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Iowa St. vs. Texas Tech | Game Preview

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TEXAS TECH (7-10, 0-5)
VS.
IOWA ST. (13-5, 3-2)
Game Essentials
Date | January 21, 2012
Time | 4:00 pm
Location | Lubbock, TX
TV | ESPN2
Radio | Affiliates

Texas Tech Starting 5
Javarez Willis (5-11/171) | 9.1 PPG | 1.9 APG
Ty Nurse (6-1/180) | 9.0 PPG | 2.0 RPG
Terran Petteway (6-6/185) | 4.7 PPG | 2.4 RPG
Jordan Tolbert (6-7/210) | 13.0 PPG | 6.4 RPG
Robert Lewandowski (6-10/256) | 6.8 PPG | 3.9 RPG

Iowa St. Starting 5
Chris Babb (6-5/225) | 9.5 PPG | 1.6 APG
Scott Christopherson (6-3/195) | 11.3PPG | 1.8 APG
Chris Allen (6-3/205) | 12.5 PPG | 2.2 RPG
Royce White (6-8/270) | 13.6 PPG | 9.3 RPG
Melvin Ejim (6-6/220) | 7.5 PPG | 6.1 RPG

WHAT TO EXPECT

CYCLONES HAVE ADVANTAGE | Iowa St. is kinda on a roll, however the only solace I can give to you is that Iowa St. struggles on the road, 1-3 for the year, but other than that, the Cyclones have a clear statistical advantage. ISU is scoring 75.3 PPG and only allowing 67.7, for comparison purposes Texas Tech is now only averaging 64.0 PPG and allowing 66.6 (the triple-6 is not a good sign). ISU has a statistical advantage in that they are a better shooting team, a better rebounding team and a team that averages more assists than turnovers.

NOT SURE WHAT TO EXPECT | With so many new players for head coach Fred Hoiberg, I wasn't sure what to expect. Hoiberg took on a lot of wayward transfers and JUCO's and thus far it's worked. We'll get into White in a minute, but he's been truly fantastic, but the strength of Iowa St. is that they're a very balanced team. ISU has six players averaging more than 7.5 points per game and also averaging 20 minutes a game. They have three players in double-figures and one player that's at 9.5 points a game. ISU sports a strange lineup in that their best passer is their biggest player and almost every starter is over 200 pounds.

KEY MATCHUPS

TOLBERT VS. WHITE | If you tune in on Saturday, then you'll be pleasantly surprised by watching Royce White, who is averaging 13.6 PPG, but he's grabbing 9 boards a game and averaging 4.3 assists per game and that's coming from a guy that weighs 270 pounds. This is not one of those situations where White is not fat, he's at 270 pounds, but he handles the ball like a dream. And I'd also like to add White is averaging twice as many assists as either Willis or Nurse. Tolbert's effectiveness has waned significantly since conference play started. He's still giving good effort and he's rebounding well, but he's struggling to score and White will give him fits as White is an athletic guy that will absolutely challenge Tolbert.

LEWANDOWSKI VS. EJIM | I don't really think that Iowa St. starts Ejim on Lew, but there are matchup problems for TTU and ISU if they each start their normal starting lineups. ISU has a decided advantage in the backcourt, but TTU has a heigh advantage if Lew starts. Again, F Jaye Crockett has been a signficantly better player in conference play, but Lew does have an opportunity to create some problems for ISU. The problem with Lew is that he won't take advantage of those situations, where he may have a size advantage, and gets flustered by smaller players. Sure would be nice to have Lew score 12 points in this game as this team sure could use some scoring from him.