Basketball

Preview & GDT: Eastern Illinois vs. Texas Tech

It’s game 1!

Game Info

Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (0-0, 0-0)
Bad Guys: Eastern Illinois Panthers (0-0, 0-0)
When to Watch: Tuesday, November 5th @ 7:00 p.m.
Where to Watch: United Supermarkets Arena | Lubbock, Texas
How to Watch: FSSW+ | FOXSportsGo
How to Listen: 97.3 FM | Affiliates | TuneIn App
The Line: Texas Tech -23.5 (OddsShark)

Advanced Stats

TEXAS TECH EASTERN ILLINOIS
KenPom 15 254
KP AdjO 28 205
KP AdjD 12 297
T-Rank 24 206
T-Rank O 79 171
T-Rank D 2 245
Haslemetric N/A N/A

Lineups

TEXAS TECH
THE STARTERS Pts / Reb
POINT GUARD Davide Moretti (6-3/180) 11.5 / 2.4*
SHOOTING GUARD Kyler Edwards (6-4/200) 5.5 / 2.2*
SMALL FORWARD Jahmi’us Ramsey (6-4/195) – / -*
POWER FORWARD Chrks Clarke (6-6/220) 8.2 / 6.3
CENTER TJ Holyfield (6-8/225) 12.9 / 6.4
THE BENCH Pts / Reb
SIXTH MAN Terrence Shannon, Jr. (6-6/210) – / –
SEVENTH MAN Clarence Nadolny (6-3/195) – / –
EIGHTH MAN Kevin McCullar (6-6/195) – / –
NINTH MAN Andrei Savrasov (6-7/225) – / –
TENTH MAN Tyreek Smith (6-7/215) – / –
ELEVENTH MAN Russel Tchewa (7-0/260) – / –
EASTERN ILLINOIS
THE STARTERS Pts / Reb
POINT GUARD Shareef Smith (5-10/180) 8.5 / 3.8*
SHOOTING GUARD Mack Smith (6-2/185) 12.8 / 4.2
SMALL FORWARD Josiah Wallace (6-4/185) 15.5 / 3.9
POWER FORWARD Jaqualis Matlock (6-5/225) 5.2 / 4.8
CENTER Rade Kukobat (6-9/225) 7.6 / 4.8
THE BENCH Pts / Reb
SIXTH MAN Kashawn Charles (6-1/185) 4.8 / 5.1
SEVENTH MAN Braxton Shaw (6-7/210) 3.4 / 1.4
EIGHTH MAN Logan Koch (6-1/200) 1.3 / 0.4
NINTH MAN Shawn Wilson (5-11/165) 0.6 / 0.5
TENTH MAN – / –

* Assists.

Starting 5

1. Stats. Here we are again friends. Eastern Illinois is not a good team, better offensively than defensively, but that’s not saying all that much. EIU has the 171st preseason offense and on defense, they’re rated 245. We don’t get a ton of advanced stuff right out of the gate. Texas Tech is 79th on offense and 2nd on defense and that also feels about right. I’ll be honest, I’m a bit nervous about the offense, partly because Culver, Mooney, Francis, and Corprew were all important offensively and could create their own shots. These guys will need to step up significantly.

2. Scouting. Wallace is the Panthers’ best player, a decent shooter, high usage rate, but nothing that jumps out from his stats. Although he is a good free throw shooter. Shareef Smith is a very good distributor, but he’s also turnover prone, and Mack Smith is very good at turning the ball over, but not a particularly creative scorer. Kukobat is a good rebounder, so that match-up for Holyfield will be interesting.

3. How They Match Up. Statistically, Texas Tech has the superior players, Moretti is a superior player in almost all respects, a terrific shooter, but not a great distributor. Last year, Culver and Mooney handled those duties to an extent along with Moretti. I’d imagine that Clarke picks up some of those duties, but someone else will need to help. Clarke is a terrific shooter and a good defensive rebounder, but he doesn’t score all that much. I’d love it if he did score in double-figures. Fun-fact? Before the season last year, I bet LaBarre that Mooney would average double-figures and so at some point, I hope to collect. Holyfield is a very good rebounder, especially offensively, and also a good shooter. That was at SFA so I think that takes time to translate.

4. Reading Material. Avalanche-Journals’s Carlos Silva, Jr. – Graduate transfers Holyfield, Clarke ready to hit the court after more than a year off:

“Very tough-minded and strong-willed,” Clarke said of what he found out about himself during his year away from basketball. “Words don’t affect me unless they’re from my mom and dad. What the outside world was saying about me, I really could care less. The people that know me, true to my core, knew what was going on.”

His close friends and family knew Clarke was away from the team and had to visit the local recreation center if he wanted to work on his basketball skills during five-on-five, pick-up games. Workouts were also a challenge as he chose not to lift weights on campus because he “didn’t think it was appropriate with everything going on.”

But, through it all, Clarke felt like he needed the reality check.

“The year off was challenging, just because, I got suspended from the team and I couldn’t lift weight and couldn’t really workout unless I went to a local rec center,” said Clarke, who averaged 9.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists to go along with playing in two NCAA Tournaments with the Hokies. “It was also beneficial because I got to focus so much more on school.”

Avalanche-Journal’s Carlos Silva, Jr. – Edwards, Moretti and Benson poised to be guiding voices, lead the Red Raiders’ charge:

Down the stretch, it could be argued that Moretti turned into one of the more valuable players for the Red Raiders — despite touting an NBA lottery pick in Lubbock native Jarrett Culver.

“He’s the best shooter I’ve ever coached,” Beard said of Moretti. “But can he perform against the other team’s scouting report? Can he perform with a consistency each possession? I’m banking on him because I know his day-to-day work ethic.”

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

“It’s an exciting time for all of us in college basketball as Tuesday nears,” Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard said. “We have a lot of respect for our first opponent Eastern Illinois. They are one of, if not the most, oldest teams in college basketball. Jay (Spoonhour) has set this team up by design. You’ve heard me say ‘get old and stay old’ around here before and Eastern Illinois is poised to have a great season. They have several junior college players that we are familiar with from the recruiting trail and simply stated we have a lot of respect for them. I’m proud of the publicity that our program is getting, but at 7 p.m. on Tuesday when that ball goes up it means nothing. The better team after 40 minutes will win the game. Our guys understand that we will have to play very well on opening night to have a chance to win.”

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