Gonzaga’s Drew Timme on facing UCLA in Sweet 16: ‘Why not play them again?’
The Bulldogs forward spoke with Yahoo Sports college basketball writer Krysten Peek about his team’s meeting with the Bruins on Thursday - their third showdown in the last two years. Drew joined Yahoo Sports on behalf of the Pringles March Mustache Collection - to learn more, visit Pringles' page on Instagram.
KRYSTEN PEEK: I'm Krysten Peek, joined by Gonzaga's Drew Timme who's with us on behalf of Pringles March Mustache collection. We'll get to that shortly. Drew, it's a huge match-up in the Sweet 16 as you guys are facing number two, UCLA. There's a little bit of history there with how things shaped up in the Final Four a few years ago. How big is this game for you, and what's different this time around?
DREW TIMME: It's big because it's a Sweet 16 match-up and they're a really good team. All the added stuff from last year in the Final Four is more for the TV viewers at home. But we're two totally different teams. We have some similar pieces on both sides.
But I mean, at the end of the day, they're a really good team. They're physical, they play their style. They're blue collar, hard-nosed guys. And we've got to match up their intensity. Because if not, then they're gonna kick our butts. But it'll be a fun match-up for sure, and I'm excited for it.
KRYSTEN PEEK: The last couple of seasons, you've played alongside Jalen Suggs and Chet Holmgrem. Both were lottery picks. This year's team doesn't have a one and done prospect. And it's March, and here you guys are. How do you deal with the pressure of going far for Gonzaga? I mean, you said it after the TCU win, you didn't want to be the one that didn't help get Gonzaga to the Sweet 16.
DREW TIMME: Love how you worded that, you did that a little better than me. But it's definitely pressure to get there, but it's also a privilege. I mean, we earned the right to be here. We earned the right to have this pressure on us, and we earned everything that we've gotten so far. And I think that's just kind of the way we look at it. Like, look, while there is pressure, we worked hard to be in this position.
We worked hard to get here. We've overcame a lot this year. And I think that's what makes it so special is when you look at it from a fact of you've earned the right to be here rather than there's so much pressure on you, I think it makes things a little bit easier and it makes it more fun to just go out and play and not worry about all the external stuff.
KRYSTEN PEEK: Head coach Mark Few is no stranger to navigating through the tournament. Mentally, what changes during this time when you guys lock in?
DREW TIMME: I think it's just really all basketball. I mean, this is the peak. This is everything that you want as a hooper. This is-- all the lights are bright, all the people are locked in. It's the highest intensity that you can get and I think that just makes it so much more fun. And it's kind of just-- you really got to lock in as a team. You really see teams that are really connected do really well, because there's a lot of external forces that go into just this whole month.
KRYSTEN PEEK: Every year, the mustache-- your mustache becomes like, a tournament alter ego. You've now partnered with Pringles. What is the Pringles March Mustache collection, and what is your role?
DREW TIMME: You know, I was just-- I always grow my mustache out and everything and I was like, huh. The Pringles dude has a pretty nice mustache, too. So I was like, maybe I'll get some pointers from him on how to keep a good mustache and everything. And he's been doing it way longer than me, so no better person to learn from than him. But yeah, it's kind of been a great duo. Like, I just think it fits really well together. And I was super excited to be able to partner with Pringles.
KRYSTEN PEEK: OK. Well, thank you so much for the time. Good luck to you and your Pringles March mustache, and good luck tomorrow on the Sweet 16, Drew.
DREW TIMME: Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it.