Date: Tuesday, November 18th
Time: 8:30 pm
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders
Bad Guys: LSU Tigers
Location: Pete Maravich Assembly Center | Baton Rouge, LA
Radio/Stream: Broadcast Affiliates and TuneIn App
Nice to See You Again. I was always disappointed a bit when Josh Gray left the program with Tubby Smith entering the scene. It seemed like a perfect fit considering Smith mentored one of the best NBA point guards in Rajon Rando when Smith and Rando were at Kentucky. I'd imagine that Gray was maybe a bit homesick as he was originally from Louisiana and there's no hard feelings on my end. I hope he does have great year (except for tonight) and I continually think about what could have been. I always goes back to the players that have left because of the disaster that was Billy Gillispie.
I know that there's no point in crying over spilled milk and I'm not angry or mad. Just wistful thinking, Imagine a team with Terran Petteway, Josh Gray, Kevin Wagner, Jaron Nash, Biggie Minnis, Trency Jackson, Javier Willis and I'm sure there are more. I don't blame these guys for leaving and it was incredibly difficult to stay, but I can't help think about if those guys had stayed and where Texas Tech basketball could be. Billy Gillispie and his behavior single-handedly destroyed this program because he couldn't control himself. It's amazing the carnage he left behind.
Three Keys to the Game:
1. Scouting the Tigers: Jarell Martin (6-10/235) was the leading scorer against Morehead St., who scored 22 points, and 7 rebounds and he's going to be a force inside for the Tigers as well as a tough cover outside, he's a bit versatile, as he was 2 of 3 from the three-point line. Jordan Mickey (6-8/235) is a big forward from the Dallas area, Prime Prep to be specific, and he finished with 11 points and 11 boards. This inside duo is going to be really tough for Texas Tech and against Morehead St., the Tigers didn't get into their bench despite winning by darn near 20. In the backcourt, Keith Hornsby (6-4/210) had 11 points and Josh Gray (6-1/183) finished with 10 points, 3 assists and just 1 turnover.
2. Terrific Test: After an easy win against Loyola-Md. this game should be a terrific test for this young Texas Tech team. LSU has a handful of experienced and talented players and this should be a really good test for the young players, heading into an opposing team's home court for the first time this year. I'm also interested to see how the depth of Texas Tech will play with the standard starters for LSU as they only go 7 deep for the most part and most of the starters play 25 minutes.
3. Solid Opponent: LSU isn’t necessarily a world-beater by any means, but Johnny Jones, formerly of North Texas, is a very good coach and LSU has some very good players. Before the season, LSU was ranked as the 75th best team by KenPom, which means that they are on the cusp of maybe being something better, but are really on the outside looking in. Texas Tech and this young team are still trying to find their footing and have improved immensely since Smith arrived. Texas TEch is simply a more consistent and better prepared team than I can ever recall and with Smith, Texas Tech really isn’t out of any game, including this game against LSU.
* The LAJ's Krista Pirtle previews tonight's game and head coach Tubby Smith says that Martin is LSU's best player:
The top players on this year's LSU squad are sophomores Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey. They each scored 21 points in LSU's recent win over Gardner-Webb.
"The most talented player is probably Jarell Martin who is a 6-foot-9 forward," coach Tubby Smith said. "He probably creates more of a match-up problem (at the small forward)."
* The DT's Diego Gaytan also previews the game and G Devaughntah Williams says that Texas Tech must play better against LSU:
Junior guard Devaugntah Williams said Tech needs to impose a physical defense on the Tigers like it did on the Greyhounds in its season opener.
"We'll most likely have to play 10 times harder (defense)," Williams said. "It's going to be tough, but as long as we are playing team defense, we'll get the win."