Basketball

Preview and Game Thread: Big 12 Championship | TCU vs. Texas Tech

The Texas Tech Red Raiders are in Kansas City to compete in the Big 12 Championships and take on TCU in the first game of the tournament.

Date: Wednesday, March 9th
Time: 8:00 pm
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (19-11, 9-9)
Bad Guys: TCU Horned Frogs (11-20, 2-16)
Location: Sprint Center | Kansas City, Missouri
TV/Stream: ESPNU / WatchESPN
Radio/Stream: 97.3 FM/104.3 FM/950 AM

TEXAS TECH
THE STARTERS Pts / Reb
POINT GUARD Kennan Evans (6-3/180) 8.9 / 2.9*
SHOOTING GUARD Toddrick Gotcher (6-4/205) 11.2 / 3.7
SMALL FORWARD Justin Gray (6-6/210) 8.6 / 3.6
POWER FORWARD Zach Smith (6-8/215) 10.0 / 7.2
CENTER Matthew Temple (6-9/260) 3.6 / 1.8
THE BENCH Pts / Reb
SIXTH MAN Aaron Ross (6-8/225) 10.5 / 4.5
SEVENTH MAN Devaugntah Williams (6-4/205) 10.8 / 3.2
EIGHTH MAN Devon Thomas (6-0/170) 2.5 / 1.3*
TCU
THE STARTERS Pts / Reb
POINT GUARD Chauncey Collins (6-0/180) 11.8 / 2.0*
SHOOTING GUARD Malique Trent (6-2/185) 11.5 / 2.6*
SMALL FORWARD Brandon Parrish (6-6/210) 8.7 / 3.5
POWER FORWARD Chris Washburn (6-8/240) 6.9 / 4.1
CENTER Karvier Shepherd (6-10/230) 7.5 / 5.4
THE BENCH Pts / Reb
SIXTH MAN Vladimir Brodziansky (6-10/215) 9.5 / 4.4
SEVENTH MAN J.D. Miller (6-8/235) 6.7 / 4.2
EIGHTH MAN Devonta Abron (6-6/260) 4.8 / 3.8

* Assists.

1. KenPom has TCU as the 149th best team in the nation, 274th in adjusted offense and 56th in adjusted defense. With Texas Tech’s win on Saturday, the Red Raiders moved to 36th overall, 25th in adjusted offense and 85th in adjusted defense.

2. TCU is a dangerous team because Texas Tech has problems stopping short point guards that can score. The last time these two teams met, Collins had 29 points on 8 of 15 and made 10 of 15 free throws, while Parrish was on fire as well, scoring 19 points on 7 of 17 with Trent coming off the bench and scoring 15 on 5 of 11. TCU was unconscious from deep, making 9 of 20. Had they hit just a few more, I think we’re talking about a different situation with Texas Tech right now.

3. It was terrific to see the return of Norense Odiase for Kansas State. As many coaches have mentioned, it wasn’t necessarily the scoring that helped, but it was the off-the-ball plays that made Odiase’s return unique. He’ll help out a ton for the Big 12 Tournament and having him back at the very least provides another center to take over minutes if Temple gets into foul trouble.


RELATED: Preview and Open Thread | Big 12 Men’s Tournament – 1st Round


4. Being the coach of the year has certainly helped, and as the official site noted, head coach Tubby Smith knows that winning the Big 12 Coach of the Year is some validation as to the hard work this staff and team:

“It’s quite an accomplishment,” Smith said. “It helps our program in a lot of areas. Our fans, especially our young men’s families and the sacrifices they make every day to help restore the pride to Red Raider basketball. It’s a privilege to be coaching those young men. They’ve done everything we’ve asked them to do, and they are certainly deserving of the recognition that they got. They will be the first to tell you it’s a team achievement, like the Coach of the Year. I haven’t made a shot since 1973 that was meaningful. It’s all about the people you surround yourself with and the relationships that you have.”

5. The best part about the game against Kansas State is that Texas Tech just manhandled a very good defense, scoring 80 points. Keenan Evans had another banked three-point shot, but he was also 6 of 7 from the floor and poured in 20 points on what was his most efficient game of the year. It also felt good to have Williams starting at a guard spot, even though I think I like Gray starting overall, Williams was as good as he’s been in over a month. This is a tough match-up for Texas Tech. With Shepherd back, this makes TCU pretty much at full strength. Of course, the other part of this equation is that TCU has problems with Texas Tech as well and generally speaking, they typically don’t play great offense and the defense is mediocre at best. If Texas Tech can force some hurried and bad shots for TCU, I think Texas Tech wins pretty easily.

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