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Preview and Open Game Day Thread: Texas v. Texas Tech

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The Texas Longhorns (24-4, 11-2) v. The Texas Tech Red Raiders (15-12, 6-7)

Saturday, March 1, 2008 @ 3:00 p.m.

Television:
CBS

The Numbers:

Texas Tech
Statistic
Texas
62
K.P. Rank*
7
107.7 (89)
Adjusted Offensive Efficiency*
122.2(1)
92.6 (47)
Adjusted Defensive Efficiency*
90.4 (32)
69.9
Points Scored
76.5
30.9
Rebounds
38.3
12.9
Assists
13.9
14.8
Turnovers
9.5

Keys to the Game:

  1. Step Up: After Wednesday's loss, this team is probably a little bit in disarray. Confidence and trust issues probably abound and after 2 short days, these guys are back on the court trying to figure it out. More than anything, I'm going to be keyed on PK and who he runs out there for his starting lineup and who he decides is a part of the rotation. You'll note below that I think DeBem is going to start for no other reason than he played with a little attitude on Wednesday. This has the potential to be a huge game. UT is #2 in the nation and they've been playing out of their minds recently. Nothing would make me more happy than to see the Red Raiders with one of their patented wins against a highly ranked opponent, but the defense has got to step it up. UT is the most efficient offensive team in the country and much of today's success will depend on the play of Roberson.
  2. Which Zeno: When Zeno attempts 10 or more free throws in a game the Red Raiders are 7-0, all of those games were at home. Which Zeno are we going to see today, the one that passively takes ill-advised outside jumpshots or the one that is continually beating his man down by going baseline? If flipping tires is any indication of which Zeno we'll see, because there is no doubt that Zeno is a warrior, then I think we'll see the latter.
  3. Pretty Good on D, Too: For those of you who think UT is just an offensive juggernaut, you're right, they are, but they're also not bad defensively. UT struggles when they struggle defensively (see Kansas and Baylor) but they still win (and offensively, they've been pretty consistent all year). The Texas Tech offense had better be one with some purpose, one that tries to get the Horns in foul trouble, and one that tries to slow the game down by getting to the line. If all of those things can happen, and I think they can, then the Red Raiders have a chance at notching a victory. ("So you're telling me there's a chance.")

Probable Starting Lineups: I have no idea what PK is going to do this afternoon. At best, this is a guess. Look for Roberson to get the quick hook if Augustin is driving to the bucket.

Texas Tech Ht. Wt. Pos. Yr. PPG RPG APG
John Roberson 5-11 165 G Fr. 12.1 2.7 3.4
Alan Voskuil 6-3 175 G Jr. 13.3 3.9 1.4
Martin Zeno 6-5 208 G/F Sr. 15.9 4.4 2.9
Trevor Cook 6-8 225 F So. 4.4 2.3 0.6
Ricardo DeBem 6-10 233 C Jr. 1.9 1.4 0.3
Texas Ht. Wt. Pos. Yr. PPG RPG APG
D.J. Augustin 6-0 180 G So. 19.3 2.9 5.9
A.J. Abrams 5-11 155 G Jr. 16.6 2.7 1.5
Justin Mason 6-2 198 G So. 6.6 4.2 2.4
Damion James 6-7 230 F So. 12.9 10.5 1.3
Connor Atchley 6-10 226 F/C Jr. 10.3 5.3 0.9

This is your open game day thread so feel free to sign up for a free account and leave all predictions, comments and thoughts about the game here.

GO RAIDERS . . .

*Stats can be found Ken Pomeroy, via Basketball Prospectus: K.P. Rank = the Ken Pomeroy 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. Numbers in parentheses are national rank.