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

The Red Raiders head back home to host Oklahoma State.

Game Info

Date: Tuesday, January 23rd
Time: 6:00 pm
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (15-4, 4-3)
Bad Guys: Oklahoma State Cowboys (13-6, 3-4)
Location: United Supermarkets Arena | Lubbock, Texas
TV/Stream: ESPNews
Radio/Stream: 97.3 FM/104.3 FM/950 AM


POINT GUARD Keenan Evans (6-3/190) 16.6 / 3.3*
SHOOTING GUARD Jarrett Culver (6-5/190) 10.2 / 3.9
SMALL FORWARD Justin Gray (6-6/210) 5.3 / 3.5
POWER FORWARD Zhaire Smith (6-5/195) 10.5 / 4.6/td>
CENTER Norense Odiase (6-9/245) 4.3 / 5.2
SIXTH MAN Niem Stevenson (6-6/205) 7.2 / 3.0
SEVENTH MAN Brandone Francis (6-5/205) 6.0 / 2.4
EIGHTH MAN Davide Moretti (6-3/165) 4.7 / 1.6*
NINTH MAN Tommy Hamilton IV (6-11/250) 5.5 / 3.6
TENTH MAN Josh Webster (6-4/175) 0.6 / 0.7*
ELEVENTH MAN Malik Ondigo (6-10/210) 1.6 / 1.1
POINT GUARD Brandon Averette (5-11/185) 8.6 / 3.2*
SHOOTING GUARD Tavarius Shine (6-6/200) 11.8 / 3.7
SMALL FORWARD Jeffrey Carroll (6-6/220) 16.2 / 6.4
POWER FORWARD Mitchell Solomon (6-9/245) 8.2 / 6.6
CENTER Yankuba Sima (6-11/225) 3.9 / 4.4
SIXTH MAN Lindy Waters III (6-6/205) 7.8 / 3.7
SEVENTH MAN Kendall Smith (6-3/190) 10.7 / 3.1*
EIGHTH MAN Cameron McGriff (6-7/220) 6.9 / 4.6
NINTH MAN Lucas N’Guessan (7-0/220) 2.3 / 2.9
TENTH MAN Thomas Dziagwa (6-4/180) 6.7 / 1.3

* Assists.

Starting 5

1. KenPom. KenPom has Oklahoma State as the 64th best team in the nation, 70th in AdjO and 87th in AdjD. Texas Tech has fallen out of the top 10, dropping to 12th overall, 57th in AdjO and 4th in AdjD.

2. Stats. Texas Tech is a slightly better team statistically, shooting eFG% of 53% (this is slowly dropping) compared to 50% for Oklahoma State. Texas Tech is just ever so slightly better at grabbing offensive boards, 33% to 32%. Texas Tech does get to the line a bit better, 26% to 23% for Oklahoma State and they both have about the same turnover rate of 15%. There are a couple of keys here for Texas Tech statisticallyl. Oklahoma State is one of those rare teams where they are perfectly good being okay at offense and okay at defense. They’re not great at one thing or another. The problem for Texas Tech has been two-fold, against Iowa State, they allowed a team that was terrible defensively to have the game of their lives against a pretty terrible offense; and the Texas Tech defense that has been terrific all year really couldn’t stop Iowa State or Texas really at all. That just has to be better. Remember me telling you guys that winning on the road is tough, well, if you need encouragement Oklahoma State is 0-4 on the road this year, while Texas Tech is 14-0. The Red Raiders have done a terrific job of protecting that home court.

3. Scouting. This is somewhat of a different team now that Carroll is back. He missed a few games early as he was suspended due to the NCAA investigation looming over the sport. But he’s back and he’s not exactly back to the form he was, but he’s been really good for the Cowboys. I’d expect Zhaire to take Carroll, but he’s got a bigger body and I think I’d like to see Francis help a bit here as well. That’s your toughest match-up I think and of course, inside, Oklahoma State has some big guys that block shots, so we’ll see if Ondigo gets the same minutes he did against Iowa State. I mentioned after the Iowa State game that it may be time for the freshmen for Texas Tech to open things up offensively, and I’d lump Francis in that group as well. they might need to be more aggressive. Collectively, the team just needs to pick things up on both ends. they need to have purposeful offense and the defense needs to tighten the screws.

4. Reading Material. A-J Media’s Carlos Silva, Jr. previews the game and writes about how Norense Odiase and Tommy Hamilton IV need to play better:

More staggering, Odiase and Hamilton IV — two crucial cogs with Zach Smith out — have not been able to get going when it comes to rebounding and scoring. The duo has combined for four points and nine rebounds in the last two games.

“Those guys got to play better,” Beard said of Odiase and Hamilton. “From a coaching standpoint, I have a lot of confidence in our players. I have their back, it’s a journey. Those two guys have played a lot of good basketball, but it’s no secret: … if we’re gonna play better in this league, our seniors have to player better. Those two big guys have to play better. They’ve got to produce.

“From a coaching standpoint, it’s not us against them: we’re all in this together. So we’re trying to do everything we can to put them in a position to play better. But we’ve got individual guys on our team that have to step up. It’s the Big 12.”

Tulsa World’s Mark Cooper writes about how Oklahoma State is looking for a road win:

“We can compete with anybody in the country,” Boynton said Saturday after the Cowboys edged Oklahoma 83-81 in overtime. “We talk about that every day. We have set no ceiling for this team, because we believe no matter what, in whatever situation we get in, we can play the right way if we’re committed to competing the way we had today.”

Oklahoma State’s win over the ranked Sooners on Saturday was a step toward substantiating that belief. The Cowboys (14-6, 3-4 Big 12) improved to 2-3 against teams in the top 25 of Ken Pomeroy’s ratings database and 3-6 against the top 50.

But as the Cowboys begin to show a little bit of an us-against-the-world sort of mentality, there is another important step they must take for validation — and for their resume.

They must win on the road.

NewsOK’s Nathan Ruiz writes about Oklahoma State enjoying the win against Oklahoma, but preparing for Texas Tech:

That’s when the Cowboys take on No. 8 Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas. The team took time to celebrate Saturday, with thousands of the Cowboys’ peers joining them on Eddie Sutton Court after an 83-81 triumph over their rival. Boynton wanted his players to revel in their achievement while also turning toward a daunting remaining schedule.

“That’s the delicate balance,” Boynton said Saturday. “You’ve gotta enjoy this. Winning is hard, anywhere. Certainly at this level against the type of competition and coaches and all that stuff. You have to enjoy it. You win by one or you win by 15, you enjoy it the same, but you know that this game isn’t gonna help us at all on Tuesday in Lubbock, Texas.”

5. Official Site. The official site with their official preview:

Oklahoma State holds a 42-19 series advantage and won both meetings by a combined 36 points last season. Former Cowboy player, assistant coach and head coach Sean Sutton serves as an advisor to Coach Beard on the Texas Tech staff. Sean’s brother, Scott, is an assistant coach on the OSU staff. Prior to this season, the Sutton brothers spent the last six seasons at Oral Roberts with Scott as the head coach and Sean as an assistant coach.

“We’ve got a big game tomorrow against Oklahoma State at home,” Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard said. “It’s the next Big 12 game on the schedule. They’re a hot team. They have won three of their last five right in the middle of the fight. Coach Boynton is doing a great job with them. We have a lot of respect for their players and we know we are going to have to play well.”


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