During the course of March Madness, we will see college basketball players become heroes and villains. Some will thrive under pressure while others might not deliver. A player getting “one shining moment” will always be remembered as years go by because they grabbed a spot in basketball history. Here’s a look at some, out of the many athletes out there, that could have more than one shining moment this year.
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Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga
There was a time when Drew Timme would be the first player that entered your mind when talking about the Gonzaga Bulldogs. This year, another player will be grabbing the spotlight and that player is Holmgren. The freshman was the top prospect entering the season and he delivered for the Bulldogs by being a perimeter threat and rim protector. He’ll be expected to play a big role in getting Gonzaga’s first title. They were so close to winning it all before. Gonzaga was leading the 2017 title game with less than two minutes remaining and fans can’t wait to replace that memory with a better one.
Collin Gillespie, Villanova
The NCAA decided to give players an extra year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Villanova Wildcats probably benefited the most from this rule. It allowed Gillespie, who averaged almost 16 points per game, and Jermaine Samuels, who can add another 10 points per game, to return for their fifth year of college basketball. The team is already a favorite to win under coach Jay Wright. Adding Gillespie’s leadership to the mix will only make the team better. Is this enough to make Wright a three-time national champion as a coach?
Walker Kessler, Auburn
The Auburn Tigers thought they had Kessler last year. He was recruited properly and the team thought they would be getting a commitment from the prospect. One visit to North Carolina changed that. Kessler became a Tar Heel but did not get meaningful minutes during his time there. Auburn grabbed Kessler a year later and the seven-footer immediately provided high percentage shots and emphatic blocks. Fans of North Carolina and Auburn will be tuning in to see him play.
TyTy Washington, Kentucky
The Kentucky Wildcats had a poor start last season and never looked like a solid team. Coach John Calipari spent the offseason reshaping the roster and brought in multiple guards. Washington, the freshman, has been putting up over 12 points per game while providing assists and much-needed shooting. He plays well with the other guards that Calipari brought in like Kellan Grady and Sahvir Wheeler. All three players definitely solved one of last year’s problems of not having quality guards.
Isaiah Mobley, USC
When you’re the brother of someone who plays in the NBA, expect the eyes of basketball fans to be looking at you. Mobley’s brother, Evan, plays for the overachieving Cleveland Cavaliers. Ask any fan of the University of Southern California Trojans about their chances and they’ll likely say that they’re glad another Mobley is on the team. Mobley, the Trojan, improved his defense, scoring, and passing this year. The show belongs to him now and fans will get to see him take advantage of mismatches.
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