Saturday, December 1, 2012

Texas Tech

Hailing from the Southern High Plains of north Texas, the Red Raiders of Texas Tech are our first road opponent and undoubtedly our first real test.  Although the Raiders are 4-0 and the top scoring team in the country, one should keep in mind that they (like we) have not faced particularly talented competition.  Here's an interesting statistical tidbit about Texas Tech.  The highest KenPom rank for any of the Raiders' opponents this is year is 306, the Prairie View A&M Panthers.  They have also faced what is currently the lowest ranked team in the land, the Grambling State Tigers (No. 347), according to Ken.

One should keep that in mind when looking at the stats below.  The comparison between the two teams is similar to the ones we have seen before.  The Cats have performed far better on offense than the Raiders, except for free throw shooting where they are essentially identical.  Yes, Texas Tech has scored more points per game, but that's because they take a lot more shots.  They are a high tempo team. Over four games, Arizona has attempted 213 field goals compared to 271 for Tech.  For shooting defense and rebounding, the teams are fairly even matched.  Texas Tech has a definite edge in defensive efficiency.  On the personnel side, the Cats have the advantage.  We are taller, heavier, more experienced, but Texas Tech gets slightly more minutes from the bench, something not uncommon for a team that runs like this.

I expect this game to be a win, as long as we can take care of the ball.  The Raiders get a lot of steals, about one for every six possessions.  The Cats get one for every nine.   Because of our offensive proficiency, in a game with a lot of possessions, the advantage should go to the Cats.  It should be interesting to see how the freshmen respond to a hostile environment.

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