Basketball

Preview and Game Thread: Baylor vs. Texas Tech

The Red Raiders host the Baylor Bears, who are headed to Lubbock on a 3-game winning streak.

Date: Saturday, January 16th
Time: 2:00 pm
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (11-4, 1-3)
Bad Guys: Baylor Bears (13-3, 3-1)
Location: United Supermarkets Arena | Lubbock, Texas
TV/Stream: FOX Sports Southwest
Radio/Stream: 93.7 FM/104.3 FM/950 AM

TEXAS TECH
THE STARTERS Pts / Reb
POINT GUARD Kennan Evans (6-3/180) 7.9 / 2.7*
SHOOTING GUARD Devaugntah Williams (6-4/205) 13.6 / 3.7
SMALL FORWARD Toddrick Gotcher (6-4/205) 11.4 / 4.4
POWER FORWARD Zach Smith (6-8/215) 9.7 / 6.4
CENTER Norense Odiase (6-9/260) 9.7 / 4.7
THE BENCH Pts / Reb
SIXTH MAN Aaron Ross (6-8/225) 7.2 / 3.6
SEVENTH MAN Justin Gray (6-6/210) 8.6 / 3.6
EIGHTH MAN Devon Thomas (6-0/170) 3.2 / 1.5*
BAYLOR
THE STARTERS Pts / Reb
POINT GUARD Lester Medford (5-10/175) 9.0 / 7.1*
SHOOTING GUARD Al Freeman (6-3/200) 12.6 / 3.7
SMALL FORWARD Ishmail Wainwright (6-5/240) 5.8 / 4.3
POWER FORWARD Taurean Prince (6-7/220) 15.3 / 5.9
CENTER Rico Gathers (6-8/275) 13.3 / 10.7
THE BENCH Pts / Reb
SIXTH MAN Terry Matson (6-7/215) 7.2 / 3.3
SEVENTH MAN Johnathan Motley (6-9/230) 11.1 / 5.1
EIGHTH MAN King McClure (6-3/200) 3.7 / 1.3

* Assists.

1. KenPom has Baylor as the 24th best team in the nation, 13th in adjusted offense and 80th in adjusted defense. Your Red Raiders have fallen a bit, 49th overall and the 86th best offense and 41st best defense. The defense is the worst part of the fall since Texas Tech’s skid started and that really does have to improve to get back on track. Focus on that defense.

2. Baylor is on a roll, winning the past three games in relative convincing fashion. Beating Oklahoma State, 79-62, Iowa State in Ames by 5, and then just blowing out TCU at home in Waco. Meanwhile, Texas Tech is coming off of a bit of a tough stretch, battling Iowa State and Kansas to close games, while getting blown out by Kansas State. If this makes you feel any better, the line opened with Texas Tech getting 1 and now that line has moved to 2 to 2.5. Here’s Texas Tech head coach on stopping that losing streak and Baylor:

“We have a situation where we’ve lost three in a row now,” Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith said. “We have an opportunity here to stop this losing streak, but it won’t be very easy going up against a very good Baylor team. They are playing extremely well with three wins in the league. Looking back at the Kansas State game, we had some defensive breakdowns. We haven’t been able to stay close or compete in late game situations. We have really been working on those types of situations, and we will see how it goes against Baylor.”

3. Texas Tech must get more from players not named Justin Gray. It has been incredibly quiet for Devaugntah Williams and Toddrick Gotcher at the guards spots, while Evans, Smith and Odiase have also been way too quiet. Probably way too harsh here as those guys have been okay, but part of what makes this team go is the fact that they all would contribute and that needs to happen again. This needs to be a collective effort.

4. Prince is the toughest match-up with all of these players and Gray would be the perfect defensive match-up so it wouldn’t surprise me to see Gray on Prince for a good part of the game. Prince has 3 to 4 inches on either Williams or Gotcher and Prince is probably Baylor’s best player.

5. The other match-up that you need to watch is Gathers against Odiase. Gathers is a better athlete and Odiase sometimes struggles when the opposing forward is more athletic. Odiase is actually better this year after loosing all of that weight, but he’s really got to be on his toes against Gathers because Gather’s is a rebounding machine. Get a body on Gathers.

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