Ranking the Contenders: Chet Holmgren
Maybe the most unique player in the class of 2021, 7-footer Chet Holmgren stands out as a one-of-a-kind big man. The product of Minneapolis (Minn.) Minnehaha handles the ball and shoots from deep like a shooting guard, but is also the best shot blocker in his class.
Currently ranked No. 4 overall in the rising senior class, Holmgren is down to a final seven that includes Georgetown, Gonzaga, Memphis, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina and Ohio State. Today, we are ranking the contenders for his services.
2022 Rankings: Top 75
There aren’t many programs in America that feature their big men that way that Gonzaga has done on a yearly basis. Not only that, Mark Few and his staff have proven to be highly adaptable in the types of big men they feature and how they let them play.
That hasn’t been lost on Holmgren, and it is pretty clear that Few and the Zags have made quite an impression on him. Few has taken a very hands-on approach to the recruitment of Holmgren – who has already taken an official visit. Gonzaga landed his longtime summer and high school teammate, five-star point guard Jalen Suggs from the class of 2020, and appears to be in strong position here.
2. OHIO STATE
The Buckeyes are the only other program that Holmgren has officially visited. He and head coach Chris Holtmann appear to have developed a pretty strong relationship and Holmgren has mentioned to Rivals.com in the past that he likes how everything in Columbus revolves around Ohio State. There is great need for a big man on the roster, and Holmgren would have several minutes available if he chooses the Buckeyes.
Even though he is too young to have grown up watching Patrick Ewing perform in his prime, the experience Ewing has as one of the game’s all-time great centers isn’t lost on Holmgren. He has been on Georgetown’s campus unofficially, and holds Ewing and the efforts that he has put into recruiting him in high regard. Certainly, landing a player the caliber of Holmgren could be a complete game-changer for Ewing and the Hoyas.
Gopher fans probably won’t be too happy with us and our assessment of where the hometown team stands, but we have to call them like we see them. Holmgren is certainly familiar with campus, and his father was a member of the program during his playing days. Playing time will be there, and he would be treated like a king locally. For whatever reason, Minnesota has had trouble keeping elite prospects home, and it looks like Holmgren could be next to leave if things don’t change. It’s not too late, but Richard Pitino and his staff are going to have to make a comeback here if they want to win.
5. NORTH CAROLINA
Another program that uses its bigs extensively, Roy Williams and North Carolina certainly play a style in which Holmgren could thrive. The Tar Heels have turned up their pursuit lately, and their approach and program history appeal to Holmgren. After signing five-stars Day’Ron Sharpe and Walker Kessler in 2020 and Armando Bacot in 2019, the Heels have a pretty deep group of big men on campus. One or more of them may need to go pro to create some room for Holmgren. It would help their chances if he does wait until the spring of 2021 to make his pick.