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Texas basketball will face their first major test of Chris Beard’s tenure on Saturday as the Horns travel to Spokane to battle it out against No. 1 ranked Gonzaga.
A win would mark the first win over an AP-top ranked team in program history.
Texas and Gonzaga are both uber-talented teams, but each roster has been built very differently. Texas brings in a very experienced team that includes seven transfers and four returners. Gonzaga has one of the younger rosters in the country and will start two freshmen compared to Texas’ five seniors.
Watch here as the Horns arrived in Spokane on Friday afternoon.
The Longhorns will have to find a way to slow down 7-foot Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren. Holmgren was the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2021 class and is the odds on favorite to be the top pick in the upcoming NBA draft.
Texas head coach Chris Beard spoke very highly of Holmgren during his media availability.
Chris Beard on Chet Holmgren: "Not trying to compare Chet to (Kevin Durant), but I guess I am."
"Has to be one of the best games in the history of college basketball for a freshman starting his career."
"He's a special young player. It'll be a great challenge for our team."
— Joe Cook (@josephcook89) November 10, 2021
Returning starter Drew Timme will play alongside Holmgren in the frontcourt. Timme averaged 19 points per game helping lead the Zags to the national championship game a year ago. Texas forwards Timmy Allen, Christian Bishop and Tre Mitchell will be tasked to stop Holmgren and Timme.
The X-factor in this game could very well be the Texas shooting. The Longhorns shot nearly 60 percent from beyond the arc against Houston Baptist. If the Horns see similar results, they will have a great chance at pulling off the upset.