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Red Raiders and Sooners set to face off in Lubbock

Texas Tech looks to start the end of season stretch off right against Oklahoma

NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Oklahoma Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Tech Red Raiders will face off against the Oklahoma Sooners in Lubbock on Tuesday night. The Red Raiders are coming off a three point loss against the Kansas Jayhawks. Although Coach Beard claims this team doesn’t believe in moral victories, the fact that this game came down to the final seconds is reassuring. What’s encouraging is seeing this team develop some consistency on the offensive end. Jahmi’us Ramsey had another incredible offensive game as he scored 26 points. This was after he scored 21 points against the Mountaineers. Ramsey has now shot 62.5 percent from three point range in back-to-back games. This kind of performance shows that Ramsey is developing as a player and leader. If Ramsey can continue to play well offensively, hopefully it will alleviate some of the pressure from Moretti and Edwards who went a combined 1/8 from three against Kansas.

Texas Tech v Kansas Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

One of the biggest surprises in the Kansas game was the performance by TJ Holyfield. Holyfield dropped 19 points (his best in conference play), grabbed 8 rebounds and protected the rim with 4 blocks. He also shot 3/5 from three point range. What has made Holyfield so inconsistent this season has been his lack of confidence. In both the TCU and Kentucky matchups, he seemed to have plenty of open looks that he passed up. After watching him be so hesitant, I was ready to see his minutes get reduced and see more of Russell Tchewa. After balling against Kansas and WVU, Holyfield is definitely the big man for this team if he continues to play consistently. Obviously expecting him to drop 19 points every night is unreasonable (averaging 9.1 PPG on the season), but consistent scoring and confidence is gonna do wonders for this team’s success.

NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Kansas Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma Sooners are coming off of a 13 point win over the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The Sooners were led by a 30 point game from their star forward Brady Manek. Manek shot the lights out against the Cowboys as he went 7/13 from behind the arc. This is Manek’s second time making seven three-pointers in a game this season. Arguably the main priority of the Red Raiders defense this game should be to slow down Manek. He is not only a shooting issue, but can also score with ease in the paint as he stands at 6’9”. Another inside threat is forward Kristian Doolittle. Even though Doolittle has cooled off from his great start to the season, he is still a rebounding machine and a threat to score anytime he’s inside the paint. The Sooners playing two forwards will mean one of the Red Raider guards will have to be matched up with either Doolittle or Manek. Guard Austin Reaves is also a dangerous scorer and a freak athlete despite not being a great shooter. The Red Raiders will have to adjust defensively to make sure Reaves doesn’t easily drive to the basket and get to the line, which is his speciality.

Texas Tech is holding their opponents to 31.9% three point shooting this season and I expect Beard to make the necessary adjustments to suppress Manek’s shooting. Nonetheless, I do expect this game to be an offensive shootout. If Ramsey and Holyfield can play the way they did against Kansas, expect this to be an easy home win for the Red Raiders.

Final Score Prediction

Texas Tech - 78

Oklahoma - 71

3 Quick Keys to a Win:

  1. Stop Manek
  2. Ramsey and Holyfield score 12 or more
  3. Moretti and Edwards make 4 or more three pointers