Baylor vs. Texas Tech | Game Preview

TEXAS TECH (7-6, 0-1)
VS.
BAYLOR (14-0, 1-0)
Game Essentials
Date | January 7, 2012
Time | 12:45 pm
Location | Lubbock, TX
TV | Big 12 Network
Radio | Affiliates

Texas Tech Starting 5
Javarez Willis (5-11/171) | 8.7 PPG | 2.4 APG
Ty Nurse (6-1/180) | 10.7 PPG | 1.9 RPG
Jaye Crockett (6-7/200) | 6.0 PPG | 4.7 RPG
Jordan Tolbert (6-7/210) | 15.2 PPG | 6.6 RPG
Robert Lewandowski (6-10/256) | 7.5 PPG | 4.3 RPG

Baylor Starting 5
A.J. Walton (6-1/185) | 4.4 PPG | 3.7 APG
Brady Heslip (6-2/180) | 10.0 PPG | 1.2 RPG
Quincy Miller (6-9/210) | 10.9 PPG | 5.3 RPG
Quincy Acy (6-7/235) | 12.5 PPG | 7.3 RPG
Perry Jones, III (6-11/235) | 13.4 PPG | 7.3 RPG

WHAT TO EXPECT

CROCKETT TO START | For the past few games, DeShon Minnis has started in some form or fashion and I don't think that Gillispie can do that on Saturday. Baylor sports an NBA type of lineup with a ton of height and they rebound the heck out of the ball, with a 6 rebound differential with opposing teams and they average almost 12 offensive rebounds a game. That's a lot of second chances and if Minnis starts, he'd have to either guard Miller or Acy and there's no way that he can guard either. Crockett has to start if Texas Tech expects to have any sort of ability to keep Baylor off of the glass as he's at the very least an athletic body that can keep pace with Miller on the outside. Miller is more of a small forward who can hit from outside, but he's long and lean (6-9). Texas Tech has to keep Baylor off of the offensive boards.

MUST FIND A WAY TO SCORE | I mentioned this after the last game, but I think that most days after a game the problem with this team will be offensive. I think Texas Tech will play good, maybe not great, defense for the better part of the season, but this team has to have some offensive production from a collection of players. It is unfair to ask Tolbert to be the leading scorer night-in-and-night-out as he's talented, but he's going to be going up against much better competition, including Acy. Other than Tolbert, there isn't a dominant scorer for Texas Tech and it wouldn't surprise me to see Texas Tech have one of the lower points per game averages by the end of the Big 12 season. However, the collective group can be better. Lew, Crockett, Willis and Nurse all need to somehow scrape together 8 to 10 points a piece in order for this team to have a chance to keep pace with most teams in the conference, including Baylor. I'd also add that this team must find a way to try to score some easy buckets. Not necessarily fast break points, because I don't think that Gillispie wants to necessarily run, but they must start creating some easier scoring chances

KEY MATCHUPS

ACY VS. TOLBERT | Acy is what I hope that Tolbert becomes, which is an athletic freak that scores in double-figures and rebounds the heck out of the ball. Acy is more skilled than Tolbert right now and the fact that Acy is a senior means that Acy has an experience advantage, but in Tolbert's first conference game he didn't back down, leading the team in scoring with 13 points and grabbing 13 boards. As mentioned above, I think it's tough to ask so much from a true freshman and maybe Tolbert can handle it, but I do not want to ask Tolbert to have to lead this team by himself. This match-up is worth the price of admission alone because I think it's going to tell you quite a bit about Tolbert and where he is in the process.

JONES, III vs. LEWANDOWSKI | Lew was virtually non-existent against Oklahoma St. and I hope like heck we don't see a repeat performance. Jones is an elite talent, maybe the best or one of the best players in the country and Lew will have a tough task in guarding Jones. This is a distance and absolute match-up advantage for Baylor as Lew has disappointed for a good part of the season and against OSU he got back into foul trouble, which most likely limited his minutes. Texas Tech cannot afford not to have Lew out there as there aren't any other center options on the team.

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