Texas basketball vs. UTRGV: 3 bold predictions for Gregory showdown

Sir'Jabari Rice, Texas basketball
Sir'Jabari Rice, Texas basketball /
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Dylan Disu, Texas basketball Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
Dylan Disu, Texas basketball Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports /

On Nov. 26, head coach Chris Beard and No. 4 ranked Texas basketball will look to continue their winning ways to start out the 2022-23 regular season. Texas will be looking for its fifth straight win to start the season, which could come to close out the Leon Black Classic this weekend.

Beard and the Longhorns are set to host the UTRGV Vaqueros at home at a different venue in Austin. For the second time since last season, the Longhorns will play a home game at Gregory Gymnasium in Austin.

Last year, it was the Longhorns hosting Sam Houston State at Gregory Gym. And now, Texas will return to Gregory Gym for a game it’s heavily favored in to close out the Leon Black Classic during this holiday weekend.

Texas comes into this matchup against UTRGV with a record of 4-0 (0-0 Big 12) after a convincing 73-48 win over the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks to open up the Leon Black Classic in Edinburg on Nov. 21.

Meanwhile, UTRGV comes into this game with a record of 4-2 (0-0 WAC) following a 91-79 win in its first game of the Leon Black Classic on Nov. 22 over Northern Arizona.

Texas is more than a 33-point favorite over UTRGV a few hours ahead of tipoff. And according to the ESPN Basketball Power Index, Texas has a 98.7 percent chance of beating UTRGV.

Bold predictions for Dylan Disu and No. 4 Texas basketball vs. UTRGV to close out the Leon Black Classic

With that in mind, here’s a look at three bold predictions for this final showdown of the Leon Black Classic between Texas and UTRGV on Nov. 26 at Gregory Gym.

Texas doubles up UTRGV in rebounds

UTRGV has struggled on the glass when facing major conference teams in the last two seasons. Being outmatched athletically has resulted in some of the better teams that UTRGV faced in the last couple of years completely controlling the glass.

The Vaqueros tend to do well on the boards when facing lower-tier opposition. UTRGV has outrebounded its opponents on average 40-32 this season.

Yet, against quad 1 and quad 2 opponents last season, UTRGV was outrebounded by a margin of nearly double digits. And we saw last season that, even lacking some size in the frontcourt unit early on, Texas could still outrebound UTRGV when these two teams met.

Since the season opener, Texas has done really well on the boards. Texas has won the battle on the boards in the last three games combined by a margin of 26. Granted, most of that edge came when Texas outrebounded Houston Christian by a margin of two dozen boards.

Moreover, the likes of true freshman forward Dillon Mitchell and senior center Dylan Disu will have the advantage in terms of pure athleticism and agility down low. UTRGV does have some size, led by the 6-foot-10 transfer big man Dima Zdor.

But a lack of mobility will limit what the Vaqueros can do on the glass in this one. Expect Texas to have a big edge in the rebounding battle against UTRGV.