Basketball

Game Preview and Open Thread: South Alabama vs. Texas Tech

We preview the first game of the year for Texas Tech as they host South Alabama.

Game Info

Date: Friday, November 10th
Time: 8:00 pm
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (0-0, 0-0)
Bad Guys: South Alabama Jaguars (0-0, 0-0)
Location: United Supermarkets Arena | Lubbock, Texas
TV/Stream: FOX College Sports
Radio/Stream: 97.3 FM/104.3 FM/950 AM

Lineups

TEXAS TECH
THE STARTERS Pts / Reb
POINT GUARD Keenan Evans (6-3/190) 15.4 / 3.0*
SHOOTING GUARD Niem Stevenson (6-6/205) 8.6 / 3.9
SMALL FORWARD Justin Gray (6-6/210) 8.9 / 5.3
POWER FORWARD Zach Smith (6-8/220) 12.1 / 7.2
CENTER Tommy Hamilton IV (6-11/250) N/A
THE BENCH Pts / Reb
SIXTH MAN Brandone Francis (6-5/205) N/A
SEVENTH MAN Norense Odiase (6-9/245) 2.7 / 1.0
EIGHTH MAN Josh Webster (6-4/175) N/A
NINTH MAN Jarrett Culver (6-5/190) N/A
TENTH MAN Zhaire Smith (6-5/195) N/A
ELEVENTH MAN Davide Moretti (6-3/165) N/A
TWELFTH MAN Malik Ondigo (6-10/210) N/A
THIRTEENTH MAN Hyron Edwards (6-0/170) N/A
SOUTH ALABAMA
THE STARTERS Pts / Reb
POINT GUARD Herb McGee (6-1/195) 3.6 / 1.0*
SHOOTING GUARD Jordan Andrews (6-4/180) N/A
SMALL FORWARD Trhae Mitchell (6-6/189) 3.5 / 2.6
POWER FORWARD Josh Ajayi (6-7/244) 10.6 / 5.4
CENTER Rozelle Nix (6-11/330) N/A
THE BENCH Pts / Reb
SIXTH MAN Rodrick Sikes (6-1/155) N/A
SEVENTH MAN Nick Davis (6-6/191) 2.2 / 2.2
EIGHTH MAN Kevin Morris (6-8/265) 1.4 / 1.4
NINTH MAN Dederick Lee (6-0/162) 3.0 / 1.8

* Assists.

Starting 5

1. KenPom says that South Alabama is the 273 best team in the nation, having an AdjO rank of 308th and AdjD at 211th. If this tells you anything, South Alabama lost to North Alabama in an exhibition. Just sort of an FYI. Texas Tech is 33rd in the country, an AdjO of 37th in the nation and AdjD of 33rd in the nation. I like balanced teams and I hope that’s what we see from Texas Tech this year.

2. South Alabama is largely a new team, most of their team from last year is graduated and gone, so maybe the exhibition loss to North Alabama is nothing more than their coach figuring out what they have. The Jaguars obviously have some size up front, Nix is 330 and so it will be interesting to see how Hamilton deals with that in the post. Mitchell likes to put up the three-point shots from the small forward spot, so Gray will need to be on point at the three-spot.

3. This should be a game where Texas Tech just runs the table against South Alabama. This should be a game where the starters get their minutes and put the sucker away pretty quickly and then these other players get some additional time. The new players are probably a bit rusty, but this team is obviously going to rely heavily on guys like Francis, Edwards and Webster along with Odiase in the middle. At some point, I think a second starting five of those four plus someone at the four, maybe Zhaire Smith or Jarrett Culver to guard a big or just switch with Francis could be pretty interesting. Pay no attention to the 6th man through the 13th man stuff, that’s just a placeholder until we get some real minutes in a real game and I typically put the players in order of minutes played, but because there are so many new players, I can’t do that.

4. This game and then the next game on Tuesday, the 14th are part of the 2017 Naismith Meorial Basketball Hall of Fame Tipoff Tournament with Texas Tech playing in Connecticut next weekend at the Mohegan Sun Arena, which is a casino, against Boston College on Saturday and then another opponent on Sunday.

5. Boston College will be one of the tougher pre-conference opponents, but Seton Hall in New York will most likely be the toughest (they are ranked 28th by KenPom) and should be a fantastic game. Here we go.

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