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Preview: Texas Tech v. Oklahoma State

The Texas Tech Red Raiders (15-9; 4-5) face The Oklahoma State Cowboys (18-5; 4-4)

Saturday, February 10, 2007 @ 3:00 p.m.

There are no excuses, there's nothing else that you should have to do on a Saturday afternoon. Muster up the strength to cheer on the your Texas Tech Red Raiders take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys. This will be an incredibly difficult game to win, but stranger things have happened. I'm calling for more Ogden and Mitchell. Okay, I'm just kidding about the Mitchell part, but more Ogden would be fun. Let's get to the numbers.

The Numbers:

Team K.P. Rank Off.Eff. Def.Eff. Points/Game Points Allowed Rebounds
Texas Tech 59 38 74 71.5 67.3 31.6
Oklahoma State 59 51 54 80.6 70.4 36.6

Players to Watch:

Player Rebounds Assists Points
Mario Bogan 7.9 1.5 20.6
JamesOn Curry 3.2 3.9 18.5
Byron Eaton 2.7 3.5 7.4

Keys to the Game: The problem with thinking of keys to the game is that Tech actually has to implement them. So, I offer the coaching staff my own analysis of the Oklahoma State club and what's happened when they lost, or more simply a blueprint for winning.

  1. Play Lock Down Defense: Easier said than done, but in Oklahoma State's previous losses, they shot very poorly (43%, 38% and 33%). It's simple, completely shutdown the OSU offense. I'll even expand on this a little more, OSU doesn't shoot the three very well, (except for Curry) especially Eaton. Let him shoot until his arm falls off. So now, I pose the question, will Tanner Ogden start? If yes, then put a big check-mark next to this key, he'll have no problem shutting down Bogan.
  2. Rebound The Ball: For a team that has a 6-7 player who averages 7.9 rebounds a game, along with a 6-9 small forward and a 6-11 center, OSU does a poor job of rebounding the ball. In losses against Colorado, OSU could only manage 22 boards and against A&M they only grabbed 21. Is Tanner Ogden going to start? Click.
  3. Start Tanner Ogden: Simple.

It's easy for me to be a little sarcastic about the keys to the game, and it's much easier to deflect my anger than admit I'm not very happy about how this season is turning out. I had such high hopes about the way this team progressed throughout the year. Playing very well to break the record, the Baylor loss, some high profile wins and 4 very bad losses. There's no consistency here and that's the depressing part. We as fans can see the writing on the wall. Don't get me wrong, I'm not completely giving up, but it's getting tough. The Tanner Ogden references aren't meant to poke fun at him, but rather at the ridiculous nature of who tends to play for the Red Raiders. At this point, it could be anyone to start and trying to predict a starting 5 is like winning the lottery. Honestly, I wouldn't mind seeing Ogden start. He's got a nice offensive game and he's not afraid to shoot the ball. That's something that tends to plague 3/5's of the starting lineup most of the time. So, some real keys to the game:

  1. Voskuil Must Shoot: For the love of Jove, Jake, please shoot the ball if you're open. Don't hesitate, don't look for the open man. Your shot is pure, pure as the driven snow. You're capable of scoring 15 points a game. Play with reckless abandon my fellow Red Raider.
  2. Someone Must Rebound: At this point, I don't care who it is, but someone other than the guards must rebound the ball. I want to see the guards getting out and running, getting some easy buckets. OSU is an incredibly difficult place to play and making some easy buckets will certainly help. I don't know if it will be White, Prince, Dora, Plefka, Mitchell, etc., but someone has got to rebound the ball.
  3. Find A Way to Be Dynamic: The offense hasn't been very dynamic recently and Tech has struggled to score. The best cure for that is to find ways to score, set some back-cuts, have guys cutting and screening along the baseline. The offense is so perimeter oriented that there's nothing going on even close to the basket unless its Zeno.

Probable Starting Lineups:
The Oklahoma State Cowboys and The Texas Tech Red Raiders
Marcus Dove, G-F, 6-9, Jr. / Martin Zeno, F, 6-5, Jr.
Mario Boggan, F-C, 6-7, Sr. / Tanner Ogden, F, 6-8, Sr.
Kenny Cooper, C, 6-10, So. / John Plefka, F, 6-9, Sr.
Byron Eaton, G, 5-11, So. / Charlie Burgess, G, 6-1, Jr.
JamesOn Curry, 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.