Texas Tech Red Raiders Preview
Date: Tuesday, November 20th
Time: 8:30pm CST
Location: Sprint Center - Kansas City, MO
2017-18 Record: 27-10 (11-7 Big 12 Conference)
2018-19 Record: 4-0 (0-0 Conference)
Head Coach: Chris Beard (3rd Season)
Texas Tech had a big leap forward in Chris Beard’s second season at the helm. They ended up the regular season tied with West Virginia for second place in the Big 12 Conference. The year before they were seventh and ended the year four games above .500. A nice bump for a coach still developing his squad.
They were beaten out of the conference tournament by West Virginia in the semifinals. The real success of the year came in the NCAA Tournament where they received an at large bid and a #3 seed. Through the tournament they defeated Stephen F. Austin, Florida, and Purdue. They made it all the way to the Elite Eight where they were defeated by eventual champion Villanova 59-71.
The end of last season was nice for the team but they lost 9 players from the NCAA Tournament run. Five graduated, three transferred, and one left for the NCAA draft. They are without Zhaire Smith who went in the first round of the NCAA draft. This is easily the biggest departure from the squad.
Even with all those players gone, they have seemed to kept the momentum from last season going.
The Red Raiders are currently 4-0 with wins over Incarnate Word, Mississippi Valley State, Southeastern Louisiana, and USC last night in the first game of the Hall of Fame Classic. They beat the Trojans 78-63 to make it to the championship game against Nebraska.
If you’re paying attention at home, we share two common teams so far, Mississippi Valley State and Southeastern Louisiana. They beat them 84-52 and 59-40 respectively. Nebraska beat Southeastern Louisiana 87-35 and Mississippi Valley State 106-37. While the Huskers put a bigger beat down on both teams, Texas Tech did not have much trouble with either.
They are lead by Jarret Culver at guard. The 6”5” sophomore is averaging 16.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game. He had a big night against USC with 18 points and 9 rebounds. He is a talented threat that will test the Husker defense early in the game.
Behind Jarret in scoring is Davide Moretti. The 6’2”guard has been hot and cold this year in points but has averaged a nice 12.8 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game.
They also have a fairly effective man at center. Norese Odiase is 6’8” and while he is averaging 5.5 point per game he is also bringing down 7.8 rebounds. He had a season high of 13 against Southeastern Louisiana. Expect him to keep the Huskers honest while on offense as he will throw his weight around in the paint.
Texas Tech has been described as a “tough and gritty”. They have the biggest squad that Nebraska has faced this year. Their defense is worrisome as they have held the previous four teams to roughly 28% shooting. While most of this is due to inferior competition, it is still an impressive stat that Nebraska needs to think about.
Nebraska has yet to really be tested for an entire game. I believe that Texas Tech will be the first one to do so. It won’t be a pretty game but the Huskers talent will push them across the finish line fist.
University of Nebraska 63 Texas Tech University 59