The 2022-23 college basketball season is a little over one month away, and it’s hard to remember a recent season with as much returning firepower as this one.
Drew Timme, Oscar Tshiebwe, Armando Bacot, Hunter Dicksinson, and Trayce Jackson-Davis all have legitimate cases for National Player of the Year, and in decades past it’s hard to imagine all these players would still be playing college hoops.
The addition of NIL allows players to profit while in college, and the modern NBA values big men who can stretch the floor, while college’s floor dimensions and longer shot clock allow more room for operating down low – hence why the NCAA’s best returners are almost all 6’10 or taller.
It seems likely one of said big men (or Houston’s Marcus Sasser) will take home the NCAA’s coveted National Player of the Year award, and while many are picking Tshiebwe to repeat as NPOY – ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla is going with Timme.
It’s far from bold to pick Timme, a two-time All-American on likely the No. 1 ranked team in the country, as National Player of the Year, but Fraschilla believes Timme is so talented that he is actually being overlooked as he enters his fourth season in Spokane.
Timme averaged 18.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.8 assists as a junior last season. His 60.9% field goal rate on two pointers was actually the lowest of his career, but he was more impactful as a passer and improved as a defensive player by most advanced metrics, although the presence of Chet Holmgren certainly had an impact there.
Timme and Tshiebwe will be the two primary contenders for this award when the season tips off, and fans won’t have to wait long to see them battle it out as Gonzaga and Kentucky are set to square off on November 20 at the Spokane Arena.
Host – Locked on Zags Podcast
Writer – Ducks Wire