Men’s basketball preview: No. 5 Texas will see familiar face at No. 1 Gonzaga
No. 5 Texas at No. 1 Gonzaga, 9:30 p.m., McCarthey Athletic Center, Spokane, Wash. (capacity 6,000)
About the series: Gonzaga leads 3-0. On Nov. 25, 2017, the Zags won 76-71 in overtime when they met in Portland, Ore., as part of the PK30 tournament. Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura had 20 points off the bench while the Horns shot just 38.8%.
About the Longhorns: Keep an eye on the rebounding battle. That was the only real question mark from the opening 92-48 win over Houston Baptist. The Horns will be going up against a 7-foot freshman and one of the country's most well-rounded players. One of UT’s best rebounders might be Vanderbilt transfer Dylan Disu. However, the Pflugerville graduate is still working through a knee injury, and there's no date pinpointed for his season debut. “We’re not going to compromise by trying to gain a day here, a day there,” Beard said. The Horns are walking into a small venue, but it should be rocking. “The Texas game is going to be right there at the top with the special ones that this building’s had, and it’s had a lot of great ones,” Gonzaga assistant Brian Michaelson said.
About the Bulldogs: There’s one player on the roster Beard knows well. Bolton was a terrific scorer the past two years at Iowa State. He’s averaged 13.7 points in three-plus seasons but never scored more than 14 points in three games against Texas. It might be a new team, but Bolton has an idea of what to expect from a Beard-led squad. “I’m pretty used to what they’re going to do: press up, be aggressive,” Bolton said after the Zags’ opening win. “He’s a fearless scorer, a bucket-getter,” Beard said this week. Beard’s Texas Tech squad defeated Gonzaga in 2019 on the Red Raiders’ march to the national championship game. As for Few, this will be his first game back from a three-game suspension after being arrested in September for driving under the influence.