After defeating the Texas Longhorns by a score of 73-69, the No. 14 Texas Tech Red Raiders take on the No. 18 West Virginia Mountaineers in the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament. The Mountaineers won last night against the Baylor Bears by a score of 72-62. This game is an opportunity for the Red Raiders to make it to a Big 12 Championship game for the first time since 2005.
All of you who have followed Tech basketball for the past four years surely know West Virginia is going to press and get great transition opportunities. You no doubt also know Jevon Carter is their leader on both sides of the ball and that is playing to make it to a third straight Big 12 Championship. Instead of giving you boring stats about players you already have read about elsewhere, I am going to give you the three things the Red Raiders must do if they are to have a good chance making it to the championship.
3 Keys to the Game
1. Limit Jevon Carter to under 15 points
This sounds crazy to most Tech fans. Jevon Carter has been terrorizing Texas Tech for what seems like 10 years. If this team with their great defense can hold the Mountaineers’ best scorer just two points under his average, this will be a much easier game for the Red Raiders to win. This puts more pressure on guys who haven’t had to step up as much, especially those coming off the bench.
2. Keep the turnovers to under 12
Against a team with the nickname, “Press Virginia,” you expect to turn the ball over some. The key here is to not have too many in a row and let West Virginia’s transition offense beat you. I think that 12 is the lucky number tonight as if Tech can keep the giveaways to under that number, they will have a better night offensively.
3. Jarrett Culver needs to step up again
For those of you that have read my work this season, you probably know that I have really high expectations for the three freshmen that have played most of this season. Jarrett Culver in my mind is the best scorer of the three right now. In the last game against West Virginia, Culver put up 26 points and 12 rebounds. This was with him at the face of the offense as Keenan Evans sat out the game with a toe injury. If Culver can even get 18 points, the pressure will be taken off of Evans, a player who will get his points no matter what.
If the Red Raiders can do these three things, their chances of winning this game and moving on skyrocket. What do you think about tonight’s game? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!