Gonzaga (1-0) opened the 2018-19 season in convincing fashion with a 120-79 win over Idaho State. Rui led the Zags with an efficient 33-points on only 18 shots. Add in ‘Snacks’ Norvell’s 23 points and the Zags looked every part of their #3 preseason ranking. Next up: Texas Southern University (1-0), who came back from 17 in the second half to upset Baylor in Waco on Tuesday night. Baylor had came into the game ranked 39th on KenPom but picked to finish 9th in the Big-12. TSU projected to place 2nd the SWAC, are coming off a strong 2017-2018 campaign that included their first win all-time in the NCAA tournament.

Here’s what else to know – 

All-Time Series:

3-0, Gonzaga. The two teams opened the 2017-2018 season in the Kennel, when the Zags won by 30 points. However, the first time they met was in 2008, a couple days before the infamous Battle in Seattle game featuring Connecticut and Hasheem Thabeet. 

Texas Southern Report:

Texas Southern has reached the tournament in 4 of the past 5 seasons, including a 64-46 play-in round victory against North Carolina Central. If they want to make it 5 of 6, they’ll have to do so without storied head coach Mike Davis who left for the same position at Detroit – Mercy. Johnny Jones now takes after spending a year as the associate head coach at Nevada. He was previously the head coach at LSU for 5 seasons, a stint that included coaching Ben Simmons. Another player Jones coached at LSU was Jaylen Patterson, who transferred to Texas Southern after sitting out last year while earning his degree. Patterson led the tigers with 23 points and 6 assists in the comeback win over Baylor. 

How Gonzaga beats Texas Southern:

Like I said last time, just take care of the basketball. If the Zags do so, they have enough talent on offense to make up for a player or two going cold. Against Idaho St, Gonzaga had five players score double digits and none were named Josh Perkins. 

KenPom.com Stats:

  • Opponent Ranking: 250
  • Projection: Win, 91-65
  • Odds of Gonzaga Winning: 99%

Vegas Odds: 

  • Spread: -27
  • Over/Under Total: 155
  • Vegas Pick: Gonzaga, 91-64

Game Details: 

  • Time & Location: 7:00pm PST at the McCarthy Athletic Center
  • TV: KHQ Spokane (Local) & Root Sports NW (Regional)
  • Online: Stadium (Blackout Restriction)

My Pick: Zags, 101-78.