Coming into Tuesday night, many were expecting a tightly contested game as the number one team in the nation in Gonzaga took on the second ranked team UCLA. However, it was anything but that, as Gonzaga hammered UCLA on a neutral court by a score of 83-63. The biggest factor in the game that resulted in such a lopsided score was the play of star freshmen center and the consensus number one high school recruit as well as many experts number one overall 2022 NBA draft prospect, Chet Holmgren.
Holmgren was a dominant force on both ends of the court as he dropped 15 points on only eight shots to go along with six rebounds, four blocks, and one steal in only 28 minutes of action. Holmgren demonstrated his amazing abilities on both sides of the ball and looked every bit of a future number one pick as he completely took over at times in the game with Holmgren able to score seemingly at will from anywhere on the court as he shot 75 percent total as well shooting 50 percent from the three-point line and dominated allowing almost nothing to come into the paint and caused UCLA to struggle mightily attacking the down throughout the night.
This astonishing play from Holmgren is nothing new for the young star though as he has averaged 13.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.5 blocks, and three assists in just six games into the college basketball season. Holmgren has proved why just about every recruiting expert in the nation had him as the best recruit in the nation and why he won the Gatorade National Player of the Year award last season with his unique ability to move the ball up and down the court with guard-like skills despite his enormous size at 7’1.
Despite his massive height, many people believed Holmgren’s skinny frame at only 196 pounds would cause him to struggle with more physical players as he entered college, but Holmgren is showing despite his frame he can be the most devastating player on the floor. His defensive ability and blocking skills have been reminiscent of former first round pick Anthony Davis in his one and only season in Kentucky although Holmgren will very likely fall short of Davis 4.7 blocks a game in 40 games Holmgren is proving he can have a similar impact of an NBA superstar on the defensive end. And although defense may be the best part of his game his offensive potential is a scary sight to behold as he improves the next several seasons. Holmgren is often an initiator on the fast break off rebounds and has shown ability to find the wide-open man in transition. Holmgren has also shown a remarkable ability to space out the floor and has forced opponents to respect his shooting as he has shot 38.5 percent from the three-point line this year.
As the year goes along there is no reason to suspect that he is going to slow down from shooting the ball with the red hot start he has gotten off to and expect Holmgren to improve as he likely transitions into the NBA next year as a top two pick with seemingly his only competition for the top pick in fellow freshmen from Duke Paolo Banchero. But of every possible prospect next year none have a higher ceiling then Holmgren and he is already doing this despite a skinny frame and if he can make a remarkable body transformation similar to that of Giannis Antetokounmpo his ceiling is going to be unlimited.