Gonzaga Basketball: Freshman forward Chet Holmgren is nothing but special

It’s just been a few games into his freshman season at Gonzaga Basketball but No. 1 recruit Chet Holmgren has already proven he’s worthy of the hype.

Facts are facts and the facts are that the Gonzaga Basketball program has been the best program in the country over the last five years. They have been one of the top five programs in the country over the last 10 years. The Bulldogs have also been able to secure many of the top recruits in the country over that time as well. This year though the Bulldogs were able to secure the top recruit in the country and he has hit the ground running.

Chet Holmgren came into Gonzaga as a player who had tremendous upside and was seen on viral videos crossing up Steph Curry in a summer basketball camp. He came in with a ton of hype, as the No. 1 player in the class often does, but Holmgren has been even better than I expected. As a 7’0” tall player he does things that not many other players his height can do. He is a unicorn when it comes to College Basketball and we may never see another player who does the things that Holmgren can do.

In typical fashion, once the big man chose Gonzaga out came the individuals who claim he ruined his career and how could he choose a team that was never going to get him where he wanted to go. Well those individuals may be eating crow. Holmgren does have a skinny build but so does Kevin Durant, and last I checked Durant is one of the best players in the NBA and is one of the best one and done college players ever. The skinny build has not affected Holmgren at all, he is able to bang inside and doesn’t get tired quickly.

Through six games the freshman has already impressed with his overall athletic ability. Like most No. 1 recruits everything is all hype until they are on the floor. The freshman big man has lived up to the hype, at least through the first six games, and has made some jaw-dropping plays that not many players his size can do, and very few players in the NCAA can do at all.

Every player who comes in usually has a learning curve, and they get better as they go along in the season. Holmgren has gotten better each game, and despite what coach Few says the learning curve has been minimal for the big man. If he is still learning how to play, then it is scary for the rest of the country when he finally no longer must learn as he is already dominant in all facets of the game.

There is a lot of season left but right now Chet has been the best freshman on the floor, and it may not even be that close. He is on pace for one of the best seasons of any player to ever college basketball. Not just at Gonzaga but ever. Not just for freshmen but for all players. He shoots the ball like Durant, has post moves like David Robinson, protects the rim and rebounds like David Robinson, and can bring the ball up the floor. His skillset is something that has very rarely been seen at any level of basketball and may not be seen again for a very long time.

The big man, as mentioned has had some awe-inspiring moments and perhaps the biggest one was the most recent performance. Holmgren blocked a shot, secured the rebound, dribbled the ball between his legs and behind his back through traffic and went down the lane for a vicious dunk. It was just a reminder that Holmgren can do things that no one else on the floor is. There is no way to prepare or guard a seven-footer who can do that.

He is currently shooting over 70% from the floor, almost 40% from three, 77% from the line. The center averages seven rebounds per game, which is a number I believe will improve and he is on pace to lead the country in blocks. Holmgren is also a fantastic passer for his height as he is also averaging three assists per game.

Holmgren is special, Gonzaga is special. The freshman big man is cementing himself as the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft and he is also a key piece to making Gonzaga the best team in the country. Chet is the best player in the country but it is going to be really hard to beat out his teammate for the National Player of the year, but he is going to win a lot of awards in his one season in college. Gonzaga fan or not, sit back and enjoy the ride.