Texas vs. Texas Tech | Game Preview

TEXAS TECH (8-19, 1-14)
VS.
TEXAS (17-11, 7-8)
Game Essentials
Date | February 25, 2012
Time | 3:00 pm
Location | Lubbock, TX
TV | Big 12 Network
Radio | Affiliates

Texas Tech Starting 5
Javarez Willis (5-11/171) | 8.3 PPG | 1.7 APG
Ty Nurse (6-1/180) | 8.9 PPG | 1.8 APG
Luke Adams (5-9/150) | 3.8 PPG | 1.2 APG
Jordan Tolbert (6-7/210) | 11.1 PPG | 5.7 RPG
Robert Lewandowski (6-10/256) | 6.9 PPG | 3.7 RPG

Texas Starting 5
Myck Kabongo (6-1/169) | 10.3 PPG | 5.0 APG
J'Covan Brown (6-1/197) | 19.6 PPG | 3.8 APG
Julien Lewis (6-3/190) | 7.3 PPG | 3.5 RPG
Alexis Wangmene (6-7/241) | 4.7 PPG | 4.7 RPG
Clint Chapman (6-10/245) | 7.0 PPG | 5.2 RPG

WHAT TO EXPECT

MORE THOUGHTS ON ATTRITION | Attrition is a nice way to say that a player is going to be cut and as we have all discussed since the signing class was more than scholarships available, I've gone back and forth as to what's going to happen with the players once the season ends. A lot of thought is given thought to the football team, but if you ever had a criticism of Tuberville for doing this, then you'll have to equally, and perhaps more forcefully, criticize Gillispie. The more I think about this, the more I think that much like Tuberville was given a pass with Glasgow, I think that Gillispie was given a one year pass with his team. Again, this is speculation on my part, but I think that Gillispie was given a one-year reprieve both on the court and what he does with scholarships and I'm hoping that this doesn't become a yearly ritual, oversigning and then cutting players even though they may have done nothing wrong other than not meet Gillispie's expectations.

FIGHTING FOR AN NCAA INVITE | For the first time in what seems like a long time, Rick Barnes' Texas team may be fighting for an NCAA tournament invite. Barnes has long taken on players that bolt to the NBA given the opportunity and that plan has worked really well for UT as they've regularly made the NCAA tournament. On Saturday night, the Longhorns will be fighting for the opportunity to get into the tournament. They only have 17 wins thus far and it sure would look good to the selection committee to have 20 wins outside of the Big 12 Tournament with three games remaining, although the likelihood of winning the last game, against Kansas, seems unlikely. I'm expecting UT to come out with a bit of fire after losing two straight, to Oklahoma St. last weekend and Baylor earlier this week.

KEY MATCHUPS

CHAPMAN VS. LEWANDOWSKI | In the last game these teams met, Chapman had 20 points on 6 of 10 from the floor and grabbed 9 rebounds. As you will note from Chapman's yearly averages, this is not normal. I don't know if Lew will cover Chapman or Wangmene, but if Texas Tech is to have much of a chance, the Red Raiders cannot afford to allow a player that averages 7 points a game to go off for 20. Lewandowski is a better player than he's shown (or maybe he's not, by the end of the year, he maybe what he is) and he shouldn't allow a player that's similar in stature to Lew to have a career night.

McCLELLAN VS. NURSE | I'm not sure if Sheldon McClellan will start or Lewis, but in either instance, Nurse will be asked to guard the bigger guard, which ever is on the floor. Nurse is playing a ton of minutes recently and I cannot imagine that he's going to be able to play effectively, both offensively and defensively, although I'm not sure there are many better options to receive playing time. I'm guessing that Willis will take Brown defensively and Willis can have games where he stops opposing guards, but I'm still expecting Brown to have a pretty good game.

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