Know Your Final Road Opponent: Texas Tech

COLUMBIA, MO - JANUARY 28: Ricardo Ratliffe #10 of the Missouri Tigers controls the ball as Jaye Crockett #30 and Luke Adams #13 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders defend during the game on January 28, 2012 at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

LEAVE YOUR TRIFECTA PICKS IN COMMENTS.

I'm writing this before the Sloan conference begins, so we'll keep it pretty short and sweet. You understand what all the numbers mean by now anyway, right? RIGHT?

Texas Tech (8-21) Since Last Time


Tech
Opp.
Pace (No. of Possessions)
56.2
Points Per Minute
1.33
1.68
Points Per Possession (PPP)
0.87
1.10
Points Per Shot (PPS)
1.14
1.33
2-PT FG% 43.6%
46.4%
3-PT FG% 35.5%
33.3%
FT% 68.8%
76.3%
True Shooting % 50.2%
54.6%




Tech Opp.
Assists/Gm 9.5
12.0
Steals/Gm 4.8
6.9
Turnovers/Gm 15.1
11.9
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
0.95
1.59




Tech Opp.
Expected Off. Rebounds/Gm 9.6
10.4
Offensive Rebounds/Gm 7.1
11.8
Difference -2.5
+1.4

If basketball were just a game of H-O-R-S-E, Tech really wouldn't be that bad. They still wouldn't win a lot, but they would be a lot closer to .500 than they currently are. Unfortunately, ball control and rebounding also matter, and Tech has been absolutely dreadful in these categories. They were able to hustle their way into a split on the glass (in terms of offensive rebounds) in Columbia, however, so they are capable of sticking around a while if Bad Mizzou shows up on the glass.

Ken Pomeroy Stats

TT Offense vs MU Defense Ranks

TT Offense MU Defense Advantage
Efficiency 300
71
MU Big
Effective FG% 193
201
Push
Turnover % 343
78
MU Big
Off. Reb. % 313
147
MU Big
FTA/FGA 75
14
MU
MU Offense vs TT Defense Ranks

MU Offense TT Defense Advantage
Efficiency 1
119
MU Big
Effective FG% 3
91
MU
Turnover % 5
204
MU Big
Off. Reb. % 235
224
Push
FTA/FGA 123
335
MU Big

Where the Red Raiders are weakest

In a word, offense. They aren't a terrible-shooting team from long range, as Mizzou found out in Columbia, but their incredible inexperience (they rank 329th in Pomeroy's Experience rating) shows too often. They don't work good shots, they don't do well at all inside the 3-point line (223rd in 2PT%), they make an insane number of mental mistakes (33rd in Steal% -- Mizzou had 13 steals in their first meeting), and they are non-existent on the offensive glass.

Comparatively speaking, defense is a strength, but they still foul way too much (and they foul guards -- they rank 288th in Def. FT%), and they neither force turnovers (204th in TO%) nor good turnovers (281st in Steal%).

This has been a brutal season for Billy Gillispie in Lubbock, as he had to know it would be. He inherited a roster devoid of any semblance of talent or experience. Not good. Still, they can put up a fight; they did, after all, take Texas to overtime in Lubbock last weekend.

Where they are best

The Red Raiders do draw fouls pretty well, and as always, if they get the right guys in foul trouble (i.e. Ricardo Ratliffe and/or Steve Moore), they will suddenly find the path to rebounds a lot easier. They also make open 3-pointers -- they rank 100th at 35.8%, and they made 44.4% of their bombs against Mizzou in January. (Story of the season for Mizzou, eh?) They don't take a lot of 3's, primarily because they are rarely open, but when they are, they go down.

Defensively, like a lot of teams in the conference (OSU and A&M come to mind), they can leverage you into poor shots (77th in Def. 3PT%, 113th in Def. 2PT%), but their failures come in the non-shooting realm. Also: they're deep. It's not necessarily good depth, but Gillispie can certainly throw a lot of warm bodies out there and achieve a similar result.

Tech's Season Since Last Time

  • Wins (Team Rank is from KenPom.com)
    No. 96 Oklahoma, 65-47
  • Losses
    at No. 4 Kansas, 50-83
    at No. 9 Missouri, 50-63
    at No. 16 Baylor, 48-77
    at No. 21 Kansas State, 46-65
    No. 27 Texas, 67-71 (OT)
    at No. 27 Texas, 57-74
    at No. 29 Iowa State, 54-72
    No. 79 Oklahoma State, 63-80
    No. 117 Texas A&M, 38-47

Yeah, it's been rough. They have shown some saltiness at home, however. As mentioned above, they lost to Texas in overtime last week, and they did hold Texas A&M to 47 points in Lubbock (*cough* while scoring only 38 of their own *cough*).

Tech Player Stats Since Last Time

Player AdjGS*/Gm GmSc/Min Line
Jaye Crockett (6'7, 200, So.)
14.9
0.53
28.2 MPG, 10.2 PPG (50% 2PT, 78% FT), 6.2 RPG, 1.3 SPG, 1.2 APG, 2.5 TOPG
Javarez Willis (5'11, 171, So.)
9.8
0.35
27.8 MPG, 8.5 PPG (54% 2PT, 38% 3PT, 67% FT), 2.5 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.8 TOPG
Jordan Tolbert (6'7, 210, Fr.)
9.6
0.38
25.0 MPG, 9.3 PPG (41% 2PT, 75% FT), 4.8 RPG, 1.0 APG, 2.5 TOPG, 3.2 PFPG
Ty Nurse (6'1, 180, Jr.)
9.5
0.29
32.4 MPG, 9.9 PPG (44% 2PT, 40% 3PT, 83% FT), 2.5 APG, 1.6 RPG, 2.1 TOPG, 3.2 PFPG
Robert Lewandoski (6'10, 256, Sr.)
3.8
0.19
19.9 MPG, 5.9 PPG (43% 2PT, 33% FT), 2.7 RPG, 1.2 TOPG
Clark Lammert (6'8, 185, Fr.)
3.6
0.34
10.3 MPG, 2.2 PPG (33% 2PT, 50% 3PT), 1.7 RPG
Luke Adams (5'9, 150, Fr.)
0.7
0.03
27.6 MPG, 4.0 PPG (15% 2PT, 31% 3PT, 75% FT), 1.4 APG, 1.1 RPG, 1.0 SPG, 2.4 TOPG
Terran Petteway (6'6, 185, Fr.)
0.4
0.03
13.3 MPG, 1.9 PPG (50% 2PT, 22% 3PT, 17% FT), 2.1 RPG, 1.1 TOPG
DeShon Minnis (6'3, 185, Fr.)
0.2
0.02
14.0 MPG, 2.2 PPG (36% 2PT), 1.5 RPG, 1.7 TOPG
Jaron Nash (6'8, 180, So.)
-0.7
-0.12
5.9 MPG, 0.4 PPG, 1.4 RPG

* AdjGS = a take-off of the Game Score metric (definition here) accepted by a lot of basketball stat nerds. It redistributes a team's points based not only on points scored, but also by giving credit for assists, rebounds (offensive & defensive), steals, blocks, turnovers and fouls. It is a stat intended to determine who had the biggest overall impact on the game itself, instead of just how many balls a player put through a basket.

  • Highest Usage%: Tolbert (27%), Crockett (24%), Lewandoski (23%), Willis (19%)
  • Highest Floor%: Crockett (38%), Willis (38%), Nurse (37%), Lammert (35%)
  • Highest %Pass: Nurse (55%), Willis (51%), Adams (51%), Minnis (43%)
  • Highest %Shoot: Lewandoski (57%), Crockett (35%), Tolbert (35%), Willis (33%)
  • Highest %Fouled: Lammert (27%), Tolbert (26%), Nash (22%), Crockett (21%)
  • Highest %T/O: Nash (26%), Minnis (18%), Petteway (17%), Adams (15%)
  • A month ago, this was Tolbert's team. But his inability to avoid turnovers and fouls have limited both his minutes and his effectiveness. Jaye Crockett, meanwhile, has stepped up a decent amount. Crockett, Willis and Tolbert form a decent core, Nurse can hit 3's, and Lammert is a long and interesting freshman ... but there is a lot of dead weight here.

Keys to the Game

Here's where I turn it over to the community. One of the keys is obvious, but I want to hear from you about the other two. Now taking nominations! That's right, I'm asking for Trifecta picks AND keys to the game. Just call me Tom Sawyer...

  1. Road Things. Always. Offensive rebounds, fouls and Phil Pressey.

  2. ?. What say you?

  3. ?. What say you?

Prediction

Ken Pomeroy says Mizzou 76, Tech 59. I say it will be closer than that. Tech does play decent FG% defense, and I think they will have some success on the boards against a Missouri team that could be unfocused after clinching the 2-seed in the Big 12 Tournament. I still think Mizzou wins, but we'll say something closer to Mizzou 74, Tech 66.

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