Tonight's game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders is pivotal for Oklahoma's men's basketball for several reasons. First, it puts OU back within striking distance of a top four finish within the conference. Not saying that they'll eventually get there but they'd certainly be in a better position with a win. Second, it protects the home turf. Saturday's game was evidence that the Sooners are bent on staying perfect at home (We'll see how that pans out when Kansas State comes) but we also know that this team hasn't shown that they can win on the road in this conference. Third, it would put Oklahoma back above .500 in conference play. Finally, it would put the Sooners on a stretch where they've won three of their last four games before a crucial two game road trip.
In Oklahoma's first game against Texas Tech they dominated the first half by allowing the Red Raiders to score only 23 points on 25% shooting but lacked the leadership, drive, discipline, determination or whichever word you want to place there to close it out. Tech scored 52 points and shot 51% in the second half to rally from being down 11 to a 75-65 win.
Red Raiders Basketball Schedule
Next 5 Games
|@ Oklahoma||Tue 02/09||7:00 PM CST|
|Texas A&M||Sat 02/13||4:00 PM CST|
|@ Baylor||Tue 02/16||7:00 PM CST|
|Texas||Sat 02/20||1:00 PM CST|
|Kansas St.||Tue 02/23||7:00 PM CST|
Last 5 Games
|Oklahoma St.||Sat 02/06||W 81 - 74|
|@ Texas A&M||Sat 01/30||L 70 - 85|
|@ Texas||Wed 01/27||L 83 - 95|
|Oklahoma||Sat 01/23||W 75 - 65|
|Iowa St.||Wed 01/20||W 78 - 71|
The Red Raiders are 15-7 overall and 3-5 in the Big 12. They are 2-6 on the road this season and have suffered six consecutive road losses. Tech is ranked sixth in the Big 12 in scoring (73.9 points per game) and 12th in scoring defense (81.8 points per game). They are ninth in the conference in field goal percentage (.41%) and first in 3-point shooting percentage (.40%). From the free throw line they make 68% of their shots ranking them 7th in the conference.
|2009 - John Roberson||22||36.0||4.5||10.5||43.0||2.0||4.8||41.0||3.9||4.7||82.5||0.5||1.8||2.3||5.6||2.6||1.4||0.0||2.2||14.8|
Junior guard John Roberson leads Texas Tech in scoring. He's averaging 16.4 points and 5.6 assists (2nd in the Big 12) per game in conference play. Roberson is shooting .43% from 3-point range in conference play and averages 2.4 makes per game. He's a good free throw shooter at 82%. Roberson is complimented by junior forward Mike Singletary who averages 15.6 points per game and leads the team with 8.1 rebounds. He's a 73% free throw shooter. Junior guard David Tairu is the only other Red Raider averaging double figures in scoring with 10.6 points per game. However, his production has dropped to 7.9 points per game in conference play.
As already noted the Red Raiders are the best three-point shooting team in the conference at 40% so Oklahoma must defend the perimeter. In the first game this season between the two schools OU's perimeter defense disappeared as Texas Tech shot 7 of 11 from three-point range in the final twenty minutes. The other keys to the game are rebounding, turnovers and avoiding foul trouble.
I do realize how basic those all sound but they are all directly related and were costly to the Sooners in Lubbock. Both Ryan Wright and Tiny Gallon fouled out in the previous contest drastically hurting Oklahoma's second chance points and preventing one and done opportunities by Tech. Also in that previous game the Sooners turned the ball over 16 times leading to 24 Texas Tech points. One factor that could help in taking care of the ball would be if Willie Warren is healthy enough to play. He missed the first game against the Red Raiders and Oklahoma missed his 16 points per game.
|Points Per Game||73.9||78|
|Rebounds Per Game||35.8||37.3|
|Field Goal Percentage||.435||.444|
|Opponents Field Goal %||.435||.422|
|Opponents 3-Point %||.367||.324|
|Free Throw Percentage||.738||
|Fouls Per Game||16||21|
|Assists Per Game||12.7||14.1|
|Turnovers Per Game||12.5||13.8|
|Blocked Shots Per Game||2.8||4.6|
|Steals Per Game||5.7||7|