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Preview: Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Oklahoma Sooners

The Texas Tech Red Raiders are coming off of their upset win over #9 Iowa State and look to make it two in a row against the Oklahoma Sooners.

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Game Details:

Date: Wednesday, January 28th
Time: 6:30 pm
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (11-9, 1-6)
Bad Guys: Oklahoma Sooners (12-7, 3-4)
Location: Lloyd Noble Center | Norman, OK
TV/Stream: ESPNews
Radio/Stream: Broadcast Affiliates and TuneIn App

Possible Starting Lineup

Pts / Reb Pts / Reb
POINT GUARD Robert Turner (6-3/190) 8.8 / 1.98* Jordan Woodard (6-0/189) 8.3 / 4.5*
SHOOTING GUARD Devaugntah Williams (6-4/205) 11.0 / 3.4 Isaiah Cousins (6-4/192) 12.5 / 5.6
SMALL FORWARD Randy Onwuasor (6-3/190) 5.8 / 3.3 Buddy Hield (6-4/212) 17.8 / 5.4
POWER FORWARD Zach Smith (6-8/205) 5.4 / 5.0 TaShawn Thomas (6-8/242) 11.0 / 5.7
CENTER Isaiah Manderson (6-10/240) 4.6 / 3.0 Ryan Spangler (6-8/235) 9.7 / 8.2

* Assists.

Three Keys to the Game:

1. Scouting the Sooners. It would not surprise me at all to see Oklahoma really make a huge effort for this game.  The Sooners are reeling a bit as they have lost two in a row, Kansas and Baylor, and four of their last five games.  It's strange how quick the Big 12 can flip as the Sooners were thought to be challengers for the Big 12 title, have now fallen on some hard times.  I do love watching Hield play and watch him develop through the years. He's a terrific scorer and I hope that Texas Tech will develop their on version of Hield in the next few years.  Thomas, is a Houston transfer and has added quite a bit of offense and rebounding to the team and that starting five looks really terrific.  Also, there was some thought that Cousins would be out for a game or two with a wrist injury, but he should be back for this game.

2. Stats. Despite their most recent downturn, Oklahoma is still a really talented defensive team and despite their recent slide, I'd expect that to end relatively quickly because they are one of the best defensive teams in the country.  I'm a little surprised to see Texas Tech be a better offensive rebounding team.

The Sooners are the 61st best team in AdjO and the 5th, yes 5th, best team in AdjD and overall the 12th best team according to KemPom.  Texas Tech's win against Iowa State helped a little bit in the KenPom rankings, especially offensively, as they moved up to 212th, yes moved up, in AdjO and are now 78th in AdjD with an overall rating of 178.

*AdjO and AdjD via KenPom.

3. Matching Up. Texas Tech needs to be similar to what they were offensively against Iowa State, which means that the guards are going to have to hit their shots. It was Toddrick Gotcher in the first half and DeVaughtah Williams in the second half that kept Texas Tech in the game.  As this offense matures a bit, it should mean that the post players will have some more breathing room, but as stated before, it's entirely contingent on the guards making sure that they are able to hit the outside jumper.  Hield presents a really tough match-up, but Texas Tech has enough guards to make this work I think defensively.  Hield's just so good it is going to take a few players to play defense on him.  I also very much like the idea of Manderson continuing at center as I think he's more polished offensively and it is not as if Spangler is a huge offensive threat.  Manderson's main job, as well as Norense Odiase, if he's healthy, is to keep Spangler and Thomas off the boards.  There was also the bit of news from yesterday that said that Zach Smith was sick and may not play tonight, but he did make the trip.  I'm keeping Smith in the starting lineup for now, but I could see Aaron Ross taking that spot with Justin Jamison being the primary back-up.