The Gonzaga Bulldogs have a very impressive history, especially in recent years. The Zags are considered one of the best college basketball programs, making the finals of the NCAA Tournament in 2017. They also made the Elite Eight in 2019, which was the last time we saw the NCAA Basketball tournament.
A lot of very good players have come through the program, but nobody had gotten a triple-double. That was until double-double machine Joel Ayayo put up the first triple-double in school history against the Portland Pilots.
Ayayi was coming off being named WCC Player of the Week because of three double-doubles in one week. However, he finally got a triple-double by dropping 12 points, 13 rebounds, and 14 assists. Ayayi is also one of the main reasons behind Gonzaga being undefeated this season, while also being the best offensive team in the nation.
The Bulldogs are on-pace to romp through to the NCAA Tournament. Despite being in the West Coast Conference, the Zags have shown that they are genuinely elite. In games against high-ranked non-conference opponents like the Iowa Hawkeyes, the Zags have excelled. They are genuinely the scariest team this season, which is why they have been number one in the AP Poll since the first week.
The fact that Ayayi is the first Bulldog to get a triple-double is crazy. The team has seen players like Domantas Sabonis go through in recent years, who have the skill-set to put up similar numbers. However, the college game is significantly different than the NBA.
Ayayi is adding quality to the Bulldogs’ already star-studded team. With Jalen Suggs, Corey Kispert, and Drew Timme, this team is already very formidable. If Ayayi can keep putting up numbers like this, they will be that much harder to beat. The tournament can change seasons with one game, so it will be interesting to see if they can hold on to this form till the end of the tournament.