|OPPONENT:||Iowa St. Cyclones (12-5, 1-1)|
|LOCATION:||United Spirit Arena : Lubbock, TX|
|DATE:||January 20, 2010|
|TIME:||6:30 p.m. CST|
|TV:||KLBK (Lubbock) : FSSW : ESPN 360|
|GAME CAST:||Fox Sports|
The Season Thus Far: Like just about every other Big 12 team in non-conference play, the Cyclones were pretty good in non-conference play. Their only losses were two very close losses to Northwestern and to Northern Illinois, and two blowout losses to California and to Duke. The Cyclones were on a similar path to the Red Raiders in that ISU lost to some teams they should have beaten, but since the blowout loss to Duke, the Cyclones have played close, competitive games. That goes for a 7 point loss to the Longhorns and a 3 point win in Nebraska.
The Main Players: The Cyclones are talented, but they're not incredibly deep. Craig Brackins should be a top 20 pick in this year's NBA draft and he's one of those players that given the right situation, could really flourish in the NBA. Any reason to watch NBA talent, and I'm in. In addition to Brackins is Gilstrap, who was Brad Reese's teammate at Gulf Coast Community College, Gilstrap is another guy that has NBA potential (some have him as a second round pick). In any event, any time that a team has two legitimate NBA talents, you know that there's the potential for ISU to absolutely run away with this game.
Step Up On Offense: Someone needs to be a consistent scoring threat for the Red Raiders. Texas Tech has gone through a handful of games where it's been awful to watch the flow of this offense. The team seems to lack any sort of offensive concepts for an entire half during a game and it's absolutely killing this team. Sure, guys like PG John Roberson or SF Brad Reese have made the scores somewhat respectable, but at this point, the Red Raiders need to be consitent from start to finish.
Defensive Intensity: The defensive intensity of this team has waned since the start of the year and the lack of intensity isn't acceptable in my book. There was a time early in the year when we were all excited about how this team had changed during the offseason, but recently, it seems as if teams are scoring at will against Texas Tech.
Upperclassmen Need to Step Up: I'm calling out PG John Roberson, SF Mike Singletary and PF D`walyn Roberts. These three are all juniors and they've all been a part of the program together for those three years. If there was ever a time for a team to pull themselves up, its now and I think it's the responsibility of these three to do it. Roberson needs to be consistent from tip-off to the end of the game. Singletary needs to figure out how he can be an effective scorer around the block and his teammates need to recognize how to get him the ball to be effective. Roberts needs to be the dominate athlete that he's capable of being.