GONZAGA VS DUKE OR SHOULD I SAY HOLMGREN VS BANCHERO ?

November 26, 2021

 

Gonzaga vs Duke is not just a big showdown between two of the top powerhouses in college basketball. This is Chet Holmgren vs Paolo Banchero! The top two NBA prospects in college basketball will square off on this holiday weekend and in my opinion, this is the most anticipated matchup between freshman prospects since Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins faced off in 2013.

Both Holmgren and Banchero represent the modern day NBA big despite having totally different styles. Banchero is a 6’10" man child that perfectly blends power, finesse and skill. While Holmgren epitomizes the unicorn label as the rare 7 footer that can space the floor, and turn a blocked shot on defense into his own personal fast break on offense.

The NBA scouts in attendance will be carefully watching and evaluating every move, and every step on every possession. Especially bottom feeder teams like Houston, New Orleans, Orlando, Sacramento, Oklahoma City and Detroit who are likely to be in position to draft Holmgren or Banchero with the top two picks in June. It still baffles me that billion dollar NBA franchises are hoping and in some cases praying, these teenage freshman sensations can change their franchise fortunes in the very near future.

 

Finally after months of debating who is the better prospect between Banchero and Holmgren. We may have our answer on Friday night.

Below are my scouting notes for today's game

 

#1 Ranked Gonzaga vs # 5 Duke in Las Vegas

 

  • Most anticipated freshman matchup since Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker in 2013

  • Gonzaga is 6-0 and have won by an average of 30 points 

  • Closest game was 86-74 win over Texas and game wasn’t as close as final score 

  • Gonzaga was up 47-27 at halftime vs Texas 

  • Zags smacked UCLA a couple days ago 83-63

 

 

Drew Timme 

  • Arguably the best player in college basketball. Averaging 18.7 ppg and 6 rebs on 64% FGs.

  • As dominant as Timme has been, especially the 37 point performance on 15-19 shooting, he probably hasn’t changed the mind of NBA scouts 

  • So far he’s 1-7 from 3 and shooting 69% from foul line 

  • However if you focus on what he does well you have to be impressed. He’s converting 82% of his shots at the rim on 39 attempts 

  • Shootings very respectable 47.6% on mid range jumpers this season.

  • I don’t think he should change his game and what’s working to please NBA scouts this season 

  • It’s probably best to show he can shoot and knockdown 3’s in individual workouts this summer 

 

Chet Holmgren 

  • If Timme is arguably the best player in college basketball, many believe Holmgren is the best NBA prospect in the nation 

  • Holmgren has been labeled a unicorn because he’s a 7 footer that can shoot, pass, put the ball on the floor and anchor a defense 

  • Through 6 games he’s averaging 13 ppg, 6.7 rebs, 3 assists and 4 blocks. He’s also shooting 71% from floor, 38% from 3 while  having a major, major impact on the Zags defense 

  • If you thought Timme was impressive around the rim listen to these #s Chet is 13-13 on dunks and 24-24 on shots at the rim. 

  • I’m looking forward to seeing him matchup vs Dukes physical front line 

 

Andrew Nembhard 

  • He’s always been a good passer and decision maker but this season he looks to have improved on the biggest weakness in his game which was his outside shooting. 

  • His numbers this season are pretty much the same as his stats the previous 3 seasons. You can pretty much pencil him in for 9 points, 5 assist and 2-3 rebounds every night. It’s almost a guarantee because he’s been consistent for over 100 games now. 

  • So far this season he’s up to 39% from 3 on a little under 4 attempts per game. It will be tough to maintain his 52/39/100 shooting splits but he’s done enough to be a late 1st or early 2nd round pick in my opinion 

 

Julian Strawther  

  • Not many people were talking about Strawther as an NBA prospect coming into the season but he’s been quietly putting up great numbers in his sophomore campaign 

  • He’s improved his scoring from 4 ppg to 14 ppg 

  • But it’s the efficiency in how he’s scoring that has caught my attention 

  • He’s shouting 54.7% from the floor and 48.3% from deep while contributing 5.7 rebounds per game 

  • He’s 14-29 from deep this season as Corey Kisperts replacement 

 

Hunter Sallis and Nolan Hickman

  • 2 highly touted freshman have been solid in their roles. 

  • In this day and age we don’t really see freshman who come into the season on draft boards coming off the bench 

  • Both have shown flashes of their potential in Gonzaga blowouts and seem to have accept their roles off the bench 

  • When I see a highly touted freshman not having the season many anticipated I usually try to check their body language when things aren’t going well or on the bench and Hickman and Sallis have been nothing but professional to my knowledge 

 

 

 

Duke 

 

Paolo Banchero 

  • If you don’t have Chet as your top NBA prospect then it’s almost certain Banchero is your guy.

  • Although it may not matter, it seems as if Banchero is the social media favorite to hear his name called first by Adam Silver next June

  • Through 6 games he’s averaging 17.8 ppg, 8 rebs, 2 assists, 1.5 steals on 54.9% FG

  • He’s a better athlete from a explosiveness perspective than I thought. 

  • His combination of power and finesse on top of his passing skills, ability to score and feel for the game pretty much locks him into a top 3 pick at the very, very minimum 

  • I enjoy seeing him operate out of the post and I’m looking forward to seeing him and Timme matched up on the block. 

  • His 3 point shooting hasn’t been very good as he’s had some pretty bad misses. I’ve seen and airball and a banger off the backboard from the slot. 

  • I don’t think he’ll need to be a good shooter from 3 as everything else he does makes up for for what he lacks in touch from deep 

  • I do love what he’s shown as a pull shooter off the dribble 

  • 76.9% at the rim and 48.3%  on mid range jumpers 

 

Wendell Moore

  • Off to a terrific start to his junior season 

  • Filling up the stat sheet with 17.5 ppg, 6.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists 

  • Shooting 57% from the floor 

  • Moore as highly touted out of high school and has seen to have been forgotten since this is his 3rd season. 

  • Just turned 20 in September and will be 20 on draft day.

  • He’s done an excellent job as a ball mover 

  • 3 point shooting is an area of improvement 

  • But I think he has an NBA role as an athletic, slasher ball mover, additional playmaker, energy and glue guy

 

Trevor Keels

  • Has definitely cooled off after the big tone 25 point game vs Michigan State. 

  • Has really struggled from field since 

  • 4-14 vs Army 

  • 2-9 vs Campbell

  • 2-9 vs Citadel 

  • The biggest concern is he’s struggling at the rim 

  • He has the wiggly and strength to absorb contact and be an effective finisher 

  • But lacks the vertical pop to play above rim 

  • Curious to seeing him vs a rim protector 

 

AJ Griffin 

  • Returning from injury 

  • One play he looked tentative and not confident in jumping and settled for a floater when he had a layup or dunk 

  • Not moving good on some plays

  • But has shown flashes of shot creation and touch around the rim

  • He’a hit a couple step back 3s

 

Mark Williams

  • Still a little raw to me

  • Averaging nearly 3 blocks per game 

  • Rebounder and scoring off dunks offs

  • Made some good reads as a passer 

  • Doesn’t have great hands; Bobbles passes in traffic 

  • Shows some touch around rim