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Preview | Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Oklahoma Sooners

The Red Raiders travel to Norman to play the Oklahoma Sooners, who are led by F Romero Osby and G Steven Pledger.




Oklahoma Sooners (11-3, 2-0)

Texas Tech Red Raiders (8-6, 1-2)

January 16, 2013 @ 7:00 pm

Lloyd Noble Center | Norman, OK

TV: Big 12 Network | Radio: Affiliates | GameCast: FoxSports

Probable Starters

Je'Lon Hornbreak (6-3/180)


Josh Gray (6-1/175)

Buddy Hield (6-3/199)


Dusty Hannahs (6-4/210)

Steven Pledger (6-4/219)


Jamal Williams, Jr. (6-4/190)

Romero Osby (6-8/232)


Jordan Tolbert (6-7/225)

Amath M'Baye (6-9/208)


Dejan Kravic (6-11/240)


The Sooners are in the better half of scoring defense, 72nd in the nation, and in the bottom half of scoring, 166th in the nation. They don't shoot the ball particularly well, but they don't let their opponents shoot the ball well defensively, allowing teams to only make 39% of their field goals.

Oklahoma is a pretty good team and Lon Kruger has done a really good job of working through his first year and has put together a pretty good team with some freshmen and JUCO kids to go around what was already there. M'Baye was voted the preseason newcomer of the Big 12 and he's averaging 10 PPG and 5.8 RPG, but this team is really led by Osby and Pledger. Pledger averages 11 PPG and Osby is the leading scorer, averaging 13 PPG.

OU isn't perfect, although perhaps the best thing that they do is that they shoot free throws really well, 22nd in in the nation.


This is a winnable game. Winning on the road is never easy, especially for a team that didn't go on the road at all for the first month or so of the season. But this is a winnable game. OU is a good team, but not so much better than Texas Tech. Texas Tech is still really bad defensively, 240th in scoring defense and 263rd in field goal percentage defense. This is incredibly problematic for this team and I think this team played better defensively against Kansas, but they still have to be better. The talent level at Baylor and Kansas is really off the charts. The talent level at just about every other Big 12 school is closer to what Texas Tech has.

The key to this game is to value possessions. I think the team is figuring that out as we move along. At first, I don't think it was emphasized with the run-and-gun style, but it has been emphasized I think recently. LAJ's Nick Kosmider writes that the team is very much emphasizing transition defense:

"We have to make sure we get back," Tech forward Jaye Crockett said. "A lot of times they just got two-on-one layups because we didn’t have all five guys back playing defense."

For Tech, "getting back" will be a major focus as it prepares for this week’s road trip with games against Oklahoma (Wednesday) and Oklahoma State (Saturday). Tech has already been hard at work since the loss to the Jayhawks honing in on their assignments in open court with drills designed to test players in two-on-one, three-on-two and four-on-three situations.

"(Assistant) coach (Jeremy) Cox puts into our heads every game and even in practice," Crockett said, "Transition D, Transition D. He puts a lot of emphasis on that."


Red Raiders Head To Norman To Face Sooners - Texas Tech Red Raiders Official Athletic Site

Transition defense a focus as Red Raiders prepare for Oklahoma road swing | Red Raiders

Williams eager to contribute after long journey to Texas Tech | Red Raiders

Tech basketball faces Oklahoma on the road - The Daily Toreador: Sports