February 27th, 2012 Men's Basketball Preview: Texas Tech Red Raiders at Baylor Bears

The Bears finish their home schedule, and run of 3rd straight Saturday-Monday turn around games this Monday the 27th at 8pm on ESPNU. The Bears come into the game on a 2 game winning streak and are tied for 3rd with Iowa State 11-5. Tech on the other hand has struggled throughout the entire season and has just one win in the Big 12.

They are led by first year coach, and Big 12 veteran Billy Gillespie. They are 8-20 on the season, and just 1-15 in the Big 12. Texas Tech is in its first non Knight coached season since 2000, with Bob Knight coaching from 2001-2008, and the younger Pat Knight leading the team for 2008-2011 seasons.

Rank and Records TTU
BAY

RPI

KenPom

Sagarin

BPI

#234

#227

#211

#210


#9

#18

#12

#14

Strength of Schedule #80
#18
Overall 8-20
24-5
Conference 1-15
11-5
Home 7-7
13-3
Away 1-10
8-2
Top 25 0-4
1-4
RPI Top 50 0-9
7-5

Tech is another team that is rebuilding, the third in a row the Bears have seen (Texas and Oklahoma). After the jump, lets take a look at a recap of the first meeting, who the Raiders are now, 5 keys to the game and the prediction!

The First Meeting -January 7th, 2012 - Bears win 73-60

This was the Bears first conference road game, and got them to 15-0 on the season. This was a close game throughout the first half, and the Bears only led by one at halftime, but quickly built the lead after the break to 11 points in 5 minutes.

The Bears were led by Pierre Jackson who finished with 19 points and 7 assists. Quincy Miller also chipped in 15 points and 9 rebounds, while Brady Heslip knocked in 4 three-pointers on the way to 16 points. The Bears also controlled the glass, out rebounding the Red Raiders 33-25.

The Red Raiders got it to a 5 point deficit a few times, but could never get over the hump. The Bears made enough shots (shooting an effective shooting % of 56.4%). This game never felt as close as it looked, and the Bears were in control pretty much the entire 2nd half.

Who are these Red Raiders now?

The Raiders are led by freshman Jordan Tolbert who is their only player in double figures. You could say they are just a really balanced scoring team, but the truth is, they are just a terrible offense, averaging just 59.9 points per game (53.9 points in conference). That is around 15 points less per game than the Bears.

Jordan Tolbert is also their leading rebounder at just 5.8 rebounds per game. Texas Tech is last in the Big 12 in rebounding per game as well (you might be sensing a theme here) at just 30.6 rebounds per game. They really try and slow the game down and limit possessions for the opposition.

Ty Nurse is their point guard, and the opposition for Pierre Jackson in the community college national championships. He is a solid player, who is more of a scorer than a passer at this point, however he doesn't have much to pass to.

Two sophomores, Javarez Willis and Jaye Crockett are two other big players for the Red Raiders. They both average 8.6 points per game. Willis brings some outside shooting to Texas Tech, while Crockett is a very active undersized power forward. He plays with high energy, but is rather limited on shooting.

5 Keys to the Game

1. Shoot 'em up

The Bears probably have more talent at every position than the Red Raiders right now. Tech is just not very talented this year, but they are well coached and they will slow the game down. Baylor cannot take them lightly and let Texas Tech control the tempo of the game to start.

The Bears average about 56 shots per game, and got off just 47 shots in Lubbock. To compare, when the Bears offense is rolling, like against Oklahoma State in Waco, they attempted 68 shots. It would be foolish to think the Bears can repeat that performance (though wouldn't it be great), but I hope the Bears can get 58 shots. That would make them play at a higher tempo than Texas Tech wants.

2. 44% and 37%

The Bears need to make more shots. That really hurt them against Oklahoma in the first half. The Bears offense has really not clicked for an entire game in over a month other than just 1. They have had some really good halves of basketball offensively (@UT, OU) but really have only shown up for a full game against Iowa State. Hopefully, the Bears can shoot 44% overall from the field and 37% from behind the 3-point line.

3. +8 on rebounds

The Bears have a lot of height compared to Texas Tech, who the last two games has started 3 guards. Ty Nurse, Javarez Willis and Luke Adams. Nurse is the tallest of the three at 6-1. Luke Adams is an excellent story. He is a freshman walk-on. He also happens to be deaf.

Adams had surgery to put in cochlear implants and also wears a hearing aid while playing. He is a remarkable story, and someone I am rooting for to do well. He took over for for Terran Petteway for a few games, so it will be interesting to see who starts.

Saying all that though, Tech is really small and is a bad rebounding team. Attack the glass Bears, and make the Red Raiders pay when they go to 3-guards.

4. 18 Assists

The Bears offense works so much better when they are moving the ball and also have good man movement as well. They get better looks and their FG% goes up. They also do very well off of dribble penetration and kick outs. I think Pierre Jackson has a big game for assists, and leads the Bears to a lot of assists. Get 18 and win the game.

5. 4 players in double figures

Another trait of a team that shares the ball is several players in double figures. I have doubts that any one player goes off for 20+ in this game, but I would like to see 4 players get into double figures.

Prediction

The Bears are the much better team here. There really is not a ton to say more than that. They are at home and this is the LAST game in the Ferrell Center for Quincy Acy, Anthony Jones and Fred Ellis. They will go out big I bet. Don't be shocked to see Anthony Jones start, and maybe even Fred Ellis. The Bears roll in this one, and win 78-61.

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