Gonzaga’s nonconference schedule is taking shape with dates set for several home games.
Texas, the top matchup on the Zags’ home schedule, will visit the McCarthey Athletic Center on Nov. 13. The return game will be next season in Austin.
The two-game series was originally expected to begin in Austin last season but was pushed back in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Moody Center, the Longhorns’ new arena, is under construction and should open next spring.
Texas hired new coach Chris Beard away from Texas Tech in April after Shaka Smart accepted the Marquette job. Beard has brought in five transfers ranked in the top 32 of ESPN’s top 100 transfers. The list includes No. 5 small forward Timmy Allen (Utah), No. 6 post Tre Mitchell (Massachusetts), No. 17 forward Christian Bishop (Creighton), No. 25 forward Dylan Disu (Vanderbilt) and No. 32 guard Devin Askew (Kentucky).
Texas is reportedly in the mix for Minnesota guard Marcus Carr, who is No. 2, according to ESPN.
The incoming transfers join returning guards Andrew Jones (team-high 14.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists) and Courtney Ramey (12.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists).
The Longhorns are ranked No. 11 in CBS Sports’ Top 25 and 1.
Washington is scheduled to visit the Zags on Dec. 12. The game was pushed back from last year’s schedule due to the pandemic.
The Huskies return guard Jamal Bey, the top returning scorer at 10.3 points, and fellow starter Nate Roberts, a 6-foot-11 forward who averaged 5.2 points and 5.7 boards.
Stanford transfer Daejon Davis, a Seattle native, and West Virginia transfer Emmitt Matthews Jr., who is from Tacoma, should have key roles.
The 6-3 Davis, who made 97 career starts at Stanford, averaged 10.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists last season. Matthews started 67 games with the Mountaineers. The 6-7 forward averaged 7.7 points and 4.0 rebounds last season.
Washington, 5-21 last season, were 4-16 and placed 11th in the Pac-12.
Gonzaga has marquee matchups against Duke on Nov. 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Alabama on Dec. 4 in the Battle in Seattle, and Texas Tech on Dec. 18 in Phoenix.
Duke is No. 6 and Alabama is No. 16 in CBS Sports’ rankings. Texas Tech is No. 32 in Jon Rothstein’s top 45.
Gonzaga and UCLA continue to discuss a potential showdown, likely prior to Thanksgiving at a multiteam event in Las Vegas. CBS Sports ranks UCLA at No. 2, behind the Zags.
Forward Johnny Juzang’s decision to withdraw from the NBA draft and return to UCLA elevated the Bruins to No. 1 in Andy Katz’s rankings on NCAA.com. Gonzaga is No. 2 and Texas is No. 3.
Gonzaga will open the season against visiting Dixie State on Nov. 9. The Zags entertain Bellarmine on Nov. 19 and Northern Arizona on Dec. 20. WCC games are slated to begin Dec. 30.
Tarleton State, another game pushed back from last year’s schedule, is expected to visit the McCarthey Athletic Center, but a date hasn’t been announced.
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