Nation's top power forward Drew Timme returning to Gonzaga basketball team

Gonzaga sophomore Drew Timme announced Wednesday that he is returning to the Bulldogs next season, likely cementing the Zags as the preseason No. 1 team in the country and solidifying Timme's status as the Wooden Award favorite.

Timme wasn't projected to be selected in ESPN's latest NBA mock draft.

"After reviewing options with my family, I've decided to return to Gonzaga," Timme said. "I am excited to come back to Spokane and continue my collegiate career. I appreciate everything I've learned so far from the Gonzaga coaching staff, and look forward to growing my game more. I love playing at GU, being a part of the program, and can't wait to play in front of the best fans in the country again."

A 6-foot-10 big man from Texas, Timme averaged 19.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists last season. He won the Karl Malone Award, annually given to the nation's top power forward, and was one of the most efficient offensive players in the country. Timme scored in double figures in all but one game and tallied five double-doubles.

He was dominant for most of the NCAA tournament, going for 30 points and 13 rebounds against Oklahoma and finishing with 25 points on 15 shots in the Final Four win over UCLA. The Zags (31-1) lost to Baylor in the national championship game.

Timme, known for his mustache celebrations during the NCAA tournament, averaged 20.3 points and shot 64.9% from the field in six tourney games.

Gonzaga has been No. 1 in ESPN's Way-Too-Early Top 25 since the end of the season. Timme is one of two returning starters for Mark Few's team, but the Bulldogs are also bringing in top-ranked recruit Chet Holmgren and five-star guards Hunter Sallis and Nolan Hickman.