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Preview: Texas Tech v. OU

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V.

The Texas Tech Red Raiders travel to Norman, Oklahoma to battle the Oklahoma Sooners, Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. Texas Tech is 15-7 overall and 4-3 in conference play, OU is 12-8 and is 3-4 in the Big 12. Let's get to the numbers.

The Numbers:

Team K.P. Rank Off.Eff. Def.Eff. Points/Game Points Allowed Rebounds
Texas Tech 50 33 72 72.9 66.8 32
Oklahoma 15 77 5 69.1 58.1 37.5

Players to Watch:

Player Rebounds Assists Points
Longar Longar 6.8 1.2 11.3
Nate Carter 4.4 0.6 9.9
Michael Neal 3.1 2.2 10.1

Keys to the Game:

  1. OU Is Improving: Looking at the Sooners' record it doesn't appear that they are making significant improvement (only winning 3 of their last 5), but they are improving. Nate Carter has been their best player of late and now OU is no longer dependent on Longar "The Hitman" Longar, which is probably the way it should be. Longar is a good player, but he's not really a go-to player. Nate Carter is averaging almost 19 points a game over his last 4 games and he's shooting 53% from the field. That's impressive, and for Tech, he'll be their toughest matchup.
  2. Run The Offense: I think it's only been me, but it seems that Tech is struggling at times to really run the offense. This, coupled with the fact that OU has the # 5 best defense in the nation may cause some issues. I don't know if I can put my finger on what's really wrong, but it seems like there's a lack of consistency, or rather, Tech isn't getting any easy buckets. Now that Tech seems to have gotten Jackson back on track, it's time to get Zeno back into the groove too. I'm a little worried that with this group is falling in love with the 3-point shot, so I'd like to see everyone be a little more selective against OU. That and getting out on the break and getting some transition buckets would be ideal.
  3. Clamp Down On Defense: In OU's two latest losses, OU shot the following percentages (opponent in parentheses):
    • 33.9% (Texas A&M)
    • 38.2% (Oklahoma State)
    Tech's defense has got to be better. Looking at Tech's latest two losses the Red Raider's opponent shot the following percentages (opponent in parentheses):
    • 50.8% (Texas)
    • 50.0% (Missouri)
    Luckily, OU still struggles at times from the field, but Tech has got to put some pressure on OU, especially their perimeter players.

Probable Starting Lineups:
Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Tech Red Raiders
Tony Crocker, G, 6-5, Fr. / Martin Zeno, F, 6-5, Jr.
Taylor Griffin, F, 6-7, So. / Michael Prince, F, 6-7, So.
Longar Longar, C, 6-11, Jr. / John Plefka, F, 6-9, Sr.
Michael Neal, G, 6-3, Sr. / Charlie Burgess, G, 6-1, Jr.
Austin Johnson, G, 6-3, So. / 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.