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Oklahoma St. vs. Texas Tech | Game Preview

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TEXAS TECH (7-13, 0-8)
VS.
OKLAHOMA ST. (10-11, 3-5)
Game Essentials
Date | January 31, 2012
Time | 7:00 pm
Location | Lubbock, TX
TV | Big 12 Network
Radio | Affiliates

Texas Tech Starting 5
Kevin Wagner (5-11/171) | 2.5 PPG | 1.4 AST
Ty Nurse (6-1/180) | 8.4 PPG | 1.5 AST
Luke Adams (5-9/150) | 3.9 PPG | 1.0 AEB
Jordan Tolbert (6-7/210) | 12.3 PPG | 6.2 REB
Robert Lewandowski (6-10/256) | 7.8 PPG | 4.3 REB

Oklahoma St. Starting 5
Cezar Guerroro (6-0/175) | 5.7 PPG | 1.2 APG
Keiton Page (5-9/165) | 14.4 PPG | 2.1 APG
Brian Williams (6-5/205) | 7.1 PPG | 3.1 RPG
Le'Bryan Nash (6-7/230) | 13.1 PPG | 4.9 RPG
Michael Cobbins (6-8/220) | 5.1 PPG | 5.0 RPG

WHAT TO EXPECT

WIN SOME LOSE A LOT | Texas Tech has not won a game since Texas Tech played Oklahoma St., who was the first conference opponent. That 7 number in the win column hasn't been changed for way too long. Meanwhile, both teams had some success against Missouri, OSU actually beat the Tigers rather than just keep it close, but have lost 4 of their last five. A bad loss to Baylor, but kept things relatively close against Iowa St. and Kansas St. This past weekend, the Aggies had a 15 point win against the Cowboys. Texas Tech has literally been a mess on so many different levels, from being a team that is one of the worst in assist to turnover margin to players getting 2 minutes one night and then receiving 30 minutes the next. There's just no consistency right now and although Oklahoma St. is a good opportunity for an upset (I think that OSU is only favored by 4, which is cray), I still don't think it happens tonight, but I'm hopeful.

STRUGGLING ON THE ROAD | Amazingly, Texas Tech still has a winning record at home, 6-4 for the year, while Oklahoma St. is only 1-4 on the road. If Texas Tech can simply figure out a way not to turn the ball over on 26.2% of it's possessions then I do think this is a close game. The insertion of Wagner and Adams into starting roles has helped. Wagner is actually pretty darned good looking up the court and the one role that Nurse has excelled in is shooting the set-shot when he's not guarded. I think I remember one 3-point shot against Missouri, where Wagner got the ball near MU's free throw line on the rebound, looked up and found Nurse just sitting by himself on the 3-point line and canned the shot. Texas Tech could definitely use more of those types of plays, clean looks, and as long as Nurse isn't having to create a shot or really handle the ball in the open court, then I think there's an increase in opportunity to win . . . just as long as Tolbert doesn't turn the ball over 8 different times.

KEY MATCHUPS

NASH VS. TOLBERT | I think by virtue of who each team starts, I'm somewhat excited to see Tolbert and Nash square off tonight. Two true freshman who are some of the best in the conference. Nash is a much better permiter player than Tolbert, while Tolbert is a much better inside player than Nash. It was nice to see Tolbert get back into the swing of things against Kansas St. Nash was the reason OSU upset Missouri as he was simply hot, going 12 for 18 for 27 points , but he's also prone to poor shooting night and you can look to his 5 of 15 for 13 points as a reason OSU lost by 15 to TAMU.

BROWN VS. CROCKETT | I don't think either Brown or Crockett will start and this sets up to be two of the better players in the conference that come off the bench. Crockett has actually been really consistent of late, one of the better players who knows how to score in one-on-one situations and relatively efficient. Brown scored 14 off the bench against K-State, 8 against Mizzou and 19 against TAMU.