Preview & Game Day Thread: UT Rio Grande Valley vs. Texas Tech

Let’s get a dub!

Game Info

Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (7-3, 0-0)
Bad Guys: UT Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros (4-7, 0-0)
When to Watch: Saturday, December 21st @ 1:00 p.m.
Where to Watch: United Supermarkets Arena | Lubbock, Texas
How to Watch: FSSW+ | FOX Sports Go
How to Listen: 97.3 FM | Affiliates | TuneIn App
The Line: Texas Tech -24

Advanced Stats

KenPom 22 275
KP AdjO 68 309
KP AdjD 7 182
T-Rank 34 293
T-Rank O 99 321
T-Rank D 13 186
Haslemetric 27 299


POINT GUARD Davide Moretti (6-3/180) 14.5 / 2.3*
SHOOTING GUARD Kyler Edwards (6-4/200) 10.4 / 3.5*
SMALL FORWARD Jahmi’us Ramsey (6-4/195) 17.3 / 6.0
POWER FORWARD Terrence Shannon, Jr. (6-6/210) 12.2 / 4.4
CENTER TJ Holyfield (6-8/225) 9.8 / 4.3
SIXTH MAN Chris Clarke (6-6/220) 6.9 / 5.9*
SEVENTH MAN Kevin McCullar (6-6/195) 3.7 / 2.2
EIGHTH MAN Clarence Nadolny (6-3/195) 2.5 / 1.4*
NINTH MAN Russel Tchewa (7-0/260) 2.1 / 1.1
TENTH MAN Andrei Savrasov (6-7/225) 1.2 / 1.3
ELEVENTH MAN Avery Benson (6-4/200) 3.7 / 2.0
TWELTH MAN Tyreek Smith (6-7/215) – / –
POINT GUARD Javon Levi (5-11/175) 12.0 / 7.7*
SHOOTING GUARD Jordan Jackson (6-3/180) 14.9 / 2.9
SMALL FORWARD Connor Raines (6-6/190) 6.2 / 0.8
POWER FORWARD Lesley Varner II (6-7/190) 12.9 / 6.3
CENTER Anthony Bratton (6-8/236) 5.5 / 3.4
SIXTH MAN Uche Dibiamaka (6-4/195) 6.0 / 2.5
SEVENTH MAN Quinton Johnson, II (6-4/195) 7.1 / 2.2
EIGHTH MAN Rob McClain, Jr. (6-5/185) 3.4 / 3.9
NINTH MAN Sean Rhea (6-7/230) 1.0 / 2.5
TENTH MAN Isaiah Fontaine (6-9/200) 2.7 / 2.7

* Assists.

Starting 5

1. Stats. Not a good team. Not a good team at all. UTRGV struggles mightily on offense, they are a poor shooting team, they do not crash the boards, they do not get to the free throw line and they’re somewhat middle-of-the-road in terms of turning the ball over. Those other things though. Woof. Defensively, they are a bit better, their best attribute is that they are 42nd overall in turnover percentage, but they foul a ton, they are 343 in free throw rate defensively, which means they send everyone to the line. Erryone.

2. Scouting. UTRGV’s Four wins are against Howard Payne, Texas A&M International (didn’t really know this was a thing), Sam Houston State, and Mid-American Christian (also did not know was a thing). The Vaqueros and Texas Tech have played a common opponent, Creighton, and the Blue Jays demolished them. UTRGV’s best player is Levi and it’s not too close, he’s a fantastic player with the ball in his hands, has an elite assist rate, doesn’t turn the ball over, shoots at a decent rate, which is almost exclusively inside the arc, and also has a good steal rate. So yeah, he’s quite good. Jackson is the same Jordan Jackson who previously played for and committed to Texas Tech under Tubby Smith. Jackson is the leading scorer, but he’s not shooting particularly well and doesn’t do many good things from an advanced stats perspective. I think he probably holds onto the ball too much, without really having seen him play. Technically, Varner, Raines, and Bratton should be contributing much more offensively than Jackson, but that’s not the case.

3. How They Match Up. Another relatively small team and one that Texas Tech should absolutely dominate. I wrote that against Southern Miss and that did not happen. That needs to happen here. UTRGV is not a good team by almost any metric and Texas Tech should dominate. Kind of need to see that. In terms of where Texas Tech is after 10 games, they are okay offensively, 99th in adjusted efficiency, 139th in eFG%, 143rd in turnover percentage, 124th in offensive rebound percentage, and 81st in free throw rate. Again, that’s all okay. Defensively, the Red Raiders are very good, 13th in adjusted efficiency, 93rd in eFG%, 48th in turnover percentage, 2nd in offensive rebounding, and 143rd in free throw rate. Those aren’t all perfect numbers, but that’s a top 15 defense. Obviously things to improve upon, most notably the free throw rate.

4. Reading Material. Avalanche-Journal’s Carlos Silva, Jr. – Texas Tech’s Shannon Jr. develops aggressive mentality on offense, defense:

“I think the best thing about him is he has this willingness to be coached,” Beard said of Shannon, who is averaging 18 points and 5.3 rebounds in his last three games. “He has a willingness to listen and make changes. …

“We’ve improved some things in his game. And he deserves all the credit because he’s the one taking the coaching. That’s a great quality to have as a basketball player: to be able to identify weaknesses and then work on them.”

Shannon credits his success with a good group around him, including junior guard Davide Moretti and graduate transfers TJ Holyfield and Chris Clarke. The trio has opened up the floor and allowed him to find those driving lanes to the basket.

The Monitor’s Andrew McColloch – Jackson leads Vaqueros in return to Texas Tech:

Jackson grew up as a Red Raider basketball fan and began his collegiate career on the red and black hardwood at United Supermarkets Arena. This weekend, he’ll return to Lubbock for the last time eager and motivated to lead a hungry Vaqueros team to a marquee win over his former squad.

“That’s just like LeBron James going back to play against Cleveland. You always want to go back to where you first started and it’s always a special moment,” Jackson said. “Hopefully we can come in here and play the brand of basketball I know we can play as a team and be victorious.”

5. Official Site. The official site has their preview right here:

Christmas comes early for Texas Tech fans on Saturday when the No. 24-ranked Red Raiders host UT Rio Grande Valley at 1 p.m. on Saturday at the United Supermarkets Arena.

The Red Raiders (7-3) have won two straight after a 71-65 win over Southern Miss on Monday following knocking off No. 1 Louisville last week, while the Vaqueros (4-7) have dropped two in a row after falling 92-82 at Omaha on Sunday after a 31-point defeat at Creighton last Friday.


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