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Preview: Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys

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The Red Raiders look to snap their five game conference losing streak on the road against Oklahoma State.

Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Game Details:

Date: Wednesday, January 21st
Time: 8:00 pm
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (10-8, 0-5)
Bad Guys: Oklahoma State Cowboys (12-5, 2-3)
Location: Gallagher-Iba Arena | Stillwater, OK
TV/Stream: ESPNU
Radio/Stream: Broadcast Affiliates and TuneIn App

Oklahoma State Rebound. This seems like one of those classic scenarios where Oklahoma State, coming off of a blowout loss, will play with something to prove and some aggression. The Cowboys lost by 20 to Oklahoma in Norman and lost by 10 to Kansas in Lawrence, so I would imagine that you'll see OSU try to get off to a fast start against Texas Tech and then try to never look back. Texas Tech had better be ready for that fight to start the game.

Starting Lineup

Pts/Reb Pts / Reb
POINT GUARD Robert Turner (6-3/190) 9.1 / 1.8* Anthony Hickey (5-11/185) 9.0 / 3.4*
SHOOTING GUARD Devaugntah Williams (6-4/205) 11.2 / 3.3 Phil Forte (5-11/185) 17.8 / 2.5
SMALL FORWARD Toddrick Gotcher (6-4/200) 6.4 / 2.9 Jeff Newberry (6-2/190) 5.7 / 2.1
POWER FORWARD Zach Smith (6-8/205) 5.4 / 4.9 Le'Bryan Nash (6-7/235) 17.9 / 6.1
CENTER Norense Odiase (6-9/270) 7.4 / 4.8 Michael Cobbins (6-8/230) 7.1 / 6.0

* Assists.

Three Keys to the Game:

1. Scouting the Cowboys. Oklahoma State has two stars, Forte and Nash and they are both very good at what they do, which is fill them buckets. Forte is shooting 45% from the field, including 40% from the three point line. Despite being only 5-11, he's essentially this team's shooting guard and he's incredibly difficult to stop. Nash is the other big-time scorer, shooting 46% from the field and he's got a dominant mid-range game that's tough to stop. After that, you have a facilitator in Hickey who is not a terrific shooter, but he does dish the ball to the tune of 4 assists a game, but he will also turn it over on you. In the middle is Cobbins, who looks to finally be healthy and adds a defensive presence, over 2 blocks a game. Newberry is the JUCO newcomer and he is struggling a bit, only shooting 38% from the floor and an assist to turnover ratio that's pretty much 1:1.

2. Stats. OSU has a couple of nice advantages here in that they are significantly better shooters than Texas Tech, shooting near 50% eFG% and they don't turn the ball over on as many opportunities. If you want something to depress you, Texas Tech turns the ball over on 21% of their possessions. Yikes.

KenPom has Oklahoma State as a near top-10 team defensively, 12th in AdjD and is pretty good on offense, 65th in AdjO for an overall rating of 24. The defensive stats are worrisome from my end because of Texas Tech's struggle to put the ball in the basket. It could be an incredibly frustrating game offensively for the Red Raiders.

*AdjO and AdjD via KenPom.

3. Matching Up. This may be the best team for Texas Tech to play because OSU employs a three-guard lineup for most of the game. The problem for Texas Tech is that they just don't have an athlete that is on the same level as Nash. Smith is close, but he's not as big and strong and that worries me quite a bit on the inside. With Cobbins, I think Odiase is going to have to learn to be more creative with his shot-making, he's not going to always create space inside with his body and he needs to refine a jump hook or some shot like that to keep defenders away from the ball. I do think that Texas Tech does have the size advantage, and it is a matter of Texas Tech getting these guys good shots.