Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (13-1, 2-0)
Bad Guys: Oklahoma Sooners (12-2, 1-1)
When to Watch: Tuesday, January 8th @ 8:00 p.m.
Where to Watch: United Supermarkets Arena | Lubbock, Texas
How to Watch: ESPNews | WatchESPN
How to Listen: 97.3 FM | Affiliates | TuneIn App
The Line: Texas Tech -6 (OddsShark)
|THE STARTERS||Pts / Reb|
|POINT GUARD||Davide Moretti (6-3/175)||9.4 / 2.3*|
|SHOOTING GUARD||Matt Mooney (6-3/200)||10.9 / 3.1*|
|SMALL FORWARD||Jarrett Culver (6-5/195)||18.7 / 4.1*|
|POWER FORWARD||Tariq Owens (6-10/205)||8.1 / 5.1|
|CENTER||Norense Odiase (6-9/245)||4.2 / 5.0|
|THE BENCH||Pts / Reb|
|SIXTH MAN||Kyler Edwards (6-3/200)||7.2 / 2.7|
|SEVENTH MAN||Brandone Francis (6-5/215)||5.1 / 2.8|
|EIGHTH MAN||Deshawn Corprew (6-5/210)||6.7 / 4.6|
|NINTH MAN||Malik Ondigo (6-10/215)||1.9 / 1.8|
|TENTH MAN||Josh Mballa (6-7/215)||0.8 / 0.4|
|ELEVENTH MAN||Khavon Moore (6-7/215)||–|
|THE STARTERS||Pts / Reb|
|POINT GUARD||Aaron Calixte (5-11/187)||8.7 / 3.2*|
|SHOOTING GUARD||Miles Reynolds (6-2/170)||10.4 / 2.9|
|SMALL FORWARD||Christian James (6-4/211)||17.1 / 7.8|
|POWER FORWARD||Brady Manek (6-9/210)||11.4 / 7.6|
|CENTER||Kristian Doolittle (6-7/236)||8.1 / 6.1|
|THE BENCH||Pts / Reb|
|SIXTH MAN||Jamal Bieniemy (6-4/175)||2.5 / 2.9*|
|SEVENTH MAN||Rashard Odomes (6-6/216)||5.4 / 2.0|
|EIGHTH MAN||Jamuni McNeace (6-10/222)||6.5 / 4.9|
|NINTH MAN||Matt Freeman (6-10/229)||4.1 / 2.1|
|TENTH MAN||Hannes Polla (6-11/271)||0.8 / 0.8|
1. Stats. The Sooners are pretty danged elite defensively and they’ve done it by being great against teams in holding opponents to 43.5 eFG%, keeping opponents off of the offensive boards and limiting free throws for opponents. A lot like Texas Tech, Oklahoma isn’t great offensively, they’re better than Texas Tech, so that will be interesting to see yet another grind-it-out sort of game. In fact, Texas Tech has gone under in 11 of their last 15 games, so expect a low-scoring game.
2. Scouting. The Sooners don’t have a ton of elite offensive players, although James is scoring a ton, he’s not exactly efficient, not terrible, just not great, he’s average, so he’s putting up lots of shots. Miles Reynolds is a graduate transfer from Pacific as is Aaron Calixte is from Maine. Oklahoma really doesn’t go deep in terms of their team, but neither does Texas Tech. I’ve always liked Manek from last year, I thought he was a bit underrated with Trae Young getting all of the press, but he was pretty good and skilled for a big man. And that’s what Oklahoma probably is, a very versatile team without a true big man starting. The Sooners do have some good size on the bench, so they can play big or small.
3. How They Match Up. The biggest difference between these teams is that the Sooners, on paper, are better offensively, but if you click on over to their T-Rank page, they don’t have really any players that make much of an impact offensively. Compare that to Texas Tech’s page and consider all of the green for Texas Tech’s players. So I think that individually, Texas Tech probably has better offensive players, but Oklahoma is a better team offensively.
4. Reading Material. A-J Media’s Carlos Silva, Jr. – No. 8 Red Raiders preparing for stiff test from No. 23 Oklahoma:
The defense from Tariq Owens played just as key a part in the victory, especially his block at the left side of the rim which denied Barry Brown a layup and turned into a Moretti 3-pointer to provide a 41-33 lead under the 13-minute mark of the second half before the Red Raiders pulled out the 63-57 victory.
“It was huge for us, especially in the second half where things weren’t going exactly how we wanted to,” Owens said Monday. “But we were just finding ways to pull out the victory. At that moment in the game, I think they might have been on a run and just helped us end the run and swing the momentum back in our favor. Really got the crowd going. … Plays like that always get us going.”
Tulsa World’s Eric Bailey – OU men’s basketball: Sooners tough intro to Big 12 play continues at Texas Tech:
Three tough contests in seven days can test most teams, but for OU coach Lon Kruger, it’s just another week in the Big 12.
“You can probably pick out any three-game stretch, and it’ll probably be similar,” Kruger said. “Those first three seem like, ‘Wow, that’s tough.’ But then the next three (TCU, Kansas State, at Texas) is kind of the same thing.
“That’s the nature of the league, but that’s good. It’s hard. It’s a grind. That’s why the league has been the best in the country over the last four, five, six years and will be that way again.”
5. Official Site. The official site has their preview right there:
The Red Raiders (13-1, 2-0 Big 12) have only one loss through 14 games for the second straight season and for the fourth time in program history (1995-96, 2001-02, 2017-18, 2018-19) following wins over West Virginia and Kansas State to begin conference play last week. TTU currently leads the nation defensively by limiting opponents to 33.4 shooting from the field and 24.1 percent on 3-pointers and is ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press Top-25, No. 8 in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll, No. 6 in the ESPN Power Rankings and is No. 7 in the NCAA NET Rankings. The Sooners (12-2, 1-1 Big 12) split their conference openers with a loss at Kansas before a 10-point win over Oklahoma State. TTU is now 9-0 on its home court this season after the team’s 63-57 win over KSU last Saturday and is 42-4 at home under coach Chris Beard who is in his third season leading the program.
“They are going to be in the fight for the conference championship,” said Beard of OU. “They are one of the older, more experienced teams in the country. It’s a team we have a lot of respect for and obviously they have one of the best coaches in the history of the game and really good players. They have versatile players with big guys who are skilled and can shoot. A lot of times they will have four playmakers on the court and that puts a lot of pressure on your defense.”