Gonzaga Bulldogs senior forward and leader Corey Kispert was named First Team Associated Press All-American. Jalen Suggs and Drew Timme earned Second Team honors and Joel Ayayi was named an Honorable Mention. The four Zags selected are the most by any team in the country.
What a ride it has been for Kispert, who decided to return to the Zags for his senior season after contemplating the NBA Draft. By all accounts, it was the right decision. Kispert averages 19.2 points this season, shooting 64.6 from two, 44.4 from three, and 89.8 from the charity stripe. Now, he is pushing the Zags to win their first-ever national championship and is a potential lottery pick.
Jalen Suggs arrived at Gonzaga with a thunderous dunk for his first collegiate points. He has been everything as advertised, plus more. Suggs averages 14.3 points, 4.5 assists, and two steals per game. His laser-focused cross-court assists have made as many highlight reels as some of his athletic takes to the rim. Suggs, roundly considered to be a top=-five pick in the draft, has been absolutely stellar.
Drew Timme stepped into the role everyone thought he would step into virtually seamlessly. With the early departure of Filip Petrusev, Timme took over as the sole big man in the post and has held down that role with admirable ease. Timme’s 18.7 points per game are second on the team, and watching him work down low is a marvel. We all knew he would be this good, and it is awesome to see us all be right.
Joel Ayayi as the honorable mention is the most fitting description for the quiet and unassuming junior guard. Ayayi would be the star on most other D-I basketball teams. On Gonzaga’s, he is the steady workhorse and the glue guy. Ayayi’s 11.8 points count for fourth on the team. His seven rebounds per game are just 0.1 shy of tying Timme for the team-best. He registered the first triple-double in school history this season. There are few things Ayayi can’t do on the court.
Click here to see all of the AP All-American Teams.