The time has finally come. After months and months of waiting, the top prospect in the country has announced his commitment date, according to Paul Biancardi of ESPN.
Recruiting News— Paul Biancardi (@PaulBiancardi) April 17, 2021
Chet Holmgren will make his college announcement Monday, April 19th on the noon @SportsCenter on ESPN. @ChetHolmgren is the No. 1 prospect in the class of 2021. Final schools: Georgetown, Gonzaga, Memphis, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, & Ohio State. pic.twitter.com/CxssSC4iPv
Holmgren is the consensus top recruit in the class of 2021. He was high school teammates a year ago with Jalen Suggs at Minnehaha Academy. With Suggs gone this season, Holmgren still led them to their fourth straight state championship. On the season, Chet averaged an eye-popping 20.8 points, 12.6 rebounds, 4.7 blocks and 4.5 assists while shooting an absolutely absurd 80 percent from the field.
The favorite in his recruitment has been Gonzaga for many months. Every meaningful crystal ball prediction leans Gonzaga’s direction. He went on an official visit with Suggs, Dominick Harris, and Julian Strawther in 2019, where they all sat front row at Kraziness in the Kennel. According to every expert, nothing has changed. Gonzaga is still the favorite and he has said all along that he would prefer to go to college than pursue the G-League option.
If Holmgren does indeed make it official, he will walk into a starting lineup that likely includes Andrew Nembhard and Drew Timme. The three of them together working in ball screens can provide a lot of dynamic playmaking. Think of what Gonzaga did with Domantas Sabonis and Kyle Wiltjer on the floor together and slide Chet into the Wiltjer role and Timme into the Sabonis role. He can also play in the mold of Killian Tillie with his pick-and-pop ability. In fact, he prefers to play more on the perimeter than he does inside, which allows Timme to go to work.
His biggest attribute, however, is his defensive ability. He immediately becomes one of the best rim protectors in all of college basketball. He’s already at an elite level when it comes to shot blocking. Working with Gonzaga’s coaching staff on verticality and not biting on pump fakes will only make him more dangerous. His length and recovery speed also allow him to switch onto smaller players without much of an issue.
Holmgren truly is a unicorn with no real player comparisons. It will be absolutely fascinating to see what Gonzaga’s coaching staff can do with him if he does end up choosing to become a Bulldog on Monday morning.