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Drew Timme’s Dominant Performance Was One for the Ages

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The Drew Manchu took center stage in the Zags’ win over Oklahoma.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Oklahoma at Gonzaga IndyStar-USA TODAY Sports

It is hard to take Drew Timme seriously. Between the fu manchu, the headband, and the all-around old-school style of play, he looks like a basketball player of yesteryear—not as a member of the 2021 No. 1-seeded Zags.

Between the ever-growing length of his mustache, the increasing arsenal of quick celebrations (yesterday, I counted the mustache, a tornado, a bird-like thing, and the headband, perhaps more), Timme, from the visuals, looks more like a caricature of a college basketball player; someone straight out of an SNL skit and not an AAU team.

The Zags got all that Oklahoma could throw at them yesterday, and it was more than enough to make most of the greater Spokane area quite a bit nervous. However, what Oklahoma couldn’t quite figure out was how to handle Timme. They tried, and they failed.

Timme’s line is staggering. He finished with 30 points and 13 rebounds in 34 minutes, shooting 9-of-12 from the floor and 12-of-14 from the free-throw line. His offensive rating of 168 was his second-highest mark of the season.

All of this adds up to one of the better statistical performances by any Gonzaga player in the past decade during the NCAA Tournament—outside of Brandon Clarke’s demolition of the Baylor Bears in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament. Drew Timme’s game score, a number created by analytics guru John Hollinger to give a rough measure of productivity for a single game (40 is outstanding, 10 is average) was 32.8. That is better than Luka Garza’s score against Oregon, Justin Smith’s score against Colgate, and Miles McBride’s scores against Morehead State. It is the highest game score since Clarke’s 38.0 against Baylor.

What is most impressive about Timme’s feat is that he is the lone traditional post option for the Zags. It is no surprise Gonzaga will funnel the ball into the post, and it is no surprise that Timme will work his way to the hoop. The issue is that Timme is so good with his footwork, his pump-fakes, spinning to the left or the right, and pretty much every single fundamental of an old school big, there isn’t a single thing you can do outside of swarm him.

If that happens, the bigger issue is the rest of the Gonzaga offense. With every other member on the floor more than capable of scoring 20 points on any given night, it is death by 1,000 cuts. Do you try and contain Timme and test Kispert’s outside shot? Seems like a surefire way to lose. The other option? This: