Mark Few and his Gonzaga Bulldogs received an early-season taste of what a Big 12 schedule might feel like.
No. 2 Gonzaga lost its first game of the 2022-23 college basketball season Wednesday night, dominated by No. 11 Texas, 93-74.
The Longhorns took a 10-point lead into halftime, led by as many as 23 points in the second half, and handed Gonzaga its largest margin of defeat since 2014.
Sophomore guard Tyrese Hunter led Texas with 26 points on 5-8 shooting from the three-point line.
“They hit a lot of deep, deep 3’s,” Bulldogs coach Mark Few said. “We knew he could shoot them, but not from 30 feet or whatever. He was feeling it.”
Hunter, who transferred from Iowa State after winning the Big 12 Freshman of the Year, made five of the Longhorns’ 13 three-pointers.
“Big shoutout to my teammates for finding me. I don’t think I got one of them off the dribble,” Hunter said.
Gonzaga fell to 2-1 on the season after squeaking by Michigan State last week.
The non-conference schedule for the Bulldogs is brutal, with No. 4 Kentucky next up on Saturday. The Zags will face No. 5 Baylor on Dec. 2.
In early November, it was reported that Gonzaga athletic director Chris Standiford and Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark met in Dallas to discuss joining the conference.
Gonzaga, a member of the West Coast Conference, has been a powerhouse in basketball over the past two decades. Its addition to the Big 12 would bolster a league that has won the last two NCAA basketball championships.
While Texas and Oklahoma will leave the Big 12 for the SEC by 2025, the conference will add Cincinnati, Houston, UCF and BYU next year.
It would mean a serious jump in competition for Gonzaga, whose WCC conference schedule has been questioned for years.
One Big 12 coach thinks Gonzaga would be in for a rude awakening if it chooses to change conferences.
“To get in this league and play who we play day after day, I would think it would be a tremendous awakening,” West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins said, according to ESPN. “You don’t get to make your own schedule in the Big 12.”