Preview & Game Thread: Northwestern State vs. Texas Tech

It’s game 1.

Game Info

Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (0-0, 0-0)
Bad Guys: Northwestern State Demons (0-0, 0-0)
When to Watch: Wednesday, November 25th @ 6:00 p.m.
Where to Watch: United Supermarkets Arena | Lubbock, Texas
How to Watch: ESPN+ | ESPN+
How to Listen: 97.3 FM | Affiliates | TuneIn App
The Line: No line available (at this time)

Advanced Stats

KenPom 6 267
KP AdjO 15 257
KP AdjD 5 284
T-Rank 6 202
T-Rank O 22 151
T-Rank D 6 275
Haslemetric 4 307


POINT GUARD Mac McClung (6-2/185) 15.7 / 2.4*
SHOOTING GUARD Kyler Edwards (6-4/195) 11.4 / 3.1*
SMALL FORWARD Terrence Shannon, Jr. (6-6/210) 9.8 / 4.1
POWER FORWARD Kevin McCullar (6-6/195) 6.0 / 3.2
CENTER Marcus Santos-Silva (6-7/245) 12.8 / 8.9
SIXTH MAN Joel Ntambwe (6-8/225) 11.8 / 5.5
SEVENTH MAN Micah Peavy (6-7/215) – / –
EIGHTH MAN Jamarius Burton (6-4/205) 10.3 / 3.4*
NINTH MAN Nimari Burnett (6-4/195) – / –
TENTH MAN Chibuzo Agbo (6-7/215) – / –
ELEVENTH MAN Clarence Nadolny (6-3/190) 2.0 / 1.0
TWELFTH MAN Tyreek Smith (6-7/220) – / –
THIRTEENTH MAN Vladislov Goldin (7-0/240) – / –
FOURTEENTH MAN Avery Benson (6-4/195) 1.8 / 1.4
POINT GUARD Brian White (5-6/164) 10.0 / 3.4*
SHOOTING GUARD Jairus Roberson (6-2/176) 16.7 / 2.8
SMALL FORWARD Trenton Massner (6-2/170) 13.3 / 4.3
POWER FORWARD Larry Owens (6-7/300) 6.0 / 4.2
CENTER Jamaure Gregg (6-7/232) 9.2 / 5.9
SIXTH MAN C.J. Jones (5-10/161) 7.1 / 1.5
SEVENTH MAN Jovan Zelenbaba (6-4/177) 6.6 / 3.1
EIGHTH MAN Jordan Potts (6-3/175) 3.7 / 1.9
NINTH MAN John Norvell (6-2/170) 3.1 / 0.7
TENTH MAN Kendal Coleman (6-7/229) 2.0 / 0.5

* Assists.

Starting 5

Ed. Note: The lineups for Texas Tech and Northwestern State are just guesses. I don’t have any insight regarding a starting lineup. I’d also advise the 6th man through the 14th man is also just a guess. That normally gets organized according to minutes played, so give it a game and I’ll adjust.

1. Stats. / cracks knuckles / Well, it’s good to be back writing about basketball on a regular basis. This is always the toughest time of year because football and basketball have to be juggled and basketball isn’t messing around.

Let’s get to this game, which is that Northwestern State is not a good team. I know, no one respects their opponent more than Chris Beard, but fortunately, I get to write my opinion and advise you that last year, Northwestern State was one of the worst defensive teams in the nation. Offensively they were okay considering all things, but typically teams want the defense because it travels well, while offense doesn’t always do that.

2. Scouting. Roberson is the best player and Massner is right there as well. Massner is a lights-out shooter, making 42% of his three-point shots and 60% from the field. That’s ridiculous for a shooting guard. That will be a challenge for sure. White is a sparkplug and also a terrific shooter, making 55% of his 2-point shots, is obviously a high assist guy, but he’s also a high turnover guy as well. Owens and Gregg are the best rebounders and are very good at that. Both are decent shot-blockers as well and am excited to see a 300+ pound guy block some shots.

3. How They Match Up. This gets a bit tiresome with these early games in that there’s not much to look forward too from a match up perspective. Texas Tech should dominate offensively with the idea being that NSU isn’t very good defensively. From a Texas Tech perspective, the best three-point shooter is Ntambwe, with Burton not too far behind. Burton wasn’t supposed to be a very good shooter, but here he is being one of the best shooters of the bunch, which speaks to Texas Tech’s shooting last year. The drive and dish has to improve. This team needs cleaner shots on the outside and the hope is that with McClung, Burton, and whoever wants to pass the ball.

4. Reading Material. Avalanche Journal’s Carlos Silva, Jr. – Texas Tech’s Beard hopeful to keep home-court advantage with COVID-19 precautions:

Giovannetti added Texas Tech may be able to make room for more than 4,000 for a home game due to the arena having 24 suites. As is the case with Tech home football games this season, suite holders are allowed 100% capacity in their suites with fans asked to not enter others’ suites.

“We have done everything we can to put a plan in place that (makes sure) it’s safe for our players, safe for your families, it’s safe for our fans,” Beard said. “We’ve exhausted time all the way back to the summer putting this together. … We’re doing this in the best way possible.”

Avalanche Journal’s Carlos Silva, Jr. – Preparing for the future: Santos-Silva put in early work, eager to enjoy a fruitful senior campaign:

But, he put himself in a position to choose his next stop and he knew exactly what he wanted for his future.

“My main focus was to go somewhere with a winning culture and can compete for a national championship,” Santos-Silva said. “I remember the first day me and coach Beard talked on the phone, all we talked about was winning a national championship.

“The whole recruiting process wasn’t hard for me. I knew what I wanted, where I wanted to go. And Texas Tech checked all the boxes.”

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

The No. 14-ranked Texas Tech men’s basketball team will open the 2020-21 season by hosting Northwestern State at 6 p.m. on Wednesday at the United Supermarkets Arena. The Red Raiders are 4-0 all-time in season-openers under head coach Chris Beard who is entering his fifth with a 94-44 record leading the program.

The Red Raiders are 5-0 all-time against the Demons who are coming off a 15-15 season and will return to Lubbock for the first time since the 2018-19 season. Tech won that game 79-44 to improve to 9-0 in a season where it would go on to win the 2019 Big 12 regular-season championship and reach the NCAA National Championship Final. Coming off an 18-13 overall record last season, TTU will also host Sam Houston State at 1 p.m. on Friday in the first week of the season before playing No. 17-ranked Houston at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday at the Dickies Arena.


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