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Gonzaga’s Drew Timme, UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. to meet one more time

Drew Timme and Jaime Jaquez Jr. grew up in numerous states, but usually got here throughout one another at AAU tournaments, generally as roommates.

The two fancy-footworking forwards with unbelievable facial hair will probably be reunited Thursday evening within the desert, when Gonzaga meets UCLA within the NCAA Tournament’s West Region semifinals.

“We’ve simply sort of grown up on the finish of our careers collectively and simply to sort of see him from afar, it’s superior to see,” Timme mentioned Wednesday.

Since these early highschool days, Timme and Jaquez have turn out to be the focal factors for the West’s two powerhouse packages.

The 6-foot-11 Timme has been one of the nation’s greatest huge males throughout his time in Spokane, Washington, main the Zags to 4 of their eight straight Sweet 16 appearances, together with the 2021 nationwide title recreation.

Timme’s impeccable footwork, multitude of up-fakes, comfortable contact and basketball smarts have made him a near-impossible matchup for opposing defenses. He’s Gonzaga’s all-time main scorer and was named to the Associated Press All-America second group for the third straight season after averaging 21.1 factors and seven.3 rebounds per recreation.

Timme additionally has a knack for taking on in huge video games, like he did final week by scoring 28 factors in Gonzaga’s second-round win over TCU.

“It’s nice to see him and all of the success he’s had there,” Jaquez mentioned. “I credit score that to all of the arduous work that he’s put in. And it was very cool to have full-circle moments like that in life.”

Jaquez has had an analogous affect — and recreation — at UCLA.

The 6-foot-7 swingman has balanced and nimble footwork comparable to Timme’s, loves to throw a number of up-fakes within the put up and at all times appears to make the sensible play. He’s been part of UCLA’s three straight Sweet 16 journeys, together with the 2021 Final Four, and was a second-team AP All-American after averaging 17.5 factors and eight.1 rebounds this season.

“He’s tremendous gifted,” Timme mentioned. “He can rating in any respect three ranges. He does every little thing for them, however he’s only a arduous, sensible man. He’s at all times taking part in his tail off and dealing.”

Timme and the Zags received the final two conferences, in Las Vegas in 2021 and on Jalen Suggs‘ buzzer-beating 3-pointer within the Final Four the 12 months earlier than.

As for the facial hair, that appears to be a draw.

Jaquez has caught with the pirate-looking goatee all through his profession, whereas Timme has introduced again the bristly mustache his mother as soon as hated.

Reporting By The Associated Press.

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