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Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Texas A&M Corpus-Christi Islanders | Game Preview

Game Essentials
Date | December 1, 2011
Time | 7:00 pm
Location | Corpus Christi, TX
TV | Comcast/Charter Sports Southwest
Radio | Affiliates
Game Cast | Fox Sports

Texas Tech Starting 5
Kevin Wagner (5-8/145) | 2.4 PPG | 1.2 AST
Javarez Willis (5-11/171) | 7.5 PPG | 2.6 AST
Toddrick Gotcher (6-3/190) | 7.1 PPG | 4.1 REB
Jordan Tolbert (6-7/210) | 11.5 PPG | 5.8 REB
Robert Lewandowski (6-10/256) | 5.8 PPG | 4.3 REB

TAMU CC Starting 5
Terence Jones (6-2/185) | 8.0 PPG | 1.5 APG
Hameed Ali (6-2/170) | 3.25 PPG | 1.25 APG
Chris Hawkins-Mast (6-6/200) | 8.5 PPG | 4.5 RPG
Myron Dempsey (6-6/225) | 12.75 PPG | 8.75 RPG
Nate Maxey (6-11/215) | 3.75 PPG | 5.0 RPG

Quick Note: The Texas A&M Corpus Christi website says that the game will be televised on Comcast/Charter Sports Southwest. I haven't been able to find that channel on DirecTV, but if anyone is able to find the game on any channel, please post the channel and satellite provider in the comments.


WHICH TEAM WILL SHOW UP | I'm not sure which team will show up for Texas Tech. If it's the team that played good to decent defense at home and had players that stepped up enough on both ends of the court to keep Texas Tech ahead for the most part or the team that looked a bit lackluster and not a lot of focus, then I'm not sure. I think that head coach Billy Gillispie will sufficiently motivate the team, and he's trying to motivate players with minutes, however, it's probably time to start motivating players with their starting jobs as players like Robert Lewandowski, who Gillispie proclaimed prior the year would play in the NBA, has seen his scoring average go from about 12 points a game to less than 6 over the past three games. I'm guessing Lew knows that he has to be better, but I also know that he can't continue to receive minutes as long as he's making a small contribution.

NEED AN OFFENSIVE PUNCH | I think it's time that there be some significant changes to the starting lineup. I'm fine with starting Javarez Willis, or Kevin Wagner or Ty Nurse at point guard, I think all of those players will see time there and at other spots during the year, but I think it's high time to move Toddrick Gotcher to the only other guard in the starting lineup along with SF Jaron Nash and F Jaye Crockett to get some offensive punch to a lineup that desperately needs some scoring. I'd also add that Nash is a pretty good defender and is an energy player and I've never really understood why Gillispie only goes to Nash when there is another player in foul-trouble and Nash is needed. I think it's time to consider that Nash is needed not just as a replacement as a desperate move, but as a player that should see some time and opportunity.

WINNING ONE-ON-ONE MATCH-UPS | LAJ's Nick Kosmider writes that Gillispie has said that the players on the court will need to win the one-on-one match-ups:

"When you’re guarding the ball, that’s you against a man," the coach said. "If you don’t win that battle on defense, then someone has to help you, and then that gives you the chance to play only four against five. That’s not what you want to do on defense.

"Then when you’re on offense, if you beat your guy, you’re playing five against four, which is what we want to do. When it’s you and another guy for a rebound, you got to get it. That’s competition."


GOTCHER VS. HAWKINS-MAST | Thus far, Gillispie has rolled with a starting lineup that only consists of two smaller point guards and Gotcher, but this could be a game where this is a match-up problem for Gotcher as he attempts to cover a player that's 4 inches taller and 4 years older. Again, this may be more of a reason for Gillispie to toy with the idea of starting Nash and Crockett to match-up with what TAMUCC has previously started.

DEMPSEY VS. TOLBERT | With Lew reducing himself to just a player, Tolbert has very much asserted himself, both offensively and as a decent to good defender in the post. Over the course of three games, Tolbert is now averaging in double-figures, is shooting 65% from the floor, shooting 86% from the free throw line and grabbing almost 6 boards in just under 20 minutes a game. I said this previously, but Tolbert is currently the player that I thought that D'walyn Roberts would eventually become.