Date: Saturday, November 8th
Time: 7:00 pm
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders
Bad Guys: Texas A&M Commerce Lions
Location: United Supermarkets Arena | Lubbock, TX
Radio/Stream: Broadcast Affiliates and TuneIn App
Texas A&M Commerce is the second of two exhibition or preseason games that Texas Tech will play. Normally, these games are top-secret and no one releases the scores or stats, but these are actually going to be exhibition games and I think that it's free to get into this game. The game against SE Oklahoma and against TAMU-C don't count for or against Texas Tech's record. Wins and losses will start against Loyola-Maryland and against Tubby Smith's son, G.G. Smith.
The Lions are picked to finish 4th in the Lone Star Conference and have one of the better players in conference in senior forward LaDon Carnegie, a 6-6 forward that averaged 15 points a game last year.
TAMU-Commerce's head coach, Sam Walker, is in his 15th year as the head coach for the Lions and is the winningest coach at TAMU-Commerce with 225w wins. TAMU-Commerce likes to run, averagign 81.3 points a game and they were a little eractic last year in terms of dishing the ball and turnovers, averaging about 1 to 1 for teh year.
Three Keys to the Game:
1. Scouting Lions: TAMU-Commerce features Carnegie, who will be a really nice match-up for most likely Justin Gray. This seems like a really good opportunity for Gray to get some work against a senior who has shown the ability to fill it up and does it fairly efficiently. Shooting 51% from the field and almost 6 rebounds a game, Carnegie should be a challenge for Gray. Again, We're talking about a much smaller school, but that doesn't mean that they can't have good players. There is also a bit of a challenge for Texas Tech as they will need to handle Christian MacCauley, a 6-9 forward/center that averages just under 10 points a game and about 7 rebounds. Texas Tech's frontcourt is largely unproven and this will be interesting because Christian also averaged about 2.5 blocks a game.
2. Be Serious: The Lions played the Aggies earlier this week and the Lions played really well, so well, that they led for most of the game and gave the Aggies a heck of a test. Here’s TAMU’s head coach Billy Kennedy on the Lions:
"I know people don't want to hear this, but that team is pretty good," A&M coach Billy Kennedy said. "Darrell Williams averaged a double-double in the Big 12 with Oklahoma State, and Christian Macauley was the defensive player of the year in the LSC. I know people will say they are not SEC and all that, but they are good players."
The Lions also had LaDon Carnegie, who received the second most votes for preseason player of the year in the Lone Star Conference. Along with Williams and Macauley, all three seniors gave A&M plenty of practice for next week's regular-season debut. Macauley had 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Williams had six points and seven rebounds, and Carnegie led the Lions with 13 points.
This is not a push-over game and later in the article, the Aggie players talk about how well the Lions rebounded. Texas Tech is going to have to bring their A-game to get a(n) (exhibition) win.
3. Get Healthy: Hopefully, Texas Tech will see the return of a couple of injured players, notably Justin Gray, who was out the last game. I have no idea about the prognosis of Justin Jamison, but I think having him is going to be vital for this team to be successful this year. As much as I love the freshman, having a bit of a more mature player will help in the post. And Dan’s breakdown of the shot-chart after the game is eye-opening, if, nothing else, that this team is going to have to shoot well from the outside to be a balanced team.
After his first basketball game, 6-year-old Robert Turner looked up at his mother.
"He didn’t get to see me play," he said.
His father, Robert Turner Jr., passed away the January before from a bone marrow disorder he acquired in the Persian Gulf during his time in the Navy. He was 28.
"It was so hard," LaTanya Turner said. "I told him, I said, ‘The Holy Spirit will come. He sees all.’ I had to explain to him that he’s in a better place and that it’s OK. Keep him in your heart and he’ll always be with you."
* The official site with their official preview of the game.
* The LAJ's Krista Pirtle writes a combo article, one that combines the Lady Raiders and the Red Raiders basketball programs and how recruiting is key to building programs.