- Jeff Borzello.
- Basketball is getting more and more insiders.
- ESPN since 2014.
- Graduate of the University of Delaware.
- Paul Biancardi
- National Director of Recruiting for ESPN.com
- 18 years of coaching experience in Division I
- Former Horizon League Coach of the Year at Wright State.
Chet Holmgren, the country’s first pick and expected to be the first pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, selected Gonzaga on Monday.
Holmgren made his announcement at the SportsCenter.
It’s been a difficult process, Holmgren told ESPN. I had a lot to learn along the way. I had to rely on others and ask their advice. My father followed suit and trained with Jaylen Larry Suggs. I kept getting advice on how I would feel if I found out. Don’t over analyze everything just because it looks good. Nobody sells their weakness.
That’s [Gonzaga’s] consistent approach to his versatility on the field and his offensive style. They take their talent and adjust their system based on the personnel. You know how to put it together.
Coach Mark Few and the Zags were considered the big favorites for Holmgren if he were to choose college, but the G-League route was also an option. The other participating schools are Ohio State, Michigan, North Carolina, Minnesota, Memphis and Georgetown.
He’s a super honest guy, Holmgren said of a couple. He is a lover of the game and reportedly a good fisherman as well. He continues to learn the game and loves what he does.
The Minnehaha (Minn.) Holmgren Academy center made official visits to Ohio State and Gonzaga before the coronavirus pandemic put an end to personal recruiting. He also made unofficial trips to Minnesota, Maryland and Georgetown. His father, Dave Holmgren, played basketball in Minnesota.
Chet Holmgren is good friends with former senior and AAU teammate Jalen Shaggs, who had a great season at Gonzaga and was a top-five pick in this summer’s NBA draft.
He was very influential, he talked about Suggs. He’s someone I know and trust. We had a lot of informal conversations. He is both a friend and a teammate. I heard it from him. I saw him play and I saw the team play. We’d talk. It’s a culture where everyone is willing to work.
Holmgren dominated Minnehaha’s senior class last season, averaging 20.8 points, 12.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 4.7 blocks on 80% shooting from the field. Earlier this month, Minnehaha won its fourth consecutive state championship thanks to Holmgren’s 18 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists in an 80-29 Class AAA victory.
Holmgren is one of the most unique prospects in the game. He is the hardest hitting big man in high school and will be in college with his three-point shooting ability, inside game and physical size. Holmgren is 6’7 and has a large wingspan. He is a world class shot blocker with exceptional instincts to protect the ring. Offensively, he is exceptionally versatile as a scorer, ball handler and lobbed catcher. His movements are fluid and agile, he shows excellent coordination and sure hands. He plays with speed, and his game has been compared to Kristaps Porzingis of the Dallas Mavericks.
The plan is to listen, learn and earn everything I get, Holmgren said. I’ll be able to use my versatility at both ends. Push him away from the window and leave. I can use the activated protection and activate it when needed.
Holmgren is the second five-star acquisition to join Gonzaga in recent weeks, following three-star point guard Hunter Sallis, who joined in late March. Forward Kaden Perry (ESPN 100) is also set to play next season, while forward Ben Gregg (ESPN 100) graduated early from high school and committed for the second half of last season. Fanbo Zeng, who is 33rd in the 2022 class, rounds out the group. He was reclassified in 2021 before returning to China to finish his high school career. Zeng is expected to come to Gonzaga this summer.
Suggs became the highest-ranked recruit in program history when he signed last spring, but Holmgren is now being honored; he is the first high-ranked recruit to sign with Gonzaga.
This is another step forward in the evolution of the Zags as a real force over the past two decades. Gonzaga failed to make college basketball history earlier this month by losing to Baylor in the national championship game, the Bulldogs’ first loss of the season. This is the second time in five seasons they have reached the national title.
Few has won at least 30 games in five consecutive seasons and owns the nation’s longest string of Sweet 16 appearances, most recently with a shutout in the first two rounds of the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
Gonzaga entered the season as ESPN’s top 25 team.
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