Basketball

Preview and Game Thread: Oklahoma State vs. Texas Tech

Texas Tech attempts to right the ship at home against the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

Date: Wednesday, February 3rd
Time: 8:00 pm
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (12-8, 2-6)
Bad Guys: Oklahoma State Cowboys (11-10, 2-6)
Location: United Supermarkets Arena | Lubbock, Texas
TV/Stream: ESPNU
Radio/Stream: 93.7 FM/104.3 FM/950 AM

TEXAS TECH
THE STARTERS Pts / Reb
POINT GUARD Kennan Evans (6-3/180) 7.3 / 2.7*
SHOOTING GUARD Devaugntah Williams (6-4/205) 12.4 / 3.4
SMALL FORWARD Toddrick Gotcher (6-4/205) 10.6 / 4.3
POWER FORWARD Zach Smith (6-8/215) 10.1 / 6.8
CENTER Matthew Temple (6-9/260) 3.2 / 1.8
THE BENCH Pts / Reb
SIXTH MAN Aaron Ross (6-8/225) 8.4 / 4.0
SEVENTH MAN Justin Gray (6-6/210) 8.9 / 3.6
EIGHTH MAN Devon Thomas (6-0/170) 3.1 / 1.7*
OKLAHOMA STATE
THE STARTERS Pts / Reb
POINT GUARD Jawun Evans (6-0/175) 13.0 / 5.1*
SHOOTING GUARD Jeff Newberry (6-2/185) 11.1 / 4.8
SMALL FORWARD Jeffrey Carroll (6-6/205) 8.4 / 4.3
POWER FORWARD Leyton Hammonds (6-7/215) 9.9 / 5.1
CENTER Mitchell Solomon (6-9/240) 3.6 / 4.0
THE BENCH Pts / Reb
SIXTH MAN Chris Oliver (6-8/230) 9.2 / 3.0
SEVENTH MAN Tavarius Shine (6-5/205) 4.6 / 3.1
EIGHTH MAN Tyree Griffin (5-10/165) 4.7 / 3.1*

* Assists.

1. KenPom has Oklahoma State as the #63 team overall, 75th in adjusted offense and 70th in adjusted defense. Texas Tech is slowly falling down the rankings and are now at 57th overall, 66th in adjusted offense and 62nd in adjusted defense. That defense needs to be better for Texas Tech, but the margin between these two teams is smaller than it was 3 or 4 weeks ago when Texas Tech was 39th in the KenPom rankings.

2. Much like Texas Tech, Oklahoma State has a bunch of losses in between a few wins, albeit one very good win. Oklahoma State lost 4 in a row, Baylor, WVU, OU and Texas, before beating Kansas at home. Then, they lose to Kansas State and Baylor before beating Auburn on Saturday. Texas Tech started off conference play with a win against Texas, and then had 4 in a row, then beat TCU, and are now on a 3-game losing streak.

3. Oklahoma State is driven by Evans, a freshman guard, who shoots very well and scores at a nice rate and involves his teammates as well. Pretty nice combination. Texas Tech is going to have to stop Evans, just no two ways around this and Texas Tech is going to have to do a better job of guarding the three-point line. Leyton Hammonds, Jeff Newberry, and Jeffrey Carroll are your main shooters.

4. This is one of those must-win games for Texas Tech. The Red Raiders don’t actually *have* to win, but these are the type of games that Texas Tech needs to win in conference in order to stay somewhat relevant. There is a log-jam of teams at 2-6, including Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Kansas State, while TCU sits at 1-8 overall. After that, you see teams with a winning conference record in Iowa State, who is 5-4. So yes, Texas Tech has to pull themselves up and win this game.

5. Via the official site, head coach Tubby Smith said that this team needs to put together a complete game:

“The game is about putting the ball in the basket and getting stops,” Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith said. “It’s the whole body of work, and we didn’t do the little things. You want flawless execution, and you want perfection. You know you’re not going to get it so you want excellence. That’s what we want every day in practice. It’s disappointing when you see the multiple breakdowns that determine the game. We tell the players all the time that every possession and every second counts. When you look back on a close loss or when you look back on a close win, what did you do? There were a number of things throughout the game that cost us.”

LAJ’s Krista Pirtle also previews the game.

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