Date: Sunday, December 14th
Time: 1:00 pm
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (6-1, 0-0)
Bad Guys: Prairie View A&M Panthers (1-8, 0-0)
Location: United Supermarkets Arena | Lubbock, TX
TV/Stream: FSSW / FCS Central
Radio/Stream: Broadcast Affiliates and TuneIn App
Ross Returns. According to the LAJ's Krista Pirtle, F Aaron Ross returns after suffering an ACL injury in the offseason, should return against Prairie View A&M:
"He’s doing good," coach Tubby Smith said. "Hopefully we can get him some playing time, a few minutes here and there, to see how he responds in a real game. He’s ready to test that knee in an official game. We’ll see how he progresses up until Sunday. The doctors have given him the clearance to play right away."
With Ross's return, this really bolsters a frontcourt that's incredibly deep. Add I thought it was interesting that Tubby Smith mentioned Justin Jamison after the Fresno State game by name as a guy that should help. The frontcourt is ridiculously deep and there's a ton of guys that aren't getting any burn because Norense Odiase and Zach Smith are getting a ton of minutes with Isaiah Manderson filling in when he can.
Three Keys to the Game:
1. Scouting the Panthers. Eh, this isn't a good look for PVAM. Their best player is maybe a tie between John Brisco (5-11/210) and Treshawn Hagood (6-2/174). I'm not sure that the weight for Brisco is correct, but if it is, then he's a linebacker playing point guard, which is pretty rare for college basketball. Brisco averaeges 14 points a game, but it is on just 41% from the floor. There's not much else to his game statistically and I call him a point guard above, simply because of his size, but he may be more of a shooting guard. Hagood averages 12 points a game and shoots just 39% from the floor, but he does grab almost 4 boards a game and averages 4 assists (and also 4 turnovers). Inside, Karim York (6-9/225) and Reggis Onwukamuche (6-10/225) are your inside presences. York averages 10 points a game, but he also has a poor shooting percentage, just 40% from the fllor. He does lead the team with 5 rebounds a game. Onwukamuche does have the best shooting percentage of the four at 51%, but he only averages 5 points a game and just a shade under 4 rebounds.
2. Stats. Texas Tech has just about every advantage that you could want here by a pretty wide margin. It's not good when a terrible team like PVAM has a better turnover margin and so that's defnitely a point of emphasis for Texas Tech moving forward.
The Pantheres are pretty woeful in advanced metrics, and are only the 326th best team in AdjO and 293rd in AdjD. This may be Texas Tech's worst opponent to date and it may not be close. Texas Tech continues to somewhat hold steady as the offense is pretty terrible right now, at 193rd in AdjO, but the defense cracks the top 100 by a wide margin, checking in at 73rd in AdjD.
*AdjO and AdjD via KenPom.
3. Matching Up. Pick a spot and I think Texas Tech has a terrific advantage pretty much any way you slice it. You could go up and down Texas Tech's lineup and Texas Tech should be able to do whatever they want to do both offensively and defensively for Texas Tech. Considering Justin Gray's excellent game at taking the ball to the hoop and making 8 of 9 from the free throw line, I'd like to see Gray continue his offensive development and be an offensive threat. Texas Tech doesn't have a ton of offensive threats, so developing Gray, who had some injury issues early is really vital to continuing the success of this team.