Pistons’ draft: A big test for top prospect Chet Holmgren today

Chet Holmgren #34 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Chet Holmgren #34 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons will have one eye on the NCAA Tournament today, as potential #1 pick Chet Holmgren will be in action for the Gonzaga Bulldogs.

There isn’t a consensus #1 this season, but Holmgren is probably the closest to it, as he has a rare combination of size and skill that could end up being the prototype for the modern NBA big.

He can handle the ball, shoot from all three levels efficiently and protects the rim as well as anyone in college basketball this season, so he will definitely get some consideration for the number one pick overall, especially if the Detroit Pistons end up there.

The knocks against Holmgren are his size and the fact that he hasn’t played much elite competition this season at Gonzaga.

HIs size doesn’t bother me, as he will put on strength in the NBA and he hasn’t been injury prone so far in his young career.

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As for elite competition, Holmgren will get his chance in the NCAA tournament, starting today when he’ll be facing off against another of the top center prospects in the 2022 NBA Draft.

Pistons’ draft: Chet Holmgren needs to prove himself against Memphis

Chet Holmgren will have his work cut out for him against Memphis, as they feature two strong, athletic bigs, the type of players that some critics worry Holmgren won’t be able to handle.

The Tigers feature Jalen Duren, who could be an option for the Pistons if they fall to 7th, and DeAndre Williams, a 6-foot-8 senior who plays physically and could be tasked with bodying Holmgren today.

Holmgren does not figure to be a back-to-the-basket center in the NBA, but a guy who will likely play power forward, work in an out of the perimeter on offense and be a shot blocking presence from the weak side on defense.

But he does have to show that he can handle physical forwards and centers, especially on the defensive end, where his size could be an issue in the post.

A strong game from Holmgren today would put a lot of those fears to rest, as Duren and Williams both have NBA bodies and play a physical style.

If Chet can move circles around them on offense and keep from getting bullied on the other end, it will help his case to be the number one overall pick.

How to watch Gonzaga vs. Memphis

Chet Holmgren and the Gonzaga Bulldogs will tip off vs. Memphis at 8:40 PM ET and you an watch on TBS.

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