Basketball

Game Preview & Open Thread: Maine vs. Texas Tech

A preview and open thread of the Maine Black Bears.

Game Info

Date: Tuesday, November 14
Time: 7:00 pm
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (1-0, 0-0)
Bad Guys: Maine Black Bears (0-1, 0-0)
Location: United Supermarkets Arena | Lubbock, Texas
TV/Stream: FOX College Sports (FOX Sports Go)
Radio/Stream: 97.3 FM/104.3 FM/950 AM

Lineups

TEXAS TECH
THE STARTERS Pts / Reb
POINT GUARD Keenan Evans (6-3/190) 12.0 / 1.0*
SHOOTING GUARD Niem Stevenson (6-5/205) 4.0 / 3.0
SMALL FORWARD Justin Gray (6-6/210) 6.0 / 3.0
POWER FORWARD Zach Smith (6-8/220) 1.0 / 4.0
CENTER Tommy Hamilton IV (6-11/250) 12.0 / 4.0
THE BENCH Pts / Reb
SIXTH MAN Zhaire Smith (6-5/195) 14.0 / 5.0
SEVENTH MAN Brandone Francis (6-5/205) 3.0 / 6.0
EIGHTH MAN Jarrett Culver (6-5/190) 2.0 / 1.0
NINTH MAN Davide Moretti (6-3/165) 10.0 / 2.0
TENTH MAN Norense Odiase (6-9/245) 6.0 / 3.0
ELEVENTH MAN Josh Webster (6-4/175) 2.0 / 2.0
TWELTH MAN Mali Ondigo (6-10/210) 0.0 / 1.0
MAINE
THE STARTERS Pts / Reb
POINT GUARD Aaron Calixte (5-11/187) 12.0 / 3.0*
SHOOTING GUARD Trae Bryant (6-1/185) 9.0 / 7.0
SMALL FORWARD Isaiah White (6-6/180) 0.0 / 0.0
POWER FORWARD Ilija Stojiljkovic (6-7/223) 14.0 / 8.0
CENTER Andrew Fleming (6-7/222) 9.0 / 3.0
THE BENCH Pts / Reb
SIXTH MAN Danny Evans (6-4/203) 11.0 / 2.0*
SEVENTH MAN Dusan Majstorovic (6-5/210) 2.0 / 2.0*
EIGHTH MAN Ilker Er (6-6/212) 7.0 / 6.0
NINTH MAN Vernon Lowndes Jr. (6-5/180) 1.0 / 0.0

* Assists.

Starting Five

1. KenPom has Maine as the 331st best team in the nation, 332nd in AdjO and 314th in AdjD. This is not a good opponent. After beating South Alabama, Texas Tech is the 32nd best team in the nation, 43rd in AdjO and 27th in AdjD. Long ways to go.

2. Maine lost to Boston College by 20, a future opponent of Texas Tech as part of this Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Tipoff Tournament. Stojiljkovic was by far the best and most efficient player as he made all 5 of his shots, which included 2 three-pointers as well as grabbing 8 boards. I think this will be the Zach Smith match-up and he’ll need to guard that three point line.

3. Actually, the whole team will need to guard the three point line. The Black Bears jacked up 32 three-point shots against Boston College, probably hoping to catch fire. They made 34%, which isn’t bad, but I’d bet they come out with a similar game plan. As you’ll note, the Maine team doesn’t really have any height, mostly mid-range players so that will either play into what Texas Tech can guard and maybe you don’t see guys like Hamilton and Odiase get huge minutes. On the flip side, if there’s a size advantage, you’d like to see those guys take advantage of that.

4. Texas Tech’s performance against South Alabama was good. Not perfect, but plenty to work on, which is a great thing as a head coach. The slow start needs to be corrected and the turnovers were a huge problem. 18 turnovers is way too many. This is largely a new team and one that will needs to figure out how to play with each other. There’s a lot of moving parts and Hyron Edwards hasn’t even played a minute, so there’s going to be some adjustment. It’s going to take some time for the team to figure out who they are.

5. The official site has your official preview where head coach Chris Beard is still working on things with the team:

“With our team, we continue to be a work in progress,” Beard continued. “We will continue to get the new guys in the fold, try to be unselfish on offense, try to defend at a higher level and try not to foul as much. The not fouling is probably the biggest lesson from the South Alabama game. With Maine, we have a lot of respect for them. They have great backcourt play. They have a really good inside all-conference type of player. They have a lot of international players on their roster which I personally have a lot of respect for.”

A-J Media’s Carlos Silva, Jr. writes about how Davide Moretti is progressing in transitioning to Division I basketball:

“All of the athleticism and the skills,” Moretti said of his transition from the European- to American-style of play Sunday. “The first month was really difficult for me because it’s my weakness, right now, so I have to improve a lot.”

It all came to a head in a 25-point win over South Alabama to open the regular season. In the 75-50 victory, Moretti came off the bench and scored 10 points, which included a pair of three-pointers to spark the Red Raiders on offense.

“I like to play pick-and-roll, and I’ve been trying to figure out the offense,” Moretti said in an offseason interview with the A-J. “I feel I can really help my teammates by making 3s. It’s something that I think this team needs and coach (Chris) Beard spoke to me about.”

Silva also notes that Stevenson, who was injured in the game against South Alabama, is okay, just fell hard and was a bruise.

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