Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (14-12, 3-10)
Bad Guys: West Virginia Mountaineers (15-11, 4-9)
When to Watch: Saturday, February 18th @ 11:00 am
Where to Watch: WVU Coliseum | Morgantown, WV
How to Watch: ESPNU | WatchESPN
How to Listen: 97.3 FM | Affiliates | TuneIn App
The Line: West Virginia -6.5
|TEXAS TECH||STAT||WEST VIRGINIA|
|THE STARTERS||Pts / Reb|
|POINT GUARD||De’Vion Harmon (6-2/205)||13.8 / 3.5*|
|SHOOTING GUARD||Kerwin Walton (6-5/200)||4.1 / 1.0|
|SMALL FORWARD||Jaylon Tyson (6-6/210)||10.2 / 6.0|
|POWER FORWARD||Kevin Obanor (6-8/235)||15.2 / 6.3|
|CENTER||Fardaws Aimaq (6-11/245)||8.8 / 5.8|
|THE BENCH||Pts / Reb|
|SIXTH MAN||D’Maurian Williams (6-3/200)||3.4 / 1.4|
|SEVENTH MAN||Lamar Washington (6-4/205)||3.6 / 2.0*|
|EIGHTH MAN||Elijah Fisher (6-6/190)||3.1 / 2.1|
|NINTH MAN||Robert Jennings (6-7/225)||3.1 / 2.0|
|TENTH MAN||KJ Allen (6-6/255)||2.8 / 2.3|
|ELEVENTH MAN||Richard Isaacs (6-2/170)||11.6 / 2.8*|
|TWELFTH MAN||Daniel Batcho (6-11/235)||8.1 / 6.0|
|THIRTEENTH MAN||CJ Williams (6-1/155)||1.2 / 0.5|
|THE STARTERS||Pts / Reb|
|POINT GUARD||Erik Stevenson (6-4/205)||13.8 / 2.4*|
|SHOOTING GUARD||Kedrian Johnson (6-3/185)||10.1 / 3.3*|
|SMALL FORWARD||Emmitt Matthews, Jr. (6-6/230)||10.0 / 3.8|
|POWER FORWARD||Trey Mitchell (6-9/225)||11.4 / 5.3|
|CENTER||Jimmy Bell, Jr. (6-10/285)||5.9 / 5.7|
|THE BENCH||Pts / Reb|
|SIXTH MAN||Joe Toussaint (6-0/190)||10.2 / 2.7*|
|SEVENTH MAN||Patrick Suemnick (6-8/230)||1.6 / 1.2|
|EIGHTH MAN||Seth Wilson (6-1/215)||4.8 / 1.1|
|NINTH MAN||James Okonkwo (6-8/240)||2.7 / 3.0|
|TENTH MAN||Mohamed Wague (6-10/225)||4.2 / 3.0|
1. Stats. The advanced stats love West Virginia, but the record does not. Offensively, WVU is a terrific offensive rebounding team, 32nd in the nation and even better at free throw rate, 9th in the nation. Not bad at shooting, top third or so in the nation, 105th in 2-point shooting and 140th in 3-point shooting. The Mountaineers are middling in terms of turnover rate, 171st. Defensively, the only item that they struggle at is opponent free throw rate, 337th in the nation. They are terrific at turnover percentage, 64th in turning teams over. West Virginia does a decent job of holding opponents shooting, 151st in 3-point shooting and 186th in 2-point shooting, again, not great, but not terrible.
2. Scouting. Stevenson is probably the best player, high usage rate and good ratings overall, including high assist rate and a decent shooter. Wilson is the best shooter on the team, while Matthews and Mitchell are decent at shooting the 3’s and generally good shooters, while Mitchell is a good rebounder. Johnson and Toussaint are terrible shooters from deep. Bell, Wague, Okonkwo, and Suemnick are all terrific rebounders on the offensive boards. They are all big and difficult to stop.
3. How They Match Up. West Virginia is predicted to win by 7 points via T-Rank and the line is 6.5. We say this quite often, but the biggest advantage for Texas Tech is getting to the line, which is tough on the road. WVU may be fine putting Texas Tech on the line and they have plenty of bigs to play. The turnover percentage for Texas Tech has gotten better, but be even better. Pop Isaacs did practice and I’ll be interested to see how that plays in the rotation. I haven’t felt like this team needed additional guards, it’s the bigs that I think Texas Tech has needed as Obanor is playing 75.5% of available minutes and then it’s sort of a grab-bag. I’d also add that winning this game would be a huge get for Texas Tech, the Red Raiders have this game and then Oklahoma on the road, and this team has given fans a bit of hope that they can turn this around. Winning on the road starts that process.
4. lagniappe | something given as a bonus or extra gift.
5. Official Site. The official site has their preview right here:
Texas Tech will look to build on momentum from a pair of home wins over ranked Big 12 opponents and even its season series against West Virginia in an 11 a.m. (CST) matchup on Saturday at the WVU Coliseum.
The Red Raiders (14-12, 3-10 Big 12) are on a two-game winning streak after earning a 74-67 win over No. 6 Texas on Monday and a 71-63 victory against No. 12 Kansas State last Saturday, while the Mountaineers (15-11, 4-9 Big 12) have lost two straight with road losses at Texas (94-60) and Baylor (79-67). WVU earned a 76-61 win over Tech in the first game in the season series on January 25 in Lubbock. The Red Raiders are 4-2 since that game.
“They’re one of the most physical teams in the Big 12,” Texas Tech coach Mark Adams said. “You look at that last game, we got beat up pretty bad on the boards. We have to emphasize blocking them out. They are relentless on pursuing the ball on missed shots. It’s hard to match their physicality. We’ll have to protect the ball and rebound.”