Texas Tech vs. Iowa St. | Game Preview

TEXAS TECH (8-18, 1-13)
VS.
IOWA ST. (19-8, 9-5)
Game Essentials
Date | February 22, 2012
Time | 7:00 pm
Location | Ames, IA
TV | ESPNU
Radio | Affiliates

Texas Tech Starting 5
Javarez Willis (5-11/171) | 8.3 PPG | 1.7 APG
Ty Nurse (6-1/180) | 8.7 PPG | 1.7 APG
Luke Adams (5-9/150) | 3.9 PPG | 1.2 APG
Jordan Tolbert (6-7/210) | 11.3 PPG | 5.8 RPG
Robert Lewandowski (6-10/256) | 7.0 PPG | 3.8 RPG

Iowa St. Starting 5
Chris Babb (6-5/225) | 8.6 PPG | 1.7 APG
Scott Christopherson (6-3/195) | 11.3 PPG | 2.0 APG
Chris Allen (6-3/205) | 12.4 PPG | 2.3 RPG
Royce White (6-8/270) | 12.8 PPG | 9.0 RPG
Melvin Ejim (6-6/220) | 8.9 PPG | 6.6 RPG

WHAT TO EXPECT

THIS IS A BLUEPRINT | If you wanted somewhat of a blueprint as to what Gillispie can do in a year, then look no further than Iowa St. When Fred Hoiberg season Iowa St. was a middling team that was bordering on just being a losing team. Hoiberg's first year was the 2010-2011 seasno and Hoiberg went 3-13 in conference and Hoiberg took on a handful of transfers, Allen (Michigan St., Babb (Penn St.), Anthony Booker (Southern Illinois) and White (Minnesota), and now Iowa St. is headed to an NCAA invitation. There is risk involved in that Iowa St. doesn't have these players for four or five years, but Hoiberg quickly righted the ship this year and the Cyclones are on their way. It doesn't appear that Gillispie is headed down this path, taking a lot of transfers, but this is one way and it's working for Hoiberg and Iowa St.

IT'S JUST PUTTING THE BALL IN THE BASKET | Texas Tech is 316th in the nation out of 338 in scoring offense. Early in the season, when Texas Tech took advantage of an awful non-conference schedule and really built up some good offensive numbers in terms of effective field goal percentage, but now that offense is the 240th KenPom offense. LAJ's Nick Kosmider also breaks down the offense and looks at the free throw disparity and the results aren't good:

Through the first seven Big 12 games, Tech (8-18, 1-13) was outscored at the free-throw line by a combined 12 points. In the seven games since, that deficit has ballooned to 76 points, an average of more than 10 points per game lost by Tech at the line. The Red Raiders have made more than 10 free throws only twice in the last seven games.

In a 47-38 loss to Texas A&M on Feb. 14, Tech shot just two foul shots — both missed. Asked whether he had ever coached a game where his team only attempted two from throws, Gillispie said, "I don’t know ... but we barely got those."

KEY MATCHUPS

TOLBERT VS. WHITE | I'm keeping this matchup despite the fact that I highlighted it last time. I love watching White play, he's so good and fun to watch as a complete basketball player. The fact that he's almost averaging a double-double is impressive and I mentioned this the last time, but White is a passing machine at 6-8/270, at almost 5 assist a game. I don't know how White would fit in the NBA, but he sure is fun to watch now. Tolbert has a tall task, just like he did last time, but

MCGEE/ALLEN VS. WILLIS/NURSE | I wouldn't say that Allen and McGee lit up Texas Tech, but they were both awfully efficient and McGee came off theh bench to lead Iowa St. the last time that Texas Tech and ISU met. Texas Tech has been playing better defense, but when a team can't score, the defense doesn't matter too much. Still, McGee hit 6 of 11 from three-point range the last game and someone has to get out on him as McGee more than doubled his usual scoring average. Nurse and Willis have been better of late, but it still hasn't been close to being good enough to get wins in the Big 12. They both have to have good games, offensively and defensively, for Texas Tech to have much of a chance.

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