Preview & GDT: West Virginia vs. Texas Tech

Let’s get a win.

Game Info

Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (17-5, 5-4)
Bad Guys: West Virginia Mountaineers (10-12, 2-7)
When to Watch: Monday, February 4th @ 8:00 p.m.
Where to Watch: United Supermarkets Arena | Lubbock, Texas
How to Watch: ESPN | WatchESPN
How to Listen: 97.3 FM | Affiliates | TuneIn App
The Line: Texas Tech -12 (OddsShark)

Advanced Stats

Texas Tech West Virginia
KenPom 16 99
KP AdjO 106 74
KP AdjD 3 134
T-Rank 16 93
T-Rank O 113 75
T-Rank D 3 131
Haslemetric 21 97


POINT GUARD Davide Moretti (6-3/175) 10.5 / 2.3*
SHOOTING GUARD Matt Mooney (6-3/200) 10.7 / 2.9*
SMALL FORWARD Jarrett Culver (6-5/195) 18.1 / 3.8*
POWER FORWARD Tariq Owens (6-10/205) 8.5 / 5.3
CENTER Norense Odiase (6-9/245) 3.8 / 4.9
SIXTH MAN Kyler Edwards (6-3/200) 6.1 / 2.5
SEVENTH MAN Brandone Francis (6-5/215) 5.3 / 2.3
EIGHTH MAN Deshawn Corprew (6-5/210) 5.4 / 3.9
NINTH MAN Malik Ondigo (6-10/215) 1.8 / 1.7
TENTH MAN Josh Mballa (6-7/215) 1.0 / 0.4
ELEVENTH MAN Khavon Moore (6-7/215) 0.0 / 0.0
POINT GUARD Jordan McCabe (6-0/183) 2.6 / 1.6*
SHOOTING GUARD Jermaine Haley (6-7/215) 3.7 / 3.1
SMALL FORWARD Wesley Harris (6-8/200) 8.2 / 4.7
POWER FORWARD Esa Ahmad (6-8/225) 12.4 / 6.0
CENTER Derek Culver (6-10/235) 11.2 / 8.3
SIXTH MAN Brandon Knapper (6-0/180) 5.5 / 1.8
SEVENTH MAN Chase Harler (6-3/210) 4.8 / 1.0
EIGHTH MAN Lamont West (6-8/222) 10.5 / 4.0
NINTH MAN Andrew Gordon (6-9/255) 2.2 / 1.8
TENTH MAN Logan Routt (6-11/260) 2.3 / 2.2

* Assists.

Starting 5

1. Stats. The stats probably haven’t changed that much. West Virginia is still having issues turning the ball over on offense and are a fouling machine on defense. They do get to the line quite well and crash the offensive glass, but they don’t force turnovers, they’re not good at limiting opponents shooting the ball and they allow too many offensive boards as well. Offensively, they don’t shoot particularly well and maybe the biggest problem for West Virginia is that they’re just not consistent at any one thing. Maybe that’s because they’ll play just about anyone and everyone and don’t seem to have a clear idea as to what they’re doing from a rotation perspective (at least I couldn’t find one).

2. Scouting. Ahmad is still probably their best player, but when Texas Tech played WVU the first time, I was really impressed with Culver, the post who seemed to be really good around the rim and seemed to be a pretty terrific rebounder. The other decent offensive player is James Bolden, but he’s missed the last two games with what I presume is some sort of injury. If he can play, that probably changes some things because he can also distribute the ball pretty well. I am a bit surprised about how Ahmad isn’t a better offensive player.

3. How They Match Up. There are no two ways about this. Texas Tech needs to win this game and most likely needs to win by double-digits. West Virginia is the worst team in the Big 12 and an upset would be just a shade short of catastrophic. The Texas Tech offense should feast against a marginal West Virginia defense and Jarrett Culver needs to play from the inside out. Mechanically, he’s got a hitch in his three-point shot, but he doesn’t need that to score.

4. Reading Material. A-J Media’s Carlos Silva, Jr. – SILVA JR. COLUMN: Red Raiders eager to move past Kansas loss:

It was a sobering reminder that — even not at full strength with ineligible sophomore forward Silvio De Sousa, injured sophomore guard Marcus Garret (ankle) and big man Udoka Azubuike out for the season following wrist surgery — Kansas is still the defending conference champion and will continue to be until a team knocks the Jayhawks off their perch at the top of the mountain they’ve built over the last 14 years.

“We definitely can’t take anything for granted,” Texas Tech senior forward Norense Odiase said. “We haven’t done anything yet. Every team in this league is good. Every team in this league will come to play no matter what their record is. And they’re coming to beat us every single night. We’ve got to set the tone for the other guys on the team. We can’t come out like this, down 20 at half, and expect to beat Kansas at Kansas.”

Gazette-Mail’s Tom Bragg – Confidence, energy high as Mountaineers visit No. 16 Texas Tech:

Huggins said after Saturday’s win the forwards were a strength for the Mountaineers.

“I thought our strength was our front line, without a question,” Huggins said. “I think we’re playing harder again. I told them before the game, we can’t throw the ball to them. If we limit our turnovers, and if we all play hard — not three of us play hard and two guys kind of go through the motions — but if everybody on the floor will play hard, we can beat just about anybody in this league. I think we can beat anybody in this league if we play hard. We played awfully hard [in the] Kansas game. We played hard in this game.

“Now, we have to start to play hard every game. We played hard [in] the Texas Tech game, really. It hasn’t been as consistent as what it’s been in the past.”

Exponent News’ Bob Hertzel – West Virginia heads to Texas Tech:

Instead, they had to go home and pack because they were flying out for Lubbock, Texas, on Sunday for a 9 p.m. Monday meeting with No 16/15 Texas Tech.

Coach Bob Huggins wonders why it is like this.

“This travel is hard,” he said. “We will practice a little bit, go fly to Lubbock and go play a 9 o’clock game and I don’t understand that. I don’t understand why we’re the ones that play a 9 o’clock game.

“I understand it’s TV, but it’s ESPNU, not CBS. If they (the schedule makers) had to do it, I think they would understand it a little better. Our guys will get back to Morgantown at 5:30, 6 o’clock in the morning and be expected to go to class. It’s hard.”

5. Official Site. The official site has their preview right here:

The second half of Big 12 Conference play begins with No. 16 Texas Tech hosting West Virginia at 8 p.m. on ESPN’s Big Monday for the second straight week at the United Supermarkets Arena. The game is sponsored by Andrus Brothers Roofing and is a rematch of a Jan. 2 contest where the Red Raiders earned a 62-59 win over the Mountaineers in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Texas Tech (17-5, 5-4 Big 12) is coming off a 79-63 loss at No. 11 Kansas, while WVU (10-12, 2-7 Big 12) secured a 79-71 win over Oklahoma on Saturday. The Red Raiders are 12-1 at home this season and are 45-5 on their home court under head coach Chris Beard who is in his third season leading the program. WVU is 12-4 all-time against Tech including a 66-63 win in last year’s Big 12 Championship, but the Red Raiders have won the past two meetings in Lubbock with Beard on the sidelines coming into Monday’s game.

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