Basketball

Preview and Game Thread: Texas Tech vs. South Carolina

The Red Raiders travel to South Carolina as part of the Big 12 / SEC Challenge.

Game Info

Date: Saturday, January 27th
Time: 11:00 am
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (16-4, 5-3)
Bad Guys: South Carolina Gamecocks (13-7, 4-4)
Location: Colonial Life Arena | Columbia, South Carolina
TV/Stream: ESPN2
Radio/Stream: 97.3 FM/104.3 FM/950 AM

Lineups

TEXAS TECH
THE STARTERS Pts / Reb
POINT GUARD Keenan Evans (6-3/190) 17.1 / 3.4*
SHOOTING GUARD Jarrett Culver (6-5/190) 10.9 / 4.2
SMALL FORWARD Justin Gray (6-6/210) 5.3 / 3.5
POWER FORWARD Zhaire Smith (6-5/195) 10.1 / 4.6
CENTER Norense Odiase (6-9/245) 4.1 / 5.1
THE BENCH Pts / Reb
SIXTH MAN Niem Stevenson (6-6/205) 7.2 / 3.0
SEVENTH MAN Brandone Francis (6-5/205) 6.2 / 2.4
EIGHTH MAN Davide Moretti (6-3/165) 4.5 / 1.7*
NINTH MAN Tommy Hamilton IV (6-11/250) 5.4 / 3.4
TENTH MAN Josh Webster (6-4/175) 0.5 / 0.7*
ELEVENTH MAN Malik Ondigo (6-10/210) 1..4 / 1.0
SOUTH CAROLINA
THE STARTERS Pts / Reb
POINT GUARD Wesley Myers (6-1/193) 8.2 / 1.8*
SHOOTING GUARD Evan Hinson (6-4/240) 3.5 / 1.5
SMALL FORWARD Justin Minaya (6-5/210) 8.3 / 4.2
POWER FORWARD Chris Silva (6-9/223) 14.7 / 8.0
CENTER Maik Kotsar (6-10/260) 8.6 / 4.8
THE BENCH Pts / Reb
SIXTH MAN Felipe Haase (6-9/249) 5.7 / 4.6
SEVENTH MAN Hassani Gravett (6-2/187) 7.5 / 3.4
EIGHTH MAN Frank Booker (6-3/208) 11.1 / 3.2
NINTH MAN David Beatty (6-2/205) 4.3 / 0.9
TENTH MAN Khadim Gueye (7-0/248) 0.0 / 0.7

* Assists.

Starting 5

1. KenPom. KenPom has South Carolina as the 69th best team in teh nation, 144th in AdjO and 24th in AdjD. Texas Tech is 11th overall, 60th in AdjO and 3rd in AdjD. This is up one spot from the win against Oklahoma State. As an aside, Kansas is 9th and West Virginia is 10th in then KenPom rankings and all three teams are 16-4.

2. Stats. Via RealGM, Texas Tech is a better shooting team, sporting a eFG% of 53% to 47% for South Carolina. They are both essentially the same with offensive rebounds, grabbing 33% of those boards. The Gamecocks are better at getting to the line, 30% to 27% for Texas Tech and both teams essentially turn the ball over 16% of the time.

3. Scouting. Texas Tech head coach usually talks about walking double-doubles and that’s Silva, averaging nearly 15 points a game and 8 rebounds, that’s pretty salty and that’s likely to be a problem for Texas Tech. The Gamecocks are really pretty big and that proved to be Texas Tech’s kryptonite against a team like Texas; however, I think it’s important to note that I don’t know that SC has anyone on their roster that clogs the lane like Bomba did. When South Carolina toppled Florida in Gainsville, they were led by Silva, who scored 18 and grabbed 12 boards, while Myers had 22 points on 8 of 15, including 5 of 7 form the three-point line. Texas Tech’s depth that they have relied on won’t be as important this game because South colina plays a ton of players a lot like Texas Tech, 9 players had 11 mintes or more against Florida.

4. Reading Material.

  • A-J Media’s Carolos Silva, Jr.: Texas Tech’s Beard not happy about coaching against ‘good friend’:

    The Red Raiders second-year head coach will prepare his No. 14 Texas Tech squad to face off against the Gamecocks for an 11 a.m. Saturday road game as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge. The game is slated to be televised on ESPN2.

    “I talked to coach Martin this morning and both of us kind of shared the view that we weren’t enjoying playing against each other,” Beard said on Thursday. “But, it’s a great game for college basketball. I think everybody in the Big 12 and SEC appreciates this platform. The timing’s not great for either of us because we’re in the middle of our conference grind. …

    “Simply stated, he’s one of the realist guys I’ve ever met. I used to have a lot of friends when I coached here for coach (Bob) Knight and Pat (Knight). And when I’m in Myrtle Beach, S.C. (coaching the South Carolina Warriors of the ABA from 2011-2012), the phone doesn’t ring quite as much. But Frank never stopped checking on me.”

  • GamecockCentral’s Collyn Taylor: Another physical battle vs. Texas Tech:

    The physical play isn’t for the faint of heart, and the jockeying under the basket looks like it should be a Pay Per View event at WrestleMania at times.

    It’s a style the Gamecocks used to cruise to a 12-win conference schedule last year and has them an even 4-4 so far in 2018.

    “SEC this year, last year, it’s really physical,” Maik Kotsar said. “Last year showed us how physical the SEC year is and us, Florida and Kentucky managed to get to the Elite Eight. This year, the pattern’s pretty much the same.”

  • The Post and Courier’s David Cloninger: Gamecocks aiming for third Top-25 win in four games:

    If the Gamecocks beat the Red Raiders, then they can really start looking at what they need to do to re-enter the Field of 68.

    The Gamecocks’ two Franks, Martin and Booker, know a little something about Big 12 basketball. Martin coached at Kansas State. Booker played two years at Oklahoma.

    “Every single game is a dogfight. You can’t go into any game thinking, ‘Oh, we’ve beaten them before, we’ll do it again.’ You can’t have that mindset,” Booker said. “Totally different, clean slate, it’s a new year. You have to go in and play ball and hope you execute well enough to come out on the winning side.”

  • The State’s Andrew Ramspacher: How Frank Martin plans to spend his Saturday: Win, relax, watch SEC dominate:

    South Carolina hosts No. 14 Texas Tech at noon, tipping off a nine-hour basketball marathon that could end with Martin’s league claiming it’s the nation’s best.

    “I’m hoping we play well, I think we will,” the USC coach said Thursday evening on his “Carolina Calls” radio show. “I’m hoping the crowd is absolutely nuts. And obviously I hope that by 2:30 I’m in a real, real good mood.

    “And knowing that we don’t play until the following Wednesday and knowing it’s at home, so we don’t have to travel, I’m going to sit down Saturday with the kids and the wife and we’re gonna watch some TV.”

5. Official Site. The official site has your official preview and head coach Chris Beard discusses playing South Carolina:

“We’re excited for the next opportunity on the schedule which is a road game at South Carolina,” Beard said. “Frank Martin is one of the best coaches in college basketball. He’s got really good players. They made the Final Four last year and returned several key players including both of their bigs from that team. We are proud to represent the Big 12 in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. We are just looking forward to the opportunity. We know we will have to play really well – probably our best 40 minutes of basketball this season – to have a chance in this game.”

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