Cahier Gonzaga-Arkansas: The battle of the greats could be enormous; Drew Timme talks about Mark Few, Northern Quest; and a viral Chet Holmgren-Steph Curry encounter | SWX right now
SAN FRANCISCO – There are many ways to defend the painting.
Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren’s 115 blocks are within two of Brandon Clarke’s single-season record set in 2019. The 7-footer has likely changed twice as much — three times, even — with his presence in the lane.
Arkansas center Jaylin Williams has 40 shots and has the size, strength and length to influence shots. The 6-foot-10, 240-pound sophomore also took 50 charging fouls, the most in the NCAA, ahead of Saturday’s win over New Mexico State. Some of these accusations have put opposing big players in trouble.
The Zags are familiar with Williams’ stats, which include 10.5 points and 9.8 rebounds per game, and the importance of the inside battle in the Gonzaga-Arkansas Sweet 16 game Thursday (4 p.m., CBS).
“It’s about making winning plays and whether it’s blocking a shot or taking a charge, those are both winning plays and that’s what he’s going to do,” Holmgren said. . “We just have to be ready for it, expect it, not be caught off guard and play with it so it doesn’t affect us negatively.”
“Taking charges is no fun,” Zags forward Drew Timme said. “It hurts a bit. He really puts his body on the line for his team to win and that’s a really admirable trait.
Timme and Holmgren combine to average 32.4 points and 16.5 rebounds per game.
Williams’ father taught him the art of shooting loads.
“He taught me how to be in the right position and I’ve really taken them all my life for as long as I can remember in AAU basketball,” Williams said. “I wouldn’t really say they are in pain. I’m a bit used to them now.
Timme speaks out on various topics
Timme was asked about a range of topics at Wednesday’s press conference, including his NIL deal with Northern Quest Resort & Casino, the March Madness 2022 experience from last season and coach Mark’s DUI Few in September.
The latter drew a candid response from Timme.
“He recognized it,” Timme said, adding that the impact on the team was “zero at all.
“He didn’t hide it. He did what he did and we respected that, and he told us about it. He was upfront and honest about it. …I mean, you mess it up and move on.
Timme directed several popular advertisements for Northern Quest. He was asked if the long-standing NCAA rules against sports betting were something on his mind.
“Well, every time I walk into the gym I see a big Northern Quest logo, so I didn’t think too much about it,” Timme said. “He’s a great partner to have. They’re really good with the community, they really relate to a lot of things in Spokane, so I really like that about them.
Timme said this year’s tournament was how he envisioned March Madness as a kid.
“We don’t have to stay in a hotel for an entire month (due to COVID protocols) so it obviously sucked last year,” he said. “We had the chance to play, and it was great to play obviously, but compared to what’s happened so far this year, it’s night and day.”
“I had Drew next to me (at the Indianapolis hotel) with his Xbox until 1am every night,” Little cracked. “Obviously with Drew and Andrew (Nembhard) coming through this (tournament), but it’s new and a totally different experience for almost the rest of my crew.”
‘Zags Got Dads’ Shirt Suits Few
Gonzaga generally receives high marks for team chemistry, and that apparently extends beyond the pitch to the players’ families.
Few people, when asked if he had one of the “Zags Got Dads” t-shirts that gained traction on social media, replied that one had appeared in his pile of shirts and that he had “proudly” worn it while training.
“It’s pretty cool,” said Few, the father of goalkeeper GU Joe and manager AJ. “It’s always great, at least with us, to see throughout the year how concerned I am about how my team is built and how they all get along with all the new faces.
“But it’s been great when we’ve had amazing team chemistry with our parents over the years and how close they’ve become and really built lifelong friendships.
“I saw how connected the Tillies from France were with a lot of people in Spokane. This group is pretty cool.
Deon Watson, father of junior forward Anton Watson, came up with the idea for the t-shirt, a pun taken from CBS Sports’ Seth Davis’ 2017 tweet “Zags Got Dudes.”
Matt Gregg, the father of first-year forward Ben Gregg, quickly organized the production of 15 jerseys, which many fathers wore during Gonzaga’s victory over Memphis last Saturday in Portland.
Holmgren warriors curry fan
The video is about 2 and a half years old, but that was one of the reasons – far behind his unique skills – Holmgren became well known to the basketball world while still in high school in Minneapolis.
Holmgren dribbled twice behind his back to shake off Stephen Curry and drive for a two-handed dunk at Curry’s SC30 Select Camp in August 2019. Holmgren was already a top prospect before the video went viral.
Gonzaga and Arkansas face off at Chase Center, home ground of Curry and the Golden State Warriors, on Thursday.
“It exploded a lot on social media and in a few different outlets,” Holmgren said. “I haven’t spoken with Steph since the event, but he’s a really good guy and obviously a great player. Respect to him.