Game Preview and Open Thread: Texas Tech vs. West Virginia

The Red Raiders travel to Morgantown to take on the Mountaineers.

Date: Saturday, February 18th
Time: 1:00 pm
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (17-9, 5-8)
Bad Guys: West Virginia Mountaineers (20-6, 8-5)
Location: WVU Coliseum | Morgantown, West Virginia
TV/Stream: ESPN2 (WatchESPN App)
Radio/Stream: 97.3 FM/104.3 FM/950 AM

POINT GUARD Keenan Evans (6-3/180) 15.2 / 3.1*
SHOOTING GUARD Niem Stevenson (6-6/205) 8.4 / 3.4
SMALL FORWARD Justin Gray (6-6/210) 8.7 / 5.5
POWER FORWARD Zach Smith (6-8/220) 13.2 / 7.6
CENTER Anthony Livingston (6-9/260) 10.7 / 3.7
SIXTH MAN Aaron Ross (6-8/225) 9.7 / 2.8
SEVENTH MAN Devon Thomas (6-0/170) 4.8 / 2.2*
EIGHTH MAN Shadell Millinghaus (6-2/195) 4.3 / 2.2
NINTH MAN Matthew Temple (6-10/240) 2.1 / 1.3
POINT GUARD Jevon Carter (6-2/200) 11.8 / 4.2*
SHOOTING GUARD Tarik Phillip (6-3/195) 9.6 / 2.8*
SMALL FORWARD Esa Ahmad (6-8/225) 11.9 / 4.2
POWER FORWARD Nathan Adrian (6-9/235) 10.8 / 6.4
CENTER Elijah Macon (6-9/240) 4.9 / 3.2
SIXTH MAN Daxter Miles Jr. (6-3/200) 9.2 / 2.0
SEVENTH MAN Lamont West (6-8/215) 5.8 / 2.0
EIGHTH MAN James Bolden (6-0/160) 4.8 / 1.2
NINTH MAN Sagaba Konate (6-8/250) 4.6 / 3.0
TENTH MAN Brandon Watkins (6-9/225) 5.7 / 3.4
ELEVENTH MAN Teyvon Myers (6-2/185) 6.6 / 1.3

* Assists.

1. KenPom has West Virginia as the #4 team in the nation. No pressure. The Mountaineers are ranked 9th in AdjO and 8th in AdjD so you could say that they are pretty balanced. Pretty balanced. Texas Tech jumped to 37th overall, which is a nice bump, is 33rd in AdjO and 71st in AdjD.

2. The recipie will be similar to what Texas Tech did against Kansas and Baylor, which is get to the free throw line and don’t turn the ball over. Both of those things will be difficult to do and I’d imagine that after West Virginia letting the Kansas game get away, they’re going to be looking to curb-stomp someone. Still though, I think Texas Tech is better suited to play the West Virginia press because they have good ball handlers through the lineup.

3. The biggest problem for Texas Tech will be the lack of depth. Beard has tightened up his lineup since he inserted Stevenson into the starting five as it has essentially been the juniors carrying the load, Evans, Smith, Gray and Stevenson. Beard might have to give the bench some more minutes this game because of how West Virginia plays, but they’ve got to earn those minutes too.

4. The line is Texas Tech getting 11.5, so Vegas expects a decent win for the Mountaineers. WVU is 4-1 after a loss and 3-2 against the spread after a loss. Additionally, West Virginia is 13-2 at home this year. Meanwhile, Texas Tech is 9-7 after a win and just 1-6 on the road this year. Texas Tech has shown a propensity to play well on the road as Texas Tech is 3-4 against the spread on the road and 5-4 as an underdog (all of those stats can be found here).

5. Head coach Chris Beard talks about breaking that West Virginia press:

“I think every player on your team is important when you try to break West Virginia’s press,” Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard said. “It’s impossible to do it with just one lead guard because they’ll pressure the primary ball handler. We’ll need different guys to step up and help us with our ball handling, passing, releasing and ultimately dribbling it up the court.”


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