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Preview: Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Kansas State Wildcats

The Red Raiders continue their trip through Kansas as they face the K-State Wildcats at famed Brumlage Coliseum.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Game Details:

Date: Wednesday, January 14th
Time: 7:00 pm
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (10-6, 0-3)
Bad Guys: Kansas State Wildcats (9-7, 2-1)
Location: Bramlage Coliseum | Manhattan, KS
TV/Stream: ESPNU
Radio/Stream: Broadcast Affiliates and TuneIn App

Things Can Change. Kansas State was sitting with a .500 and then they go and win a game against TCU and beating Oklahoma. Both seemed like unlikely tasks. I even had a K-State friend text me and tell me how much he respects how Texas Tech plays and how K-State was just a mess as a team. Well, things change quickly and the fortunes of Kansas State could be headed to a 3-1 start to the conference year after a terrible non-conference year.

Starting Lineup

Pts/Reb Pts / Reb
POINT GUARD Robert Turner (6-3/190) 8.6 / 2.0* Jevon Thomas (6-0/185) 6.1 / 3.8*
SHOOTING GUARD Devaugntah Williams (6-4/205) 11.1 / 3.3 Marcus Foster (6-3/210) 13.7 / 1.9
SMALL FORWARD Zach Smith (6-8/205) 5.4 / 4.6 Wesley Iwundu (6-7/205) 5.1 / 3.4
POWER FORWARD Justin Jamison (6-9/260) 3.0 / 2.25 Nino Williams (6-5/220) 10.9 / 4.7
CENTER Norense Odiase (6-9/270) 8.0 / 5.1 Thomas Gipson (6-7/265) 11.6 / 4.7

* Assists.

Three Keys to the Game:

1. Scouting the Wildcats. K-State shut down Oklahoma behind some terrific, and I mean terrific defense, holidng the Sooners to 40% from teh floor and they rebounded the heck out of the ball, including 3 more offensive rebounds, which can mean the difference in a game. Not only that, but K-State also had 15 assists against the Sooners and only allowed 4 assists, which means that every shot, yes, every shot, is contested. Kansas State has some big bodies in the front court, but I don't see that being problematic for Texas Tech because those guys aren't overly athletic (what a thing to say). Foster is a terrific scorer and he's not afraid to carry a team (current player of the week). Someone for Texas Tech is gong to have to step up to the task to stopping Foster and someone is going to need to contest Thomas and not let him find teammates.

2. Stats. The Red Raiders still hold a decent edge here and truth be told, both K-State and Texas Tech are pretty similar statistically. For the year, the biggest problem, aside from Oklahoma, has been that K-State was allowing teams to shoot a better percentage than what they were shooting. That's a problem and they're on their way to getting that corrected.

According to KenPom, the Wildcats aren't terrific either offensively or defensively, in the 100's (Which by the way is much better than Texas Tech. Much better.), only 103rd in AdjO and 87th in AdjD. Texas Tech continues to slip, ranking 248th in AdjO and 161st in AdjD

*AdjO and AdjD via KenPom.

3. Matching Up. The stark reality for Texas Tech is that the offense is borderline pathetic and as mentioned so many times, it's a problem having so many freshmen trying to put the ball in the bucket. But it doesn't help when two of the older players in Williams and Turner aren't pulling any weight. If they continue to be invisible offensively then I'm all for ripping off the band-aid and letting Keenan Evans start at the point guard and Randy Onwuasor start at the off-guard spot. Maybe the insertion of Jamison into the offense will open things up, but Turner and Williams have to be better, they have to figure out how to get cleaner shots. If not, then let Evans take his lumps starting and being more ready next year.