Ex-Gonzaga players recognized as some of the NBA’s most clutch performers

In recent years, former Gonzaga basketball players have distinguished themselves as some of the NBA’s most reliable performers in crucial moments. A study conducted by sports betting site FlashPicks revealed that since 2020, ex-Zags have collectively made 240 field goals during clutch situations, defined as the final five minutes of the fourth quarter with a point difference of less than five between teams. This places Gonzaga tied for the eighth position among colleges in terms of producing clutch shots during this period. Moreover, their shooting accuracy during such moments stands at 46.3%, tying them for ninth place in the league.

Among the 10 Gonzaga alumni currently active in the NBA, Chet Holmgren and Domantas Sabonis stand out for their clutch performances. Holmgren, in his rookie season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, showcased remarkable efficiency by shooting 52.5% and scoring 64 points during clutch situations. Notably, his game-tying 3-pointer against the Golden State Warriors in just his 13th professional game underscored his impact. Meanwhile, Sabonis has been a consistent presence in clutch moments, tallying 77 field goals and 232 points since 2020, including playoff games. His versatility was on display in crucial plays like the game-winning dunk against the San Antonio Spurs, highlighting his ability to seize opportunities beyond traditional post play.

Other former Gonzaga players have also left their mark on NBA courts with memorable clutch shots. Kelly Olynyk’s fadeaway against the Charlotte Hornets and acrobatic floater versus the New Orleans Pelicans, along with Andrew Nembhard’s buzzer-beater over LeBron James, and Jalen Suggs’ go-ahead 3-pointer against the Chicago Bulls, are just a few instances of their impact.

In terms of overall clutch performance among college programs, Gonzaga is tied with Washington, with both schools ranking eighth, as per the study. Kentucky leads the pack with 1,097 clutch field goals since 2020, followed by Duke, UCLA, Villanova, USC, Kansas, and Texas.

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