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Game Preview :: Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers

THE GOOD GUYS: Texas Tech Red Raiders (16-11, 4-9)
OPPONENT: Nebraska Cornhuskers (13-15, 1-12)
LOCATION: Devaney Center : Lincoln, NE
DATE: February 27, 2010
TIME: 3:00 p.m. CST
TV: Big 12 Network : ESPN 360
RADIO: Affiliates
GAME CAST: Fox Sports

Texas Tech Ht. Wt. Pos. Yr. PPG RPG APG
John Roberson 5-11 165 G Jr. 14.7 2.0 5.2
Nick Okorie 6-1 195 G Sr. 9.5 2.5 2.0
Mike Singletary 6-6 217 F Jr. 14.7 6.5 2.1
D`walyn Roberts 6-7 200 F Jr. 6.6 5.5 0.5
Darko Cohadarevic 6-9 240 F Sr. 7.2 5.4 1.1
Nebraska Ht. Wt. Pos. Yr. PPG RPG APG
Sek Henry 6-4 200 G Sr. 6.8 3.3 2.7
Ryan Anderson 6-4 195 G Sr. 11.0 4.8 2.2
Lance Jeter 6-3 225 G Jr. 7.4 3.3 4.0
Christian Standhardinger 6-8 210 F Fr. 7.8 3.4 0.8
Jorge Brian Diaz 6-11 235 C Fr. 8.7 4.0 1.0

The Season Thus Far: If there's a few teams that have had a tougher Big 12 season, it's Nebraska and Colorado. The Cornhuskers have lost every conference game, except they did get a win on the road against Oklahoma. Not surprisingly, NU plays teams pretty close at home and although the record doesn't reflect it, I think that Doc Sadler is a pretty good coach, but I'd also add that starting a basketball tradition at Nebraska may be as tough as starting one in Lubbock. It takes time and patience and winning only 1 game in the Big 12 doesn't help the situation. I do not think that Nebraska is as bad as their record reflects and it wouldn't surprise me at all to see the Cornhuskers take this game today.

The Main Players: Amazingly, not one player for Nebraska averages over 10 points a game. I honestly find that shocking. In any event, you have a bunc hof players that contribute for Nebraska, which includes a pretty deep bench. Freshman C Brian Diaz (although it appears he may not start) leads the team in scoring as does sophomore G Brandon Richardson is right behind Diaz in the scoring column. Standharding looks like he'll start after scoring 25 points against Iowa St. earlier this week. Nebraska is a young team, and at the very least, they have that working for them.

No Pouting Allowed: I meant to mention this earlier in the week, but after this week's game against Kansas St., LAJ's Courtney Linehan blogged that Texas Tech's 2nd leading scorer, SF Mike Singletary, had yet another game where he finished with just a handful of points. Apparently, head coach Pat Knight doesn't have any answers:

"If you find out, let me know," Knight said. "It wasn’t good. He didn’t play well. He got into that pouting mode a little bit, and he’s got to get out of that."

More than once this season Knight has said Tech cannot win if one of its best players has an off night. That will become even more so the case as it looks toward the Big 12 tournament and potential postseason play.

"We’ve got to get more out of our better players," Knight said. "You can’t expect to beat better teams, ranked teams, when your better players aren’t bringing it."

I don't know if it makes any difference any more to rail on players that are pouting because they're not getting calls. Whatever. Singletary needs to figure out how he can be an efficient scorer and he needs to start figuring that out right now. If he can't take playaers inside, which he can't, then he needs to spend all summer in a gym working on his jumpshot.

Time to Lay It All Out: It's a bit of a cliche, but at the end of the day, this team just needs to play well. It seems like its been an eternity since the Red Raiders have had an unranked opponent (it's actually only been 4 games or so) and at the very least, I think both teams are probably fairly evenly match. Per LAJ's Courtney Linehan, SG Nick Okorie doesn't want to have any regrets:

"Our team goals are to just try to win out so we can make it into the postseason," guard Nick Okorie said. "We don’t want to regret anything."

Control the Tempo: Nebraksa is very good at contolling the tempo, and would prefer a much, much slower game. Roberson must force the tempo a bit because the last thing that this team needs to do is rely on a half-court offense that right now looks like an absolute mess. I'd much prefer to see this team get some easy buckets on the break and on a secondary break rather than try and grind it out with Nebraska. And just because Nebraska plays a slower game, that doesn't necessarily mean that they're proficient on defense (92nd in the nation in eFG%) but there's not point in getting into a slow game with Nebraska, especially if that's how they like to play.