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Game Preview :: Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Baylor Bears

THE GOOD GUYS:  Texas Tech Red Raiders (16-8, 4-6)
OPPONENT: Baylor Bears (19-5, 6-4)
LOCATION: Ferrell Center : Waco, TX
DATE: February 16, 2010
TIME: 7:05 p.m. CST
RADIO: Affiliates
GAME CAST: Fox Sports

Texas Tech Ht. Wt. Pos. Yr. PPG RPG APG
John Roberson 5-11 165 G Jr. 15.4 2.2 5.5
Nick Okorie 6-1 195 G Sr. 9.0 2.6 2.0
Mike Singletary 6-6 217 F Jr. 15.5 6.7 2.3
Brad Reese 6-6 189 F Jr. 6.8 2.5 1.0
Darko Cohadarevic 6-9 240 F Sr. 7.2 5.4 1.1
Baylor Ht. Wt. Pos. Yr. PPG RPG APG
Tweety Carter 5-11 185 G Jr. 16.1 3.0 6.1
LaceDarius Dunn 6-4 205 G Jr. 18.7 4.5 1.8
Anthony Jones 6-10 195 F So. 6.7 5.6 1.3
Ekpe Udoh 6-10 240 F Jr. 13.5 10.3 2.7
Josh Lomers 7-0 280 C Sr. 6.3 3.4 0.3

The Season Thus Far: Very good, except for one hiccup against Colorado at the start of the Big 12 conference play. In non-conference play, the Bears lost to Alabama, which isn't looking great now, but the Tide aren't awful. The aforementioned loss to Colorado occurred at Boulder. The Bears have since lost to the best of the conference, including Kansas, Kansas St. and the Aggies, only the Kansas St. loss at home. To summarize, the Bears have won every game at home except for the Wildcats. I'm nervous.

The Main Players: Just look at the starting lineup. The Bears feature three double-digit scorers in Carter, Dunn and Udoh. The Bears are great offensively, thanks in part to Udoh grabbing a ton of offensive rebounds and having players that can finish in the paint as well as guys like Dunn and Carter shooting nearly 40% from beyond the arc. This is a very good offensive team and if the Red Raiders aren't ready to clamp down on the perimeter and block out under the basket, it's going to get ugly very fast.

Stop the Big Three: This is going to be really tough. If you ever wanted to see the type of player that I wish that Pat Knight would recruit, then look no further than Udoh. Udohn is long, athletic, can dunk with furious anger, and can great offensive rebounds like they're going out of style. I have no idea if Darko, D`walyn Roberts or anyone else can truly keep Udoh off the boards. And I'll be curious to see if PK changes his starting lineup because I don't think there's any way that Reese is able to guard Udoh, and then Baylor starts another 6-10 small forward. Perhaps PK moves moves Roberts into the starting lineup and moves Okorie out of the lineup. In addition to Udoh, Carter and Dunn are very consistent scoring threats and Texas Tech must guard the perimeter and not allow Dunn to get on any sort of streak.

Staying Positive: LAJ's Courtney Linehan writes that Pat Knight is working to keep his team staying postive:

"This is a tough stretch. You can lose four in a row in this league like that, then come back the last two weeks and win three in a row. You just have to be prepared. It is frustrating, but you can't get too down.

"This league's the best it's ever been since I've been here, and it's gonna happen. We're still pretty good. There's still games out there for us to win, but we'll take our lumps.

"I can't get too down on (the players). Even if something doesn't go our way Tuesday night, you just keep on focusing on the next one. These kids are giving us everything they've got. It's not like they're losing on purpose. The effort's so much better than it was a year ago."

Winning on the Road: DT's Mike Graham writes that the difficult part for this team has been winning on the road and there are only three road games remaining: Baylor, Nebraska and Colorado. The Red Raiders must win two of these three road games to have much of a chance to make the NCAA tournament and I'd even go so far as to say that if Texas Tech cannot get a win tonight, it's going to be very tough for the Red Raiders to win the remaining games at home: Texas, Kansas St. and Baylor. That's not going to be easy. Here's PK on winning at on the road:

"You don’t want to talk about it, but it’s just there," Knight said after the A&M game. "I think the preseason gave those guys confidence to win on the road, but it’s not a Big 12 road game. Hopefully, we have three road games left, if we can sneak one or two of those that’d be great."