their trainers.”
Post defense is something Timme said he and his coaches worked on at the beginning of last season because he understood the need to become more well-rounded and not be afraid of picking up fouls.
Timme is still committed to putting in the work. This offseason he has been training with Tyler Relph, a well-known trainer who has worked with NBA players like Julius Randle and RJ Hampton.
Although there are a couple things that Timme still needs to work on, Babcock said he believes he will continue to improve and have a good chance at hearing his name in the 2022 NBA Draft.
“I have confidence that his strengths will translate. I think that he’ll be able to adapt and expand his game to fit the modern-day NBA,” Babcock said. “I have no doubt in mind that if Timme applies himself that he’ll play in the NBA for a long time.”