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Preview: Texas Tech v. Iowa State

The Texas Tech Red Raiders (19-11, 8-7) v. The Iowa State Cyclones (15-14, 6-9)

Saturday, March 3, 2007 @ 7:00 p.m.

Television: ESPN Plus

The Numbers:

Team K.P. Rank Off.Eff. Def.Eff. Points/Game Points Allowed Rebounds
Texas Tech 58 34 85 72.4 68.9 31.0
Iowa State 128 194 63 63.7 65.4 36.1

Players to Watch:

Player Rebounds Assists Points
Mike Taylor 4.0 4.4 16.3
Wesley Johnson 8.0 1.0 12.2
Jiri Hubalek 6.8 0.6 10.7

Keys to the Game:

  1. Continue to Play Well Defensively: The Cyclones have had trouble scoring and according to KenPom, they are the 194th worst team in adjusted offensive efficiency. That's not good. I'd like to think that Tech can finish this season out on a strong note with a solid defensive performance and I've said for a while, that I think that Tech is in the tournament so long as they show up to play. I think they have to know that their season is on the line here.
  2. Quiet the Crowd Early: This is the last home game for ISU and Coach Knight is coming to town so it is sure to be a sell-out. Despite that, I would still recommend that Tech get out to an early lead. There will be a lot of emotion on Saturday night. The key to the early lead is to make sure that Jackson is able to get some clean shots, have Plefka draw out Hubalek and keep Hubalek away from the basket, and let Zeno create inside early and often.
  3. What Is Tech's Expectation: I spent 12 hours in mediation on Thursday and one of the things that one of the other attorneys said to his clients, was if they had any expectations of success? Tech has certainly been up and down all year, but the bottom line is right now. Does Tech have an expectation of future success? I know that's a little bit philosophical, but at this point they need to believe that not only are they a talented club, but from this point forward there is an expectation of victory. Tech has beaten 2 of the top 10 teams in the nation. The ability is there, now it's just a matter of demanding success from yourself and your teammates.

Probable Starting Lineups:
The Iowa State Cyclones and The Texas Tech Red Raiders
Wesley Johnson, F, -7, Fr. / Decensae White, F, 6-6, Fr.
Rahshon Clark, F, 6-6, Jr. / Martin Zeno, F, 6-5, Jr.
Jiri Hubalek, C, 6-11, Jr. / John Plefka, F, 6-9, Sr.
Corey McIntosh, G, 6-0, Jr. / Charlie Burgess, G, 6-1, Jr.
Mike Taylor, G, 6-2, 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.