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Preview: Texas Tech v. Texas A&M

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The Texas Tech Red Raiders (15-10, 5-4) face the #6 Texas A&M Aggies (21-3, 9-1)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007 at 6:00 p.m.

Television: ESPN2

Let's get to the numbers.

The Numbers:

Team K.P. Rank Off.Eff. Def.Eff. Points/Gamev Points Allowed Rebounds
Texas Tech 59 39 78 71.5 67.3 32.5
Texas A&M 3 8 4 76.1 56.0 35.8

Players to Watch:

Player Rebounds Assists Points
Acie Law 2.9 6.5 16.6
Josh Carter 3.7 2.5 12.8
Antanas Kavaliauskas 6.0 1.4 12.1

Keys to the Game:

  1. There's Nothing to Lose: Tech can make this real interesting. Tech traveled to Stillwater, played in one of the more difficult arenas and took the #17 team in the country to double overtime. By the end of the game, Tech didn't lose because of lack of effort, they lost for lack of manpower. At this point, Tech has got nothing to lose. I really believe that Tech can walk into Reed Arena, and just play their tails off. At this point in the season, losing 6 in a row isn't going to make this season any worse. The Red Raiders can, however, greatly change their prospects by taking this one. They will be tired, they are probably a little defeated, but as I noted on Saturday night, this is not a team that gives up.
  2. Stop Josh Carter: Carter's been on a mini-tear since he played Tech. Carter scored 0 points against Tech, and the following games he scored 13, 10, 11, 24 and 26. In A&M's most recent victory, Carter made 8 threes. I've got a feeling that Carter will want a little revenge. Of course Carter's job is a little easier considering the play of Acie Law and the number of options for the Aggies is the real problem, Carter being one of them.
  3. Take Advantage of A&M's Frontcourt: We saw it against Kansas and against A&M, the Aggies' frontcourt is not accustomed to guarding Tech's permiter post players. I am sure that I'll regret asking that any of Tech's post players hit 50% of their shots and grab 15 rebounds, but if Dora and Plefka could hit their outside jumpers and take advantage of Jones and Kavaliauskas's lack of mobility then I like Tech's chances. I think that Zeno and Jackson will get theirs, it's just up to that 3rd and 4th piece of the puzzle to step up their game.

Probable Starting Lineups:
Texas A&M and Texas Tech
Josh Carter, F, 6-7, So. / Martin Zeno, F, 6-5, Jr.
Joseph Jones, F-C, 6-9, Jr. / Darryl Dora, F, 6-9, Sr.
Antanas Kavaliauskas, C, 6-10, Sr. / Jon Plefka, F, 6-9, Sr.
Acie Law, G, 6-3, Sr. / Charlie Burgess, G, 6-1, Jr.
Dominique Kirk, G, 6-3, Jr. / Jay Jackson, G, 6-1, Sr.

* The Legend: K.P. Rank = the Ken Pomery Rank; Offensive Efficiency = the national rank in terms of points scored per 100 possessions; Defensive Efficiency = the national rank in terms of points allowed per 100 possession.