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Game Preview :: Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Wichita St. Shockers

OPPONENT: Wichita State Shockers (9-1, 0-0)
LOCATION: Charles Koch Arena : Wichita, Kansas
DATE: December 19, 2009
TIME: 7:00 p.m. CST
TV: None
RADIO: Affiliates
GAME CAST: Fox Sports




Wichita State: The Shockers haven't really played anyone other that Pitt, where they lost on a neutral court, 55-68, and creamed Iowa, 74-57. That's not a knock (Texas Tech has only played Washington and Oregon St.) so it's hard to determine what exactly the Shockers actually are. What we do know is that the Shockers have been fantastic defensively, ranking 37th in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency and have held opponents to 43.8% eFG% (anything below 50% is pretty good). That's really good. One other note, the Shockers and Red Raiders have both played TCU. WSU handled the Frogs 80-68, a 12 point win at home, and the Red Raiders beat the Frogs by 10, 80-70, on the road.

Texas Tech: The focus of the team has been an improved defense and that's certainly been true for the best part of the year. And despite the improved defense, the Red Raiders are also playing at a decent level offensively, shooting 51% eFG%. Leading the way are Texas Tech's most important players as John Roberson (51.7%), Mike Singletary (48.3%) and D`Walyn Roberts (61.2%) are all shooting at fairly high rates.

Wichita State: Much like Texas Tech, the Shockers are a fairly balanced team, but sophomore G Toure` Murry (6-4/194) is averaging 13.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.8 steals a game.  Murry is doing a ton for the Shockers this year, but junior F/C J.T. Durley (6-7/240) is second on the team in scoring and averages 11.0 points and 3.9 rebounds.  Just keep in mind that the Shockers have seven players who average at least 7 points a game this year.  Just think balance.

Texas Tech: PG John Roberson has been on a bit of a roll the last two games where he's averaged 23 points on 61.9% shooting. Roberson's shooting percentage overall, 44%, isn't outstanding, but it is an improvement on past years where his shots have seemed questionable and typically not in the flow of the offense. Seems like the Washington game (doesn't that seem like ages ago?) and the TCU game, Roberson took what the defense was giving him. That's a good sign for Roberson and the entire offense.

Wichita State:  Pretty tough to find much fault with either team here, but in WSU's only loss of the year, against Pitt, the Shockers were out-shot at the free throw line 30-18. Other than the free throws and the fact that Pitt shot slightly better from the field, I think it may have been the fact that Pitt simply wore down the Shockers.

Texas Tech: In these early games against non-conference opponents that may not have quality big men, PK has reduced the minutes given to Darko Cohadarevic and Robert Lewandowski (only about 8 minutes a game, compared with 2008 where Lew had almost 16 minutes a game). I know that PK is playing the guys that he thinks can and will get the "W" but I also tend to think that PK has to be somewhat careful not to eliminate the big guys prior to Big 12 play. The conference has quality post players and Darko and Lew need to be ready to play.