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Preview: Texas Tech v. Stanford and Friday Night Basketball Notes

Tomorrow evening the Red Raiders face off against Stanford, the Cardinal, in the first game of the Pete Newell Classic.  The broadcast information is in the above linked article, but you can listen to the game here (Internet Explorer only).

The Daily Toreador's Jay Langley has a preview of the game and has a number of interesting quotes from Martin Zeno and Charlie Burgess.  There's been a lot of talk, especially from Knight, about this team being able to finish games, something that they didn't do last year.

"The road environments are always going to be rough when a team coached by coach Knight comes in there just because of who he is, and especially now that he's getting close to the record," Zeno said. "I think it's going to help a lot because it's tough to win on the road. But getting the new guys and showing them how it's going to be on the road is good because we have to go to a lot of tough places on the road in conference."

I think the thing that I like most about this quote is the sense of ownership that Zeno is taking with this team.  He will be the next eventual leader of this team and it sounds like he's really taking some of the younger players under his wing.

The Cardinal is going to be a tough win for the Red Raiders, if for nothing else their size.  Stanford landed two 7-0 twins last year, Brook and Robin Lopez, with Robin getting most of the playing time.  The Cardinal is averaging 38 boards a game, to Tech's 33 and it's imperative that Tech rebound.  Rather, it's imperative that Rivzic, Plefka and Dora rebound.  Burgess had this to say about his big men:

"I would love to see the frontcourt step up because that would make it a lot easier for the guards," Burgess said. "We have to defend some good guards and score the ball. If we can get some more help from the inside, then everything would be complete, and we would be a complete team. Right now, we're a guard-oriented team, and we need some presence down low."

I think it's pretty clear that everyone sees that the "big" three (Rivzic, Plefka and Dora) have to have a bigger presence for Tech this year.  The other two interesting matchups appears to be between Stanford forward, Lawrence Hill, who will more than likely draw Zeno, and guard Anthony Goods, who will face off against Jackson.    

There were two interesting notes from Tim MacMahon and the DMN College blog.  First, that Tech is leading the nation in 3 point shooting percentage.  There's a Texas Tech professor who goes into great detail about how the Red Raiders' 3 point shooting percentage is an anomaly and that once a greater sample size, i.e. the season, is included there is a high probability that Tech will not maintain it's current pace.  If you like math, the go ahead and read the blog.

Secondly, Tim has this note from today's Coach Knight press conference.

Ken Pomeroy, who, with the help of a little math is predicting a Texas Tech victory.  He'll tell you that  his website's predictions don't mean much now, but I'll take it.  Ultimately, I think that Tech's bigmen will lead to their eventual downfall in this game, the guards won't have enough to overcome Stanford's size and talent.