The No. 7 Texas Tech Red Raiders next face the Iowa State Cyclones Wednesday night in Lubbock. This is a revenge game for the Red Raiders as they lost to the Cyclones by a score of 70-52 a couple of weeks ago. This will be a slightly different team for the Cyclones as they will be without starting point guard and jack-of-all-trades man Nick Weiler-Babb. This changes the way the Cyclones play as Babb runs their entire offense.
The Cyclones will have leading scorers Lindell Wigginton, who averages 16 points per game, and Donovan Jackson, who also averages around 16 points per game. They will also have post player Cameron Lard who torched Texas Tech in their last meeting for 18 points on 9-11 shooting. He was the inside force that was the difference for the Cyclones.
The Red Raiders will counter with reigning Big 12 Player of the Week Keenan Evans, a player that has played his way onto the Wooden and Bob Cousy Award Finalist list. Evans is averaging 18.6 points per game, second in the Big 12. The Red Raiders will also be looking for key contributions from their two freshman starters, Jarrett Culver and Zhaire Smith. Both of these players are averaging 10 points and 4 rebounds per game for Texas Tech. Jarrett Culver has had some great offensive games, with 25 against Oklahoma State, and 20 against the Horned Frogs of TCU last Saturday.
Culver is shooting a scorching 40% from behind the three-point line and has been on a hot streak recently as he is beginning to be the solid second option in the offense that the Red Raiders have needed all year long. Smith has been on a tear on the defensive end, as he has averaged 3 blocks per game in the last three games. These two are not only great players now, but will be the two main pillars for the future of Texas Tech basketball.
The Red Raiders will need to play as good as they have the past couple of weeks if they are to beat the Cyclones. I do not think that Keenan Evans will have another 30 point performance, although I do believe he will make a contribution. I think the surprise of the night will be Davide Moretti, who got more minutes in the last game against the TCU Horned Frogs. I predict Moretti will get over 10 points and that the Red Raiders will win a good game in Lubbock over a Weiler-Babb-less Cyclones team. Prediction: Red Raiders 75 Cyclones 58.