Preview and Game Thread: Texas Tech vs. West Virginia

Game Info

Date: Monday, February 26th
Time: 8:00 pm
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (22-7, 10-6)
Bad Guys: West Virginia Mountaineers (21-8, 10-6)
Location: WVU Coliseum | Morgantown, West Virginia
TV/Stream: ESPN2
Radio/Stream: 97.3 FM/104.3 FM/950 AM


POINT GUARD Keenan Evans (6-3/190) 17.2 / 3.3*
SHOOTING GUARD Jarrett Culver (6-5/190) 11.2 / 4.2
SMALL FORWARD Zhaire Smith (6-5/195) 11.4 / 4.7
POWER FORWARD Zach Smith (6-8/220) 6.2 / 3.9
CENTER Norense Odiase (6-9/245) 4.4 / 5.0
SIXTH MAN Niem Stevenson (6-6/205) 6.7 / 3.0
SEVENTH MAN Brandone Francis (6-5/205) 5.7 / 2.1
EIGHTH MAN Davide Moretti (6-3/165) 3.4 / 1.3*
NINTH MAN Tommy Hamilton IV (6-11/250) 6.0 / 3.3
TENTH MAN Josh Webster (6-4/175) 0.4 / 0.7*
ELEVENTH MAN Malik Ondigo (6-10/210) 1.1 / 0.8
POINT GUARD Jevon Carter (6-2/205) 17.0 / 6.5*
SHOOTING GUARD Dexter Miles, Jr. (6-3/200) 12.2 / 3.4
SMALL FORWARD Wesley Harris (6-8/200) 5.9 / 4.0
POWER FORWARD Esa Ahmad (6-8/230) 10.3 / 4.7
CENTER Sagaba Konate (6-8/260) 110.5 / 8.0
SIXTH MAN Lamont West (6-8/230) 10.2 / 4.0
SEVENTH MAN D’Angelo Hunter (6-6/190) 1.7 / 1.0
EIGHTH MAN Logan Routt (6-11/260) 1.0 / 2.0
NINTH MAN Teddy Allen (6-2/225) 7.2 / 2.8
TENTH MAN James Bolden (6-0/170) 9.5 / 2.0

* Assists.

Starting 5

1. KenPom. KenPom has the Mountaineers as the 12th best team in the nation, 16th in AdjO and 21st in AdjD. While Texas Tech is 57th in AdjO and still 3rd in AdjD.

2. Stats. Via RealGM, Texas Tech is a slightly better shooting team, 51% for West Virginia and 53% for Texas Tech. The Mountaineers are a better offensive rebounding team, as the collect 37% of offensive boards compared to 33% for the Red Raiders, but Texas Tech gets to the line more, 28% to 24% for West Virginia. And as you might imagine, turnovers will be a big deal in Morgantown as WVU only turns the ball over 14% compard to 16% for Texas Tech.

3. Scouting. West Virginia has the least deep team that I can recall, but that starting five is outstanding and with Ahmad’s return, they’re really good. But . . . the return of Zach Smith helps in this department because that’s a big body that Texas Tech hasn’t had in a long time and is a perfect compliment to Ahmad. That’s not to say that we should expect Zach to stop Ahmad, but that’s a really good match-up that I can live with. Carter is really the guy that makes this team go and before the Kansas game, Is aid that Devonte Graham and Evans deserved Big 12 Player of the Year honors, and Carter should be included in that too. He’s not as dynamic as Graham and I think Evans is a better scorer, but Cater is just so good and he controls the game like a point guard should. He averages nearly 3 steals a game and he’s just so tough to stop. I think for Texas Tech, they’re not going to be as challenged defensively because I don’t think that WVU has the shooters that Oklahoma State and Kansas did. The rotations should be a bit easier and that should make the defense play a bit better. The problem is that SVU is likely to be highly motivated on Senior Night and wanting to extract a little revenge for the earlier meeting.

4. Reading Material.

  • A-J Media’s Carlos Silva, Jr. – Red Raiders face quick turnaround versus WVU:

    Texas Tech, after dropping a 74-72 decision to No. 8 Kansas over the weekend, is in the midst of a three-game skid during the Big 12 Conference slate.

    And to end that negative roll, the No. 6 Red Raiders must find a way to defeat No. 21 West Virginia on a short turnaround in what is expected to be a hostile road environment.

    “This game, right here, stings a little, but we play Monday,” Texas Tech freshman Jarrett Culver said after the Kansas loss. “So we just have to focus on the next game and not worry too much about this game.”

  • WVNews’ Bob Hertzel – Ahmad key as WVU, Texas Tech prep for battle for 2nd:

    “Do you know what John F. Kennedy said when they asked him to run for vice president because he was young, aristocratic and Catholic? He said, ‘Why settle for second when first is available?’” Huggins said. “We lost a couple games, in hindsight, that we’d like to have back, that would have put us in a position where that could’ve been us taking the trophy instead of someone else.”

    That is an indisputable truth, for the Mountaineers blew a pair of double-digit, second-half leads against Kansas, games not that they could have won, but games they should have won.

  • BlueGoldNews’ Kevin Kinder – Preview: West Virginia Mountaineers – Texas Tech Red Raiders:

    West Virginia can’t settle for threes over the Tech defense. The Mountaineers must be patient, pass the ball, and not get frustrated when Tech disrupts things in the halfcourt.

    WVU did that for the the first 30 minutes of the first game against the Red Raiders, building an 11-point lead on the road and looking for all the world as if it would take the match-up of Top 10 schools. However, in a scenario that has become all too familiar this year, the Mountaineers fell apart, getting away from what it did best as the win turned into a loss. It’s almost as if WVU stops, looks around, realizes how well it has been playing, then locks up. The good news is that the Mountaineers held on to such a lead against Baylor less than a week ago, so perhaps they have turned the corner in that regard.

  • Charleston-Gazette Mail’s Mitch Vingle – WVU hosts Texas Tech and Senior Night on ‘Big Monday’:

    First, it is the final home game and Senior Day for highly decorated guard Jevon Carter and his running mate Daxter Miles, Jr. Both have played over 125 games. Both have scored over 1,000 points. And both have made an impact on the WVU program.

    “Both have had great careers,” said WVU coach Bob Huggins. “Those two guys, to a large degree, are responsible for getting this deal back on track.

    “They both are great people. They’re just not really good basketball players, but they are good people. They are active in the community. They are both good students. They’ve had no issues. They’ve had absolutely zero issues — socially, academically or athletically.”

5. Official Site. The official site has your official preview and there’s no quote from head coach Chris Beard, probably due to the short turnaround from the Kansas game to hitting the road to go to Morgantown.

Texas Tech (22-7, 10-6 Big 12) will look to stop a season’s long three-game winning streak. The three setbacks have come by a combined 12 points which includes a 74-72 decision to No. 8 Kansas last time out. The Red Raiders and Mountaineers (21-8, 10-6 Big 12) are deadlocked for second place in the Big 12 standings heading into the final week of the regular season and one game ahead of Kansas State.

Texas Tech will play its seventh ranked vs. ranked matchup on the season. The Red Raiders have won four of the six decisions on the season which includes a 72-71 victory over then No. 2 West Virginia back on Jan. 13.

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