Game Preview and Open Thread: Baylor vs. Texas Tech

Date: Monday, February 13th
Time: 6:00 pm
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (16-9, 4-8)
Bad Guys: Baylor Bears (22-3, 9-3)
Location: United Supermarkets Arena | Lubbock, Texas
TV/Stream: ESPNU (WatchESPN App)
Radio/Stream: 97.3 FM/104.3 FM/950 AM

POINT GUARD Keenan Evans (6-3/180) 14.9 / 3.0*
SHOOTING GUARD Niem Stevenson (6-6/205) 7.8 / 3.3
SMALL FORWARD Justin Gray (6-6/210) 8.5 / 5.3
POWER FORWARD Zach Smith (6-8/220) 13.3 / 7.9
CENTER Anthony Livingston (6-9/260) 11.0 / 3.8
SIXTH MAN Aaron Ross (6-8/225) 9.8 / 2.8
SEVENTH MAN Devon Thomas (6-0/170) 4.9 / 3.1*
EIGHTH MAN Shadell Millinghaus (6-2/195) 4.5 / 2.3
NINTH MAN Matthew Temple (6-10/240) 2.1 / 1.3
POINT GUARD Manu Lecomte (5-11/175) 12.6 / 2.1*
SHOOTING GUARD King McClure (6-3/215) 4.6 / 1.2
SMALL FORWARD Ishmail Wainright (6-5/235) 5.5 / 4.9
POWER FORWARD Johnathan Motley (6-10/230) 16.9 / 9.7
CENTER Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. (7-0/235) 9.3 / 7.0
SIXTH MAN Terry Maston (6-8/230) 7.0 / 4.0
SEVENTH MAN Jake Linsey (6-5/200) 4.6 / 2.4
EIGHTH MAN Nuni Omot (6-9/205) 5.1 / 2.2

* Assists.

1. KenPom has Baylor as the #7 team in the nation, 23rd in AdjO and 6th in AdjD. Believe it or not, Texas Tech jumped up a spot after losing to Kansas, ranking 40th overall, 37th in AdjO and 69th in AdjD.

2. What? You thought Texas Tech would get a bit of a break after facing Kansas, like maybe a Wednesday game? Sorry, Texas Tech faces Baylor tonight and Baylor just blew out TCU at home on Saturday, by 18 points. They were rolling and as of right now, they’re a number one seed for the NCAA Tournament.

3. Baylor’s biggest problem for opposing teams is that they’ve got ridiculous size and that’s a problem as Texas Tech isn’t a particularly big team. The addition of Stevenson to the lineup has helped quite a bit and after his stand-out game against Kansas makes me incredibly hopeful. If Texas Tech can get significant production from Stevenson, Evans, Smith and to an extent, Gray, then I like Texas Tech’s chances.

4. The last game, Baylor made 26 free throws while Texas Tech only attempted 10 free throws and Texas Tech has to get an advantage at the line. Additionally, Texas Tech has to do a better job on the boards, Baylor out-rebounded Texas Tech by 10. Texas Tech can beat Baylor at home and the game plan in Waco was darn near terrific, except for the free throws. Low turnovers and let’s get those big men in foul trouble some how.

5. Head coach Chris Beard says that the Big 12 is a grind:

“You just have to keep grinding,” Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard said. “That is what we talk about the first day of practice. In our league and at this level, these games come down to one or two possessions. Every day in practice we play one or two minute games. We play one possession drills. Two of our better shooters got wide open three’s in the last two minutes and 30 seconds of the game (against Kansas). We are playing better. We just got to take that next step. What you do is you have to stay the course. You continue to try to work at it and get better. You got to keep coaching and keep working at it. I got a lot of confidence in our players. We will stick to the plan, and we will stick to the grind.”

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