CBS college basketball analysts Matt Norlander and Gary Parrish recently completed a survey of over 100 college basketball coaches on a variety of topics, under the condition of anonymity.
These coaches ultimately selected The Kennel, Gonzaga’s home court, as the third best college basketball environment in the country behind Allen Fieldhouse and Cameron Indoor, the homes of Kansas and Duke, respectively.
The latest reveal from this coaches survey is the answers to the age-old question: “Who will be the best player in college basketball this season?”
Gonzaga’s Drew Timme was the top answer, garnering 43.9% of the vote which edged out Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe (33.7%) and North Carolina’s Armando Bacot (10.2%).
Three other players received multiple votes: Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis, UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez, and Houston’s Marcus Sasser, while six others received at least one vote: Max Abmas (Oral Roberts) Hunter Dickinson (Michigan) Keyonte George (Baylor) Derrick Lively (Duke) Caleb Love (North Carolina) and Nick Smith (Arkansas).
A handful of quotes from coaches stood out about Timme as well, including one coach from the WCC who spoke about the difficulties in trying to prepare for Timme:
“We play them twice a year, so I get an up close and personal view of him. In the past couple of years he’s been the most dominant, hardest-to-prepare-for player we’ve faced. He finishes everything eight feet and in. You double him, he can pass out. He’s a complete nightmare. We’ve had to literally try every defense possible at him … and it seems like nothing has worked.”Anonymous coach, per CBS’ Candid Coaches series
It’s somewhat surprising to see the consensus National Player of the Year from last year not receive the majority of votes to repeat, but Timme managed to secure more votes than Tshiebwe despite his monstrous season in 21-22.
“I’m banking on a better team and lower ego around Timme,” said one anonymous coach. “Timme is more of a natural scorer. That’s usually a thing too: if you score more. Better culture, less ego in his supporting cast and better team.”
As if more fuel needs to be tossed on the fire for the upcoming November 20 matchup between Timme and Tshiebwe.
The Gonzaga vs. Kentucky game is one of the most intriguing non-conference battles of the entire season, and it will feature a returning player of the year and a two-time All-American facing each other for the first time in almost 50 years.
Andy hosts the Locked on Zags and Locked on College Basketball podcasts, and serves Locked On in a marketing/digital content creator role as well. He lives just outside Portland with his wife Jenna and dog, Tillie.