Texas Tech vs. Grambling St. | Game Preview

TEXAS TECH (4-4)
VS.
GRAMBLING STATE (0-6)
Game Essentials
Date | December 18, 2011
Time | 7:00 pm
Location | Lubbock, TX
TV | TTSN
Radio | Affiliates
Game Cast | Fox Sports

Texas Tech Starting 5
Ty Nurse (6-1/180) | 11.5 PPG | 1.1 AST
Javarez Willis (5-11/171) | 6.7 PPG | 2.5 AST
Toddrick Gotcher (6-3/190) | 8.3 PPG | 4.4 REB
Jordan Tolbert (6-7/210) | 13.0 PPG | 6.1 REB
Robert Lewandowski (6-10/256) | 6.1 PPG | 4.5 REB

Grambling St. Starting 5
Rondale Livas (5-10/150) | 5.8 PPG | 3.0 APG
Raschard Boatner (6-0/170) | 2.8 PPG | 3.3 APG
Bryant Purvis (6-7/215) | 3.3 PPG | 4.1 RPG
Steven Danridge (6-8/260) | 5.0 PPG | 5.5 RPG
Peter Roberson (7-0/245) | 8.0 PPG | 7.5 RPG

Programming Note: The Lady Raiders play Saturday afternoon at 1:00 pm in Chicago against Illinois and the game will be on the Big 10 Network, while the men's team will play Sunday evening at 7:00 pm.

WHAT TO EXPECT

SHOULDN'T BE CLOSE | Grambling St. is a bad basketball team, ranked #290 in RPI. They don't shoot well at all, shooting eFG% of 30.6% compared to 53.8% for Texas Tech, turn the ball over more than Texas Tech, which is saying something, and they don't rebound particularly well, although they actually rebound better than Texas Tech. Despite GSU having a slight rebounding edge, Texas Tech is better in just about every facet of the game and this should be a game where Texas Tech has a big lead and gets some kinks worked out after having such a long layoff.

SIGNIFICANT FREE THROW ADVANTAGE | Texas Tech has shot more free throws than Grambling St. and they've done it at a much higher percentage. GSU has shot only 81 free throws on the year, compared to 170 for Texas Tech and has only made 59% compared to Texas Tech making 72%. Texas Tech should try to get to the line early and often against Grambling St. and would absolutely love to see Lewandowski and Tolbert have double-digit (I'm dreaming) free throws as well as someone like Gotcher, who isn't afraid to go inside, go to the line a good part of the night.

KEY MATCHUPS

LIVAS VS. WILLIS | It's never good when your point guard has an assist to turnover ratio of 3.0 to 6.3. Yes, that's right, GSU's starting point guard hands out only 3 assist per game, but manages to turn the ball over 6 times a game. Willis and Wagner should take advantage of this opportunity and would love to see both of them pressure Livas up and down the floor all night to force some turnovers and some easy baskets.

LEWANDOWSKI VS. ROBERSON | Lew has had a tough to at it for most of the year. He hasn't really found any sort of groove offensively and I can't remember who mentioned this, but maybe Lew needs to be more outside of the paint when he gets the ball. Lew is a good shooter from the outside, although he hasn't hit many shots this year and perhaps it's time to put him at the high post, let Tolbert work inside, and would maybe give Lew a better opportunity to score. This team really needs Lew to produce offensively, even if it's only 10 points a game.

PURVIS VS. GOTCHER | Gotcher hasn't backed down from anyone thus far and Gotcher will most likely be matched up against someone who is much taller. Gotcher has been one of the more consistent players on the team thus far and he's scoring without shooting too many shots, but he's absolutely filling up the statsheet each night. Gotcher averages a little over 8 points a game, shoots 48%, makes 72% of his free throws, almost 5 boards a game, almost 3 assists and only turns the ball over 1.6 times a game. That's a consistent player. Purvis struggles to do much of anything, despite the fact that he plays almost 29 minutes a game. Averages only 3 points a game, shoots 15% (that's not a typo) and doesn't rebound particularly well for a guy that's 6-7.

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