After the Texas Tech Red Raiders won some nice hardware Sunday, they return home to play host to the Wofford Terriers tomorrow night at the United Supermarkets Arena. The Terriers are 3-2 with wins against Division III school Washington and Lee, Division II school Bob Jones and Division I North Florida. They also have losses to two Power 5 schools, California by a score of 79-65 and to South Carolina by a score of 73-52. The Terriers have only one senior and have 8 guys in their main rotation playing 12 minutes or more with two more playing about 8 minutes a game coming into this game. Let’s get a closer look at the Wofford Terriers, the Red Raider’s next opponent.
As mentioned before, the Terriers come with a 10 man rotation but they are led by head coach Mike Young. Young has been coaching at Wofford since 1989. First as an assistant coach and then since 2002, he has been the head coach. He is well respected around the country and is one of the longest-tenured head coaches in the NCAA. Player-wise, the Terriers are led by 6-4 guard Fletcher Magee. This man is a beast offensively, as although he played mostly shooting guard last year, is playing both of the guard positions this year. At 6-4, he is a flamethrower from the three-point line as he is about a 45% shooter from behind the arc. Magee averaged 18.6 points as a sophomore which was a jump from 13 his freshman year. He also hasn’t missed a free throw shot this year and is 100% from the line through five games.
This is the biggest scoring threat for the Terriers and he is also the heart and soul of this team. So far this season, he is averaging 22 points per game in 33 minutes per game including a rousing 31 point performance in the 86-83 win Sunday against the North Florida Ospreys. He is not taking much of the point guard reps as he is only averaging 1 assist per game and is averaging 1.7 turnovers per game making his assist to turnover ratio .58 (not very good for a point guard). Magee serves as the main scorer for the Terriers. Look for Coach Beard to give Niem Stevenson the first crack at him as Stevenson, often called “Nemo” by his teammates, has a longer wingspan and at 6’7 can possibly knock Magee off his game with his size. Also look for Keenan Evans to get some defensive reps on him along with possibly Justin Gray, in my opinion, the best defender on the team.
The two frontcourt players for Wofford are also players to look out for. Matthew Pegram is a 6-11 junior that anchors the center position for the Terriers. His size is comparable to the 6-11 frame of Rozelle Nix of South Alabama, but at only 250 pounds, he is not as big of a bruiser but is still a big body at 6-11. He is averaging 11 points and 5 rebounds on the year Tommy Hamilton IV and Norense Odiase will be the duo tasked with slowing down the big man.
Playing at the power forward spot is 6-8 junior Cameron Jackson. At 245 he is big at that power forward position and is averaging 11.5 points per game while also grabbing 5.5 rebounds per game. He is an inside scorer that doesn’t spread the floor too much. Look for Zach Smith to take the majority of the defensive reps on him. This will be a test for Zach as he hasn’t faced someone of this size on the defensive end yet this season.
The Terriers also utilize two main point guards, Nathan Hooper, a 6-4 sophomore guard starts the games and averages 3.5 assists in 28.3 minutes. Coming off the bench is freshman guard Storm Murphy. He averages 4 assists in 21 minutes of action per game. Look for Keenan Evans and his backups Davide Moretti and Josh Webster to guard these guys on defense.
Offensively, the Red Raiders will hopefully be as dominant as they were this weekend in Connecticut. Keenan Evans is really cementing his role as the lead man in all facets of the offense while Zach Smith, Tommy Hamilton, and Niem Stevenson are all taking secondary roles now that Keenan has taken the driver’s seat in the offense. Look for more scoring out of those secondary players this game. Especially look for Tommy Hamilton, Zhaire Smith, and Jarrett Culver to take advantage of their athleticism and 3 point ability. Wofford has some size to match the Red Raiders so look once again for Keenan to take a lot of shots and run the offense with as much efficiency as he has this season.
Overall, the Red Raiders outmatch the Terriers in all facets of the game. Defensively, look for the Red Raiders to key in on Fletcher Magee and contain him to less than 20 points. Offensively, the Red Raiders will try to get more balance from their starting 5. Look for the Red Raiders to win and win big. Prediction: Texas Tech 82 Wofford 55.