Preview | Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders

Michael C. Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

The Alabama Crimson Tide travels to Lubbock to take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

GAME INFORMATION

vs

Alabama Crimson Tide (6-3, 0-0)


Texas Tech Red Raiders (5-2, 0-0)

December 19, 2012 @ 7:00 pm

United Spirit Arena | Lubbock, TX

TV: ESPN3 | Radio: Affiliates | GameCast: FoxSports

Probable Starters

Trevor Releford (6-0/195)

PG

Josh Gray (6-1/175)

Trevor Lacey (6-3/215)

SG

Trency Jackson (6-2/185)

Levi Randolph (6-5/205)

TG

Jamal Williams, Jr. (6-4/190)

Rodney Cooper (6-6/215)

PF

Jordan Tolbert (6-7/225)

Moussa Gueye (7-0/255)

C

Dejan Kravic (6-11/240)

SCOUTING THE CRIMSON TIDE

Fun fact: Jamal Williams and Moussa Gueye were teammates at Lake Land College last year. Aside from that fun fact, Alabama has struggled a bit this year, sorta like Texas Tech, in that they have won games they should have won, but lost a 2 point game to Cincinnati, a 5 point game to Dayton and a 19 point game to VCU.

Statistically, Releford (15.8) and Lacey (13.4) are their leading scorers with Cooper also averaging in double-figures at 13.5 per game. All three players are young and talented, although if you want a reason as to why teams like Alabama and Texas Tech struggle, it is because they both have lead guards that are young. Alabama would seemingly have less of an excuse because Releford, Lacey and Cooper have been in Tuscaloosa for a couple of years. Alabama is as bad of a rebounding team as Texas Tech. In fact, they average less offensive boards than Texas Tech and that is rare. They essentially have the same numbers of assists and turnovers. Long story short, these are two very evenly matched teams that are statistically pretty similar.

KEYS TO SUCCESS

This is going to be a game where the guards should dominate play. It will be interesting to see Jackson, Gray and Williams, match up against Alabama's best players. I'm expecting that Alabama will have the advantage here, but the guards need to do a better job of not disappearing in games. Great players play with consistency.

I'm also concerned about how this team shot 3 of 18 from the three-point line against McNeese St. It's fine to shoot the threes, but it's starting to become a crutch for not finding a better shot. And this leads into how the post players maybe need to be better or take more shots. Tolbert should have more than 4 shots and I'd be fine with Crockett taking more than 10 shots or Kravic taking more than 9 if the guards are going to settle for three point shots.

This should also be a game where Texas Tech should have the an advantage inside. The difference is probably that Texas Tech's best player, Jaye Crockett, will probably be guarded by Devonta Pollard, a true freshman. I'd aslo have to think that Tolbert should have a matchup advantage against Cooper and it will be interesting to see if the players take advantage of that as the game starts.

GAME DAY LINKS

Texas Tech searching for more from starting post players | Red Raiders | Kosmider and I are on the same wave-length . . . need more from Tolbert and Kravic.

* Tech basketball: Releford guides the Tide; Red Raiders emphasize free throws; Help defense preached | Red Raiders | Lot of stuff here, including the team working on help defense and free throws.

* Men's Hoops Set For Showdown At Texas Tech Wednesday Night - ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE - University of Alabama Official Athletic Site

* Alabama coach Anthony Grant looks back on a loss at VCU and ahead to a game at Texas Tech (video) | al.com

* Texas Tech, Alabama Square Off Wednesday Night - Texas Tech Red Raiders Official Athletic Site

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