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Does Texas Tech have an match-up advantage against Purdue?

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Today, we look at each individual match-up before the game Friday night in Boston.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Texas Tech vs. Florida Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Today we will look at each individual match-up for the Red Raider’s Sweet 16 match-up against Purdue. These teams look similar in many ways and it will be a great game tonight in Boston.

Point Guard Match-Up

Player Keenan Evans PJ Thompson
Player Keenan Evans PJ Thompson
Points Per Game 17.8 7.4
Rebounds Per Game 3.2 1.8
Assist Per Game 3.2 1.7
Minutes Per Game 29.3 27.7
Field Goal Percentage 48% 45%
Free Throw Percentage 81% 84%
3-Point Percentage 33% 44%

This match-up is an exciting one for Tech fans as Thompson is not a defensive juggernaut. I see Evans getting to the rim and having a huge game against a guard that contributes more as a facilitator and someone who runs the offense. Advantage Texas Tech.

Shooting Guard Match-Up

Player Jarrett Culver Carsen Edwards
Player Jarrett Culver Carsen Edwards
Points Per Game 11.9 18.2
Rebounds Per Game 4.9 3.9
Assist Per Game 1.9 2.9
Minutes Per Game 26.5 29.4
Field Goal Percentage 46% 45%
Free Throw Percentage 64% 81%
3-Point Percentage 40% 40%

Carsen Edwards is obviously the better overall player here but with Culver’s length and athleticism, Edwards will have to work extra hard to score. I also don’t doubt the scoring ability of Jarrett Culver, someone who has solidified his role as being able to score from anywhere. This match-up is going to Purdue, but look for Culver to have a great game tonight regardless.

Small Forward Match-Up

Player Zhaire Smith Dakota Mathias
Player Zhaire Smith Dakota Mathias
Points Per Game 11.3 12.3
Rebounds Per Game 4.9 4.1
Assist Per Game 1.9 4
Minutes Per Game 28.5 31.3
Field Goal Percentage 56% 48%
Free Throw Percentage 71% 82%
3-Point Percentage 44% 46%

There is a good chance that Justin Gray will also get some defensive reps on Mathias. Gray has mainly played the power forward spot while Smith has stayed at a more natural Small Forward spot. Smith has the advantage athletically over anyone in this game. I think that his improved shooting as of late will give him the edge in this match-up.

Power Forward Match-Up

Player Justin Gray Vincent Edwards
Player Justin Gray Vincent Edwards
Points Per Game 4.9 14.7
Rebounds Per Game 3.6 7.2
Assist Per Game 1.1 2.9
Minutes Per Game 21.1 31.4
Field Goal Percentage 45% 48%
Free Throw Percentage 79% 83%
3-Point Percentage 26% 40%

This match-up will be an interesting one as Gray is a smaller player but better defensively. Edwards is very athletic from the power forward spot but I think Gray is a great defender. I have to give Edwards a small advantage here simply due to his size and versatility offensively, however, I believe it will be one of the match-ups to watch tomorrow night.

Center Match-Up

Player Norense Odiase Matt Haarms
Player Norense Odiase Matt Haarms
Points Per Game 3.9 4.8
Rebounds Per Game 4.5 3.2
Assist Per Game 0.7 0.6
Minutes Per Game 15.1 17
Field Goal Percentage 52% 59%
Free Throw Percentage 59% 54%
3-Point Percentage 0% 14%

This is the most interesting match-up in my opinion. It appears as if the 7’2 Haas will try to give it a go tomorrow night with a supported elbow brace. It has been only a week since he dislocated his elbow, something that would keep most players out for over a month. Even if he is not 100%, his size will be something to watch as at 7’2, he obviously has a size advantage over anyone that Texas Tech can put on the floor. If he can’t play, Matt Haarms will start in his place. This hampers Purdue offensively, as Haarms doesn’t have the mid-range or post ability that Haas does. Haarms is still a defensive presence at 7’3 that will have an advantage down low.

I feel like it’s an unpopular opinion at the moment, but I think the Red Raiders will try and play small ball tonight. With the sheer size of the Boilermakers, athleticism is the way to go. Especially if Haas ends up not playing, Haarms does not have as much offensive pedigree and does not command as much attention. This means that Norense Odiase and Tommy Hamilton IV will not get as many minutes as they did in the regular season. Justin Gray will play more of the center position and Zhaire Smith will play the power forward, as their athleticism will help them on the defensive end.

Who do you think has the upper hand this Friday night in Boston? Please leave your thoughts and score predictions in the comment section below.