Preview | Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Oklahoma St. Cowboys

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma St. Cowboys will host the Texas Tech Red Raiders in an early afternoon game at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

GAME INFORMATION

vs

Oklahoma St. Cowboys (11-4, 1-2)


Texas Tech Red Raiders (8-7, 1-3)

January 19, 2013 @ 1:00 pm

Gallagher Iba Arena | Stillwater, OK

TV: ESPN2 | Radio: Affiliates | GameCast: FoxSports

Probable Starters

Marcus Smart (6-4/225)

PG

Josh Gray (6-1/175)

Markel Brown (6-3/190)

SG

Dusty Hannahs (6-4/210)

Le'Bryan Nash (6-7/230)

TG

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

Kamari Murphy (6-8/210)

PF

Jordan Tolbert (6-7/225)

Philip Jurick (6-11/260)

C

Dejan Kravic (6-11/240)

SCOUTING THE COWBOYS

OSU is another really good defensive team. Maybe better than Kansas and Oklahoma thus far as they are 28th in the country in scoring defense and 21st in field goal percentage defense. That's just amazing when you think there are 345 teams ranked in that equation. Scoring offense, OSU is still in the top third of the country at 109th and 127th in field goal percentage. Again, that's really pretty good.

The steam behind this engine is Marcus Smart, a freshman point guard who is already one of the best players in the country. One of my favorite NBA drafte sites already has him as the #7 player in the draft next year. It isn't Smart's scoring ability that will surprise you, it is his overall feel for the game, averaging 14 PPG, 5 RPG, 4.6 APG and 3.2 TPG. He's worth the price of admission. I am surprised a bit that Nash has taken a bit of a step back as I seemed to recall him averaging more than just 14 PPG, but OSU has a well-balanced team with Smart, Nash and Brown averaging in double-figures with freshman Phil Forte coming off the bench and averaging 10 PPG (he also shoots the three really well -- 37.9%).

KEYS TO SUCCESS

Statistically, OSU and TTU are very similar teams statistically until you take into account their strength of schedule. OSU has a much tougher SOS, 33rd, than Texas Tech, 209th. Texas Tech played some very weak teams in non-conference play, and this was obviously the intent of BCG, but I think the fatal flaw in doing something like that is that it really didn't give head coach Chris Walker an ability to really evaluate his team except for three games. Now that Walker has four conference games under his belt, he's really adjusted how he plays the conference games and I think it's the best way to win.

With that being said, Josh Gray will really have his hands full with Marcus Smart. Seems like he's getting baptised each and every game by playing one of the better players in the country. I think that's good for him. He's getting incrementally better. OSU isn't a huge team and they are not traditionally a team that pounds the offensive boards. Against Oklahoma, Texas Tech was just pounded on the offensive glass and that can't happen with a team that doesn't traditionally do that sort of thing.

I really am waiting for one of these players to be an offensive match-up problem. I mentioned Crockett after the Oklahoma game at the top of the key as a great place for him to create, now it's up to his teammates and coach to see that happen.

GAME DAY LINKS

Red Raiders Face Cowboys on Saturday on ESPN2 - Texas Tech Red Raiders Official Athletic Site

Texas Tech's Josh Gray evolving in point guard role | Red Raiders

Former OSU standout Keiton Page shifts to the bench as graduate assistant | Red Raiders

Tech basketball hopeful to end losing streak against Oklahoma St. - The Daily Toreador: Sports

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