Preview and Game Thread: Texas Tech vs. Iowa State

Tubby Smith and the Texas Tech basketball team head to Ames, Iowa to take on the Iowa State Cyclones.

Date: Wednesday, January 6th
Time: 8:00 pm
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (11-1, 1-0)
Bad Guys: Iowa State Cyclones (11-2, 0-1)
Location: Hilton Coliseum | Ames, Iowa
TV/Stream: ESPNU
Radio/Stream: 93.7 FM/104.3 FM/950 AM

POINT GUARD Kennan Evans (6-3/180) 8.7 / 3.2*
SHOOTING GUARD Devaugntah Williams (6-4/205) 15.2 / 4.4
SMALL FORWARD Toddrick Gotcher (6-4/205) 11.8 / 4.4
POWER FORWARD Zach Smith (6-8/215) 10.3 / 6.6
CENTER Norense Odiase (6-9/260) 9.7 / 5.0
SIXTH MAN Aaron Ross (6-8/225) 7.2 / 4.7
SEVENTH MAN Justin Gray (6-6/210) 6.7 / 2.7
EIGHTH MAN Devon Thomas (6-0/170) 3.7 / 1.6*
POINT GUARD Monte Morris (6-2/170) 14.0 / 7.5*
SHOOTING GUARD Matt Thomas (6-4/195) 8.5 / 5.1
SMALL FORWARD Abdel Nader (6-6/230) 12.4 / 5.2
POWER FORWARD Jameel McKay (6-9/215) 14.1 / 9.5
CENTER Georges Niang (6-8/230) 19.6 / 6.8
SIXTH MAN Deonte Burton (6-4/240) 13.8 / 3.8
SEVENTH MAN Hallice Cooke (6-3/190) 4.2 / 1.4

* Assists.

1. KenPom has Iowa State as the 18th best team in the country with a terrific offense, 10th in the nation in adjusted offense and 65th in adjusted defense. Texas Tech is, believe it or not, 39th in the country overall and is 77th in adjusted offense and 32nd in adjusted defense. Iowa State has always been a fantastic offensive team under Hoiberg and Steve Prohm continues that tradition.

2. Niang is one of the more versatile players in the Big 12, it’s just a joy to watch a big man be able to score, board and dish out the ball to his mates like Niang does. I have no idea if he will be an NBA player, but he’s a very good-to-terrific college player. Niang shoots 55% from the floor and 41% from the three-point line.

3. Iowa State is not very deep, they really only play seven players, but they are all terrific and every one of them almost average in double-figures. ISU has 6 players average in double figures and that includes Nazareth Nitrou-Long, who is out for the year with an injury. Either way, Iowa State can put the ball in the bucket and they all shoot very well. Monte Morris is another terrific player, who is so good finding his teammates, averaging 7.5 assists a game, while shooting 52% from the floor. I think that Texas Tech is going to have to close out on the three-point shooters, something that I think was almost Texas Tech’s downfall against Texas. Iowa State can shoot from deep and if they get rolling, it could be a long game.

4. I’m having a tough time shaking how the team played last year and this year. Going into the Texas game, I was afraid we would see Texas Tech fall into the same problems they fell into last year. Turnovers. Bad offensive sets. Etc. That didn’t happen. This will be a huge test for Texas Tech because it will be the first time since Puerto Rico that Texas Tech will be outside the friendly confines of the United Supermarkets Arena.

5. Head coach Tubby Smith said that playing on the road is tough:

“You prepare as best you can, and you practice the same way whether you’re on the road or playing at home,” Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith said. “It’s a majority factor, it’s an experience factor and it’s a matter of can you stay within your game plan. That’s usually the challenges you face when you’re on the road along with the crowd which can make communicating a problem. We have a real team atmosphere, and that helps. You’re going to have up-and-downs, and you’re going to have peaks-and-valleys. You have to sure that you maintain your focus. You can’t too excited if you’re ahead, and you can’t get took low when you’re behind. I’m anxious to see how our players respond.”


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