The Texas Tech Red Raiders are not very good. Sure, they beat Iowa State in Lubbock. Blind nut, squirrel, that sort of thing. At 12-13 (2-10), Tech is the only Big 12 team under .500 nationally. The other nine teams are ranked in KenPom's top 100. Tech is 177th. This is the easiest potential W left on the Longhorns' schedule. Texas needs to take advantage.
Tech rolls with a three-guard lineup. Devaugntah Williams, a lightly recruited junior college transfer, has been Tech's best player this year. He leads the team with 10.5 PPG, with a tolerable .391/.355/.754 slash line.
In their guard rotation, the Red Raiders return Robert Turner, Toddrick Gotcher, and Randy Onwuasor, three contributors from last year's team. Onwuasor, a nominal starter, was suspended for Tech's loss to Kansas. No word on his status yet, though Gotcher and Turner are better offensive options.
Up front, Tech starts a pair of unheralded freshmen, Zach Smith and Norense Odiase. Odiase is a plus offensive rebounder, and Smith can block a shot. A couple other freshmen guards, Justin Gray and Keenan Evans, provide quality depth, though Gray has been injured for most of conference play.
None of these recruits were highly rated--Evans was the highest amongst the 247 Composite, at 274th nationally--but have shown enough promise this season that Tubby Smith might get some traction in future classes. He's gonna need it, since this will be counted as a mulligan year following the loss of his two best players, Jaye Crockett (graduation) and Jordan Tolbert (transfer).
G - Devaugntah Williams (6' 3", 200 lb)
G - Robert Turner (6' 3", 180 lb)
G - Randy Onwuasor (6' 3", 190 lb)
F - Zach Smith (6' 8", 210 lb)
F - Norense Odiase (6' 9", 265 lb)
G - Toddrick Gotcher (6' 4", 200 lb)
G - Keenan Evans (6' 3", 175 lb)
F - Isaiah Manderson (6' 10", 235 lb)
F - Clark Lammert (6' 8", 210 lb)
Keys to the Game
1. Win. That's all. Tech played Texas closer than expected in Lubbock, with Isaiah Manderson (a very late add to last year's recruiting class) scoring a surprise 12 points and adding 5 boards. But the Red Raiders have lost their Big 12 road games by the following margins: 32, 7, 20, 45 (!), 19, and 37 (!!). Wanna prove that you're better than 7th place in the conference? Smash Tech.
Saturday, 7pm, LHN. Hook 'em.