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Preview: Bucknell v. Texas Tech

Texas Tech faces Bucknell on Saturday, at 3:30 on ESPN2 as Coach Knight attempts to tie Dean Smith for victory 879.  As I said late last week, tickets for this game and the following three games are only $8.80 for general admission tickets.  I cannot believe that these games would not be sold out, but I encourage everyone to go if they have the opportunity.

Bucknell doesn't appear to be a good team, with victories against Yale, St. Francis PA, George Mason and Cornell.  The wins aren't as significant, where Bucknell also had losses to Albany, Wake Forest in OT, Penn St. and Northern Iowa.  Ken Pomeroy's statistical machine says that Bucknell is the 155th best team in the nation.  Bucknell is a poor shooting team and turns the ball over at an incredible rate.  

No one for Bucknell averages over 10 points a game, but they are led by Donald Brown, John Griffin and Chris McNaughton.  McNaughton (6-11) has pretty good size so it will be interesting to see how well Tech matches up.

By the way, how does Bucknell get away with using the Buffalo Bills logo?

As far as Tech is concerned, they have made significant improvements in the way they play the game.  The Red Raiders are now ranked 69th in the nation according to Ken Pom, and it was just after the Stanford game where I wrote that the Raiders were effectively ranked 93rd in the nation.  

LAJ's Jeff Walker details the expanded coverage Tech will be receiving on ESPN as a result of Knight breaking Dean's Smith's record.

DMN's Tim MacMahon has an article about how Knight wants the players focused on the task at hand:

"They don't have anything but basketball," said Knight, who can tie the record Saturday against Bucknell. "This is the prime time in practice - from here to the first conference game - for us to do everything we can to be as good as we can be when the conference starts."

I really like this.  I know there's been a lot of press about how Knight doesn't care about the record, but what is he really supposed to say.  That it means the world to him and that if his players don't break the record in the next two game he's going to have a conniption fit?  No.  I believe that this team has become something that Knight knows has potential.  He's got two incredibly gifted players and some role players who know their roles.  I also believe that Knight cares more about this team than he does about the record.  Knight can feel proud about players and a team and the emotion response he gets from these guys achieving something that they weren't supposed to do, but he can't get that with achieving a record.