The No. 12 Texas Tech Red Raiders will face the No. 20 West Virginia Mountaineers tonight to break a tie for second place in the Big 12. This is also Senior Night for the Mountaineers as guards Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles Jr. will take the floor at home for the last time.
The Red Raiders have lost 3 straight now after winning seven in a row. This will be a tough road game for the Red Raiders as Keenan Evans, Zach Smith, and Justin Gray will not be at 100% for tonight’s game. Word around the street is that Justin Gray might not play after suffering a concussion in the game Saturday against Kansas.
Keenan Evans’ numbers have suffered heavily after suffering a toe injury in the game against Baylor, as in the two games since then Evans has only averaged 4 points and 2 assists. Until Evans gets back to full strength, the rest of the team will have to pick up his offensive numbers. Zhaire Smith has been electric in the two games that Keenan Evans has been injured, averaging 19 points and 4.5 rebounds.
Zach Smith made his return to the court on Saturday, to a standing ovation from the crowd. Smith brings so much on the defensive end that it makes Tech’s already impressive defense that much better. With the ability to play 2 big men on the floor at all times, this makes the Red Raiders that much better on the defensive end and will help them substantially with rebounding.
The Red Raiders will need to do a job against the Mountaineers’ press defense. In the last game against the Mountaineers, the Red Raiders committed 13 turnovers, 3 more than Coach Beard would have liked. If the Red Raiders can keep the turnovers in the single digits, the Red Raiders will have a good shot at winning tonight’s road game.
The offense will be harder to come by in this game if Keenan Evans is not at the top of his game tonight against the Mountaineers. The key for a Red Raiders’ win tonight is to slow the game down and limit the turnovers. If the Red Raiders can do these two things, along with playing good defense, the Red Raiders will have a great chance at getting the win and ruin senior night for the Red Raiders.