|THE GOOD GUYS:||Texas Tech Red Raiders (16-10, 4-8)|
|OPPONENT:||Kansas St. Wildcats (22-4, 9-3)|
|LOCATION:||United Spirit Arena : Lubbock, TX|
|DATE:||February 23, 2010|
|TIME:||7:00 p.m. CST|
|TV:||Big 12 Network : ESPN 360|
|GAME CAST:||Fox Sports|
|OPPONENT BLOG:||Bring On The Cats|
The Season Thus Far: How's 5 in a row for the Wildcats? The Wildcats are clearly the second best team in the Big 12, have won on the road and at home and if there's a team that has the ability and talent to beat the Kansas Jayhawks (circle March 3rd on your calendar) it's the Wildcats. Of the three conference losses for Kansas St., they lost 3 conference games by a total of 12 points. Since their last loss to Kansas, the Wildcats have won 3 out of 5 on the road beating up on lower half of Big 12 teams.
The Main Players: Denis Clemente has been on fire recently and even picked up player of the week last week where he's averaged 24.0 points on 53% from the floor in wins over Nebraska and Oklahoma. Awesome. Who doesn't love it when the opposing team has a player that's just dominating. Fellow G Jacob Pullen is still leading the team in scoring at over 18 points a game.
Favorable Matchups: I say that the Red Raiders have favorable matchups with the Wildcats in that they start a similar lineup to the Red Raiders. Of course, the Wildcats are clearly more talented, but right now, I'm hoping that Pat Knight decides not to start Reese, but rather start D`Walyn Roberts to matchup with Curtis Kelly. Off the bench, Reese gives you more options to come in and create matchup problems for opposing teams and can play multiple positions.
Stop Me If You've Heard This Before: The Wildcats are better at just about everything the Red Raiders struggle in stopping opponents. They shoot better, they out-rebound opponents, and they shoot more free throws than their opponents. In fact, the Wildcats have a higher eFG% despite shooting a lower FG% than Texas Tech, which means that the Kansas St. is pounding the ball inside and getting to the line like gang-busters (K-State has shot 807 free throws to Texas Tech's 677).
Tough Defense: I had always thought that the one of the characteristics that I loved about thewas their ability to play incredibly tough and in-your-face defense. Get ready for that again. Frank Martin is a tough-nosed coach that has high defensive expectations from his team. I'm surprised that the Wildcats are better on the offensive end of the floor than the defensive end of the floor, but KSU is still in the top 25 in both categories. Quite simply, this is a well-balanced team that the Red Raiders are going to have to play at a very high level in order to grab a win.