Advertisement

Getting to know Texas Tech before KU's first Big 12 road game

Advertisement

First-year Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith pleads with a game official during the first half on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014 at United Spirit Arena in Lubbock, Texas.

First-year Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith pleads with a game official during the first half on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014 at United Spirit Arena in Lubbock, Texas. by Nick Krug

Texas Tech hasn’t qualified for the NCAA Tournament since 2007, but now in his third season with the Red Raiders, coach Tubby Smith hopes this will be the year the program breaks through.

Off to an 11-2 start (1-1 in Big 12) that features an 82-74 home win over Texas, Tech is ranked 39th in the nation by kenpom.com, with the No. 22 adjusted defensive efficiency in the country.

Considering the only team Kansas has played on the road this season — San Diego State — is ranked 82nd by kenpom.com, with the 12th-ranked adjusted defensive efficiency, one could reasonably assume Saturday night’s game at United Supermarkets Arena (8 p.m. tip, ESPNU) will be a challenge for the No. 1 Jayhawks (13-1, 2-0).

Texas Tech is averaging just 12.0 turnovers a game, scoring 76.2 points and shooting 46.1% from the floor — 52.3% on 2-pointers, 30.7% from downtown.

Defensively, the Red Raiders limit opponents to 38.9% shooting (33rd in the nation) — 44.7% on 2-pointers, 30.6% on 3-pointers (43rd).

Smith’s team has done a nice job so far of keeping opponents out of the paint — per hoop-math.com, only 30.2% of shots taken by Tech’s foes have come at the rim, and most have settled for 3-pointers (41.3% of their opponents’ attempts have come form out there).

As KU tries to pick up its first Big 12 road win, here are the Red Raiders the Jayhawks will have to keep in check.

TEXAS TECH STARTERS

No. 0 — G Devaugntah Williams | 6-4, 205, sr.

Utah forward Jakob Poeltl, right, and teammate Brandon Taylor, center, pressures Texas Tech guard Devaugntah Williams during the Puerto Rico Tip-Off college basketball tournament in San Juan, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

Utah forward Jakob Poeltl, right, and teammate Brandon Taylor, center, pressures Texas Tech guard Devaugntah Williams during the Puerto Rico Tip-Off college basketball tournament in San Juan, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

  • Texas Tech’s leading scorer, senior guard Devaugntah Williams averages 14.8 points per game, often getting easy points at the free-throw line, where he attempts 4.1 a game and shoots 88.7%.

  • Williams routinely has the ball in his hands but so far this season hasn’t made many bad decisions. According to sports-reference.com’s college hoops site, Williams only turns the ball over 9.8 times per 100 possessions. Compare that to the turnover percentages of Frank Mason III (11.5) and Devonté Graham (8.7) and you get an idea of how well Tech’s leading scorer is doing protecting the ball.

  • Williams has scored in double figures in 11 of 13 games this season.

  • Scored 23 points and went 13-for-13 at the line to help the Red Raiders defeat Texas.

  • Struggled to score at Iowa State, shooting 3-for-15 overall and 1-for-5 from 3-point range.

  • Although 38.4% of Williams’ shots come from 3-point range, he’s not an outstanding shooter: 19 of 61, 31.1%.

  • Williams’ 16 steals lead Tech, and he averages 4.1 rebounds a game.

No. 20 — G Toddrick Gotcher | 6-4, 205, sr.

Texas Tech guard Toddrick Gotcher explodes after a three by the Red Raiders during the second half on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014 at United Spirit Arena in Lubbock, Texas.

Texas Tech guard Toddrick Gotcher explodes after a three by the Red Raiders during the second half on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014 at United Spirit Arena in Lubbock, Texas. by Nick Krug

  • The Red Raiders’ best 3-point shooter, senior guard Toddrick Gotcher has made 27 of 64 (42.2%) from long range this season.

  • Averaging 11.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists on the season, Gotcher makes 2.1 3-pointers per game.

  • Tied his personal Big 12 career high by scoring 18 points in Tech’s victory over the Longhorns.

  • Gotcher set a new career high with 8 assists at Iowa State, in a 76-69 road loss, earlier this week, but went 0-for-4 from 3-point range.

No. 11 — F Zach Smith | 6-8, 215, soph.

None by TexasTechTV

  • Tech’s most consistent interior scorer, sophomore Zach Smith leads rotation players with a field-goal percentage of 58.1%, and averages 10.2 points with a team-leading 6.5 rebounds.

  • More than any other Red Raider, Smith operates inside, taking 53.5% of his shots at the rim, where he converts 73.9% of those looks.

  • Does a decent job of getting to the foul line, but shooting just 61.7% (29 of 47).

  • With 19 blocked shots, Smith leads the team. Swatted 3 shots in Tech’s win over UT.

  • Scored in double figures in 5 straight games before scoring 8 at Iowa State this week.

No. 32 — C Norense Odiase | 6-9, 260, soph.

None by TexasTech Basketball

  • The best offensive rebounder for Texas Tech, sophomore center Norense Odiase leads the team with 24 offensive boards (1.8 a game), and 8 put-backs.

  • The big man has made 28 of his 38 shots at the rim this season (73.7%), but only makes 37.1% of his 2-point shot attempts away from the rim.

  • Averaging 9.9 points a game on 50.5% shooting, but, like Smith, not great at the foul line: 25 of 38, 64.1%.

  • Odiase has scored 10 or more points in 7 of his last 9 games, including an 11-point effort at Iowa State.

No. 12 — G Keenan Evans | 6-3, 180, soph.

Kansas guard Devonte Graham, left, gets a shot blocked by Texas Tech guard Keenan Evans (12) during the Jayhawks 73-51 win Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015 at United Supermarkets Arena.

Kansas guard Devonte Graham, left, gets a shot blocked by Texas Tech guard Keenan Evans (12) during the Jayhawks 73-51 win Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015 at United Supermarkets Arena.

  • To give you an idea of how ineffective Tech has been with 3-point shooting, sophomore guard Keenan Evans’ 7 makes (on 21 tries) ranks 3rd on the team.

  • Evans averages 8.5 points — on 41.3% shooting — and a team-best 2.9 assists per game.

  • Has had trouble finishing inside, where he is 15 of 28 on shots at the rim (53.6%).

  • Scored 15 or more points in 3 Big 12 games last year, but has scored 8 combined points vs. UT and at ISU this season.

TEXAS TECH BENCH

No. 5 — F Justin Gray | 6-6, 210, soph.

None by Viva The Matadors

  • The leading scorer off Tech’s bench, sophomore Justin Gray averages 7.3 points and really has a knack for drawing contact and getting to the free-throw line (42 of 50, 84%).

  • Has yet to prove he can be a 3-point threat this season, with just 2 makes on 10 attempts.

  • In just 17.3 minutes, is just as effective on the offensive glass as Odiase. Both have an offensive rebound percentage of 10.5%. Almost half of Gray’s boards (19 out of 40 total) have come on offense.

  • Gray was one of the biggest reasons Tech gave ISU a fight this week. He scored 14 points and grabbed a career-best 9 rebounds at Ames, Iowa.

No. 15 — F Aaron Ross | 6-8, 225, jr.

  • Junior Aaron Ross is the best rebounder off Tech’s bench (4.5 a game) and chips in 6.9 points.

  • Better off inside than outside, Ross is 5 of 20 from 3-point range but shoots 65.8% inside the arc…

  • … That’s because Ross converts on 75% of his shots at the rim and shoots a team-best 59.1% on 2-point jumpers.

  • Ross has 13 offensive rebounds this season and turned 7 of them into put-back baskets.

  • Had 10 points and 5 rebounds against one of the better front lines he’s faced this season: Utah. The Utes won, 73-63.

Comments

Jay Scott 5 years, 9 months ago

No real size or speed advantages against Kansas projected starters and bench with the exception of Mason. He'll be quicker and smaller than whoever he guards. Not new to Frank.

This is a game that could be a gradual depth and attrition comfortable win for the Jayhawks, or a tight game if TTU plays exceptionally well.

Oddsmakers have Kansas as a 7 point favorite. Hopefully they're wrong and Self can get the bench some minutes.

Kent Richardson 5 years, 9 months ago

I like the fact we have this road game and a "projected win" before the WVU road game. All the bench minutes should be treated like the gold they are. The urgency and stakes are up from now on in. Grind it out like a tornado across a hedge row.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.