#2 Gonzaga Men's Basketball 2020-2021 Preview

Gonzaga Bulldogs
2020-2021 Overall Rank: #2
Conference Rank: #1 WCC
Gonzaga Logo
It was business as usual for Gonzaga in 2019-20 as they won 30+ games for the fourth consecutive season. The Bulldogs were on their way to another one seed and a strong chance at a Final Four run before the season ended early. This year, Gonzaga returns three of their seven players from last year who averaged at least 9.8 points per game. The Bulldogs also have talented newcomers on the roster including five-star recruit Jalen Suggs. It should be another year at the top of the rankings for Gonzaga in 2020-21.

2019-20 Record: 31-2, 15-1
Coach: Mark Few
Coach Record: 599-124 at Gonzaga, 599-124 overall
Key Departed Players:
Filip Petrusev, Forward, 17.5 ppg
Killian Tillie, Forward, 13.6 ppg
Admon Gilder, Guard, 10.7 ppg
Ryan Woolridge, Guard, 10.1 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Corey Kispert, Senior, Forward, 13.9 ppg
Joel Ayayi, Junior, Guard, 10.6 ppg
Drew Timme, Sophomore, Forward, 9.8 ppg
Anton Watson, Sophomore, Forward, 4.9 ppg
Pavel Zakharov, Sophomore, Forward, 1.9 ppg
Martynas Arlauskas, Sophomore, Guard, 1.2 ppg
Key New Players:
Oumar Ballo, RS Freshman, Center
Colby Brooks, Freshman, Forward
Aaron Cook, Senior, Guard, Grad Transfer from Southern Illinois
Dominick Harris, Freshman, Guard
Julian Strawther, Freshman, Guard
Jalen Suggs, Freshman, Guard
Gonzaga got most of their production from seven players, all of which averaged at least 9.8 points last season. Three of those players are back this year including senior Corey Kispert. Kispert averaged 13.9 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists and shot 43.8% from three last season. Joel Ayayi had a strong sophomore season, averaging 10.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.3 steals. Lastly, Drew Timme was a freshman who made his impact felt off the bench with 9.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists in just 20.5 minutes per game. Anton Watson could be an X-factor for the Bulldogs as a former four-star recruit who was limited to just 15 games as a freshman before suffering an injury. Pavel Zakharov was also a four-star recruit last season who only played 4.5 minutes in 19 games last season. Similarly, Oumar Ballo was a redshirt freshman last season who was a four-star recruit in 2019. The lone non-freshman newcomer is Aaron Cook, a graduate transfer from Southern Illinois. Cook averaged 10.5 points as a junior and averaged 15.0 per game last season in just six games. This year’s recruiting class is a strong one and is highlighted by five-star guard Jalen Suggs. Also joining the Bulldogs are Julian Strawther and Dominick Harris, both rated as four-star prospects. Gonzaga is a national powerhouse seemingly every season regardless of who is on the roster. This year’s roster is a talented one though with a good balance of experience and incoming talent. Expect to see Gonzaga towards the top of the national rankings all season yet again.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 87.4 (1st in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.8 (134, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 51.5 (2, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.2 (131, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.5 (154, 6)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 38.6 (8, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.8 (252, 6)
Rebound Margin: 9.2 (4, 1)
Assists Per Game: 16.7 (7, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.2 (26, 3)
Madness 2021 NBA Draft Rankings:
#14 Jalen Suggs
#52 Drew Timme
Madness 2020 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#10 Jalen Suggs
#60 Julian Strawther
#64 Dominick Harris