Preview and Game Thread: Iowa State vs. Texas Tech

Date: Wednesday, February 10th
Time: 8:00 pm
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (13-9, 3-7)
Bad Guys: Iowa State Cyclones (17-6, 6-4)
Location: United Supermarkets Arena | Lubbock, Texas
TV/Stream: ESPNU / WatchESPN
Radio/Stream: 93.7 FM/104.3 FM/950 AM

POINT GUARD Kennan Evans (6-3/180) 7.6 / 2.5*
SHOOTING GUARD Toddrick Gotcher (6-4/205) 10.8 / 4.0
SMALL FORWARD Justin Gray (6-6/210) 8.5 / 3.6
POWER FORWARD Zach Smith (6-8/215) 9.6 / 6.8
CENTER Matthew Temple (6-9/260) 3.2 / 1.9
SIXTH MAN Aaron Ross (6-8/225) 9.1 / 4.1
SEVENTH MAN Devaugntah Williams (6-4/205) 11.6 / 3.3
EIGHTH MAN Devon Thomas (6-0/170) 3.1 / 1.6*
POINT GUARD Monte Morris (6-2/170) 14.9 / 7.1*
SHOOTING GUARD Matt Thomas (6-4/195) 10.4 / 5.1
SMALL FORWARD Deonte Burton (6-4/240) 8.8 / 3.4
POWER FORWARD Georges Niang (6-8/230) 19.0 / 6.3
CENTER Abdel Nader (6-6/230) 12.3 / 5.3
SIXTH MAN Jordan Ashton (6-4/191) 1.2 / 0.5
SEVENTH MAN Simeon Carter (6-8/215) 0.9 / 0.7
EIGHTH MAN Hallice Cooke (6-3/190) 3.3 / 1.2

* Assists.

1. KenPom has Iowa State as the 15th best team in the nation, 8th on offense and 65th on defense. Texas Tech has dropped to 59th overall, 93rd on offense and 55th on defense. If you are the betting sort of person, Iowa State is a 2.5 favorite tomorrow.

2. Jameel McKay is suspended for the game. McKay is a legitimate big-man for Iowa state, basically played in the middle and is a terrific rebounder and scores on a variety of inside moves and put-backs. Iowa State isn’t a deep team and they will run a very small, with almost zero bench when they come to Lubbock. Ashton is the main bench player, with Cooke and Carter receiving minimal minutes. ISU can roll out Burton as an side player considering his size, but that’s about the extent of inside players.

3. Head coach Tubby Smith said that the team is playing together more and is happy about the progress of the team:

“I’m proud that we’re playing more as a team,” Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith said. “The assist-to turnover ratio has been better than it’s ever been since we’ve been here. We’re taking care of the ball better. We’re shooting the three better even though a few our better shooters have been up and down the last few games. There are a lot of things to be proud but a lot of things that we’re continuing to get better at. Obviously, we’re done in our rebounding without having Norense Odiase or even Matthew Temple for a majority of our last game. I’m proud of how we’re defending, and we’re scoring more points this year. Everything is up, and I’m really proud of the team.”

4. Iowa State knows that losing McKay isn’t the end for ISU and just means a new lineup and just a bit less depth:

By then, McKay probably won’t be suspended anymore. Until then, though, his teammates must persevere.

“You miss Jameel blocking shots and finishing around the rim, but it introduces a new lineup that we can use, and it was effective last game,” Niang said.

Niang will play the post. Deonte Burton will be the power forward.

5. And per LAJ’s Krista Pirtle, Texas Tech plans to attack the rim with McKay out:

“(Iowa State) will probably miss their rim protector, which (McKay) is, one of the best in the league,” Tech coach Tubby Smith said. “That may open up some opportunities for us inside. Unless we’re beating people off the dribble from the perimeter, we’re struggling to score inside without Norense.”

Against the Cyclones, Texas Tech plans to attack the paint early and often, like it started out against Texas over the weekend.

Sophomore point guard Keenan Evans got most of his 14 points in Austin off driving the lane.

“He made his free throws, 7-for-10,” Smith said of Evans. “He did knock down a 3-pointer at one time which is rare because most people don’t guard him on the perimeter. That’s been a problem for him. If he sees a gap, he’s shifty and quick enough that he can get in there and get to the basket. That’s what we need him to understand that’s what his role is, understand that’s his game.”

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