Preview and Game Thread: Kansas vs. Texas Tech

The Red Raiders take on the #1 ranked Kansas Jayhawks at the United Supermarkets Arena tonight.

Date: Saturday, January 9th
Time: 8:00 pm
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (11-2, 1-1)
Bad Guys: Kansas Jayhawks (13-1, 2-0)
Location: United Supermarkets Arena | Lubbock, Texas
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 Frank Mason III (5-11/185) 13.1 / 5.6*
SHOOTING GUARD Devonte’ Graham (6-2/175) 11.1 / 3.4*
SMALL FORWARD Wayne Seldon, Jr. (6-5/230) 15.9 / 3.7
POWER FORWARD Perry Ellis (6-8/225) 16.1 / 6.6
CENTER Hunter Mickelson (6-10/245) 3.4 / 3.1
SIXTH MAN Landen Lucas (6-10/240) 5.0 / 5.0
SEVENTH MAN Brannen Greene (6-7/215) 8.6 / 2.1
EIGHTH MAN Jamari Traylor (6-8/220) 3.5 / 3.7

* Assists.

1. KenPom says that Kansas is the #1 team in the nation and are 8th in adjusted offense and 5th in adjusted defense. It’s actually really close at the top with Kansas and Villanova, but they are your best teams in the nation, followed by Oklahoma. Texas Tech has stayed at #39 despite losing to Iowa State. Texas Tech is 84th in adjusted offense and 22nd in adjusted defense.

2. Kansas has so many offensive weapons, it’s a pain and almost impossible to stop all of them. Ellis has been fantastic as has Seldon. Those two are just terrific players overall. The tough thing about both of them is that they shoot so well, over 50% and Seldon shoots better than 50% from beyond the arc. The one thing that I think might be tough for Kansas as they make a run is that they don’t appear to be a deep team, at least right now. Obviously, they are over-flowing with talent, so much that Cheick Diallo is on the bench and will be there for a while,

3. I don’t think the Red Raiders can afford to get behind against Kansas, not the way that they did against Iowa State. The Red Raiders found themselves 18 points behind at one point in the game, but battled back. The difference between Iowa State and Kansas is that Kansas is significantly better defensively. That makes comebacks that much more difficult. It will be a tough out for the offense and the defense. One of the thing that makes Kansas so tough is that they force so many mistakes, and have 119 steals on the year to Texas Tech’s 67 steals.

4. Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith said that his team didn’t play smart at times against Iowa State:

“We played an up-and-down game at Iowa State,” Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith said. “I was disappointed that we didn’t play a more complete game, but I’m anxious to see how our players respond. We did some uncharacteristic things at the end of the game as far as taking some poor shots and making some poor decisions. Overall, I thought we represented ourselves well. We played hard, but we didn’t always play smart. To come back from 18 points down and to give ourselves a chance showed a lot about our character.”

5. Texas Tech is really going to have to play to their strengths, including Devaugntah Williams playing inside the arc and maybe getting some of those Kansas players in foul trouble and Toddrick Gotcher is going to have to hit some clean outside shots. Norense Odiase will need to figure out a way to score and play defense on more athletic players while Zach Smith will need to make sure and be a threat offensively. Keenan Evans will need to control Mason. Mason is an assist machine and he’ll need to slow him down.


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