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Preview: Iowa State Cyclones vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders

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The Red Raiders host the Iowa State Cyclones, who are on top of the Big 12 standings, while Texas Tech looks for their first conference win in the Big 12.

Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Game Details:

Date: Saturday, January 24th
Time: 3:00 pm
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (10-9, 0-6)
Bad Guys: Iowa State Cyclones (14-3, 4-1)
Location: United Supermarkets Arena | Lubbock, TX
TV/Stream: ESPNU
Radio/Stream: Broadcast Affiliates and TuneIn App

Possible Starting Lineup

Pts/Reb Pts / Reb
POINT GUARD Robert Turner (6-3/190) 8.5 / 1.6* Monte Morris (6-2/170) 10.2 / 5.8*
SHOOTING GUARD Devaugntah Williams (6-4/205) 10.3 / 3.2 Naz Long (6-4/210) 12.8 / 3.1
SMALL FORWARD Toddrick Gotcher (6-4/200) 6.3 / 2.7 Bryce Dejean-Jones (6-6/210) 12.6 / 5.9
POWER FORWARD Zach Smith (6-8/205) 5.4 / 4.9 Dustin Hogue (6-6/220) 11.2 / 5.0
CENTER Isaiah Manderson (6-10/235) 4.5 / 3.0 Georges Niang (6-8/230) 14.8 / 5.5

* Assists.

Three Keys to the Game:

1. Scouting the Cyclones. This game bothers me for the simple fact that Iowa State can play offense at an incredibly high rate and they put the ball in the basket incredibly efficiently. Those figures above are accurate. Every player for ISU averages double-figures and Jameel McKay averages almost 10 points a game coming off the bench. Incredibly talented offensive teams are not what the doctor ordered for Texas Tech. The problem for Texas Tech is that every one of the starters can hurt you offensively. Every one of them, which means that Texas Tech is going to have to be on point defensively or play a lot of zone, which I think might be the route that Smith takes in this game.

2. Stats. Just for the record, this is going to be really problematic. ISU doesn't turn the ball over. They have a point guard that averages almost 6 assists a game to 1 turnover. That's unreal, and they are shooting the ball so well, it's downright scary. Am I building up ISU a bit? Yeah, I am, but they're really good offensively.

Iowa State is #19 in AdjO and #57 in AdjD with an overall ranking of 18. Meanwhile, Texas Tech continues to drop, ranking 193rd overall, 291st in AdjO and 97th in AdjD.

*AdjO and AdjD via KenPom.

3. Matching Up. The toughest matchup for Texas Tech is probably Niang because Texas Tech doesn't have a stretch four that can play Niang. I'd guess that Smith might get the call to guard him, but where does that leave your post player, like Odiase and/or Manderson? They can't guard Hogue, not by a long-shot. So, this sets up to be an incredibly tough situation because Texas Tech really doesn't have small forwards to match-up with Iowa State. Not only that, but to throw a bucket of salt on the wound, Justin Gray is out for the rest of the year with knee issues.