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The “real” season starts for Texas Tech Saturday against Oklahoma State

Can Texas Tech repeat it’s success against Oklahoma State?

NCAA Basketball: Southern Mississippi at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 22 Texas Tech Red Raiders will face off in their first Big 12 game of the season and the decade against the Oklahoma State Cowboys. This will be the first Big 12 game of the season for both team and both will be looking to start their conference season off right.

NCAA Basketball: Cal. State - Bakersfield at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys are led by Head Coach Mike Boynton. This is his second season as the Head Coach in Stillwater and his third there overall. He has also been an assistant coach for Stephen F. Austin, South Carolina, Wofford, and Coastal Carolina. The team is 9-3 on the season and is 2-0 on the road.

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Conference Tournament-Texas Christian vs. Oklahoma State William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma State is a team that brings back all five starters from last season, they are still a rather young team but will be looking to make a NCAA tournament appearance this season. They have enough talent to push any team in the Big 12 to the brink and will be looking to take a step forward this season.

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma State at Baylor Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

The last time these two teams met, the Cowboys came out on fire from the three point line and almost defeated the Red Raiders in overtime in Lubbock. The Red Raiders will need to do a better job on the shooters from Oklahoma State from behind the three point line. Now, let’s look at some of the main players to watch for for Oklahoma State.

Isaac Likekele: 13.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 58% field goal percentage, 74% free throw percentage.

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma State at Baylor Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Likekele is the man that runs the offense for the Cowboys. He can make plays for others, and can fill up the stat sheet whether it’s scoring at the basket, rebounding, or dishing out assists. He is a very athletic guard that almost came to Lubbock last season. The sophomore guard has played a big role on this team since coming to Stillwater last season. He is going to be a big reason whether or not the Cowboys have a successful season.

Lindy Waters III: 12.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 44% field goal percentage, 37% three point percentage, 78% free throw percentage.

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Conference Tournament-Texas Christian vs. Oklahoma State William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

Waters is a name that Tech fans should remember well after the loss they took last season to the Cowboys. Although he hasn’t shot up to what he shot last season, he will take shots from almost anywhere on the floor and is an elite scorer for this team at all three levels of the offensive side of the ball. The most likely match-up for Waters would most likely be Jahmi’us Ramsey or Terrence Shannon Jr..

Cameron McGriff: 9.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 41% field goal percentage, 90% free throw percentage.

NCAA Basketball: West Virginia at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

McGriff has been solid in his time (it seems like forever) in Stillwater. He is only 6’7” but plays above the rim like few people in the Big 12 can. His athleticism makes him a match-up nightmare for whoever has to guard him. He can score from anywhere on the floor and can rebound with the best of them. I think whichever one between Terrence Shannon Jr. and Jahmi’us Ramsey doesn’t cover Waters will cover McGriff.

NCAA Basketball: Wichita State at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

The other two starters are Yor Anei and Thomas Dziagwa. Anei is a huge presence inside and will be the main rim protector for the Cowboys while Dziagwa is arguably the Oklahoma State’s best three point shooter at 42%. Both will have a huge role in the game tomorrow against the Red Raiders.

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma State at Oklahoma Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Raiders will need to play a very good game to win tomorrow. The Cowboys are a great shooting team and have come in here and dominated the Red Raiders before with their ability to shoot the ball. I predict that the Red Raiders will come out laser focused and force enough turnovers to win the game.

Final Score: Texas Tech 55, Oklahoma State 51