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Preview: Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders

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Texas Tech looks to continue their winning ways, going for their 8th win in a row and their 9th on the year as they host the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions.

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Game Details:

Date: Friday, December 19th
Time: 8:00 pm
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (8-1, 0-0)
Bad Guys: Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions (2-8, 0-0)
Location: United Supermarkets Arena | Lubbock, TX
TV/Stream: FSSW Plus / FCS Central
Radio/Stream: Broadcast Affiliates and TuneIn App

Anything Can Happen. In yesterday’s post game thoughts, I wrote that Arkansas-Pine Bluff is the last creampuff on the schedule. I do want to be clear that this is a good thing that I’m writing this. I get to be excited about the increased expectations of this team and that Texas Tech is not one of creampuffs, one of the worst teams in the NCAA, which is exactly where Texas Tech was after the Billy Gillispie debacle. So despite my labeling of South Carolina State and Arkansas-Pine Bluff as creampuffs, I’m happy to do it because I haven’t had the opportunity to do that in a long time with this team.

I’m not on the team so I don’t have to worry about over-looking things because Arkansas-Pine Bluff beat Houston on Wednesday, a game where Houston isn’t exactly great, they are in the 200’s in KenPom’s ratings and so they may not be the Houston team that you somewhat remember, especially with some of the transfers that happened after James Dickey took the job. Still, I get to be a little bit cavalier about the prospect of playing the Golden Lions and this really should be a game that Texas Tech should dominate. Yep, we’re talking about a team that is better by a pretty significant margin and it feels good to type that.

Three Keys to the Game:

1. Scouting the Golden Lions. There's a couple of pretty good scorers here. Marcel Mosley (6-0/180) is more of an off-guard as he averages 2.3 assists (and 4.1 turnovers!) a game while averaging a shade under 16 points a game on 40% from the floor. Mosely can shoot if from deep, averaging 37% from the three-point line, so that should be something to watch. Jovaughn Love (6-9/220) is your big man that averages 13 points a game, shooting 40% from the floor and he's also known to shoot it a bit from the outside, making 38% of his three point shots while averaging almost 5 boards a game. After that, it's pretty slim pickings, Tevin Hammond (6-0/185) is your point guard and he averages about the same number of assists to turnovers and averages about 7 points a game.

2. Stats. Whoa, Texas Tech could simply dominate here and by a wide margin. IN comparison to Texas Tech APB is a turnover, poor shooting, no rebounding team that doesn't get to the free throw line. There's not a log of intrigue here.

And according to KenPom, it's really pretty bad, 343rd in AdjO and 214th in AdjD. Texas Tech was at 109th overall prior to the drubbing of South Carolina State and that defense continues to get better. This game shouldn't be close, but ya never know.

*AdjO and AdjD via KenPom.

3. Matching Up. Maybe the most interesting match up would be to see how Zach Smith handles Love. Smith has been a terrific defender, especially on the help side blocking shots and covering for other defenders that get beat. It's maybe his best trait. Smith still has a ways on his offensive game, but he's far ahead of where I had him pegged before this year. And let's see Robert Turner take hold and be awesome two games in a row. He needs the confidence I think and he needs to be really good for Texas Tech to be a player in the Big 12 Conference play.