Drew Timme returns to Gonzaga, Trevor Keels leaves Duke for good as NBA draft deadline arrives

One of the biggest names in college basketball will be back for his senior season.

In a two-word tweet late Wednesday night, with less than an hour remaining before the NCAA draft deadline expires, the Gonzaga star Drew Timme channeled Michael Jordan’s 1995 NBA return with an identical two-word statement that revealed where he’d be playing next season.

Timme, who played alongside the future top five Chet Holmgren last season, was nevertheless a First Team All-American for a second consecutive season. He averaged 18.4 points and 6.8 rebounds for the Mark Few Bulldogs, who were the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Timme is a 6-10 forward/center who has become one of college basketball’s biggest stars over the past two years. If he is one of the sport’s top five players again for 2022-23, he will have a shot at becoming a legend in modern college basketball. Gonzaga is 90-7 over the past three seasons with Timme on the roster.

It’s not just Timme who has returned to the Zags. start forward Julien Strawther also announced plans to return to Spokane on Wednesday. These two, plus the return of the shooter Rasir Boltonwill give Gonzaga the chance to be considered No. 1 heading into next season.

Duke wasn’t so lucky before the deadline. First-year student Trevor Bowling decided to take a chance on his stock and quit college on Wednesday. Keels was considered a 50-50 call, sources said earlier in the week. He joins Paolo Banchero and AJ Griffin as one Blue Devils this year. Banchero is one of the first three projected picks, Griffin is expected to be in the top 10. Keels, meanwhile, might not be a first-round pick. With Mark Williams and Wendell Moore Jr.. also left for the NBA, Jon Scheyer will have a solid rebuild in his first season as Blue Devils coach. Still, Scheyer will bring the top-rated class of 2022, so the cupboard will be barely empty at Durham.

Other key names who chose to return to college hoops on deadline day: Marcus Sasser (Houstons); Jalen Wilson and Kevin McCullar (Kansas); Allen Flanigan (Auburn). More key departures Wednesday included David Roddy (State of Colorado), Caleb Houstan and Moussa Diabate (Michigan), justin lewis (Marquette), Jules Bernard (UCLA) and Dereon Seabron (NC state).

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