Game Preview and Open Thread: Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma State

Date: Saturday, February 25th
Time: 1:00 pm
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (17-11, 5-10)
Bad Guys: Oklahoma State Cowboys (18-9, 7-7)
Location: Gallagher-Iba Arena | Stillwater, Oklahoma
TV/Stream: ESPNU (WatchESPN App)
Radio/Stream: 97.3 FM/104.3 FM/950 AM

POINT GUARD Keenan Evans (6-3/180) 15.5 / 3.1*
SHOOTING GUARD Niem Stevenson (6-6/205) 9.0 / 3.7
SMALL FORWARD Justin Gray (6-6/210) 8.8 / 5.3
POWER FORWARD Zach Smith (6-8/220) 13.1 / 7.6
CENTER Aaron Ross (6-8/225) 9.7 / 2.8
SIXTH MAN Anthony Livingston (6-9/260) 10.3 / 3.8
SEVENTH MAN Devon Thomas (6-0/170) 4.7 / 3.0*
EIGHTH MAN Shadell Millinghaus (6-2/195) 4.0 / 2.1
NINTH MAN Matthew Temple (6-10/240) 2.0 / 1.2
POINT GUARD Jawun Evans (6-1/185) 18.2 / 5.8*
SHOOTING GUARD Phil Forte III (5-11/195) 13.8 / 2.4
SMALL FORWARD Jeffrey Carroll (6-6/215) 17.7 / 6.6
POWER FORWARD Leyton Hammonds (6-8/215) 7.3 / 4.7
CENTER Mitchell Solomon (6-9/245) 5.4 / 5.0
SIXTH MAN Davon Dillard (6-5/215) 4.9 / 3.4
SEVENTH MAN Brandon Averette (5-11/175) 5.3 / 1.6
EIGHTH MAN Cameron McGriff (6-7/210) 3.9 / 3.0
NINTH MAN Lucas N’Guessan (7-0/215) 2.5 / 1.8

* Assists.

1. KenPom says that Oklahoma State is the 20th best team in the nation, 1st in AdjO and 128th in AdjD. That’s right, Oklahoma State has the best offense in the nation, but that defense is going to be a problem in the post-season. Still, who cares at this point. The Cowboys are on a roll. Texas Tech has moved up to 35th in the nation overall, 34th in AdjO and 68th in AdjD.

2. The most difficult thing about playing Oklahoma State is that J. Evans is so danged good, he opens up so much for the Cowboys and Forte and Carroll feed off of the play of J. Evans (again, he’s a dual threat because he averages over 6 assists a game and 18 points). Don’t get me wrong, Forte and Carroll are good in their own right, but Evans opens up a bunch for them.

3. Oklahoma State’s run started against Texas Tech where they won by 19 points. They had lost their first six conference games and other than a loss to Baylor, Oklahoma State has won 9 of 10. The Cowboys are essentially the Texas Tech of last year.

4. Texas Tech’s best chance of winning this game is to play terrific team defense and they’ve got to rebound the h*ck out of the ball (shout-out dog rates). Stevenson, Gray and Evans are going to have to be terrific on the perimeter to stop the onslaught of the Oklahoma State offense.

5. Here’s head coach Chris Beard to discuss his team (twice):

“The guys have been great,” Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard said. “We talk a lot about perseverance in our program, and this is just a great opportunity to do that. We’ve got a day-to-day process that we have talked about many times before. That’s really the key: just play good days back-to-back. Those days become good weeks, and a couple of good weeks will become good months. We’re close in a lot of ways, and I think we’ve got a lot of good basketball left in the remainder of the season.”

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