Basketball

Preview and Game Thread: Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma

The Red Raiders travel to Norman to take on the #1 ranked Oklahoma Sooners.

Date: Tuesday, January 26th
Time: 6:00 pm
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (12-6, 2-5)
Bad Guys: Oklahoma Sooners (16-2, 5-2)
Location: Lloyd Noble Center | Norman, Oklahoma
TV/Stream: ESPN2
Radio/Stream: 93.7 FM/104.3 FM/950 AM

TEXAS TECH
THE STARTERS Pts / Reb
POINT GUARD Kennan Evans (6-3/180) 7.4 / 2.6*
SHOOTING GUARD Devaugntah Williams (6-4/205) 12.5 / 3.4
SMALL FORWARD Toddrick Gotcher (6-4/205) 10.9 / 4.4
POWER FORWARD Zach Smith (6-8/215) 9.8 / 6.4
CENTER Matthew Temple (6-9/260) 2.7 / 1.6
THE BENCH Pts / Reb
SIXTH MAN Aaron Ross (6-8/225) 8.3 / 3.9
SEVENTH MAN Justin Gray (6-6/210) 8.7 / 3.4
EIGHTH MAN Devon Thomas (6-0/170) 3.4 / 1.7*
OKLAHOMA
THE STARTERS Pts / Reb
POINT GUARD Jordan Woodard (6-0/187) 14.9 / 3.9*
SHOOTING GUARD Buddy Hield (6-4/215) 25.7 / 5.8
SMALL FORWARD Isaiah Cousins (6-4/200) 12.7 / 4.2
POWER FORWARD Khadeem Lattin (6-9/208) 6.3 / 6.6
CENTER Ryan Spangler (6-8/234) 10.6 / 9.9
THE BENCH Pts / Reb
SIXTH MAN Dante Buford (6-7/221) 3.5 / 1.8
SEVENTH MAN Dinjiyl Walker (6-1/203) 4.2 / 1.6

* Assists.

1. KenPom says there is no down-time in the Big 12. The Red Raiders face KenPom’s #1 team in the nation, having an adjusted offense of 8th in the nation and adjusted defense of 13th. Texas Tech continues to slide, slightly, to 48th overall and we’re seeing something that I cannot recall seeing in quite some time, which is that the adjusted offense and adjusted defense for Texas Tech are within 1 spot of each other. Texas Tech’s adjusted offense is 60th and adjusted defense is 59th. The Texas Tech offense has usually lagged behind the defense by a significant margin.

2. Buddy Hield is terrific. Someone used this comparison a while back and I can’t get it out of my head, which is a collegiate version of Wesley Matthews, current guard for the Mavs. A big-bodied guard who can shoot lights out from anywhere on the floor. If Texas Tech is not shadowing Hield at all times, he could have a record night (this is true of any team that is playing OU because he’s that good at making shots). Most likely it will be a combination of players trying to guard Hield, but he hasn’t had a bad game thus far. And just to give you an idea as to how efficient Hield has been, he’s making 52.1% of his shots from the floor and also making 51.7% of his shots from the three-point line. That’s insane.

3. Oklahoma is a really tough cover because of Hield’s range, but also because they have a handful of players that can score and are efficient in their own right. Woodard is having a terrific year and he’s been terrific from deep, making 54.1% of his three-point shots and dishes out 2.4 assists for every turnover. The small forward for Oklahoma is the best passer as Cousins averages 4.6 assists a game while scoring at a good clip. Spangler is the glue in the middle and he’s never been the best athlete, he uses his body to average nearly a double-double on the year.

4. One advantage that Texas Tech might have is that Oklahoma runs a very shallow bench, but that hasn’t seemed to have been a problem at all this year thus far. This may be one of those things that affects OU later in the year and in the tournament, but Texas Tech has been pretty good about moving players in and out. The Red Raiders haven’t been able to do that as much as they want with the struggles of Devaugntah Williams, who is starter in name, but just not getting a lot of burn. He’s struggling to find his minutes and shot and just about everything else. I honestly don’t know what to do with Williams. He’s in a funk and it’s odd. Just playing forgettable minutes.

5. Texas Tech has shown to be lots of things, mainly resilient, but playing on the road against the #1 team in the nation may be too tall of a task for this team. Oklahoma is a 13 point favorite according to OddsShark. That may be the largest spread of the season thus far for Texas Tech.

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