Basketball

Game Preview & Open Thread: Texas Tech vs. Seton Hall

The Red Raiders travel to New York to take on Seton Hall.

Game Info

Date: Thursday, November 30th
Time: 5:30 pm
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (6-0, 0-0)
Bad Guys: Seton Hall Pirates (5-1, 0-0)
Location: Madison Square Garden | New York, New York
TV/Stream: FS1
Radio/Stream: 97.3 FM/104.3 FM/950 AM

Lineups

TEXAS TECH
THE STARTERS Pts / Reb
POINT GUARD Keenan Evans (6-3/190) 15.0 / 3.2*
SHOOTING GUARD Niem Stevenson (6-6/205) 8.5 / 3.3
SMALL FORWARD Justin Gray (6-6/210) 5.3 / 3.2
POWER FORWARD Zach Smith (6-8/220) 6.5 / 5.0
CENTER Tommy Hamilton IV (6-11/250) 6.3 / 3.3
THE BENCH Pts / Reb
SIXTH MAN Zhaire Smith (6-5/195) 9.0 / 4.0
SEVENTH MAN Jarrett Culver (6-5/190) 11.0 / 3.2
EIGHTH MAN Brandone Francis (6-5/205) 7.0 / 3.3
NINTH MAN Davide Moretti (6-3/165) 6.0 / 2.3*
TENTH MAN Norense Odiase (6-9/245) 6.2 / 4.5
ELEVENTH MAN Josh Webster (6-4/175) 1.2 / 1.6*
TWELFTH MAN Malik Ondigo (6-10/210) 0.7 / 0.3
THIRTEENTH MAN Hyron Edwards (6-0/170) N/A
SETON HALL
THE STARTERS Pts / Reb
POINT GUARD Myles Powell (6-2/195) 14.0 / 2.5*
SHOOTING GUARD Khadeen Carrington (6-4/195) 10.2 / 4.3
SMALL FORWARD Desi Rodriguez (6-6/220) 17.8 / 4.0
POWER FORWARD Ismael Sanogo (6-8/215) 3.2 / 5.2
CENTER Angel Delgado (6-10/245) 14.0 / 9.3
THE BENCH Pts / Reb
SIXTH MAN Myles Cale (6-5/200) 5.8 / 2.0
SEVENTH MAN Sandro Manukelashvili (6-10/230) 4.5 / 3.3
EIGHTH MAN Michael Nzei (6-8/205) 5.2 / 4.0
NINTH MAN Eron Gordon (6-3/200) 2.3 / 1.8*

* Assists.

Starting 5

1. KenPom has Seton Hall as the 25th best team in the nation, 32nd in AdjO and 27th in AdjD. Texas Tech has bounced to 16th in their rankings, 34th in AdjO and 9th in AdjD. That’s some good stuff right there. And as we look ahead to Nevada, they’re currently 47th overall.

2. Delgado is a beast inside and if Texas Tech wants to get ready for what they’ll likely see in the Big 12, then Delgado is a really nice preview.  Head coach Chris Beard said that Delgado is a walking double-double and that’s true. He’s also really strong and incredibly athletic. This is going to be a real interesting match-up for Texas Tech. Hamilton isn’t exactly a great athlete and Zach Smith is a bit small to take on Delgado inside. The best option might be Odiase. He’s been slowly but surely building his minutes and this might be a nice opportunity to see him shine.

3. I may be able to write about this each game, but Texas Tech definitely has a stronger bench, thanks to the three freshmen who are receiving a ton of minutes. Don’t forget about Moretti who is probably dishing assists at a higher rate that Evans, while that may be somewhat easy to do when you have guys like Zhaire Smith and Culver on the wings. Culver’s 7 assists and Zhaire’s 5 assists against Savannah State should let you know that these freshmen sorta get “it”. Share the ball and it will come right back to you.  And having guys like Zach, Gray, Niem, Culver, Zhaire, etc. can make a guard’s life incredibly easy.

4. Seton Hall has one last-second blemish on their 5-1 record, losing to Rhode Island on a buzzer beater. They’ve beat their fair share of not so great teams, but they beat Indiana handily and they they took care of business against Vanderbilt. I don’t really know how good those teams are, but they did beat them somewhat easily. Seton Hall’s best attributes are probably on defense, but those KenPom stats don’t play that out.  I still think a guy like Delgado in the middle can really change the way a team plays.

5.  This is probably a toss-up game for Texas Tech and one that could probably go either way. For the record, Vegas has Seton Hall as 1.5 point favorites so the guys that make all of the money also think the game is essentially a toss-up. Seton Hall is essentially playing a home game and I haven’t really doubted this team since the exhibition game against Angelo State, which has been the best contest for this team thus far. That’s saying quite a bit, that when the lights have gone on, Texas Tech has performed.  I’ll take the Red Raiders here and I can’t wait for this game.

Game Links

    • The official site with the official preview:

      “We are looking forward to playing against a very talented and nationally ranked team in Seton Hall,” Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard said. “They’re a team that was picked to finish second in the BIG EAST preseason poll. A team in my opinion that has three NBA players on it and maybe more that could develop into NBA players. They’re a team that is well-coached by one of the most respected coaches in college basketball. It’s a great opportunity for us. We couldn’t have scheduled a better game for us to see where we are at. We have a lot of respect for Seton Hall.”

    • A-J Media’s Carlos Silva, Jr. previews the game:

      “It’s just pretty cool being in the mecca of basketball with coach Knight basically playing against another coach and really good players,” Beard recalled of some favorite moments he’s had at Madison Square Garden. “The facility itself is awesome. It’s just like sacred. It’s just sacred cool, it’s not flashy. But the inner guts of the building where you go to the locker rooms has the pictures of all the great players like (Michael) Jordan and (Patrick) Ewing that have played there. Also the great acts, whether it be Bob Seger, Queen or whatever is around. Just feels like you’re almost a part of history being there.”

    • Some site called .app (it’s part of USA Today) has a preview of the game from a Seton Hall perspective:

      1. Up the tempo. Texas Tech ranks 270th in the country in tempo. That’s not how the Hall prefers to play. The best way to speed a game up is to rebound and force turnovers. To maintain a brisk pace, the Pirates also must get solid contributions from their subs. Texas Tech is deep, with 10 guys averaging 14-plus minutes.

      2, Share the ball. The Pirates averaged 9.5 assists in two NIT games last weekend, a paltry number under any circumstances, but especially for a team that shot fairly well both times. Can they engage Delgado early? Can they advance the ball through the air? Can they strike better balance? All would help.

      3. Make Keenan Evans uncomfortable. If Khadeen Carrington is improving as a point-of-attack defender, as Willard asserts, this is his mission. Evans, a 6-foot-3 senior point guard, leads the Raiders with 15.0 points, 3.5 assists and 2.0 steals while averaging just one turnover per game. He’s the team’s engine.

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