Basketball

Texas Tech Hoops: Lady Raiders Win; Matt Temple is Eligible & Rokas Ulvydas Gets 4th Year

The Lady Raiders earned their 7th win of the year against Incarnate Word and Tubby Smith and the men’s team received some good news yesterday.

Lady Raiders Defeat Incarnate Word. Via the official site, Texas Tech notched their 7th win of the year, beating Incarnate Word 70-55. This game was way too close for most of the first half, but Texas Tech eventually pulled away. Ivonne CookTaylor finished with 20 points and 9 rebounds, Rayven Brooks had 13 points and 5 assists and Leashja Grant had 18 points coming off the bench, going 7 of 10 from the field. Head coach Candi Whitaker wasn’t happy with the win:

“Obviously I want to win every game and I care if we win, but I also care how we play,” Texas Tech head coach Candi Whitaker said. “[I care about] the energy we play with, the effort we play with, our execution and that we’re playing and doing things the way we are taught. I definitely did not see that tonight.”

Dean Named Big 12 Freshman of the Week. Congrats to G Japreece Dean for being named the Big 12 Freshman of the Week as she averaged 17 points, 3 rebounds and 5.5 assists.

Temple to Play Wednesday; Ulvydas Gets 4th Year. Incredibly good news. LAJ’s Krista Pirtle reports that Texas Tech forward Matt Temple (6’10”) is expected to play on Wednesday night against South Dakota State. This is terrific news because Temple provides some much needed size to the frontcourt and the word is that Temple is not some scrub with no game, but that he’s a guy with some skill who can play. Temple is supposed to have some range to his game.

With Temple becoming eligible, he can fall into the true back-up to Norense Odiase and Aaron Ross can back up Zach Smith at the power forward. This could also mean that Texas Tech could go big with Temple, Odiase and Smith starting the front line if necessary or it could also allow Smith to move to the small forward spot.

Also of note is that Rokas Ulvydas (6’11”) will receive a 4th year of eligibility and this is also good news. Ulvydas went to a prep school last year where he lost what amounts to a redshirt year. The coaches wanted the opportunity to give Ulvydas an extra year, so he’ll have 4 years to play 3 seasons for Texas Tech. Ulvydas is really raw and the coaches have wanted to redshirt him, but they were only going to do so if Temple was available. With Temple being available, I’d look to see Ulvydas on the bench and redshirting all year if possible.

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