Iowa St. Cyclones (12-0, 0-0)
Texas Tech Red Raiders (8-5, 0-0)
|WHERE||United Spirit Arena | Lubbock, Texas|
|WHEN||12:30 pm Saturday January 4th|
|CONSUME||Radio - TTSN | TV - Big 12 Network|
|Texas Tech||Iowa St.|
|Robert Turner (6-3/180)||PG||DeAndre Kane (6-4/200)|
|Toddrick Gotcher (6-4/195)||SG||Matt Thomas (6-3/200)|
|Jaye Crockett (6-7/210)||SF||Dustin Hogue (6-6/215)|
|Jordan Tolbert (6-7/225)||PF||Georges Niang (6-7/240)|
|Dejan Kravic (7-0/235)||C||Melvin Ejim (6-6/220)|
Matt Thomas (6-3/200) 7.6 PPG DeAndre Kane (6-4/200) 6.1 APG 15.0 PPG Dustin Hogue (6-6/215) 13.3 PPG 9.8 RPG Georges Niang (6-7/240) 15.8 PPG 3.8 RPG 3.4 APG Melvin Ejim (6-6/220) 17.9 PPG 8.1 RPG 2.4 APG
Key Matchup | Crockett vs. Hogue: I’ll be honest. I didn’t know who Hogue was before the season started, and holy smokes, he’s a heck of a player and this should just be a fantastic challenge for Crockett. Hogue averages almost a double-double, 13 points a game and 9.8 rebounds a game, all from a guy that’s just 6’6". There are probably better players for Iowa St., but this will be a great challenge for Crockett to keep Hogue off the goards
Take Aim: Well, Texas Tech gets to start off with an easy game, right? No reason in waiting for the best of the conference, let’s just get this out of the way at the start of conference play. Iowa St. is just a terrific team. They shoot the ball well, they don’t turn the ball over all that much and they shoot the heck out of some free throws. Iowa St. is a top 15 team in terms of AdjO and a top 50 team in AdjD. They’re really well balanced, evidenced by having some great balance. Ejim averages almost 18 points a game and 8 boards with over 2 assists a game. He was good last year and he’s been as good this year too. Niang is versatile forward that can shoot the three and dish the ball. Part of me thinks that Crockett may end up on Niang because of Niang’s versatility. Either way, it will be interesting. Robert Turner is going to have a heck of challenge in guarding Kane, who averages 15 points a game and 6 assists. Yep, that’s four players that average in double-figures and Texas Tech is going to have to be on their game defensively.
And last, but not least, rest in peace to former Iowa St. head coach Johnny Orr. Orr was one of those coaches that was initially part of my early basketball consciousness. I remember some really great Iowa St. teams under Orr and they never really achieved the sort of sustained greatness until they got Hoiberg, who seems like he is there for the long haul. I hope that Hoiberg stays in Ames forever and I hope he makes it a powerhouse. I’m being dead serious. It would stink for Texas Tech, but Hoiberg and Iowa St. feels as right as Kingsbury and Texas Tech. Our friends at Wide Right Natty Lite wrote a terrific farewell post on Orr that I hope you take the time to read.
Game Day Links:
Speaking of WRNL, they look at the Big 12 overall before conference play ( via Wide Right Natty Lite).
Cyclone Fanatic takes a look at the start of Big 12 play (via Cyclone Fanatic).