Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren, center, dunks during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Dixie State, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, in Spokane, Wash. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
Gonzaga is a 7.5-point home favorite over Texas on Saturday night
Gonzaga is the top-ranked team in the country and Texas is #5
A look at the matchup and odds as well as a prediction can be found below
Two of the nation’s best teams meet in an early-season showdown as #1 Gonzaga hosts #5 Texas at 10:30 p.m. ET Saturday at the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Wash.
Both teams opened their season with easy home victories Tuesday night. Texas routed Houston Baptist 92-48 in Chris Beard’s first game as coach and Gonzaga dispatched Dixie State 97-63.
Gonzaga is favored in a game that will be televised by ESPN2.
Texas vs Gonzaga Odds
Over 150.5 (-114)
Under 150.5 (-106)
Odds as of November 13th at DraftKings.
Everyone Contributes for Texas
Texas got contributions from seemingly everyone on opening night. Junior forward Tre Mitchell led six Longhorns scoring in double figures with 13 points in his first game after transferring from Massachusetts.
Mitchell was one of the top players in the Atlantic 10 Conference last season when he averaged 18.8 points and 7.2 rebounds a game.
Tre Mitchell. Splash.#HookEm pic.twitter.com/km90fKjaxu
— Texas Men’s Basketball (@TexasMBB) November 2, 2021
However, he will not have to shoulder such a heavy load on a talented roster that Beard stocked with transfers after leaving Texas Tech to replace Shaka Smart.
Minnesota transfer Marcus Carr scored eight of Texas’ first 18 points. The senior guard finished with 10 points and a game-high seven assists in 26 minutes.
Some analysts ranked Carr as the best player in the transfer portal after he scored 19.4 points and dealt 4.9 assists a game last season for the Golden Gophers.
Freshman wing Jaylon Tyson debuted with 11 points and senior forward Christian Bishop, a transfer from Creighton, added 10 points.
Texas has just three holdovers from a team that went 19-8 last season and won the Big 12 Tournament before getting upset by Abilene Christian in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Two of them, senior guards Andrew Jones and Courtney Ramey, had 11 points apiece.
Marcus Carr has been fantastic in the first half. Great look to lead Andrew Jones into the wide open corner three #HookEm pic.twitter.com/A7odJbgSR0
— Hudson Standish (@WabashIT) November 10, 2021
Texas shot 64.0% from the field, connecting on 32 of 50 attempts, and was 13 of 22 (59.1%) from beyond the arc.
Another one of Texas’ touted transfers, junior forward Dylan Disu from Vanderbilt, remains sidelined after missing the last eight games of last season with a knee injury. He led the SEC in rebounding last season with a 9.2 average.
Holmgren Shines in Debut
Freshman center Chet Holmgren lived up to the hype of being the highest-rated recruit in Gonzaga history. The Minneapolis native stuffed the stat sheet in just 26 minutes in his collegiate debut with 14 points, 13 rebounds, seven blocked shots and six assists.
The Chet Holmgren show has arrived at Gonzaga 🔥
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 10, 2021
Gonzaga came oh so close to its first national title last season, falling to Baylor in the NCAA Tournament Championship Game and finishing 31-1. Holmgren and two other freshmen who were McDonald’s All-Americans last season, guards Nolan Hickman and Hunter Sallis, give the Bulldogs hope they can get over the hump in 2021-22.
Hickman scored 11 points in 17 minutes of reserve action as five Gonzaga players reached double figures.
Sophomore guard Julian Strawther had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds in 25 minutes. That was a nice step up for Strawther, who averaged 3.4 points and 1.2 rebounds a game last season.
Senior guard Rasir Bolton contributed 15 points in his first game after transferring from Iowa State. Junior forward Drew Timme, a preseason All-America selection, added 11 points.
Drew Timme goes to WORK 🔨@ZagMBB | #GoZags pic.twitter.com/zTjGoBNoTo
— ROOT SPORTS™ | NW (@ROOTSPORTS_NW) November 10, 2021
Look for Timme to be the go-to guy in the tough games after he averaged 19.0 last season while also pulling down 7.0 rebounds a game. Bolton scored 15.5 points a game for the Cyclones along with 3.9 assists.
Gonzaga shot 54.4% (37 of 68) to Dixie State’s 35.4% (23 of 65).
Sophonore guard Dominick Harris (foot) sat out and is questionable for Saturday.
Best College Basketball Betting Sites for 2021
Gonzaga has won all three times it has faced Texas. The last victory came during the 2017-18 season when the Zags pulled out a 76-71 decision in overtime in Portland.
Jones scored 18 points for Texas. None of the nine Gonzaga players who saw action are still in the program.
Gonzaga has a 52-game home winning streak, but Texas has one of the most talented rosters in the country. Look for the Longhorns to keep it close.
The Pick: Texas +7.5 (-110)