Basketball

Game Preview and Open Thread: Longwood vs. Texas Tech

The Red Raiders host the Lancers in the last non-conference game of the year.

Date: Wednesday, December 21st
Time: 4:00 pm
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (10-1, 0-0)
Bad Guys: Longwood Lancers (3-7, 0-0)
Location: United Supermarkets Arena | Lubbock, Texas
TV/Stream: FOX Sports Southwest (FOX Sports Go App)
Radio/Stream: 97.3 FM/104.3 FM/950 AM

TEXAS TECH
THE STARTERS Pts / Reb
POINT GUARD Devon Thomas (6-0/170) 5.5 / 3.2*
SHOOTING GUARD Kennan Evans (6-3/180) 13.6 / 3.7*
SMALL FORWARD Justin Gray (6-6/210) 10.4 / 6.4
POWER FORWARD Zach Smith (6-8/220) 12.0 / 7.0
CENTER Anthony Livingston (6-9/260) 12.5 / 5.0
THE BENCH Pts / Reb
SIXTH MAN Niem Stevenson (6-6/205) 7.7 / 2.2
SEVENTH MAN Shadell Millinghaus (6-2/195) 8.0 / 3.1
EIGHTH MAN Giovanni McLean (6-2/195) 2.6 / 0.9
NINTH MAN Matthew Temple (6-10/240) 3.3 / 1.7
TENTH MAN Aaron Ross (6-8/225) 12.0 / 4.5
LONGWOOD
THE STARTERS Pts / Reb
POINT GUARD Isaiah Walton (6-4/185) 13.7 / 3.2*
SHOOTING GUARD Darrion Allen (6-2/176) 15.9 / 3.6
SMALL FORWARD Bryan Gee (6-1/180) 3.2 / 1.6
POWER FORWARD JaShaun Smith (6-5/200) 7.3 / 3.1
CENTER Khris Lane (6-6/245) 14.2 / 7.9
THE BENCH Pts / Reb
SIXTH MAN Chris Shields (6-8/210) 6.2 / 2.8
SEVENTH MAN Isaac Belton (6-4/205) 4.3 / 2.0

* Assists.

1. KenPom has Longwood as the 345th best team, 346th in AdjO and 328th in AdjD, which means that all of those other times where I’ve said that Texas Tech is playing the worst team have been true until today, where Texas Tech is, by far, playing the worst team on their schedule as there are only 351 teams ranked by KenPom. Meanwhile, Texas Tech is at 29th in KenPom ratings, 28th in AdjO and 33rd in AdjD.

2. This is the last game before a long break for Christmas as Texas Tech will travel to Ames, Iowa on December 30th to take on Iowa State. That’s a really long break when a lot of teams are playing in holiday tournaments and Longwood is an opponent that just played Ball State and lost on Monday and have been on the road since December 9th, losing to Creighton, George Mason and Ball State. This is probably a team that’s a bit road weary.

3. LAJ’s Krista Pirtle writes that Texas Tech is going into this game with the thought that every opponent is a tough opponent and the game of the year:

“That’s how a competitor has to feel,” Tech coach Chris Beard said. “If you don’t feel that way, then the game and the competition will humble you very quickly. I’ve been trying to get that across to our guys, and I think they’re really starting to understand that. I hope they share that same view.”

4. This really shouldn’t be much of a game at all because Longwood is down to eight scholarship players and they’re just having a tough go at it right now. This stinks a bit for Texas Tech in having an opponent that really shouldn’t be a very tough opponent. Texas Tech is about to start the grind of the Big 12 season at Iowa State, hosting the team that is just annihilating opponents, West Virginia, then going to Kansas and hosting Kansas State. That’s going to be a tough start, but there really won’t be any easy games this year.

5. Hopefully, we’ll see the return of Norense Odiase this game as he was supposed to return before conference play and hopefully he gets about 20 minutes. If Odiase returns, then this team is at full strength heading into conference play. This may be the deepest team that Texas Tech has had in recent memory and if they play to their potential, then I do think that there’s the opportunity to finish in the top half of the conference.

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