Preview and Game Thread: South Dakota State vs. Texas Tech

Date: Wednesday, December 16th
Time: 7:00 pm
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (6-1, 0-0)
Bad Guys: South Dakota State (9-1, 0-0)
Location: United Supermarkets Arena | Lubbock, Texas
TV/Stream: FOX Sports Southwest Plus
Radio/Stream: 93.7 FM/104.3 FM/950 AM

POINT GUARD Kennan Evans (6-3/180) 9.0 / 2.7*
SHOOTING GUARD Devaugntah Williams (6-4/205) 16.1 / 4.6
SMALL FORWARD Toddrick Gotcher (6-4/205) 10.6 / 5.1
POWER FORWARD Zach Smith (6-8/215) 9.6 / 6.6
CENTER Norense Odiase (6-9/260) 8.7 / 4.6
SIXTH MAN Aaron Ross (6-8/225) 6.3 / 5.9
SEVENTH MAN Justin Gray (6-6/210) 7.3 / 2.7
EIGHTH MAN Devon Thomas (6-0/170) 3.3 / 1.4
POINT GUARD Jake Bittle (6-4/210) 12.4 / 3.5*
SHOOTING GUARD Deondre Parks (6-1/190) 16.9 / 5.1
SMALL FORWARD Keaton Moffitt (6-5/190) 5.8 / 4.8
POWER FORWARD Reed Tellinghuisen (6-6/190) 10.0 / 6.7
CENTER Ian Theisen (6-9/235) 7.0 / 3.4
SIXTH MAN George Marshall (6-1/190) 12.9 / 2.9*
SEVENTH MAN Mike Daum (6-9/245) 11.7 / 5.4

* Assists.

1. According to KenPom, South Dakota State is a pretty good basketball team. they are 46th overall and are 35th in adjusted offense and 99th in adjusted defense. Meanwhile, Texas Tech is 77th overall according to KenPom, which is the highest I can really recall Texas Tech creeping up the ranks in such a long time. The Red Raiders still struggle on offense, 131st overall in adjusted offense, but are 46th in adjusted defense.

2. South Dakota State is 9-1 on the year, with their only loss to UMKC and wins over TCU by 9 and Minnesota by 14. Those are pretty good wins, and TCU is the better team to Minnesota. A win against Texas Tech would most likely be their best win. South Dakota State has a lot of scoring options, 4 players average in double-figures and Bittle and Daum both shot really well, 62% for Bittle and 55% with Daum. Daum is also the team’s best rebounder and he also is terrific on the offensive boards. He’s going to be the one that you have to watch.

3. In terms of usage rates, Doyle and Daum have usage rates of 35% and 33%, which means they are looking to score and aren’t really looking to pass the ball. Daum is one of the team’s highest rated offensive player with a rating of 121. Bittle is the team’s highest rated offensive player at 137. And don’t sleep on Ian Theisen as well as he’s an efficient offensive player.  Head coach Tubby Smith said that offensively, the Jackrabbits are going to be tough to guard:

“Some of the things we’ve focused on, as has been most of the year, has been rebounding,” Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith said. “We’ve really worked on trying to box out, pursue the ball and transition defense. Everyone’s transition offense is probably their best offense. We’ve worked on handling some of South Dakota State’s motion offense with their screening and posting up. We’ve worked on guarding the posts. We have been getting in some foul trouble there. Fundamentals have been key, as well as giving them time off to rest and recover from the stress of finals and playing.”

4. As noted above, South Dakota State is the better team, but maybe that offense doesn’t click as well if the Jackrabbits are on the road. Texas Tech is going to have to have a really good team defensive game because South Dakota State has a lot of scoring options and that’s tough to defend. I think Texas Tech can take advantage of the poor defense that South Dakota State employs (or just not as good) and maybe slow the game down a bit. I suspect we might be writing that quite a bit this year, but I think it does apply.

5. I am really excited about what Matt Temple can bring to the team. I tend to get a bit too enthusiastic when it comes to new players, but there have just been an ton of rave reviews of Temple, a lot of this is from you in the comments. I’m very excited about Temple’s debut and I think it comes at the perfect time because South Dakota State has some skilled players in the frontcourt. Via LAJ’s Krista Pirtle, Smith said that Temple should bring quite a bit to the team:

“He’ll bring that interior physical play, that rebounding and defending,” Smith said. “He can help us in scoring. He’s got good touch inside and outside. He’s got a good basketball mind. He’s a willing passer and plays unselfishly. He’s still learning the plays. When he does make a mistake, he makes up for it with his hustle and his effort. He’ll bring those types of intangibles as well.”

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