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Star forward Drew Timme withdraws name from NBA Draft, will return to Gonzaga for senior season

Gonzaga star forward Drew Timme will return to Spokane, Washington, for his senior season, the reigning West Coast Conference Player of the Year announced Wednesday. 

Wednesday was the last day that players could withdraw their names from the NBA Draft, with Timme waiting until the final moments to announce his return to Gonzaga. 

Jaylin Williams of the Arkansas Razorbacks and Drew Timme of the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the Sweet 16 round game of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Chase Center on March 24, 2022, in San Francisco, California.

Jaylin Williams of the Arkansas Razorbacks and Drew Timme of the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the Sweet 16 round game of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Chase Center on March 24, 2022, in San Francisco, California.
(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

“I’m back,” Timme posted to Twitter Wednesday night. 

Timme’s return is a big boost for Gonzaga and head coach Mark Few, who have been a one-seed in the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons. With Timme, the Zags reached the 2021 national championship game before falling to Baylor in the final. 

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Timme is a two-time Second Team All-American, averaging 18.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game in his junior season. 

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Gonzaga will now have three starters from last year’s team back for the 2022-2023 season, with guards Rasir Bolton and Julian Strawther both announcing their returns this week. 

Drew Timme of the Gonzaga Bulldogs reacts against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Chase Center on March 24, 2022, in San Francisco. 

Drew Timme of the Gonzaga Bulldogs reacts against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Chase Center on March 24, 2022, in San Francisco. 
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

“I feel like boulders are off my shoulders, man,” Strawther told The Spokesman-Review Wednesday afternoon. “… As soon as that decision was made this morning, just immediate relief.”

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“It really happened this morning at 7:30 and yeah, took as much time as I needed,” Strawther continued.

Drew Timme of the Gonzaga Bulldogs defends the ball against Jaylin Williams of the Arkansas Razorbacks at Chase Center on March 24, 2022, in San Francisco. 

Drew Timme of the Gonzaga Bulldogs defends the ball against Jaylin Williams of the Arkansas Razorbacks at Chase Center on March 24, 2022, in San Francisco. 
(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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The Zags will lose center Chet Holmgren and Andrew Nembhard, both of whom are heading to the NBA. Holmgren is a projected top pick in the draft, with some expecting him to be the first choice of the Orlando Magic. 

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With Timme returning, Gonzaga should once again be a preseason top-10 team as the Zags attempt to finally get Few his first championship as head coach at Gonzaga. 

Joe Morgan is a Sports Reporter for Fox News.

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