Preview and Game Thread: Texas Tech vs. Arkansas

Date: Saturday, January 30th
Time: 3:00 pm
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (12-7, 2-6)
Bad Guys: Arkansas Razorbacks (10-10, 4-4)
Location: Bud Walton Arena | Fayetteville, Arkansas
TV/Stream: ESPNU
Radio/Stream: 93.7 FM/104.3 FM/950 AM

POINT GUARD Kennan Evans (6-3/180) 7.1 / 2.7*
SHOOTING GUARD Devaugntah Williams (6-4/205) 12.5 / 3.4
SMALL FORWARD Toddrick Gotcher (6-4/205) 10.7 / 4.2
POWER FORWARD Zach Smith (6-8/215) 9.6 / 6.8
CENTER Matthew Temple (6-9/260) 3.4 / 1.8
SIXTH MAN Aaron Ross (6-8/225) 8.1 / 3.7
SEVENTH MAN Justin Gray (6-6/210) 9.3 / 3.6
EIGHTH MAN Devon Thomas (6-0/170) 3.2 / 1.7*
POINT GUARD Jabril Durham (6-1/185) 6.3 / 7.2*
SHOOTING GUARD Manuale Watkins (6-3/205) 5.6 / 3.4
SMALL FORWARD Dusty Hannahs (6-3/203) 16.6 / 2.3
POWER FORWARD Anthlon Bell (6-3/185) 16.6 / 3.1
CENTER Moses Kingsley (6-10/230) 16.4 / 9.3
SIXTH MAN Anton Beard (6-1/195) 9.1 / 2.4
SEVENTH MAN Trey Thompson (6-9/260) 3.1 / 4.3
EIGHTH MAN Manuale Watkins (6-3/205) 5.6 / 3.4

* Assists.

1. KenPom says that Texas Tech is slightly favored here, which is not something that you typically see from Arkansas. The Razorbacks are 55th overall, 37th in adjusted offense and 97th in adjusted defense, while Texas Tech is 49th overall, 59th in adjusted offense and 70th in adjusted defense.

2. Arkansas just upset #4 ranked Texas A&M at home, so they’re flying a bit high right now. It was actually a pretty good game and that game stopped a three game losing skid, LSU, Kentucky and Georgia. I was a bit surprised to see that Arkansas is 10-10 on the year, this wasn’t something that I was really expecting and they have losses to Akron, Mercer and Dayton. You just don’t expect those sorts of things from Arkansas, but I’m old, and when I think of Arkansas, I think of Todd Day and Lee Mayberry and Oliver Miller and 40 minutes of hell.

3. Arkansas is led in scoring by Dusty Hannahs, the former Red Raider, who is shooting 47% from the floor and scoring nearly 17 a contest. I was curious as to why Hannahs transferred when Tubby arrived, but I suppose I was curious of the same thing with Jordan Tolbert. Tubby was seemingly never given a chance. And I’m fine with that, no resentment on my end, but curious as to why is something that I’ve wondered. I don’t know if this game means more for Hannahs or for the players at Texas Tech, like Toddrick Gotcher and Aaron Ross. Ross and Gotcher were, I think, close friends and probably still are to an extent.

4. Texas Tech has problems of their own, unable to close games against ranked teams like West Virginia and Baylor, plus, losing big in Norman doesn’t help confidence. The one thing that has been going well is that Justin Gray is playing out of his mind and has been the best player on the floor for the last handful of games. He’s a difference maker and it will be interesting to see who Arkansas sticks on Gray. If it’s Hannahs, then that would be real good for Texas Tech.

5. Texas Tech will need to handle the press again, much like they did with West Virginia. WVU does it with bigger athletes, while Arkansas appears to do it with smaller players that can steal the ball. Arkansas also only turns the ball over 11 times and forces 8 steals a game. This is yet another opportunity for Keenan Evans to do a little something. I feel that Evans has had a bad stretch for all too long, struggling with his shot and struggling to be more than just a passenger. He needs to be better, as a scorer and distributor. Maybe I just wish that he was better and this is what he is, but there’s a lot of talent there.

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