Chet Holmgren’s Commitment Strengthens Gonzaga as NCAA Basketball Title Favorite
Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Chet Holmgren
The Gonzaga Bulldogs were already betting favorites to win the 2022 men’s basketball national championship. Adding No. 1 recruit and top NBA draft prospect Chet Holmgren only bolsters their case.
The 7-foot-1 center, ranked the No. 1 recruit by ESPN and 247 Sports, among others, announced his commitment to the Bulldogs on Monday. Gonzaga was +700 to win the national title on DraftKings after the announcement — on the same day when last season’s stud freshman Jalen Suggs announced his declaration to the NBA Draft.
Holmgren figures to be in Spokane for a one-year stop just like Suggs. He will likely be considered the top NBA Draft prospect when the 2021-22 season begins.
“Holmgren is a true game changer on the defensive end with his rim protection,” Brandon Jenkins of 247 Sports wrote. “He additionally is one of the most versatile players in the senior class and while he fills the stat sheet in multiple categories and is extremely productive, his upside is still immense.”
Holmgren, a Minnesota native, was considering offers from Minnesota, Memphis, Georgetown, Ohio State, Michigan, North Carolina and the NBA’s G-League.
There are still some major dominoes that could fall for head coach Mark Few. Holmgren joins a Gonzaga recruiting class that also features ESPN’s No. 13 player in Hunter Sallis, but it’s the status of current players that will help steer the Bulldogs’ direction on the oddsboard.
Suggs is gone, as are Corey Kispert and Joel Ayayi. Drew Timme and Andrew Nembhard entered their names in the NBA Draft but could opt to return to school. Should Timme and Nembhard return for the 2021-22 season, Gonzaga would maintain its clear lead as the title favorite once again.