Texas Tech Red Raiders (8-8, 0-3)
|United Spirit Arena | Lubbock, Texas
|8:00 pm Wednesday January 15th
|Radio - TTSN | TV - ESPNU
|Robert Turner (6-3/180)
|Kenny Cherry (5-11/180)
|Toddrick Gotcher (6-4/195)
|Gary Franklin (6-2/190)
|Dusty Hannahs (6-4/210)
|Royce O'Neale (6-6/220)
|Jaye Crockett (6-7/210)
|Cory Jefferson (6-9/220)
|Jordan Tolbert (6-7/225)
|Isaiah Austin (7-1/225)
Key Matchup | Jefferson vs. Crockett: As you’ll note above, I finally made the change to the starting lineups for Texas Tech. I assume that this is accurate after looking at the Texas box score, although I really don’t know if this was based upon the fact that Texas employs a three-guard lineup or if it is a result of putting the best players on the team on the floor. Either way, if Texas Tech does start Hannahs over Dejan Kravic, then Crockett is going to have his hands full with the rebounding machine that is Cory Jefferson. The length of Austin and the strength of Jefferson should prove to be a tough matchup for Crockett and Tolbert.
Take Aim: This wasn’t exactly the "easy" game that would be nice to have for a Texas Tech team coming off of a three game slide. Baylor is a deep team and that probably bothers me the most. Aside from the starters listed above, the Bears have Brady Heslip, who is averaging 11.5 points a game, Rico Gathers, who is a load in the middle at 270, is averaging 7.7 points a game and almost 8 rebounds, and Taurean Prince, a long and lean forward, how is averaging 8 points a game. If you add in the play of Cherry, who has done a nice job in his first year at point guard for Baylor and you’ve got a really tough matchup for Texas Tech.
Baylor is a top twenty team in AdjO and in the top 75 in AdjD. Offense, has seemingly, never been Baylor’s problem, it’s always the defense that keeps this program back a bit. Texas Tech is going to have to keep Baylor off the offensive glass and I do believe that Kravic will get a lot more time than he did against Texas. The same thing goes for the free throws. Texas Tech is going to need to keep Baylor off the line to keep pace.
Game Day Links:
The official site has your official preview of the game (via Texas Tech).
A very nice profile of Jaye Crockett (via LAJ) and HC Tubby Smith has this to say about his forward:
"Besides being athletic, he’s our most versatile player because he can play the four, the three and he can probably play the two and the five if he had to," Smith said describing the different positions. "He’s a good passer. I think defensively he can guard multiple positions. Versatility is number one."
The LAJ has a preview of the game where Smith talks about how this team needs to do the small things (via LAJ):
"We all did it when we were kids in the back yard," Smith said. "’Three, two, one and shoot the ball.’ Nobody’s out there going ‘Three, two, one, I got to box out.’ They’re not practicing that. As a coach, you’ve got to force them to that. You aren’t screening. When you’re out there in the back yard, you’re thinking about scoring. You aren’t worried about ‘I better screen to make this work in order to win this game. I better find someone to box out.’ I’d like to see them in the back yard ‘Three, two, one oh, he’s got to box him out to the left. Oh he dives and gets the loose ball and calls time out.’ They’re not practicing that. Those are the things they have to do to get the job done."
We have a preview from the Baylor point of view (via WacoTrib) and Baylor HC Scott Drew has this to say about Smith:
"He’s an outstanding coach," Drew said. "Any time you go to 17 NCAA tournaments and win a national championship, you’re doing a great job. Like every well-coached team, they play good defense and take care of the ball. He puts players in position to make shots. They’ve lost several close games, but they’ve really done a good job under him."