Preview and Game Thread: Texas Tech vs. Baylor

Game Info

Date: Saturday, February 17th
Time: 6:30 pm
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (22-4, 10-3)
Bad Guys: Baylor Bears (16-10, 6-7)
Location: Ferrell Center | Waco, Texas
TV/Stream: ESPNU
Radio/Stream: 97.3 FM/104.3 FM/950 AM


POINT GUARD Keenan Evans (6-3/190) 18.7 / 3.4*
SHOOTING GUARD Jarrett Culver (6-5/190) 10.8 / 4.1
SMALL FORWARD Justin Gray (6-6/210) 4.8 / 3.2
POWER FORWARD Zhaire Smith (6-5/195) 10.7 / 4.8
CENTER Norense Odiase (6-9/245) 4.5 / 5.0
SIXTH MAN Niem Stevenson (6-6/205) 6.8 / 2.9
SEVENTH MAN Brandone Francis (6-5/205) 5.7 / 2.1
EIGHTH MAN Davide Moretti (6-3/165) 3.7 / 1.3*
NINTH MAN Tommy Hamilton IV (6-11/250) 5.9 / 3.5
TENTH MAN Josh Webster (6-4/175) 0.4 / 0.7*
ELEVENTH MAN Malik Ondigo (6-10/210) 1.1 / 0.8
POINT GUARD Manu Lecomte (5-11/175) 16.8 / 3.7*
SHOOTING GUARD Jake Lindsey (6-5/200) 5.1 / 3.3*
SMALL FORWARD Mark Vital (6-5/230) 7.1 / 5.7
POWER FORWARD Tristan Clark (6-9/240) 7.6 / 5.1
CENTER Jo Lual-Acuil, Jr. (7-0/225) 14.5 / 9.2
SIXTH MAN Terry Maston (6-8/225) 10.0 / 5.8
SEVENTH MAN King McClure (6-3/215) 8.4 / 2.3
EIGHTH MAN Nuni Omot (6-9/205) 9.9 / 3.9

* Assists.

Starting 5

1. KenPom. KenPom has Baylor as the 33rd team in the nation, 58th in AdjO and 20th in AdjD. Texas Tech is the 7th best team in the nation, 59th in AdjO and 3rd in AdjD.

2. Stats. Via RealGM, both teams shoot almost exactly the same, 53% eFG%, while Baylor has a slight advantage in offensive rebounding, 35% to 32% for Texas Tech. The Red Raiders get to the line significantly more as Texas Tech gets there 28% of the time compared to 22% for Baylor. Both teams are about same in terms of turning the ball over, Baylor is at 16% and Texas Tech is at 15%.

3. Scouting. Baylor is a pretty good team and you’re probably not going to believe me. The Bears went through a rough patch, losing 4 in a row to Kansas, Kansas State, Florida and Oklahoma, but they’ve really corrected things with a dominating win at home over Iowa State, a good win against Oklahoma State on the road, a dominating win at home against Kansas, and a 1 point win earlier this week on the road against Texas. The Bears have a frontcourt that simply doesn’t stop and they’ve gotten significantly more production from Maston and Lecomte has been playing lights out. Baylor is just so danged long and athletic and there are few teams that can match that length.

4. Reading Material.

  • WacoTrib’s John Werner – Bears hope to derail streaking Red Raiders:

    The Red Raiders create many of their offensive opportunities by playing tremendous defense. Their 6.8 steals per game rank third in the Big 12.

    “They rank as the third-best defense in the country, best in the Big 12,” said Baylor coach Scott Drew. “They do a great job creating havoc on that end of the floor, which lets them get in transition, and they’re elite in finishing in transition. They’re a really athletic team and they do a great job in playing hard and competing and forcing teams into turnovers.”

    After struggling to score consistently earlier in Big 12 play, the Bears have averaged 76.2 points during their four-game winning streak. With junior guard Jake Lindsey inserted into the starting lineup, point guard Manu Lecomte has had less ballhandling pressure, and the offense has operated more smoothly.

  • SI Staff – SI’s 2018 College Basketball All-Star Team Rosters:

    Dan: Keenan Evans

    For my last pick, I wanted to give some shine to a player having an all-star type season that is not really a household name. That’s why I opted for Evans, a tough-nosed point guard whose steady improvement has been pivotal to the Red Raiders’ sudden emergence as a nationally relevant Big 12 contender. He and Trier would make for a good backup version of the Young-Carter combo when those two aren’t on the floor. My choice came down to Evans and St. Mary’s big man Jock Landale, who is absolutely one of the 16 best players in the country this season but didn’t fit my roster quite as well. He’d have been my next pick if still on the board.

  • The Ringer’s Mark Titus – College Basketball Power Rankings: Michigan State Rises and Madness Abounds:

    4. Texas Tech (22–4)

    I mean no disrespect to Texas Tech when I say this, but holy hell, is it going to be hilarious if the Red Raiders are the program that snaps Kansas’s Big 12 regular-season title streak. Oklahoma’s Trae Young seems like a lock to become the fourth national player of the year to come out of a non-Kansas Big 12 program since the streak began in 2004–05, and if projections hold true and Young and Texas’s Mo Bamba are taken in the top 10 of the 2018 NBA draft, they’ll become the ninth and 10th non-Kansas top-10 picks to come from the Big 12 since the streak started. In other words, there has been a TON of individual talent in the conference in the past 15 years, and all of it has come up short against the Jayhawks. So you’ll have to excuse me if I think it’s hysterical that Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin couldn’t snap the streak, but a program so desolate that it hired Tubby Smith to be its savior five years ago can.

    I mean, imagine if someone would have told you after the 2011–12 season — when Billy Gillispie coached the Red Raiders to an 8–23 record — that Kansas’s streak would be snapped in 2018. Imagine if that person then asked you to name the program that would end it. Where would Texas Tech have fallen on your list? I’m not even joking when I say that I would have listed Wichita State and Creighton above the Red Raiders on the off chance that either ended up joining the Big 12.

    And yet, here we are. The Red Raiders are on a tear since dropping a couple of stinkers at Texas and Iowa State in mid-January, thanks in large part to Keenan Evans averaging 24.6 points per game on 52.6 percent shooting over the past seven games. Now the only things standing between Tech and immortality are a suddenly hot Baylor team, Gallagher-Iba Arena, the damn Jayhawks themselves, a trip to Morganto — oh no. This is bad. There are still way too many ways that this can all go wrong. I’m so sorry I got ahead of myself, Tech fans. Abort the hype! I REPEAT: ABORT ALL HYPE NOW!!!

5. Official Site. The official site has their official preview and head coach Chris Beard discusses Baylor:

“It’s going to be a difficult game for us on Saturday,” Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard said. “Baylor is playing great. They’ve won four straight games in our conference. I’ve always had a lot of respect for Coach Drew. He’s been great to me my whole career. It started when I was an assistant here for Coach (Bob & Pat) Knight. The story of how he built that program up to the point of where it is at now with a NCAA Tournament spot every year and NBA players. That story speaks for itself. I think this is just the next chapter in the Baylor story. They are another great team this year that has persevered through some injuries. They are playing great basketball now in February when it matters most. We know we are going to have to play well to have a chance in this game. We have a lot of respect for Coach Drew, Jerome (Tang) and all of those guys. Obviously, they have great players.”

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