The No. 25th ranked Oklahoma Sooners head to Lubbock, Texas to take on the Tubby Smith led Red Raiders. They're not a very high quality opponent, but they've won two Big 12 games this year, and that cannot be over looked. They upset the then ranked No. 12 Baylor Bears at home and later beat the TCU Horned Frogs pretty badly. So, while they're not a high quality ball club, they have won a decent game.
Tubby Smith is in his first year as the head coach of Texas Tech. His legacy leaves behind a great coaching career and a knack for turning around programs. Coach Smith took a Minnesota program who hadn't made the NCAA tournament in 10 years to the big dance three times in five years while also winning a couple of a National Championship with Kentucky.
Check out the Viva The Matadors for all the Texas Tech coverage of the game.
The Red Raiders are led by Jaye Crockett. The 6-7 senior from Clovis, NM leads the team with 14.3 points per game scoring and second in rebound with 6.4 rebounds per game. He plays extended minutes but is a bit foul prone. In the win over the Horned Frogs, Crockett fouled out. However, he can score in bunches. Currently, he's eighth in scoring in the Big 12 Conference with 15.8 PPG and 12th in rebounding at 6.8 rpg. Oh, for good measure, he's hitting 51.5 percent of his shots during conference play.
While you're worrying about Crockett, watch out for Dusty Hannahs. The super sophomore is really taking a liking to Big 12 play. After scoring just two points against Baylor, he's really turned it on lately. He had 13 against TCU and then dropped a career high of 25 points, nailing seven three-pointers in the loss to West Virginia Mountaineers on Wednesday night.
They sound like a solid club based off a good coach and an All-Big 12 candidate. However, they're porous on defense ranked 187th in the nation, giving up 69.6 ppg. That won't help them knowing Oklahoma averages 84.3 ppg, 11th nationally. They give up 34.2 percent of three-pointers too. Oklahoma continues to be one of the best three-point shooting teams in the country. So, it could be a mix of bad combinations for Texas Tech.
If the Sooners come out and play Sooners basketball, they might win in a cake walk. However, with the Oklahoma St. Cowboys looming on Monday, they may be looking over the Red Raiders causing big trouble. Oklahoma needs to buckle down and take care of the schedule one game at a time. A loss to a team like Texas Tech could hurt their impressive NCAA resume.
Limit transition points for the Sooners. If you allow the Red Raiders to break out in transition and score easy buckets and quickly. While that pace favors the Sooners, it most likely meant you turned the ball over or gave up a long rebound. You'll be retreating in defense, and it'll be sloppy. Must play sound basketball today.
Really intrigued to see what Cameron Clark can do versus Crockett. They'll be matched up some and hopefully Clark's length and toughness can really cause Crockett to struggle. Clark is athletic and has proven he can show up in big games, let's see it happen against a team that's not expected to give you much trouble. Although he struggled against TCU, it would be nice to see Clark return to form.
Oklahoma holds a two game winning streak over the Red Raiders heading into today's contest. Overall, these teams have met 53 times, 37 times in the Big 12 Conference. The Sooners hold a slight 33-20 advantage over the Red Raiders. When they meet in Lubbock, Oklahoma trails the Red Raiders 13-11 with OU going 1-3 in their last four meetings there.