Game Preview | Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Baylor Bears

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Spo

Texas Tech heads to Waco to take on the Baylor Bears and both teams are looking to the post-season.

THE INFORMATION

Game Details
TEAMS Texas Tech Red Raiders (13-15, 5-10)
Baylor Bears (18-10, 6-9)
WHERE Ferrell Center | Waco, Texas
WHEN 12:30 pm Saturday March 1st
CONSUME Radio - TTSN | TV - Big 12 Network

THE CHARACTERS

Starters
Texas Tech West Virginia
Robert Turner (6-3/180) PG Kenny Cherry (5-11/180)
Toddrick Gotcher (6-4/195) SG Brady Heslip (6-2/180)
Jaye Crockett (6-7/210) SF Royce O'Neale (6-6/220)
Jordan Tolbert (6-7/225) PF Cory Jefferson (6-9/220)
Dejan Kravic (7-0/235) C Isaiah Austin (7-1/225)

THE ANALYSIS

Key Matchup | Austin vs. Kravic: Isaiah Austin is a bit maligned, but he's still supremely talented and he hasn't had the year that maybe a lot of folks expected. Austin is still just averaging 11 points a game on 44% from the floor and 5 rebounds. There were some that thought Austin was one of the best players in the nation and I'll be interested to see if Kravic can make an impact as he's been hot and cold for the better part of the year.

Take Aim: Up until the Longhorn game that Baylor lost by 5 in Austin, Baylor had rattled off five in a row, winning games against Kansas St., Oklahoma St. and West Virginia. I suppose that this 5 game streak in the middle of the season has propelled Baylor to possibly looking at a spot in the NCAA Tournament and that wasn't looking very likely earlier in the year. But they're back and this is a huge game for Texas Tech if they want to attempt to make it to the NIT. Texas Tech's best match-up is for exploit Crockett to attempt to take it to O'Neale, who is having an okay year, but Crockett really needs to shine here. I’d also add that Tolbert and Jefferson should be a fantastic match-up inside and Tolbert has to keep Jefferson on his back and off the boards.

Baylor added Heslip to the starting lineup, replacing Gary Franklin, since the last time that these two teams played. I wonder if this has helped Baylor get on their run and help stretch the opposing defense a bit. As you'll note, Baylor still a huge problem offensively, it's the defense that's been problematic for the Bears. Via KenPom, Baylor is the 41st overall and the 17th in AdjO and 97th in AdjD, while Texas Tech is 77th overall and 60th in AdjO and 130th in AdjD. It is unreal that Texas Tech is in the top 80 of the KenPom ratings.

Game Day Links:

The official site with the official preview (via Texas Tech).

The Red Raiders are eyeing a return to the post-season and it starts today against Baylor (via LAJ):

"If we can make a run these next three games and get a good seed in the conference tournament and just win it," senior Jaye Crockett said. "That’s our goal. We’ve got to play postseason play this year."
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